Broadcasters campaign for HD television on Freeview

An alliance of high-profile broadcasters, TV manufacturers and retailers is this week launching a campaign to make high-definition (HD) television available on Freeview.

The HDforAll campaign aims to convince the public that the switch to digital television could lead to a division of the HD haves and HD have nots.

It aims to achieve this partly through talking to consumer affairs and media correspondents.

Backed up by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five, the campaign will be lead by a steering group including retail group DSG International and HD manufacturer Sony. Samsung and Toshiba are also backing the campaign.

A spokesman for the alliance says they have no plans to embark upon an advertising venture but have not ruled it out.

He claims the response to the initiative has already been extremely good.

The campaign comes in response to Ofcom’s plans to auction off publicly owned spectrum because of the analogue switch-off, following the completion of the switch across to digital, which the Government aims to be completed by 2012.

HDforAll say: "If the auction takes place as planned it is likely that the millions who have invested in the UK’s fastest growing digital television platform, Freeview, will not be able to experience the crystal-clear quality of HD TV."

It follows a trial of HD TV on Freeview boxes by all the terrestrial TV channels. Broadcasters said in November that participants were "overwhelmingly positive" about the trial, which used 450 customised boxes to deliver programming from the channels.

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