The BBC has confirmed the timetable that will make HD services on Freeview available to 50 per cent of the UK population in time for next June's World Cup, and to 98.5 per cent of the population by the end of digital switchover in three years' time. The Freeview HD rollout has been accelerated so that viewers in London, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Bradford and Birmingham receive signals by the end of March 2010.
The majority of viewers will come into coverage at the same time that they go through digital switchover – including viewers in Manchester in December 2009 and those in Cardiff, who will get Freeview HD by the end of March 2010. For the 7 per cent of the UK population who switched before December 2009, a retrofit programme will bring them into coverage before the end of November 2010.
DVB-T2 technology will deliver an increase in capacity of 67 per cent to the BBC's Multiplex B, creating the space needed for UK public service broadcasters’ HD transmissions.