BBC fixes HD rollout plans with Arqiva

UK public broadcaster the BBC has confirmed its agreement with transmission services provider Arqiva to upgrade relevant elements of the UK digital-terrestrial network to the DVB-T2 modulation standard to accommodate HDTV services.

The implementation of DVB-T2 is expected to increase the capacity of the BBC’s Multiplex B by 67%, creating the space necessary for the launch of the BBC’s HD services. HD services will initially launch in the North-West of England in December, with most areas that have already completed digital switchover to follow by the end of 2010.

The BBC has also arranged with Arqiva to build a small network of five additional transmitters to bring HD services to key metropolitan areas ahead of switchover, including London from the end of 2009, with Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham and the Leeds-Bradford agglomeration to follow by spring next year.

The rollout is the first full operational deployment of DVB-T2 globally.