A public value test (PVT) is to be conducted by the BBC Trust into the corporation's proposals for a permanent high-definition (HD) television channel. The current BBC HD trial has been extended until November when the Trust expects to be able to make a full decision.
Under the PVT media regulator Ofcom will need to conduct a market impact assessment (MIA). Terms of reference for the MIA and a timetable for the PVT will be published on May 21 when the process kicks off with a 28-day consultation.
The BBC's HD trial had been due to end in June after a year.
In February BBC HD chief Seetha Kumar said any BBC HD service would "inevitably launch with limited content, and would be based, as the trial has been, solely on HD originations". The BBC had an aspiration for the service to be universally available "on all technically capable platforms". That included the Freeview platform, though Kumar said additional broadcast capacity would be required "to accommodate five HD channels, which research shows is around the number viewers will find attractive".
The BBC is a member of the HD for All alliance of terrestrial broadcasters, TV manufacturers and retailers currently lobbying ministers over the HD spectrum issue.
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