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


Content Team Lead

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, 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.