BT helps millions of Freeview viewers enjoy a high definition world cup

TelevisionMillions of Freeview viewers across the UK to watch the world cup in high definition (HD) for the first time thanks to BT.

BT’s infrastructure is underpinning the entire UK Digital Switchover (DSO) programme which will migrate all of the UK’s television services from analogue to digital by the end of 2012. By the time the switchover is complete, the vast majority of TV viewers will be able to view high definition (HD) services.

BT has made a significant investment in upgrading its UK media network to support the DSO programme and the additional HD digital terrestrial TV services. This investment has enabled the company to secure all of the UK’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) multiplex distribution contracts, which together are worth more than £160 million.

BT’s high capacity UK media network delivers standard and high definition TV content for the UK’s six broadcast multiplexes which serve up to 120 of the main digital transmitters around the country. This provides the delivery of all the digital terrestrial TV programmes to people’s homes via their aerial and Freeview set top box or decoder.

BT has already migrated one third of the transmitters - covering approximately 8.5 million homes - to its UK media network. This allows homes in selected parts of the country to start viewing digital HD content via Freeview. BT will be upgrading more transmitters over the coming months and more than half of the UK’s broadcast services will be carried digitally by this autumn. This is well ahead of schedule.

The London region transmitters serve around 25 per cent of the UK population and steps are being taken to ensure these are upgraded to digital services well in advance of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

BT’s UK media network is the world’s first MPLS network dedicated to carrying broadcast TV in a switched and managed environment. It is supporting the UK’s major broadcasters in moving to a high capacity digital network well in advance of the government’s plans for the Digital Switchover programme. The network in the UK is integrated with BT’s Global Media Network – a broadcast video enabled platform which is used by media companies to transfer programme material across the world.