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BBC considering datacasting for delivering HDTV

Peter Rojas

The BBC think they have a solution for broadcasting HDTV programming in areas where there are no HDTV channels: datacasting. At least that's what it sounds like they're proposing. The blurb in New Scientist isn't exactly chock of full of detail, but what they're thinking about doing is using unused parts of the spectrum (we're guessing TV spectrum that'll be freed up in the transition to digital broadcasting) to transmit data to a digital video recorder with a special receiver in the days and hours before a show is scheduled to air. Then when it's time for a show to air, a trigger signal hidden in the broadcaster's TV signal would make it possible to watch the saved program. Sounds a little convoluted for sure (a couple of datacasting companies have already gone out of business and Disney pretty much killed off MovieBeam, their recent experiment with datacasting movies), but it's actually not a terrible way to deliver high-def programming.

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