Al Jazeera English HD has launched on Freeview, the UK’s biggest TV platform. It is the first time anywhere in the world that the channel is available in HD.
The announcement comes as the UK regulator OFCOM announced a launch of a total of 10 new HD channels freed up by the switch off of analogue TV. “Al Jazeera is already on all the major TV platforms in the UK, the fact we now will be operating on Freeview in HD further enhances our distribution across the country,” said Al Anstey, managing director of Al Jazeera English.
“Al Jazeera English has a pedigree for providing our viewers cutting edge news and programmes from our world-class journalists. Providing this on Freeview HD showcases these news and programmes at their very best.”
Al Jazeera English which is already available on DTT in standard definition, is leasing capacity on one of two HD multiplexes held by Arqiva.
Arqiva was awarded the two new HD Digital Terrestrial TV multiplexes in the 600MHz band by Ofcom in July and Al Jazeera is first channel outside of the UK’s public service broadcasters to take HD capacity on the terrestrial platform Freeview on channel 108.
According to Arqiva, Al Jazeera English HD will now be available in 50 per cent of UK households.
The launch will be phased with transmitter sites being switched in major population areas between 26th November 2013 and June 2014.