Do we need High Definition (HD) on Freeview?
A news story on the BBC site explains that Ofcom are looking to sell off the spare spectrum on from the old analog networks. This could be bad news for Freeview as they will only be able to squeeze a couple of HD channels into tier existing spectrum ( We will ignore the fact that everybody will have to upgrade their shiny new Freeview TVs and set top boxes). I think that this should be seen as a huge opportunity to move from broadcast to on-demand.
Instead of using all the available bandwidth for broadcast of Trisha, Quizcall and Countdown it could, instead be used for Mesh networks or wireless broadband. In this way we could start to replace the generic TV with a more truly interactive service. This would greatly increase choice as you would then be able to choose not only the Freeview services that you want but also any other broadcaster or end user that is available on the wider network.
I understand that Ofcom has a role to make money for the government but perhaps it should think about setting aside a not small amount of spectrum for a more open type of broadcast. Rather than selling the spectrum to the highest bidder give it to the network provider that will give the greatest choice for the end user. The drive for profit rarely gives the user the best product.
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