BBC launches five new HD channels

Huw Edwards, Jack Whitehall, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Aimee Kelly and Mike the Knight BBC News, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC and CBeebies have launched HD channels

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The BBC launched five new high-definition channels on Tuesday, in time for Christmas.

BBC News, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC and CBeebies can now be seen in HD on television and iPlayer, alongside the standard definition channels.

They will be broadcast on Youview, Freeview HD, Freesat HD, Sky HD and Virgin Media.

Director general Tony Hall said: "I am delighted that we're able to launch our new HD channels in time for Christmas, when families gather together to enjoy some of the best TV from the BBC.

"This year, people will be able to watch even more of our programmes in brilliant quality."

Ahead of schedule

The BBC was supposed to launch the channels in early 2014, but BBC Distribution director Alix Pryde said they "couldn't resist the possibility of being able to deliver these early, in time to give them to you for Christmas".

In a blog, she wrote: "It's said that launching a channel takes at least six months. We will have managed to launch five channels in five months.

Simon Reeve BBC Two HD launched in March, airing shows such as Pilgrimage in high definition

"So I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the brilliant team of dedicated professionals, across the BBC, our suppliers and our platform partners, who have been pulling out all the stops to achieve this for our audiences."

More than 50% of UK homes can access HD channels, but it is estimated this will rise to 80% by 2016, and 90% in 2019.

BBC Three HD and CBBC HD will use capacity on the BBC's existing HD multiplex, which has universal coverage of UK homes.

BBC News HD, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD will use new capacity that will extend to cover 70% of UK homes before the Wimbledon Championships next June.

The corporation launched its first HD channel, named BBC HD, in 2007. But it closed in March to make way for BBC Two HD.

BBC One HD started broadcasting in November 2010, with variants for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales launched in the last 15 months.

BBC News HD BBC Three HD BBC Four HD CBBC HD CBeebies HD

Freeview HD/YouView

107

105

106

73

74

Freesat HD

212

147

148

607

608

Sky HD

570

115 or 210

116 or 211

613 or 633

614 or 624

Virgin Media

604

163

164

710

711

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