HD only channels on Freeview reserved new channel numbers in preparation for future HD changes
Following a consultation on the matter, Digital UK, the organisation responsible for allocating Freeview channel numbers, confirmed that a rule change had taken place allowing channels that broadcast in HD only be reserved channel numbers within the ranges previously only allocated to standard definition channels.
QVC+1 HD, the first HD-only channel to arrive on Freeview will benefit from the rule change, and has been reserved channel 75. But viewers won't see the channel move to 75 just yet:
A Digital UK spokesperson explained that the reservations will apply in the news and general entertainment sections in preparation for a possible HD/SD substitution in the future, which in itself will require a further consultation.
This means, contrary to the earlier version of this article, that any HD-only channels on Freeview will remain in the 101-119 channel range, but will also have slots reserved in the 1-99 and 130-149 range so that if the HD section is closed they will migrate to their reserved channel numbers.
The arrangement will ensure that HD-only channels aren't disadvantaged - without this arrangement they would have been tagged onto the end of the SD channel list in the event of the HD section closing.
For viewers it means that some channel numbers in the General Entertainment and News sections will remain empty until a further decision is made on the future of the HD section of the Freeview channel list.