Obviously, as a TV nut, I want HD to be available on Freeview as soon as possible. So as you can imagine, I was annoyed when Ofcom announced it thought hi-def channels should be broadcast in the existing spectrum. I was annoyed because I don't want to see the analogue spectrum to companies with deep pockets, like mobile phone networks.
But, after a little thought, it did occur to me that there is a fair bit of space wasted on Freeview at the moment. For example, in the days of digital video recorders, do we REALLY need channels broadcast on an hour delay, like the new 4+1? And with the Internet, does anyone need to watch shopping channels day and night? And what's the point of a channel entirely dedicated to news about sport?
I do still believe the analogue spectrum should be used for digital television services, but I really don't want to see a situation where we simply end up with more shopping channels or the ability to watch Big Brother contestants sleeping on a one-hour delay. Seriously, how dumb is it to offer a 60-minute delayed repeat of something so monotonous it shouldn't be allowed on TV at all?
If we shut down all the rubbish on Freeview, I reckon we could getbroadcast in MPEG-4 with little or no fuss. Then those of us with a desire for HD could buy a new Freeview box, or one of the new with a built in MPEG-4 decoder.