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HDTV channels coming to Freeview

Regulator Ofcom announced on 3rd April that four HD channels are being made available for Freeview. One of them is reserved for the BBC, while the other three will be put out to tender for offers from the other TV companies (such as Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5 and S4C), and the first three should be live by 2009, when switchover is due to take place in Granada and other regions. The only problem is viewers who want to watch HD on Freeview will need a new set-top box incorporating the superior MPEG-4 rather than MPEG-2 compression technology (MPEG-4 is twice as efficient as the MPEG-2 standard) and these are not available to buy in the  shops just yet.

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