U.K: Freeview HD on Track for London Holiday Launch

Availability of HD off-air content is more or less on track for five northern regions of Great Britain by next spring, although London’s leap to HD will come much sooner--by late 2009 and in time for the holidays.

The BBC, since announcing its terrestrial HD start-up plans last June, has said little. But the word now is that Freeview HD’s mode (DVB-T2) is on schedule to go up in parts of northern England by the second quarter of 2010--partly thanks to a new deal with Arqiva, according to the Freeview Web site.

London viewers are set to receive terrestrial HD via Freeview by late December, while Granada is slated to get the upgrade a few weeks sooner. Overall transmitter upgrades by next spring include the northern regions of Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford and Newcastle.

Some Brits already are receiving HD content terrestrially from a box-retuning campaign conducted a few weeks ago.