BBC reveals Freeview HD rollout details

The BBC has confirmed a timetable that will bring high-definition Freeview channels to half of the UK before the World Cup next year, in June. The timetable will also make high-definition Freeview available to 98.5 percent of the UK population by 2012, when the digital switchover is complete.

According to a press release by the BBC (via TechRadar), viewers in London, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Bradford and Birmingham should be receiving Freeview HD by the end of March 2010. From January 2010, viewers can find out what HD services they can get through a postcode search on the Freeview website, but if you want to find out when it's due to be released in your area, you can check the press release here.

The new DVB-T2 technology, which is going to be used, offers a 67 percent capacity increase to the BBC's Multiplex B, allowing HD transmissions over the air. The only downside to this is that viewers who want to receive the high-definition channels will need a Freeview HD receiver, which will be available in the form of set-top boxes and integrated television receivers from the beginning of next year.

"This is a terrific step forward, and it's a great achievement that the BBC and its partners have been able to work together to overcome some really difficult technical challenges to bring HD to the Freeview platform through world-leading innovation," said Caroline Thomson, Chief Operating Officer at the BBC.

"We're really excited about the prospect of seeing BBC HD and HD channels from the other public service broadcasters on Freeview next year."

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23 Comments

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in some parts of london ppl have lost FIVE, itv2 , e4 etc!

they will all be back however in 2012!!! :(

its just easier to get sky HD, considering the box is now free.......however the monthly costs of sky is expensive when you add the channels you really want!

peacemf said,
in some parts of london ppl have lost FIVE, itv2 , e4 etc!

they will all be back however in 2012!!! :(

its just easier to get sky HD, considering the box is now free.......however the monthly costs of sky is expensive when you add the channels you really want!

What is wrong with Freesat HD?

Its not just London - its affected many areas.

Just as a side note if you can get sky you can get freesat too as its the same satellites I believe. So that's another option like ccuk pointed out.

I find this whole digital switchover farcical. It is incredibly confusing for people lacking technical knowledge, the support lines aren't free unless you have a BT landline and to make matters worse we now have people buying into what they think is the new standard, only to be told there will be another new standard and new boxes if you want all the HD channels too in a few years.

I really do not understand this double roll out. Why not encompass the DVB-T2 into the national roll out in the first instance?

ccuk said,
I find this whole digital switchover farcical. It is incredibly confusing for people lacking technical knowledge, the support lines aren't free unless you have a BT landline and to make matters worse we now have people buying into what they think is the new standard, only to be told there will be another new standard and new boxes if you want all the HD channels too in a few years.

I really do not understand this double roll out. Why not encompass the DVB-T2 into the national roll out in the first instance?


No one is buying into the new standard, for the most part freeview boxes should already support the 8k transmission standard its only the old old very first freeview/ondigital boxes that only supported the 2k method which are now rendered obsolete.

Its not as if the boxes are uber expensive, you can pick up an 8k compatible box for as little as £15 in the shops, or £10 on ebay.

The only real "new" standard is the DVB-T2 Freeview HD platform coming in the next few years, or months for the lucky (or unlucky since there are no T2 tuner boxes) few.

Richard Hammond said,

No one is buying into the new standard, for the most part freeview boxes should already support the 8k transmission standard its only the old old very first freeview/ondigital boxes that only supported the 2k method which are now rendered obsolete.

Its not as if the boxes are uber expensive, you can pick up an 8k compatible box for as little as £15 in the shops, or £10 on ebay.

The only real "new" standard is the DVB-T2 Freeview HD platform coming in the next few years, or months for the lucky (or unlucky since there are no T2 tuner boxes) few.


Funny, since that was what I was referring to... Clearly you didn't read anything I wrote.

on a side note, who's got the rights for the england world cup games? i hope to god its the bbc and not itv
edit - seems bbc and itv are sharing, i hate itv sports coverage, all the dam breaks get annoying. But i guess as long as they all shown in HD ill be happy

They usually split it, "if" (hopefully "when") England get further on than the groups stages sometimes both channels will show the match as have done in the past. However I have no idea why anyone would choose ITV in that instance!

even though i own my property, my lease agreement forbids me from erecting a dish on it

otherwise id be eating up skyHD!

sad times

I think if you own your property under UK law you are allowed to paint your property any colour you wish unless it is in a conservation area or a listed building. Threaten to go pink unless they let you have a dish, mind you lease agreement probably prevents that!

BGM said,
even though i own my property, my lease agreement forbids me from erecting a dish on it

otherwise id be eating up skyHD!

sad times :(


You own your property, yet you lease it?

Sorry bud, but you do NOT own your property, merely a time limited lease. There's a world of difference between freehold and leasehold.

To be fair, not everyone is able to get freesat. It covers most of the UK yeah, but a lot of people (flats, rented accommodation, University halls etc) can't have a dish on their property.

True there can be other reasons preventing Freesat, but its ridiculous that whilst only 75% of the country get decent freeview they are already upgrading areas which already have freeview to HD Freeview, rather than getting other peoples signal decent.

If you can get Freesat - there really is no logical reason to wait as late as 2012 - then to have to buy a HD Freeview player anyway.

Why wait as late as 2012... go get at Freesat TV now. It will work better than DVB too if you have problems with poor signal because of your area, and to be honest the cost will be similar to a HD Freeview reciever anyway.

To be honest they should get all the current channels working first in all areas before upgrading to HD.

If you can't get Freesat now you won't get it unless they add another satellite.

The only reason you wouldn't be able to get it is if you have tall buildings/trees/mountains blocking the sky SE.

Freeview on the other hand is much more chaotic and with retuning when they move channels around well its a lottery what you get. The latest retune lost some ITV channels, channel 4 now has issues at night, and Dave and others are unwatchable but found... before everything was fine. Great job!