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Latest set of standards prepare Freeview for connected future

The DTG (Digital TV Group) has published the latest set of standards for digital terrestrial TV, enabling manufacturers to create Freeview devices that support the forthcoming Freeview Play service and are better at handling the major 700 MHz frequency clearance later this decade, which will change the frequencies Freeview channels are broadcast on in many parts of the UK.

The DTG says the new standards - D-Book 8 - covers the changes to broadcast metadata which are required to ensure that Freeview Play devices work correctly, and that other DTT devices are unaffected by the new service.

Other changes include:
  • Over the air signalling of software updates via broadband allowing manufacturers to instruct STBs and TVs to go online for large update files, or instruct users to connect their products to receive the update.
  • Smart retuning meaning that users' favourite channel lists, region selection and recording schedules are retained when the channel list is updated (and for when there are frequency changes later this decade). Currently a major bugbear during major Freeview retunes.
  • A requirement for manufacturers to provide a standard method for displaying signal strength and quality, so that customer services can respond more effectively to reliable data.

The latest set of standards also includes support for future HEVC broadcasts. Although there are currently no plans to use HEVC in UK Freeview broadcasts (tests were carried out last year from three transmitter sites by BBC R&D), the inclusion of HEVC future-proofs the platform. HEVC could in the future allow more channels to broadcast on Freeview or facilitate 4k UHD TV, although there are unlikely to be enough available frequencies to cater for 4k on terrestrial TV, with fibre broadband likely to become a primary 4k/UHD distribution method.

The latest D-Book supports developers of products that have the following branding/logos on them:
  • Freeview, 
  • Freeview Recorder (formerly Freeview+), 
  • Freeview HD, 
  • Freeview HD Recorder (formerly Freeview+HD), 
  • the new Freeview Play, 
  • YouView 
...and other platforms around the world using DVB-T and DVB-T2.


  1. There is plenty of Freeview spectrum for 4K HEVC channels. All we have to do is get of all the pointless +1 channels and dire shopping and other space filler crap channels. A DVB-T2 mux can accomodate two HEVC 4K channels at least, maybe three. Provided we accept less than 10 good TV channels rather than huge rosters of rubbish that we have now, there is space.


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