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Freeview boss pins future on new HD channels, not 3D or catch-up

Freeview’s universal coverage with more HD channels will be the key to retaining its crown at the top of Britain’s TV hierarchy, says boss Ilse Howling.

The managing director of Freeview said she hopes to announce 10 new HD channels for Freeview soon, which could launch as early as 2014.

Howling told UK tech trade association Intellect’s Consumer Electronics conference that broadband-delivered service like catch-up TV will sit alongside broadcast for years to come.

Freeview boss pins future on new HD channels, not 3D or catch-up
Freeview HD says it doesn’t need YouView to stay on top

Read Recombu Digital’s guide to The Future of Freeview“If you talk to citizens about what they want most from their tech at the moment, it’s HD not 3D.

“What we are doing at Freeview is giving people universal access to great free programming and technology innovations, like Freeview+ PVRs and Freeview HD.

“It’s important to see broadband services like catch-up coming alongside Freeview, but broadband is not universal now, and I think it’s highly unlikely it will be universal in 10 years’ time.

“Freeview will continue to provide universal experiences now, and it will continue to provide universal experiences into the next decade.”

The BBC has not yet confirmed if it will broadcast the finals of Wimbledon 2013 in 3D, after two years of trials on the BBC HD channel – now BBC Two HD.

Ofcom is currently considering plans to launch two new Freeview HD multiplexes on frequencies cleared by the Digital Switchover.

These could carry up to 10 HD channels, or 20-30 standard-definition channels, using the same technology as Freeview HD.

The BBC, Channel 4, TV manufacturers and many others in the TV industry would like to encourage Freeview homes to switch to Freeview HD boxes.

This would enable Freeview to use the airwaves more efficiently, so the government can sell more Freeview frequencies to mobile phone operators at the end of this decade.

UPDATE (June 17): This report has been modified after BBC has asked us to clarify that it has not yet confirmed whether it will have 3D coverage from Wimbledon 2013, which begins on Monday, June 24.

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