UK tests HD transmission

The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five are conducting the first HD broadcast trial on digital terrestrial television in the UK.

The six-month test will examine all technical aspects of transmitting high definition. Four hundred and fifty households in the London transmission footprint will participate in the trial as receive sites.

The BBC's HD stream is being transmitted by National Grid Wireless under license from UK regulator OfCom. The ITV, Channel 4 and Five multiplex is being transmitted by Arqiva. Both signals originate at the Crystal Palace. Special DTT HD receivers have been made by selected consumer electronics manufacturers, including Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB).

ADB has supplied its latest 3800T HD product for the trial. The unit is an advanced, digital terrestrial set-top box incorporating HD television reception and H.264/MPEG4 AVC.

Siemens is supplying technical support for the BBC HD trial and has contracted with Red Bee Media for project management and playout. Thomson is supplying coding, mux and playout to the ITV, Channel 4 and Five multiplex. TNS Media is conducting audience research to assess the viewer reaction.