Viewers expect HD Freeview by 2009
Television viewers expect to receive high-definition (HD) services through Freeview in the next three years, according to research carried out jointly by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five.
The first findings of the broadcasters’ joint HD trial show that 86% of its pilot group expect services to be available on the free-to-air digital service and nine out of 10 people in the trial expect public service broadcasters to drive HD developments. Currently, only satellite broadcaster BSkyB and cable operator NTL offer HD services.
The four broadcasters have been running the trial since June to a small closed sample group of 450 selected households in the London area, under a non-operational licence from Ofcom.
HD produces clearer and more detailed pictures than normal standard definition TV. In a report published today (November 21), the broadcasters have outlined feedback from the sample group, all of whom were issued with a prototype HD set-top box that could also receive Freeview broadcasts.