New Freeview HD Channel Coming – ITV, Channel 4 and 5 Fighting For 5th Slot

Those with a Freeview HD Television or Set-Top Box can look forward to even more High Definition content in the near future, as news of a fifth HD channel for Freeview has reached us.

Television regulator Ofcom has invited ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 to fill a fifth HD channel slot, bringing the potential for another commercial channel to broadcast its content in High-Def.

Ofcom has given the commercial broadcasters behind ITV, C4 and C5 notice of their plans to open up a fifth Freeview HD channel, giving them until October to apply for the spot.

In a press release, Ofcom explained that the decision will be made based on which broadcaster will best “contribute to enhancing the range and diversity of high quality television services available on Freeview”.

UK residents fortunate enough to have a HD TV with built in Freeview HD or a Freeview HD box can already view High Definition telly on one of four channels: BBC HD, BBC 1 HD, ITV1 HD and 4HD.

With Channel 4 and ITV already providing HD channels, we have to say we’d like to see Channel 5 get in on the action. They do put on some good films from time to time, which we’d enjoy seeing in HD. Saying that, ITV 3 and 4 could bring us the footy and rugby in glorious HD quality. It’s a tough call!

Everyone in the UK wants more Freeview HD channels and content, but unfortunately it’s not all that simple to just add another channel. Freeview is broadcast on a spectrum which can only deal with a certain number of channels before it’s full up, you see. A Freeview HD channel takes up the space of four regular Freeview Channels, so Ofcom can’t really add them very often.

Ofcom have made room for a fifth Freeview HD channel by re-arranging the current line-up of channels and compressing the video content down using more modern formats.

Whoever wins the bid for the sought-after fifth HD slot will be expected to launch their new channel by April 1st 2012.

Which channel would you like to see become available in HD? Let us know by adding a comment below, or tweet us your answer @Gadget_Helpline.