Channel 5 abandons HD plans

Fifth digital terrestrial HD slot going spare

Channel 5 abandons HD plans

Sad news, Neighbours fans. Ofcom has confirmed that Channel 5 has decided not to launch an HD channel on the fifth available slot for terrestrial TV.

Not much more detail is forthcoming on the matter, but it's likely that the decision is down to cost on Channel 5's part.

Ofcom is currently deciding whether or not to re-advertise the slot to other broadcasters – in the meantime, BBC Free-to-View or a third-party will make use of it.

No Wright Stuff HD

"Ofcom has been notified by Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited that it does not whish to proceed with its application for the fifth HD capacity slot of Digital Terrestrial TV at the present time," Ofcom's statement reads.

Channel 5's back-tracking leaves the door open to ITV to snap up a second HD slot (ITV2 HD, anyone?) or perhaps even a Sky HD channel to land on terrestrial, if we're extremely lucky.

Last time we brought you news of a fifth free HD channel, many of you were hoping Film4 HD would become terrestrial - currently the HD version of the film channel is exclusive to Virgin Media.

There are no guarantees, but there is some hope there - Film4 says, "At the moment [Film4 HD] is only available to Virgin subscribers. We hope this will change in the future, so watch this space."