Infobox TV channel
name = BBC HD
logofile = BBC HD logo.png logosize =
logoalt = BBC HD logo
launch = Trial: 15 May 2006
Full: 1 December 2007
picture format = 16:9, 1080i (HDTV)
share =
share as of =
share source =
owner = BBC
former names =
web =
sat serv 1 = Freesat

sat chan 1 = Channel 108
sat serv 2 = Sky+ HD

sat chan 2 = Channel 143 (IN H.264/MPEG-4 AVC)
sat serv 3 = Astra 2D
sat chan 3 = 10847V 22000 5/6
sat serv 4 = Foxtel HD+
sat chan 4 = Channel 203| cable serv 1 = Virgin Media

cable chan 1 = Channel 108 (IN MPEG-2)
cable serv 2 = AUSTAR
cable chan 2 = Channel 203
cable serv 3 = Foxtel HD+
cable chan 3 = Channel 203| |

BBC HD is a high-definition television channel provided by the BBC. The service was intially run as a trial from 15 May 2006 until becoming a full service on 1 December 2007. The first HD originated programme to be shown on the channel was "Planet Earth", shown on 27 May 2006.

The broadcasts are generally two to five hours per day, and include simulcasts with BBC channels, such as "Michael Palin's New Europe" and "Hustle" (also on BBC One), and replays of HD programmes such as "Planet Earth", "Bleak House", "Torchwood", and "Hotel Babylon". Live coverage of events such as The Proms, Wimbledon, the Eurovision Song Contest, the World Cup, and the Concert for Diana have already been shown, with the first live event to be broadcast being the opening game between Germany and Costa Rica which took place on 9 June 2006.

When high-definition programmes are not being shown, the channel broadcasts a looped preview containing clips from BBC HD programmes.

Initially the trial lasted 12 months, after which the BBC Trust agreed to a Public Value Test (PVT) which began on 21 May 2007 and the BBC extended its own HD trial, which was to end in June, until the end of the PVT process. It was announced on 19 November 2007 by the BBC Trust that following the PVT they had approved the BBC Executive's high definition television proposals to allow the launch of UK's first free-to-air, mixed-genre public service HD channel. [ [ BBC Trust HDTV public value test final conclusions ] ]

The channel is available in the UK on DTT UHF 53 from the Guildford Transmitter during DVB-T2 tests.

Technical details and availability

BBC HD was first available to viewers of the Astra 2D satellite (Sky+ HD EPG No. 143) and Virgin Media cable service subscribers (EPG No. 108) with suitable reception equipment. The channel was also broadcast as a digital terrestrial (DVB-T) service from London's Crystal Palace Transmitter until May 2007, enabling the channel to be viewed by a selected trial group of 450 homes.

Both the satellite and terrestrial broadcasts were free to air, which means that anybody with the required equipment (for example, an adequately powerful personal computer with a DVB-S or DVB-T interface and suitable software) were able to view the channel during the trial. The broadcasts are typically at a resolution of 1440x1080i, and encoded in H.264/MPEG-4 AVC.

The BBC has, therefore, been the only terrestrial broadcaster so far to offer a "platform neutral" HD offering. ITV's trial HD channel was not available by satellite, but was carried on cable. Channel 4 and Five carried out broadcasts in HD, although these were very limited and only available as part of the closed Freeview trial in London.

The channel is not currently available via the digital terrestrial service. The BBC claims a lack of available bandwidth on this service, although a new Freeview HD service will be launched on a region-by-region basis, starting in early 2009 in the BBC's North West region. It can currently be accessed free-of-charge on Freesat, and as a free addition on Virgin Media and Sky HD.

International version

It was announced in September 2006 that BBC Worldwide plans to broadcast an international version of BBC HD in the near future. During the first broadcast of BBC World News America, it was announced that BBC America HD will be launched in 2008. No exact date is known as of now. In Australia, an Australian version of BBC HD is broadcast on the Foxtel HD+ service which was made available to subscribers on 2 June 2008 and was officially launched at the end of June 2008. In late 2008 BBC HD will be also launched in Poland. It has been reported that it will focus on documentaries and drama.

BBC HD service

The BBC has been approved to provide a service of nine hours per day, 15:00 to midnight, with some flexibility to extend beyond this to allow for the coverage of significant live sport or other events. The BBC Trust stated that the service should be available on cable and satellite as soon as the service licence was effective, and the channel had its official launch on 1 December 2007. The decision to provide an early Freeview four-hour overnight schedule has been put on hold with the preferred option being to provide the full nine-hour service as soon as possible, this will be reviewed in spring 2008 when there will be greater clarity over spectrum bandwidth and broadcast standards for DTTV.

The BBC HD channel will be a mixed-genre service. Its aim, as far as possible, will be to showcase programmes produced in HD from the schedules of other BBC channels. These will be broadcast in HD end-to-end, not converted from standard definition (SD). Any individual programme may contain up to 25 per cent of non-HD material converted from SD — for example, archive shots in a documentary.

The content will come from across the BBC's portfolio of television channels. It was found by the BBC Trust from the PVT that there was considerable support for BBC HD to show programmes in prime time that would most benefit from the uplift to HD, and not to be just a channel that would simulcast BBC One programmes at this time.

Worldwide Events

So far, the BBC has broadcast the 2006 World Cup, Wimbledon, Open Golf, England football internationals, action from the FA Cup and Six Nations rugby in high definition. The US Masters golf from Augusta National was screened in HD for the first time in 2007.
The Eurovision Song Contest was also broadcast live in high definition on BBC HD in both 2007 and 2008, and is likely to broadcast upcoming contests in the same way.

The Euro 2008 Championships were broadcast during June and from 8 August BBC HD showed coverage of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, considerably extending the channel's operating hours to do so.

ee also

* High-definition television in the United Kingdom


External links

*|id=hd|title=BBC HD
* [ BBC HD International]
* [ BBC HD Australia]
*|id=digital/tv/tv_hd.shtml|title=How to receive BBC HD
*|id=info/policies/hd_dtt.shtml|title=Report on the digital terrestrial HD trial
* [ BBC HD at TV Ark]
* [ BBC Trust Public Value Test Final Conclusions document]

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