Millions of UK TVs to Become Obsolete

Ofcom have announced the clearance of the 700 MHz band, which could spell the end of millions of 'Freeview' TV sets 

Back in 2007 Ofcom deliberated on the standard for future digital TV sets. The choice was  between the modern high-efficiency MPEG-4 DVB-T2 standard or the old MPEG-2 based DVB-T standard which was developed back in the previous century. 

The DVB-T2 standard supported High Definition and also enabled lower definition "625 line" stations to be transmitted using a greatly reduced bandwidth potentially allowing many more stations.

Ofcom chose to stick with the old DVB-T MPEG-2 system, meaning millions of TV’s were purchased using the old technology.

Currently some TV channels, such as the BBC's, are being broadcast on both Lower Definition DVB-T and High Definition DVB-T multiplexes. Ofcom has now announced that the HD TV multiplexes in the 700 MHz band will have to go. This move will force the old DVB-T MPEG-2 multiplexes in the remaining 470-694 MHz band to convert to the DVB-T2 standard to provide capacity for both lower definition and HD channels.

Consumers who have purchased TV's with the "FreeviewHD" logo should not be adversely affected by the second Digital Switchover (DSO2) but TV's which only say "Freeview" or "HD Ready" could be heading for the scrap heap. 

November 2007 - Ofcom Consultation on the Future of Digital Television

March 2016 Ofcom consultation on removing 700 MHz TV Multiplexes -