BBC Secures HD Transponder

The BBC has signed a contract reportedly worth several million dollars to rent itself a lot more satellite spectrum for its HD coverage, which is expected to roll out starting in 2006, and be completed by 2012 at the very latest--in time for the London-based summer Olympics. According to published reports, the BBC
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The BBC has signed a contract reportedly worth several million dollars to rent itself a lot more satellite spectrum for its HD coverage, which is expected to roll out starting in 2006, and be completed by 2012 at the very latest--in time for the London-based summer Olympics. According to published reports, the BBC has contracted for one new transponder on the Astra 2A satellite at 28.2oE. The corporation already has six transponders across Astra 2B and 2D.

The new space is expected to be used primarily for delivery of HD services, which appeared to take a back seat to the overall DTV transition in the U.K. and elsewhere in Western Europe, until recently. A BBC exec told a British publication that the new transponder for HD will increase the broadcaster's flexibility to meet its various audiences' changing tastes, which seems to indicate that consumer interest in HD is gaining within British households. As in the United States and other nations with emerging HD, the percentage of households capable of actually receiving HD programs at 1080i or 720p (and, yes, eventually 1080p) are still very much in the single digits.

The BBC will now reconfigure its HD line-up between it seven working transponders.