Those looking forward to gawping at attractive young Australian soap-stars in glorious HD will be sorely disappointed, as Channel 5 has backed out of taking the fifth HD slot on FreeView HD.
We don't know precisely why Channel 5 did a U-turn on its HD plans, but I'd hazard a guess it's got something to do with the cost of producing and broadcasting HD content, which is significantly higher than standard definition. Talking in third-person, Ofcom said:
"Ofcom has been notified by Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited that it does not wish to proceed with its application for the fifth HD capacity slot of Digital Terrestrial TV at the present time."
The next step for Ofcom is to decide whether or not it's going to re-advertise and take bids for the fifth HD slot. Chances are the BBC, ITV or possibly Channel 4 would take advantage of the opportunity to push out another HD channel -- Virgin-free Film4 HD anyone?
I have to say, apart from the odd episode of Fifth Gear and The Gadget Show, there's nothing else I watch on Channel 5. Do you have any favourites you wish you could see in HD? Still watching Big Brother, or hooked on The Bachelor? No, I didn't think so. [TechRadar]