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OFCOM Sells Off The 800Mhz Band Then The 700Mhz Band - What's Next?


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Old 17-02-2013, 01:06
joshua_welby
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OFCOM is selling off the 800Mhz Band and now wants to sell off the 700Mhz band between now and 2018 - what will be next in regards to DTT?

Is there any more bands that they can sell off after the 700Mhz band or have they run out of spectrum themselves to sell off to the Mobile Phone companies?

Any Thoughts?
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Old 17-02-2013, 03:59
Spot
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Any 700 Mhz clearance is not likely to be be before 2019 - the new temporary licences for the 600 Mhz band are planned to run until at least Dec 31st 2018.

It still might not happen at all.
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Old 17-02-2013, 12:12
Nigel Goodwin
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OFCOM is selling off the 800Mhz Band and now wants to sell off the 700Mhz band between now and 2018 - what will be next in regards to DTT?

Is there any more bands that they can sell off after the 700Mhz band or have they run out of spectrum themselves to sell off to the Mobile Phone companies?

Any Thoughts?
Only that it's not OFCOM, it's the government - OFCOM are merely carrying out the governments instructions.
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Old 17-02-2013, 12:35
Spot
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To be fair, this isn't something which is being driven from within the UK. Some parts of the world have already cleared 700Mhz, and a decision about what happens nearer to home is to be made after the next World Radio Conference in 2015. We won't really have much of a choice about this if the rest of Europe goes down that route, and it looks as if this could well happen.
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Old 17-02-2013, 14:05
David (2)
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Will this lead to a time when dtt is no longer viable in the Uk
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Old 17-02-2013, 14:26
White-Knight
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Will this lead to a time when dtt is no longer viable in the Uk
TBH I think it depends on you POV.

I would argue its not already viable going forwards as there's no spare bandwidth for more HD and more importantly 4K, 4K 3D, SuperHiVis, SuperHiVis 3D (?).

When Digital Switchover was being planned the Government had a great opportunity to switch everyone over DSAT which would have also saved a fortune on transmission costs as DTT transmission is v expensive as I understand it. Instead it chose apparently to save face and continue with DTT even though it knew bandwidth was restricted with regards to new developing technologies including HD which I also understand didn't exist at the time Freeview was conceived and planned. Short sighted in my opinion as the money and savings from DTT could have been used to buy / rent their own FTA sat and areas out of coverage, which are very few for sat, could have been served by terrestrial relays giving in my opinion a much better service and one without such restrictions.
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Old 17-02-2013, 15:40
Spot
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For those who haven't seen it, there is already a lengthy document outlining three alternative scenarios for replanning the DTT network without 700Mhz.

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/bin...egy/arqiva.pdf
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Old 17-02-2013, 15:56
mossy2103
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TBH I think it depends on you POV.

I would argue its not already viable going forwards as there's no spare bandwidth for more HD and more importantly 4K, 4K 3D, SuperHiVis, SuperHiVis 3D (?).
SuperHi is hardly likely to be a mass-market standard, and it is possible that the same could be said for 4K (with massive screen sizes that few homes could accommodate or afford).

Those are likely to be niche formats for large venues and those who have dedicated home cinema rooms with large screens/projectors.


As for delivery of TV restricted to DSat, fine if you have a dish or are able to fit one, fine if you are not disadvantaged by terrain or obstacles.
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Old 17-02-2013, 17:02
davetech
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£££ before anything, the government sells the licence - its a tax just like with train company's, they say 6 Billion its a good deal for taxpayers? how, the train company's have to make it back from the people so its a indirect tax, as with bands for freeview, only we don't get hit in the pocket, except for the licence fee which is a tax,

for phones we pay too,

If they gave more space for freeview, this would mean a cost reduction as there would be more space to be sold, but that would dilute Channel 4 (state owned) and BBC also State owned strangle hold would'nt it

In this day and age, if the bbc should either close down or start advertsing, its a tax and channel 4 multi repeat channels

As the state uses the state broadcaster for its own wishes shall we say, let them pay for it (out of there wallets) oh i mean ours,

Close them down or give them 1 channels, if they take all the repeats off they should still have enough room for some more cooking?

Hail to RT and Edge Media 2 of the finest free to watch channels in the UK oh press tv would have been there Oh they shut them down cos don;t toe the line!
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Old 17-02-2013, 17:05
mossy2103
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What has that rant got to do with this thread?

Oh, and not wanting to take this thread off-topic, but for clarity, Press TV had its broadcast licence revoked because it was in breach of the UK broadcasting licence rules, and having then failed to respond to Ofcom.

"Ofcom has decided to revoke the licence held by Press TV Limited with immediate effect," the media regulator said in a statement.

Ofcom wrote a letter to Press TV in November highlighting the issue and offered a choice of two remedies.

The first was to switch editorial control for Press TV's programming to the UK, the second to transfer the broadcasting licence to Iran.

"Broadcasting rules require that a licence is held by the person who is in general control of the TV service: that is, the person that chooses the programmes to be shown in the service and organises the programme schedule," Ofcom said.

"Ofcom gave Press TV the opportunity to apply to have its operations in Tehran correctly licensed by Ofcom and Ofcom offered to assist it to do so," said the regulator.

Ofcom said Press TV failed to respond to or implement either of these two options.

"Press TV was given the opportunity to make representations on Ofcom's 'minded to revoke' letter," the regulator said. "Press TV has failed to make the necessary application and Ofcom has therefore revoked Press TV's licence to broadcast in the UK."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012...ses-uk-licence

But please, why let facts get in the way of an agenda-fuelled rant?
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Old 17-02-2013, 17:42
davetech
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What has that rant got to do with this thread?

Oh, and not wanting to take this thread off-topic, but for clarity, Press TV had its broadcast licence revoked because it was in breach of the UK broadcasting licence rules, and having then failed to respond to Ofcom.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012...ses-uk-licence

But please, why let facts get in the way of an agenda-fuelled rant?
I think you will find press tv has been removed from 19.2 over europe too, i call this sensorship,

Rant i call it fair estimate of the current state of TV in the uk,

and for the original question, the band sell off will never go to tv, with selling it to the highest bidder mobile phone companys, they can listen and track you much better than they can a TV?>
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Old 17-02-2013, 19:29
jj20x
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I think you will find press tv has been removed from 19.2 over europe too, i call this sensorship,
Considering the fact that Iran jams and blocks pretty much any external broadcast I would say that is fair and just.

However, it isn't censorship, it's Press TV failing to comply with licence terms. You can still watch it online, should you feel the need. Unfortunately, you might not find it so easy to watch foreign broadcasts online in Iran.
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Old 17-02-2013, 19:31
jj20x
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But please, why let facts get in the way of an agenda-fuelled rant?
Indeed.
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Old 17-02-2013, 21:09
Gary of Beeston
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To be fair, this isn't something which is being driven from within the UK. Some parts of the world have already cleared 700Mhz, and a decision about what happens nearer to home is to be made after the next World Radio Conference in 2015. We won't really have much of a choice about this if the rest of Europe goes down that route, and it looks as if this could well happen.
Random thought: the mobile phone operators like the lower frequency bands becuase their signals get better penetration indoors and travel further (among lots of reasons). Most TV aerials are roof mounted. Why can't DTT use the higher frequency bands? I guess you'd need more transmitters, but if the local relays were replaced with a greater number of higher-band relays you'd also have a lot more UHF spectrum to flog off, because only the main transmitters would use UHF.

Gary
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Old 17-02-2013, 22:45
jj20x
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Random thought: the mobile phone operators like the lower frequency bands becuase their signals get better penetration indoors and travel further (among lots of reasons). Most TV aerials are roof mounted. Why can't DTT use the higher frequency bands? I guess you'd need more transmitters, but if the local relays were replaced with a greater number of higher-band relays you'd also have a lot more UHF spectrum to flog off, because only the main transmitters would use UHF.

Gary
UHF spectrum is largely allocated on the basis of the main transmitters and high power relays. The local relays cover small areas of population and basically just fit into any clear slots available locally. So it wouldn't help.
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Old 18-02-2013, 14:58
2Bdecided
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I don't think there's any reason for ranting or worrying. It's almost inevitable that we'll switch over to T2 completely, but doing that and saying goodbye to the 800MHz and 700MHz bands and re-organising the space that's left will still leave us with more capacity than we have now.

It's not a big deal: remember the 800MHz and 600MHz bands are clear bnow. They will sell off 700MHz instead of 600MHz. It's not quite so simple, but it's no big deal really.

The biggest problems are re-tuning (again), some broadcasts becoming "out of group" for the local aerials, and any people who have DVB-T-only equipment in 2019 (or whenever they finally push this through).

Of course, if they decide to sell off 600MHz, 700MHz and 800MHz, then quite a few people can kiss the COM muxes goodbye. It would "just" mean more people will be downgraded to a Freeview-lite service. I can't see that happening though.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 18-02-2013, 20:49
jj20x
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They will sell off 700MHz instead of 600MHz. It's not quite so simple, but it's no big deal really.
The only problem is that the 600MHz range doesn't have as many channels as 700Mhz.

Of course, if they decide to sell off 600MHz, 700MHz and 800MHz, then quite a few people can kiss the COM muxes goodbye. It would "just" mean more people will be downgraded to a Freeview-lite service. I can't see that happening though.
Attempting to reallocate 700Mhz services to fewer channels in the 600MHz range will result in more regions sharing the same UHF channels for the COM muxes. This will increase the risk of interference, so transmitter power reductions could take place. In the absence of some well thought out SFN options, some people in fringe areas may be downgraded to Freeview lite, even if 600MHz isn't sold off.
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Old 18-02-2013, 20:52
Winston_1
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Why can't DTT use the higher frequency bands? I guess you'd need more transmitters, but if the local relays were replaced with a greater number of higher-band relays you'd also have a lot more UHF spectrum to flog off, because only the main transmitters would use UHF.

Gary
For a start it is not allocated to broadcasting. Secondly no DTT boxes or TVs can tune to it. Thirdly all the relay areas would require new aerials as well as new equipment.
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Old 19-02-2013, 10:50
2Bdecided
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Attempting to reallocate 700Mhz services to fewer channels in the 600MHz range will result in more regions sharing the same UHF channels for the COM muxes. This will increase the risk of interference, so transmitter power reductions could take place. In the absence of some well thought out SFN options, some people in fringe areas may be downgraded to Freeview lite, even if 600MHz isn't sold off.
Arqiva's assessment...
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/bin...egy/arqiva.pdf
...suggests that, even keeping the SD PSB muxes on DVB-T, COM coverage using DVB-T2 can be matched to current coverage using DVB-T (and with higher capacity) as long as we hang on to our international frequency allocations. (scenario 3). If the UK abandons some of our present frequency rights to France etc, then things become trickier (scenarios 1 and 2).

Having slightly fewer channels available is off-set by the use of T2 and maybe also some SFNs. Also, T2/H.264 delivers more capacity in a mux, and more channels for a given amount of capacity.

You don't need three DVB-T2 COM muxes to deliver the channels from our existing DVB-T COM muxes. Two would muxes would be fine from a viewer's perspective, but not from a Mux owner's perspective!

Cheers,
David.
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Old 19-02-2013, 11:33
reslfj
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Having slightly fewer channels available is off-set by the use of T2 and maybe also some SFNs. Also, T2/H.264 delivers more capacity in a mux, and more channels for a given amount of capacity.

David.
HEVC/H.265 seems to arrive much faster than expected in the Ofcom reports.
The 'streaming industrie' (Google, Netflix etc) will likely try to use this compression type, as they are currently being asked to pay for capacity in the core internet.
This may well drive the price for HEVC chips down within say 18-24 months - and surely much before the 2018-2020 timeframe.

HEVC will cut the bitrate needed for a given quality to 50-60% of the rate needed by the present MPEG-4 implementations. This could allow the PSB muxes to carry all the channels in at least 720p50/1080i by ´late 201x'.

If the 700 MHz band should be cleared - a new ITU plan (GE06 type) should be agreed. Incremental changes will produce a much less spectrum efficient plan - IMHO.

Lars
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Old 19-02-2013, 11:38
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HEVC will cut the bitrate needed for a given quality to 50-60% of the rate needed by the present MPEG-4 implementations. This could allow the PSB muxes to carry all the channels in at least 720p50/1080i by ´late 201x'.
No it couldn't - everyone would need new boxes. They'll have to stick with AVC unless they want a proper DSO2.

They currently cram in 36 video streams in 3 COM muxes. These would fit in 2 DVB-T2 muxes (assuming the use of AVC) with superior image quality than we have now.
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Old 19-02-2013, 14:08
jj20x
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Arqiva's assessment...
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/bin...egy/arqiva.pdf
...suggests that, even keeping the SD PSB muxes on DVB-T, COM coverage using DVB-T2 can be matched to current coverage using DVB-T (and with higher capacity) as long as we hang on to our international frequency allocations. (scenario 3).
Scenarios 1 and 2 would result in reduced coverage.

Scenario 3 is more complicated than it appears and unlikely to be approved internationally as it also keeps the additional 3 layers in the 600Mhz band. Also, under scenario 3, PSB services are changed. E.g. Belmont is split into a north firing service to operate as an SFN with Bilsdale and a south firing service operating as an SFN with Sandy Heath. As far as I know, SFNs have to carry the same service. This would result in Belmont moving out of the Yorkshire region and being split between Tyne Tees and Anglia. Potentially changing the regional structure of BBC One and ITV.

I don't know why they don't have a scenario 4, reworking 600MHz spectrum into SFNs for the COM muxes, as SFNs would clearly give better coverage.
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Old 19-02-2013, 14:15
jj20x
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HEVC/H.265 seems to arrive much faster than expected in the Ofcom reports.
It's difficult to plan for technology change in advance but plans can be changed, as we saw when the BBC B mux was reassigned for HD use.
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Old 19-02-2013, 19:49
cdon77
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It's almost inevitable that we'll switch over to T2 completely, but doing that and saying goodbye to the 800MHz and 700MHz bands and re-organising the space that's left will still leave us with more capacity than we have now..
Probably 95+% will have HD TV's by 2018, so more space may be needed if the SD channels decide to switch to HD.
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Old 19-02-2013, 21:28
Gary of Beeston
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For a start it is not allocated to broadcasting. Secondly no DTT boxes or TVs can tune to it. Thirdly all the relay areas would require new aerials as well as new equipment.
But apart from that...

I was thinking that transmitter-to-transmitter would be at the higher frequencies, transmitter-to-home would be UHF. But like I said, it was just a random thought.

Gary
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