Freeview HD won't transmit in 1080p

Ofcom decision scuppers Full HD Freeview plans

Those hoping that Freeview's upcoming high-definition service will be transmitted in 1080p prepare to be disappointed, as Ofcom has decided against it.

Instead of using a Full HD friendly format, Ofcom has chosen to go with MPEG4 advanced video 4.0 compression – which supports 1080i but not 1080p.

Although a later version of MPEG4 AVC is available (4.3), Ofcom has deemed the codec too much of a risk, considering the service is set to be available by the end of the year.

1080p still a wish-list option

TechRadar spoke to Alex Lane, Editor of What Satellite & Digital TV about Ofcom's decision, but he felt that the lack of 1080p wouldn't pose too much of a problem for average consumers.

"Ofcom's decision will disappoint home cinema maniacs, but 1080p is still very much a wish-list option for broadcast TV," he explained.

"[There are] many technical hurdles to overcome before it's a practical format, from production to transmission and even the silicon inside set-top boxes."

Currently both Sky HD and Freesat use the 4.0 codec, but Sky has mentioned it has began trialling the 4.3 version (1080p) in the US.

Via Wotsat blog

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Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.