BT helps Millions of Freeview Viewers enjoy World Cup Fever in High Definition

(PresseBox) (München, ) With the 2010 FIFA World Cup well underway, BT is helping millions of Freeview viewers across the UK to watch the live action in high definition (HD) for the first time.

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.

Mark Wilson Dunn, Director of Global Sales and Marketing, BT Wholesale Media and Broadcast, said: "The Digital Switchover is one of the largest, high profile broadcast TV delivery projects ever undertaken in the UK. We are extremely proud to be supporting the major broadcasters and playing such a pivotal role in revolutionising the way that people watch TV. We've been preparing for this project for over five years to ensure that we stay ahead of the game and help the Government meet its objective of the UK going fully digital by the end of 2012. As a result of that hard work, digital HD services are available to millions of homes in time for the one of the most popular events in the world's sporting calendar."

The Digital Switchover is being completed by TV region. The Border, Granada, Wales, West and West Country TV regions have fully moved across to digital HD services. Consumers should visit http://www.digitaluk.co.uk to find out when their area is due to switch to digital HD services and the steps they need to take to ensure their home equipment can support these new services.

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.

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