The BBC has announced it has taken the first technical steps towards HD Freeview becoming a reality in our homes.

The corporation has begun DVB-T2 test transmissions, from the Guildford transmitter southwest of London, in preparation for HD on Freeview.

This follows the approval of the DVB-T2 specification and this will be the first time signals compliant with the DVB-T2 specification will be broadcast.

DVB-T2 is the next generation digital terrestrial transmission standard for new HDTV services on Freeview.

Currently, Freeview services use the DVB-T standard which was defined more than 10 years ago.

DVB-T2 can provide significantly more capacity and this will be essential for HDTV services to be launched on Freeview, currently planned for the end of 2009.

Justin Mitchell, leader of the DVB-T2 modem development team at the BBC, said: "This is a big step forward in enabling the introduction of full HD terrestrial on Freeview by the end of 2009".