The future according to ITV 

17 October 2008 tbs.pm/955

ITV, Channel 4 and BBC to launch HD channels on Freeview next year

We’re told that the future of broadcasting is high definition, yet ITV’s HD proposal for Freeview contains no regional content whatsoever apart from something that’s entitled “programmes about the UK’s nations and regions”. Which will probably consist of ITV’s carbon copy of the BBC’s Inside Out.

Of course this lack of true regionality was known well before the final announcement, but Ofcom being Ofcom rubber-stamped this proposal instead of telling ITV to go away and come back with something that was regional for final approval. So it seems (surprise, surprise) that vague promises of home-produced drama won out in the end.

Plus there’s the inevitable issues of bandwidth – or lack of it – to contend with when four HD channels get shoved into one multiplex, but you can blame Ofcom’s efficient use of spectrum money-making tendencies for that one. S4C’s Welsh offering sounds like its existing analogue service, ie. S4C Digidol with added Hollyoaks.

And will the BBC put forward a proposal for a fifth channel when one gets added to the HD lineup in 2015? Perhaps a high definition BBC One and BBC Two ought to be in the corporation’s future instead of just a single HD “best of” channel as is currently the case.

After all, in the UK we’re all supposed to be licence fee-payers and we should demand more HD for our money.