BBC launches five new free HD TV channels

posted on Monday, 9th December 2013 by Steve May

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The BBC is giving UK TV viewers an early Christmas present with the launch of five new subscription-free HD channels tomorrow, December 10. The new channels, BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, BBC News HD, CBeebies HD and CBBC HD will be available on Freeview HD, Freesat HD, YouView, Sky HD and Virgin Media.

The pre-Xmas roll-out dramatically increases the variety of HD material available free to air, as well as boosting HD content on BBC iPlayer. All five new HD channels will broadcast the same programmes as their standard definition equivalents. Demo highlights to look out for will include the New Year's Day concert from Vienna on BBC Four HD and rolling news feeds on BBC News HD.

Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, says: "I am delighted that we're able to launch our new HD channels in time for Christmas, when families gather together to enjoy some of the best TV from the BBC. This year, people will be able to watch even more of our programmes in brilliant quality." The development has been made possible after extra space in the 600 MHz band was freed up following the analogue switchover. There remains room for an additional five channels to be accomodated.

According to the latest stats, over 50 per cent of homes in the UK are already HD enabled, with reports estimating that the number of HD homes is expected to grow to reach over 20 million (80 per cent of all UK homes) by 2016 and over 23 million homes (90 per cent of all UK homes) by 2019.

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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