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A month that will have an impact on the way we consume TV

Decisions and announcements about how we watch TV terrestrially and via satellite and how we can buy old favourites to watch on TV are set to be made this month.

Starting today, the World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva will spend most of the month debating how the world can supply enough spectrum to the increasing number of household and commercial devices that need to be connected. Delegates from European and African countries support retaining a portion of spectrum for terrestrial TV through the 2020s, once additional spectrum is handed over to mobile networks at the turn of the decade.

Terrestrial TV frequencies have to be co-ordinated between countries to avoid interference. The outcome of talks will determine how Freeview frequencies will have to change in the UK in a few year's time and ultimately how it will affect viewers across the country. The reduction in available frequencies for terrestrial TV is expected to usher in a move to the newer, more efficient DVB-T2 standard used by Freeview HD devices, making older Freeview devices redundant around the turn of the decade.

This month, Sky is due to announce details of its new product, widely speculated to be a new set-top-box that will cater for UHD transmissions and make better use of internet services. Until the announcement on 18th November, the company is staying tight-lipped. It's currently teasing viewers with a promotional video and social media hashtag #setTVfree.

Sky's German offshoot is already making changes to satellite transponder capacity in order to facilitate UHD transmissions.

And the BBC's commercial arm is preparing to make an imminent announcement about the BBC Store, a new service that will enable viewers to buy BBC content. For years, it's been possible to buy first BBC videos, then BBC DVD's of some of the UK's favourite TV shows. Now, we're poised to get a new, more modern way of acquiring shows.

What we find out in the next few weeks may well have a significant impact on how we consume TV for many years to come.


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