I realize the BBC is likely waiting for the next DSO before launching local HD feed but will they drag their feet even further by holding off on the HD feeds until all their regions are compatible?
What gives you that idea? BBC One HD is already on a 2nd gen mux on Freeview, the issue isn't in spectrum availability, it is in the cost of implementing an HD opt-chain for every English region (either using the current network distribution and back-haul, or by moving to a playout-centric system using contribution circuit)
The BBC has to decide the future model for regional content on BBC One HD and how it is implemented.
With a potential move to upgrade the SD English regions to HD this MAY have an impact in that decision, which is presumably why they aren't rushing. (The other reason is that politically it is very difficult to justify spending millions of pounds to upgrade the BBC One HD chain to carry SD upconverted content...)
If the HD upgrades also include a move to remote IP production, then this may have a very real steering impact on the decision taken in how to implement the opt-chains. (If all of your vision mixer crates, playout servers, graphics boxes, sound desk engines etc. are all co-sited in a small number of macro-regional data centres, with just I/O and control surfaces in the regional centres, then you can chose a different model compared to having to engineer a solution with 15 separate regional installs)
You also have to look at how you roll it out - with some 'edge' cases - like Jersey, Oxford etc. and the existing HD regions (London, Salford, Plymouth)
It may not happen before the DVB-T switch-off - but they aren't linked.
I realize you guys have mentioned that if the BBC simulcast the London news on the HD channel viewers likely wouldn't change to their correct region.
It's not just that - it's the BBC making a statement that London News is more important than other regions by being available in HD when the others aren't. It's less a case of people watching London instead, more a case of sending a message that London is more important than where you may live.
Why is then that ITV feels like they can get away with their larger HD regions vs the local SD ones but the BBC can't do the same? Surely ITV has a lot at stake if an advertiser buys a spot for a proper region but most viewers won't see it if they're in HD.
ITV's decision has NOTHING to do with regional news. It's all about advertising. They have to at least provide a degree of regionality on ITV HD to ensure the large audience that is now watching it see an advert at least partialy targetted at where they live. If they only put one HD region up, the audience for adverts on that channel would skew massively compared to the SD regional variations that fewer and fewer people are watching. This would be very bad news for ITV's revenue.