Frequently Asked Questions


What is HD and how do I receive these channels?

HD gives you exceptionally clear, crisp pictures with vivid colours and up to five times more detail than standard definition.

Programmes made in HD can provide the best possible quality pictures on current equipment. Only a high definition television, high definition digital box and high definition broadcast used together provide high definition viewing.

The BBC has launched five new High Definition services (BBC News HD, BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, CBBC HD and CBeebies HD). These services are available on Freeview HD, Youview, Virgin Media, Freesat and Sky HD.

The BBC also has BBC One HD, and BBC Two HD, and brings the total number of subscription-free HD channels from the BBC to seven.

Viewers will also be able to catch-up on HD programmes from these channels on BBC iPlayer.

For Freeview and BT Vision you will need an aerial, for Freesat and Sky you'll need a satellite dish installed outside your home and for Virgin media, you'll need a cable connection.

Contact your service provider if you are unsure if the BBC's HD channels are available on your platform.

To find out whether Freeview HD is available in your area and how to get it, please visit the Freeview HD website.

To watch programmes in HD, you will need the following:
• An 'HD Ready' TV with;
• An HD Receiver (a digital box that is designed to receive HD) and
• An HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cable to connect the receiver to the HD Ready TV
• OR an HD TV with built in Freeview HD or Freesat HD
• An aerial, satellite dish or cable connection (from an HD service provider).
If you have a ‘HD Ready' TV You will still need the right kind of receiver, which will be included in the digital box from your HD service provider, whether satellite or cable.

We can make no guarantees that particular boxes will work with the BBC's transmissions. Consumers need to ask their retailer or supplier whether receivers are compatible before they buy.

BBC One HD can be found on these channels:
Freesat HD: 108, Freeview HD/YouView: 101, Sky HD: 141, Virgin Media: 108, BT Vision+: 101

BBC Two HD can be found on these channels:
Freesat HD: 109, Freeview HD/YouView: 102, Sky HD: 142, Virgin Media: 187, BT Vision+: 102

BBC Three HD can be found on these channels:
Freesat HD: 147, Freeview HD/YouView: 105, Sky HD: 115 or 210, Virgin Media:163, BT Vision+: 105

BBC Four HD can be found on these channels:
Freesat HD: 148, Freeview HD/YouView: 106, Sky HD: 116 or 211, Virgin Media:164, BT Vision+: 106

BBC News HD can be found on these channels:
Freesat HD: 212, Freeview HD/YouView: 107, Sky HD: 570, Virgin Media: 604, BT Vision+: 107

CBBC HD can be found on these channels:
Freesat HD: 607, Freeview HD/YouView: 73, Sky HD: 613 or 633, Virgin Media: 710, BT Vision+: -

CBeebies HD can be found on these channels:
Freesat HD: 608, Freeview HD/YouView: 74, Sky HD: 614 or 624, Virgin Media: 711, BT Vision+: -

Due to technical limitations on the BT Vision+ platform, it is not possible to access CBeebies HD and CBBC HD.

For further information on the BBC HD Channels please visit this blog by Alix Pryde, Director, BBC Distribution.