Freeview logo to be restricted to DVB-T2 compatible devices

In future, only HD compatible devices will carry this logo
TVs will need to be compatible with the Freeview HD service in order to be able to carry the Freeview logo, according to changes announced today.

The Freeview logo identifies devices that will work with the UK's digital terrestrial television service, and appears in retail outlets, on packaging and marketing material.

From Janaury, TVs 32 inches or larger will be required to be Freeview HD compatible, and then from 2017 all new devices will need to support Freeview HD to carry the logo.

Until now, it's been possible to buy TVs that are "HD ready" and can receive most standard definition channels broadcast on Freeview, but are not compatible with Freeview HD services. And it's been possible to buy devices with the Freeview logo that are only suited to the older type of standard definition broadcasts.

Freeview HD uses the DVB-T2 broadcast standard, which creates sufficient bandwidth for HD channels to broadcast over the air, plus extra space for additional standard definition channels. Older receivers are not compatible with DVB-T2 and can't receive the full set of channels, nor are they able to benefit from additional connected services.

Later this decade, frequencies used by Freeview will change following a reallocation of spectrum to mobile network operators. Overall, fewer frequencies will be available to terrestrially broadcast services. As a result, broadcasters are keen to adopt the DVB-T2 standard for the whole Freeview service in the future, as it will create more bandwidth for existing services over fewer frequencies. It will also facilitate more HD channels in the future, with HD becoming the standard format for TV services, as is already taking place in other countries. Newer receivers are able to connect to the internet for additional services, such as catch-up TV and streamed channels, such as Vintage TV and TVPlayer.

Viewers with older standard Freeview devices will continue to receive services as normal for the time being despite these changes, but will not be able to receive the full range of services available via their TV aerial. A switch-off date for non-DVB-T2 services in the UK has not been announced.

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  1. Only about two years late. And it should apply to everything immediately, not a year later for other devices.


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