DTT Multiplex Operators Limited (DMOL), the Ofcom-licensed provider of Freeview EPG services, has published the findings of its industry-wide consultation on a new channel numbering system for the UK's digital terrestrial television platform.
The changes include the provision of up to 100 General Entertainment channels, along with up to 20 spaces for high definition services, which will start at channel 101. Freeview HD viewers will also get an information page at channel 100.
As part of culture secretary Jeremy Hunt's plans to boost local TV services in the UK, new public service local TV channels will get reserved slots at position 8 in England and Northern Ireland, and 45 in Wales and Scotland.
A dedicated section will be devoted to the development of internet-delivered services, following the successful recent launch of Connect TV, a broadband-enabled TV offering within the Freeview ecosystem.
DMOL - jointly owned and funded by the operators of the digital terrestrial multiplexes (BBC, Digital 3 & 4, SDN and Arqiva Services) - said that some channel numbers will change, but genres will retain their existing positions.
It added: "DMOL has steered a middle course with these changes, allowing for the development of the Freeview channel listing over the next three to four years, while moderating any disruption to viewers and channel providers."
The changes will roll out on September 19, 2012, when viewers will need to retune their Freeview equipment to pick up the revamped EPG. On-screen messages will prompt users as to the change nearer the time.