When BBC HD was launched in 2007, there was a great deal of speculation about when BBC 1 would go HD. Now, it has finally been announced that BBC 1 HD will launch sometime this autumn — most likely sometime around September 2010. So what does this mean for UK viewers? Let’s take a look at some of the ramifications.
First of all, not all of BBC One’s programming will be broadcast in HD initially. Shows that are definitely confirmed for HD broadcast include The One Show, The Apprentice, The Weakest Link, EastEnders, and Holby City. The current plan is to eventually completely upgrade BBC 1′s programming to HD by 2012. All this new programming will be broadcast on the spectrum that was recently turned down by Five.
Anyone who can receive Freeview HD or Freesat broadcast, or subscribes to Sky HD or Virgin HD will be able to access BBC 1 HD. Some customers may need to upgrade to a new HD receiver set-top box: the majority of Freeview customers who currently do not have the proper equipment may need to buy an external Freeview HD set-top receiver. Of course, you will also need a HDTV set in order to enjoy the new high definition programming.
This is truly a great time for lovers of high-definition television. Not only is BBC 1 going to begin broadcasting in HD, BBC HD is also gearing up to increase its HD programming lineup from 9 hours to 12 hours per day.
There is not yet any word on whether or not there are any plans for any of the other BBC channels to begin broadcasting in HD. However, we can expect that if BBC 1 HD is a success, then it should not be too long before we start seeing BBC 2 HD.