Wednesday, December 26, 2007

TV signal & High Definition

Most of the new TV selling in the UK retail shops are able to receive freeview (DVB-T) digital signal on top of the normal analog (DVB) signal. Freeview has more than 20 free channels. Although not all channels are available as it is location based, but starting mid 2008 the digital switch off will take place, meaning analog signal transmitter tower will be replaced by phases and Swindon will be completely digital by 2010.

Well, Freeview is receive via aerial antenna, there is also satellite free channels. Most retailers are offering Sky Pay Once Watch Forever for £75. By installing a satellite dish with a satellite receiver box, you can enjoy 20+ more channels for free.

Now, what about High Definition (HD) signal? Most LCD/Plasma TV comes with HD Ready but how often one benefit from such expensive investment? While I was in Singapore, HD signal was only in testing phase for none cable resident, and Starhub CableTV is the only content provider with HD service. You need to get a HD set top box in order to decode the HD signal. Here in UK, only Virgin Media V+ and Sky HD are offering HD. My requirement is to view all available channels, if needed be, pay 1 time charge for the set top box without subscription. Without a HD subscription, viewer can watch BBC HD, ITV HD and possible Channel4HD for free. Look likes the best option is "Sky Pay Once Watch Forever" (that's why in Dixon 10% discount I picked it) until I discover freesat.

From the website, it said freesat will be available by spring 2008 and HD signal is available. This set top box will be available at major retailer by then. I'm holding my horse and ready to get this one. Perhaps by mid 2008, most TV will be able to accept HD signal without a set top box, just like it is able to support Freeview now.

No comments: