Advanced Television

BBC set to complete regional HD transition

March 21, 2023

By Colin Mann

Kieran Clifton, Director, BBC Distribution & Business Development, has provided an update on the roll-out of BBC One HD in England on Freeview and YouView devices, which starts March 22nd.

“In November last year, I talked about our plans to rollout HD (high definition) versions of BBC One in England – and how this would be done in phases,” he writes. “We have now completed the roll-out of our BBC One HD regions on satellite platforms, and from tomorrow (Weds), we will start the roll-out for Freeview/YouView viewers in England.”

“This means viewers will be able to get a complete version of BBC One HD in 101 in the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide), including regional news output and other local programming. We will be retiring the red slate that previously advised viewers to go to channel 1 for local programming, as viewers will no longer need to switch to channel 1 for local news and then back to 101 for BBC One in HD,” he advises.

“Making BBC One HD available on a regional basis is a major undertaking for BBC teams and our suppliers, so we are going to launch regional versions of BBC One HD in two phases. This allows us to launch the first set of regions as early as possible while we complete the preparatory work to enable us to launch the second set,” he explains.

“If you already have BBC One HD on channel 101, the changes will take place automatically although on the day, your device (TV or set-top box) may prompt you to perform a rescan or retune,” he notes. “If you don’t have an HD-enabled Freeview TV or set-top box, then you don’t need to do anything – you will continue to receive BBC One for your region, with local programmes, in standard definition at channel 1 on the EPG,” he adds.

“Once we’ve completed the launch on Freeview and YouView, later in the year we plan to roll-out an update to newer Freeview Play devices that are connected to the internet,” he reveals. “This will put BBC One HD at the top of the EPG, at channel 1, on supported TVs when they’re connected to the Internet – and we’ll be making similar changes to make the existing HD versions of our other channels available at the most prominent EPG numbers.  In the coming months, we’ll publish more information on which Freeview Play devices can support this change on our Reception Advice website,” he confirms.

“The final place we need to ensure BBC One HD for the English regions is fully available is on BBC iPlayer. We are working on the upgrade there and will be in touch as soon as we can with further news,” he concludes.


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