The BBC One HD channel is ready for launch
High Definition (HD) from the BBC will take another giant step forward in just a few weeks time. Back in May, I shared our plans on this blog to offer BBC One in HD. I can now share with you the news that BBC One HD will become available from the evening of Wednesday, 3 November, on all HD platforms (Freesat, Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media).
The channel will show exactly the same programmes as BBC One in standard definition, but wherever a programme has been made in HD you will be able to experience it in all its glory.
We'll open with The One Show, of course, at 7pm, which shifted to HD this summer. Over the weeks ahead you will also be able to enjoy a new science series from Aardman, led by old friends in Wallace And Gromit's World Of Invention, and the arrival of Film 2010 in HD.
There will also be food, from Jimmy's Food Factory and Nigel Slater, and entertainment with the continuation of The Apprentice and Strictly Come Dancing, Children in Need night, and The Royal Variety Show. Holby City, which has just started its HD life on BBC HD this month, will shift to BBC One HD from November.
Following the dramatic fire at the Queen Vic which led to the departure of everyone's favourite landlady, Peggy Mitchell, the iconic pub is now HD-ready, having been gloriously restored and placed under new management.
I can also reveal that viewers will be able to enjoy all the drama of Christmas Day in Albert Square in HD, as EastEnders broadcasts in HD for the first time.
You can enjoy a taste of what BBC One HD will have to offer - together with the first glimpses of Albert Square in HD - in the video below.
Those shows which aren't made in HD - including initially EastEnders - will still be on BBC One HD but will be 'upscaled'. This means the number of lines in the Standard Definition (SD) picture are almost doubled - from 576 to 1080 - to use the space that an HD picture would occupy. As the original material is SD, the picture quality is not as good as HD.
I'm sorry, this is something that we are working on, but the requirements of HD channels mean that we have to start with just a single version. Of course, you'll still be able to see your national and regional programming on your standard definition BBC One channel
Please don't think BBC HD is disappearing. BBC One HD is allowing us to grow the choices we can offer to you in HD, and BBC HD will be able to grow up alongside it. BBC HD will continue to be the home of many of your HD favourites (including Top Gear, Wimbledon, and our golf coverage).
We're also moving new programming into HD, and I'm delighted to share with you the news that we will be taking the opportunity to bring you the last couple of races of this year's Moto GP in HD as a trial run for the sport on the channel.
BBC HD will still offer children's programmes at the weekend, and great drama, comedy, music and factual programmes from BBC Two, Three and Four throughout the week. The channel will give you a chance to catch up on BBC One HD programmes you may have missed.
Programmes coming from the BBC's other channels to BBC HD will include programmes from BBC One Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which can't be shown on BBC One HD. And we also expect to offer some classics from the archive of HD programmes we've shown since BBC HD launched.
With more hours to accommodate the growing number of HD programmes across the two channels, we'll be able to be more consistent about the HD schedule, showing programmes at the times they are going out elsewhere (which I know is often a source of frustration).
So get ready for November - I'll be keeping you up to date with our progress on Twitter at naglerhd - and start adding the new channel numbers to your favourites.
BBC One HD will be available - from November 3rd - on Freesat channel 108, Freeview channel 50, Sky channel 143 and Virgin Media channel 108. BBC HD will be available - from November 3rd - on Freesat channel 109, Freeview channel 54, Sky channel 169 and Virgin Media channel 187.
Danielle Nagler is head of BBC HD.
You can read more about EastEnders' move into HD on the EastEnders' blog.
For a list of frequently asked questions and answers please visit the BBC One HD FAQ page.