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Freeview set for HD future

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High definition is set to become the norm for Freeview as it withdraws its logo from new standard definition TVs and set-top boxes.

Describing the move as a ‘landmark moment’ in UK television, Freeview’s MD Guy North says it will pave the way for improvements in picture quality, including Ultra HD.

The withdrawal of the Freeview logo from SD equipment was first announced in 2015. Since then the sale of SD TVs has dropped by 36%, pushing HD sales up to 80% of the six million TVs sold in the UK every year.

“Moving Freeview to a fully HD product line-up is a landmark moment for the UK market and continues our track record of striving to deliver the best subscription-free TV service,” said Guy North, managing director at Freeview.

“I’m delighted we are playing our part in making the best picture quality available to everyone and are already gearing up for UHD standards which will be offered in the Freeview Play technical specification from next year.”

Freeview offers fifteen high definition channels, including Channel 5 HD which became available in May this year. BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4 and CBBC are also available to Freeview users with a compatible TV or set-top box. Around 75% of the country can also watch BBC News HD, BBC Four HD, Al Jazeera HD and other high definition channels on Freeview.

The change applies to new equipment from 1st January 2017. Existing televisions and receivers will continue to receive standard definition (SD) channels and no viewers will experience a loss of service.

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