BBC One HD to launch this autumn on FreeviewHD and Freesat

The BBC has announced today that a new BBC One HD channel will launch in the autumn, offering a simulcast of BBC One. The existing BBC HD channel will remain, showcasing HD material from the Corporation’s other channels, and will extend to 12 hours a day.

Programmes including The One Show, Weakest Link, QI and The Apprentice are scheduled to move to HD production by the end of the year.

Other long-running shows such as Songs of Praise, Question of Sport and Blue Peter will also be moving to HD. According to the BBC press release:

“The Autumn launch is the first stage in delivering BBC One in HD.  The majority of programmes in the BBC One network evening schedule will be available in HD at launch, and by 2012 it is expected that the vast majority of all BBC One titles across all hours will be in HD.”

The new service will be available on all digital TV platforms that carry HD – that’s Freeview, Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

So, now we know what the fourth slot on the Freeview HD mux will be used for.

Update: Regional variations

From the BBC Trust website:

“the Trust also recognised that technical and financial constraints currently prevent additional variations, and asked the BBC Executive to take steps to minimise the effects of this on viewers in the nations and regions.”

So, it looks like this will probably be the main BBC One London feed. I suspect that the considerations are largely financial (eg extra capacity on satellite to deliver regional versions), because I recall at the Freeview HD technical launch, it was mentioned that the HD network had been designed to cope with regional variations.

There’s some more on this at the BBC Internet Blog.

6pm update: Want to see the ident?

11 Replies to “BBC One HD to launch this autumn on FreeviewHD and Freesat”

  1. Good news -ish…

    Will BBC1 HD be using the same HD mux and/or taking the HD slot that was given over to Five HD (and subsequently withdrawn)?

  2. Yes; the Freeview service will be using the capacity that was handed back to the BBC when Five failed to fulfil its obligations.

  3. Err… so Five HD would never ever been seen on Freeview? 🙁

    (Well, or any other channels HD in the near future – until they find another mux for HD?)

    Bad news for those wanting more HD channels really…

  4. At the Freeview HD launch, the hope was expressed that Five would come to Freeview by 2012, and that is, co-incidentally, around the time frame that’s been mentioned for an additional slot being made available, due to expected improvements in encoders.

    So, there’s still a chance for Five to come to the party. Realistically, it’s unlikely to have happened any sooner than that, given their failure to take up their slot originally, and subsequent climbing into bed with Sky.

  5. Hello

    I have sky digital and currently viewing the free channels without paying. so will the new BBC HD Channel be FREE to view?

  6. Hi Nigel

    Thanks for replying – much appriciated

    how comes that on SKY channel 143 it says i have to call to view the channel?


  7. Do you have an HD box? And did you get it from Sky, or elsewhere?

    Although the channels are broadcast in the clear, you have to have an HD box.

  8. No i just have a Sky Digital box

    does this mean i cannot watch it unless i get a HD Box

  9. That’s right. While freesat boxes and otther unbranded kit won’t list channels that you can’t see, Sky lists them in the hope that you will call them, and they can persuade you to pay for an extra pack.
    You don’t need to subscribe to any Sky HD package to get the BBC HD channels, but you will need an HD box. You can either ask Sky for one – they may charge you, or make a free one conditional on subscribing to some of their HD services – or you could buy a Freesat HD box, and connect that to your existing dish.

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