It is interesting that they have forked out for new encoders if there was no reason to it though
Well they were getting a lot of stick for the picture quality at one point.
of the criticism was justified, but IMHO it was never anywhere near as bad as some critics said it was.
It may be a software update, not necessarily new encoders, so costs are unknown.
Also I did speculate if the encoder work Andy Quested said was being done was driven mainly by the freeview HD platform.
AFAIK it will be operating at challengingly low bit rates.
Pure speculation though, just thinking out loud.
We just don't know if the free space will be used for anything at all, or could even be an SD channel!