BBC

The BBC's Spitting Out Five New Free HD Channels

By Sam Gibbs on at

The BBC's just announced that all of its TV channels are going HD. That means BBC News, Three, Four, CBBC and Cbeebies will all get HD versions pumped out across both satellite and Freeview for all your viewing pleasure.

Of course, they're not exactly free, given we all pay for the BBC through the TV licence, but at least the BBC can't charge extra for something like this, unlike Sky or Virgin. It seems like HD is the BBC's substitute for the now-dead 3D, and I can't say I'm sad about that.

Anyone who's on Freesat or Sky will get all the channels starting early next year, whereas the Freeview situation is a bit more complicated. Everyone will be able to pick up BBC Three HD and CBBC HD immediately, but the rest of the channels, BBC News HD, Four HD and Cbeebies HD will need to be broadcast on a new part of the Freeview HD spectrum allocation; a 600MHz band that Ofcom's just freed up to be precise. Those TV signals will cover an unspecified part of the UK initially, and expand to the rest of the country over time.

While the BBC pumping out new HD channels is great and all -- I'm sure your young'un will totally appreciate the extra detail in his inane cartoons -- it'll be interesting to see whether anyone else starts broadcasting HD channels across the new Freeview HD spectrum lot. Channel 5's already turned down the opportunity to broadcast in HD, but someone else might jump at it. What channel would you most like to see go HD? [BBC]