a a a Display options Cymraeg
Follow Ofcom on Facebook Follow Ofcom on Twitter Subscribe to the Ofcom RSS Follow Ofcom on YouTube Subscribe to the Ofcom Email Updates

Independent regulator and competition authority
for the UK communications industries.

Search Ofcom

HD on Freeview

set-=top-headlineOfcom has today agreed to allow the BBC to limit the full availability of its and other broadcasters high definition (HD) Freeview services to receivers that control how HD content can be used.

Earlier this year the BBC proposed that only HD receivers with content management technology should be able to access the Electronic Programme Guide for Freeview HD programming.

This technology would control the way HD films and TV shows are copied onto, for example Blue-ray DVDs and shared with others over the internet. No restrictions will be placed on standard definition services.

Viewers would still be able to record the BBC’s and other free to air broadcasters HD content onto their digital video recorders

Content management technology

However, content management technology would prevent the multiple copying of Freeview HD content and its retransmission over the internet.

In response to a public consultation on this issue, the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 provided evidence that without a content management framework in place the range of HD content available on Freeview – in particular high value film and drama content – would be compromised.

Ofcom has concluded that the decision to accept the BBC’s request will deliver net benefits to citizens and consumers by ensuring they have access to the widest possible range of HD television content on DTT.

Freeview HD

Freeview HD is being rolled out in line with the existing digital switchover schedule and will eventually be available to 98.5% of UK households by the end of 2012.

Today, over 50% or the UK can receive HD broadcasts including Manchester, London, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, and the majority of Wales.

Visit the Freeview website to find out if HD broadcasts are in your area.

pdf Statement on content management on the HD Freeview platform [PDF 202kb]

Back to top

Ask us


Advice and complaints

  • Your fixed line, mobile and internet

    Our job is to make sure that phone companies treat you fairly.
    Our advice and monitoring forms

  • TV and Radio Programmes

    Are you concerned about a programme you have seen on television or listened to on the radio?
    Find out how to complain

  • TV and Radio reception problems

    The BBC are responsible for investigating complaints of interference to domestic radio and television.
    Advice and how to report a problem