The BBC has this week released information on the official launch date of its BBC1 (BBC One) HD channel, the high-definition programming schedule for the launch night, and the channel numbers on the major TV platforms.
Initially promised for an autumn launch back in June, the BBC 1 HD channel will now kick off on the 3rd of November with The One Show, followed by a number of high-def TV programmes like The Apprentice, Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers, Wallace and Gromit: World of Inventions, Film 2010 and Jimmy’s Food Factory.
Beyond the launch night, programmes that are set to make an appearance on BBC1 HD include The Graham Norton Show, Strictly Come Dancing, Antiques Roadshow, Children in Need, Countryfile and The Royal Variety Show.
The BBC1 HD channel will operate as a simulcast of the BBC1 channel. Content that has been natively produced in HD will be broadcast as such; anything else will be upscaled for transmission. An upscaled SD version of BBC’s flagship soap EastEnders will run on BBC1 HD up until Christmas Day, when the drama will start being broadcast in glorious high definition natively. The BBC is aiming to broadcast most shows (including news programmes) in native HD on the BBC1 HD channel by the year 2012.
While some content on the existing BBC HD channel will migrate over to the BBC1 HD channel (e.g. Holby City), BBC HD will still air selected TV programmes from BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4 in high definition, such as Top Gear and coverage of the Wimbledon tennis championship.
From 3 November, the channel numbers for BBC One HD and BBC HD on the various digital TV platforms will be as follows:
- Freeview: BBC1 HD channel 50; BBC HD channel 54
- Freesat: BBC1 HD channel 108; BBC HD channel 109
- Sky: BBC1 HD channel 143; BBC HD channel 169
- Virgin Media: BBC1 HD channel 108; BBC HD channel 187