For all of those waiting for free HD TV, Freeview HD is set to be launched before the end of the year. The service will start first in the North of England and then will then unfortunately roll out to the rest of the country across the next 2 or 3 years.
Graham Plumb, Head of Distribution Technology at BBC Operations that transmission will start at Granada’s Winter Hill transmitter from 2nd December 2009, not long after the Granada region’s digital switchover. “The plan has always been to roll Freeview HD out around the country following switchover and Winter Hill was selected as the first achievable transmitter. There will need to be a retrospective upgrade of regions that have already switched.”
For those in London, the Crystal Palace transmitter is due to be updated in December, then four other transmitters covering urban areas by spring 2010. However it hasn’t been made clear if these upgrades mean immediate switch on to the service and it’s said that London as a whole won’t get complete service till 2012 (just in time for those Olympics)
It has also been said that most people wanting to take up the service will more than likely have to buy a new set top box or TV to take the service which when it starts will only have 4 channels, BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. The service will also only broadcast in 720p(still good in my opinion)