All Freeview products to be HD from end of 2016

Freeview logoAll future Freeview products must be HD-capable from the end of next year, and the Freeview brand will no longer appear on new SD products after that date.

Freeview has said it will no longer licence the Freeview trade mark to SD products from the end of 2016. The UK DTT operator said that this move is expected to give a major boost to sales of HD products, which in 2014 accounted for over 70% of Freeview sales in the UK.

Freeview cited research that showed that picture quality via HD and access to the UK broadcasters’ online players on their television are the most important features for TV viewers on Freeview, and that the HD move is the next step in the company’s drive towards an increasingly hybrid, HD platform.

All equipment for the Freeview Play service, set to launch in October, will be built to the HD standard from the start, as specified in the D-Book 8 guidelines.

Over 100 million Freeview products have sold since the service launched in 2002.

“Freeview HD gives consumers the best possible picture quality without a subscription. By moving all Freeview products to HD, we are ensuring that our viewers get the full range of channels available to them on the platform and the best possible quality. The company has been working closely with manufacturers, retailers, government and other industry stakeholders to future-proof the platform,” said Guy North, managing director of Freeview.

“The industry has given unanimous support, through its collaboration in the DTG, to Freeview’s move to ensure all their viewers enjoy the rich experience of high definition TV with the reliable experience to which they have become accustomed from world’s greatest industry-defined and open digital TV platform,” said Richard Lindsay-Davies, CEO of the Digital Television Group.

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