The BBC One HD channel is ready for launch

Thursday 21 October 2010, 15:04

Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler Controller, BBC HD

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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.

Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention

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.

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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.

We also won't be able to bring you regional news programmes or, if you are in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, your own versions of BBC One in HD, and the programmes shown on them.

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.

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    What is the plan for the spots when regional news would be shown on BBC1? Will the BBC take this opportunity to show they're not London biased and maybe put Reporting Scotland into that gap as they're the only region/nation with HD studios?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Are there new idents for the BBC One HD channel, or were the existing ones prepared in HD?

    Will there be the national presentation and regional opt outs for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as at the moment?

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    We'll show a still slide over regional news spots so that viewers know to head to BBC One SD to find their news service. We are working on being able to offer BBC One in HD in all its dimensions - but this is just the beginning.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    I can't quite work out when the rest of the BBC TV channels are not converted to HD at the same time as BBC One.

    It is going to be very confusing for presentation to refer to HD simulcasts on other channels.

    "And now on BBC Two, Top Gear. You can also watch this programme on the HD channel. No not that BBC HD channel, the other one. OK, you can also watch Top Gear on a BBC HD channel. No, that doesn't work either. "

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Any DOG on this channel then?

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Shame about the still caption idea, had hoped for River City or similar to be shown at 1830.

    Looking forward nevertheless.

    When will BBC HD be moving to the longer day as suggested when BBC ONE HD was intimated earlier this year?

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    @CompactDistance - isn't that the equivalent of Goodwin's Law on this thread?

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Also, another point, this HD launch date is BBC One's 74th birthday.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    What would be really cool, whilst the regional news is being sorted, would be to show a live 4x4 grid (as this is HD) of twelve of the regional news services, with the channel number overlays on Freesat and Sky.

    [Newsline][Reporting Scotland][Look North Newscastle][Look North Leeds]
    [Northwest Tonight][Midlands Today][East Midland Today][Look East Norwich]
    [Wales Today][South Today Oxford][London][Look East Cambridge]
    [Spotlight][Points West][South Today Soton][South East Today]

    Like the old start of Nationwide, but live. Just an idea.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Post 9 seems like a good idea

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Pleased to see Comedy Roadshow will not be starting late much longer on Saturdays

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    Comment number 12.

    F1 in HD? Any chance please?

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    Comment number 13.

    When are you going to tell viewers where to find the HD channels.

    At the beginning of Tuesaday night's Holby the continuity announcer mentioned BBC HD, but out of an audience of 6m only 99,000 watched in HD.

    It's obvious just saying "also in HD" is not enough.

    As BBC HD is now in an estimated 5.1m homes (as of end of June), surely your HD ratings should be much higher?

    Or do you get different ratings from other organisations other than BARB?

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Why not take the opportunity of the launch of BBC1 HD to offer proper full HD on your channels 1920*1080 as opposed to the crippled 1440*1080 that BBC HD currently uses?

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Will there be any room to broadcast the Chelsea Flower Show in HD now? Because I have noticed from previous years, the preview show has been on BBC One, and the rest of the time on BBC Two, It just seems daft to have the preview programme on BBC One and BBC One HD and the rest in SD on BBC Two, will you make the shift to full HD for Chelsea?

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    Comment number 16.

    Like Briantist, I was wondering whether this means new idents for BBC One on Wednesday 3rd November? Or, if we are getting new idents, will these be exclusive to BBC One HD? I haven't heard anything in the press. Interesting that the launch has been timed with the arrival of Danny Cohen as BBC One controller!

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    Comment number 17.

    I use FREESAT what a mess the chanel numbers are going to be. Are you going to consult with FREESAT and get a better list of numbers?
    EG the mess.
    101 BBC1
    103 ITV1
    108 BBC1 Hd
    109 BBC Hd
    119 ITV1 Hd

    My guess is older and the non technical viewer even with HD will watch on 101 and 103 and not 108 and 119.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    What bitrates will be used for BBC One HD on each platform respectively?

    Will the addition of this new HD service result in a further bitrate reduction for the existing BBC HD channel?

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    Comment number 19.

    So the BBC is the last public service broadcaster to offer it's main channel in HD. It is telling that the BBC was pressured into doing this when Five HD refused to pay the high fees the BBC wanted for the terestrial HD channel. I must admit I don't watch any of the programs Danielle mentions but at least I can watch F1 upscaled. With 52 HD channels available in the UK I watch very little from the BBC these days.

    Of course what the BBC calls HD is substandard 1440x1920 and more often than not in legacy stereo.

    In a few days time ITV will be transmitting all thier channels in HD. Is it not time for the BBC to add BBC2,3 and 4 in HD.

    I am not too worried about regional news as the quaility of the BBC South news is very poor. It is the same stories night after night with very minor variations.

    I do agree that something needs to be done about channel numbers. I understand that Sky is in discusions about this.

    It is interesting to note that the BBC has moved the 2 SD channels off of the HD transponder. This would now enable them to switch to DVB-S2 which would give an increase of 25% in available bitrate. The BBC could them transmit 1,2,3 and 4 in HD with reasonable bitrates.

    Congratulations to Danielle becoming head of BBC 3D as well as BBC HD. I don't know how you fit it all in. This seems a bit odd though as you keep saying that the BBC has no plans to deliver 3D to licence payers. Prehaps you would like to explain in a blog why we have a head of a channel that dosn't exist!!!.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    #19 Sorry I should have said 1440x1080.


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