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BBC One is going High Definition

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Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler | 11:26 UK time, Friday, 28 May 2010

For some time now, the number of programmes we make in High Definition (HD) has been growing. Last month, we began broadcasting Ashes To Ashes, Doctor Who, Graham Norton, and Young Musician Of The Year for the first time, as well as Springwatch's first appearance in HD, which starts next week.

I can now let you know that by the end of the year, you will also be able to enjoy EastEnders, Holby City, QI, Weakest Link and The Apprentice in HD from the BBC, as well as a whole range of returning programmes and new shows.

The Springwatch team sitting on a sofa in a field. The new series will be broadcast in HD

To ensure that we have space to bring you these programmes in HD, we are also planning to begin broadcasting BBC One in HD this autumn.

That means that in the future - once you have a fully-connected HD set in your home - you will be able to enjoy all the BBC One programmes made in HD (including the vast majority of programmes shown in the evenings) without the need to change channels.

And if you don't fancy a BBC One programme, BBC HD which will operate for longer hours than it has done previously will be able to offer you an alternative including Top Gear, Later With Jools Holland, and new drama, comedy, factual and children's programmes.

These two HD channels from the BBC will be available whatever digital television platform you choose, provided, in the case of Freeview, that HD has rolled out to your area.

I don't know when we will reach a point at which all the BBC's channels are available in HD. To an extent, that may depend on you - whether you choose to buy a new HD set, or to connect up the set you already have but don't use for HD, and ultimately how far you feel that HD is the way you want to watch television.

But I do hope that giving you a choice, night after night, of different HD programmes from the BBC will help you to find something to enjoy in the best quality television can currently offer. If you'd like you can read the full story on the BBC Press Office website.

EastEnders' Ryan Malloy, played by Neil McDermott, unbuttons his shirt to reveal his torso to Janine Butcher, played by Charlie Brooks, in the middle of Albert Square. EastEnders will be broadcast in HD by the end of the year

As the countdown to the World Cup gathers pace, HD is blasting out of pretty much every newspaper, billboard, and television display around. Those of you who have not yet succumbed are no doubt wondering what all the fuss is about.

The BBC will, of course, be offering a large number of ball games over June and July this year - including football from South Africa, tennis from South London, and golf from St Andrews - all on BBC HD, with every ball, every blade of grass, and every bead of sweat more visible than ever before thanks to high definition.

But for those longing for the summer of sport to be over before it has even begun, today's news hopefully makes clear HD from the BBC can offer a whole lot more.

And while we are getting ready for BBC One HD - and the new programmes that will be on it - don't forget that you can sit back and enjoy the summer on BBC HD now.

Danielle Nagler is controller of BBC HD


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  • Comment number 1.

    Great News Danielle. Well done BBC.

  • Comment number 2.

    I think it's a bit ignorant to presume that anyone who wants it can receive HD right now, Danielle.

  • Comment number 3.

    This won't overcome the BBC2/3/4 clashes though.

    Would Nurse Jackie and Mad Men still have to be dropped if they clash with another non-BBC1 HD programme?

    If this happened, would you make an exception and use BBC1 HD, if they were only showing upscaled material like the Ten O'Clock News?

  • Comment number 4.

    In response to comment 3 derek500, we do try across channels to limit clashes of programming that might appeal to similar groups of people (and Nurse Jackie/Mad Men would probably fall into that category). You're right that this will not mean the end of all clashes and consequent schedule compromises, but we're not able to change the programme line-up on BBC One HD because it is a simulcast - so we can't insert additional HD programmes there in place of upscaled content. I hope this clarifies the position.

  • Comment number 5.

    Without wanting to come across all negative, would it be safe to assume that BBC One HD will be the London feed or will the nations & regions get opt-outs?

  • Comment number 6.

    From being an avid BBC watcher my hours watching BBC have gradually dwindled to just a few hours a week. I'd prefer money was spent on improving programme quality at the existing picture resolution rather than having the existing generally poor programmes at HD resolution.

  • Comment number 7.

    F1 in HD, then this is complete. ;)

  • Comment number 8.

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!! You will not regret this.

  • Comment number 9.

    Great News Danielle.

    Will the info bar tells us what is HD and what is upsacled?

  • Comment number 10.

    Exilis, BBC One HD will not be the London feed. We can't deliver BBC One in HD in all its regional and national flavours from this Autumn. So we will be looking at the most effective ways to ensure that BBC One HD still feels like a service for the whole of the UK, and will make sure that - when regional and national news is on - that viewers can find their way to the (SD) news service for their area easily.

  • Comment number 11.

    Will BBC HD now only show BBC 1 programmes when they are repeated.

  • Comment number 12.

    This is excellent news.

  • Comment number 13.

    Great news, but can you please ensure that the bit rates are of a high enough standard in order for it to be called "HD"?

    At the moment we still have a sub-standard BBC HD. The picture quality on the golf last weekend on BBC HD wasn't as good as on Sky Sports HD.

  • Comment number 14.

    Danielle, Good news that BBC1 is moving to HD. I didn't understand your post 10, though.
    If BBC1HD isn't going to be the London feed and it isn't going to be a regional feed, what is it exactly? eg When it comes to local news time?

  • Comment number 15.

    Danielle, you say in the press release that BBC HD "is the most popular HD channel in the UK". Do you get to see Sky HD's viewing figures, as they're never published for the public?

  • Comment number 16.

    Skycaddie (#11) BBC HD may continue to offer some of its own repeats of BBC One content, and my show some older BBC One programmes. But on the whole it will focus on showcasing programmes from the other channels (BBC Two, Three, Four, and the children's channels).
    derek500 (#15) our assessment of how we do relative to the other HD channels out there is based on independent research.

  • Comment number 17.

    Since going Freesat at the start of this year I have been very pleased with the BBC HD range of programmes. Now BBC 1 HD will make it even better.

    Great job.

  • Comment number 18.

    Will more programmes be broadcast in Dolby Digital 5.1? If not, why not? We were promised superior sound and picture for HD, the picture is ok, except for some (eg Ashes to Ashes which was terrible quality) but it is not pleasing to the ear to listen to a programme in Dolby 2.0.

    I hope the BBC will listen to the many complaints about the HD service and improve it, otherwise, there is no point in bringing out another HD channel when the one you have is not good enough.

  • Comment number 19.

    Danielle, you haven't mentioned in this blog that the Trust have also upped BBC HD's hours to 12 I understand.

    Now that it has extented hours, BBC HD should be a great place to broadcast longer, uninterupted sports coverage of things like golf, snooker, and some sports events that the BBC have broadcast but not in HD - even though it was available in HD via other broadcasters.

    Will films on BBC 1 HD now be sourced in HD?

  • Comment number 20.

    I do not think it is fair that the BBC is putting this much money in to hd programming when I like so may other people I know do not have a hd TV set.

  • Comment number 21.

    Hello everyone, thanks for your comments.

    dobs and all those interested in talking more in depth about HD picture quality, there's a detailed debate on this post by Andy Quested on the BBC Internet blog.

    Fiona, TV blog editor

  • Comment number 22.

    I was surprised you didn't manage to do Chelsea this year in HD, I thought all the big events would have switched by now.

  • Comment number 23.

    Ahh... But what bit rate are you transmitting this "so called" HD in??

  • Comment number 24.


    Can you confirm that there will be no on screen logos ("DOG") at any time on any version of BBC1, including the HD version?

    If there is a DOG on BBC1 HD, this will be a surreptitious way of gradually getting a DOG on BBC1, as more people move over to HD. That's not something licence payers will tolerate.

  • Comment number 25.

    At last, more than one BBC HD channel. I was getting fed up with the schedule changes for series where it would be on HD one week, but not the next, or move to a different time each week (Rab C Nesbit...) I am slightly confused about the wording of the press release that says about "HD moves for Casualty". Does this mean that it will be moved to BBC HD channel before BBC1 HD starts, or produced in HD? The picture quality on SD of Casualty is so high I have always assumed that it was filmed in HD in the recent past (it has better picture quality than Ashes to Ashes on HD).
    It is just a shame that the digital switch over has such a glacial rollout schedule, as here in Hampshire we won't be getting HD Freeview until 2012, so I have to whatch it on Sky STB until then! I can't really see why the rollout is so slow as most people already have Digtal TVs or STB, as they have for the last 5 years. The only people I know who use anlogue are those who can't get digital.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    This sounds great, In response to those complanning about the quaility, have you listened to yourselfs. we got HD two weeks ago, and we notitced a massive difference in picture quailty than before, it's brillant. tv has come along long way over the last few years. and it doesn't matter if the picture is standard of high def, viewers can still enjoy the content, i think those saying that they can't enjoy the programes because the quality is so low, sorry but stanadrd def is still good so i don't understand what people at getting at. i think people will just moan at anything. and don't start with the license fee stuff, the service the bbc are giving atm is worth way more than licence fee, and if you can't see that then i suggest you just get rid of your tv and read the daily mail for 'entertainment'

  • Comment number 29.

    @ 28, Steven R.

    It sounds to me that you are saying we do not need BBC HD and it doesnt matter how bad the picture is as long as the programme is good. Thats rubbish, sorry.
    HD is all about picture and sound quality. 2 Things BBC HD no longer take seriously at all.

    And with the viewing figures BBC HD gets, this for me prooves that viewers want a top quality channel. Hardly anyone is watching BBC HD and its clear why. People just do not see the point when the quality of picture is so poor.

    BBC One HD would be great, but its not going to be great if like the current channel its starved of bandwith. I would rather see the SD channels improved.

    The current BBC HD channel could use the extra bandwith thats available for BBC One HD and extend its hours so it runs all day.

  • Comment number 30.

    Why is the BBC pushing ahead with HD when many parts of the Peak District (and probably lots of other rural places)can't even get digital TV. Surely the first priority should be ensuring all license fee payers get digital TV.

  • Comment number 31.

    Some good news from the BBC at last. Many of us could never see the logic in not having an HD version of BBC 1 rather than the hotpotch service we got from BBC HD. I fear though this has not been some thing that the BBC wanted to do but have infact been left with little choice. When Five decided to pull out of Freeview HD the BBC were left holding the baby. The channel and all its associated costs reverted to the BBC as multiplex owners. This meant that it had to fill this with something and of course a simulcast of BBC 1 would be a simple solution. Of course this will probably mean even more repeats on the BBC HD channel but it will make shedualing easyer.

    In one report Danielle is quoted as saying

    'BBC HD – the most popular HD channel in the UK – will continue to show programmes from across all BBC channels.'

    We don't know how she measures "popular" but judging by the thousands of complaints the BBC gets about BBC HD I would have thought it was one of the most unpopular channels. Technically its in one of the lowest quality HD channels.

    It is quite clear now that the new Government is going to do something to sort out the BBC. With any luck we will see some big changes and hopefully a change in management. The BBC Trust has still not responded to Paul's appeal.

  • Comment number 32.

    @30 That's what Freesat was launched for. Even at DSO there will always be some who can't receive Freeview.

  • Comment number 33.

    I would prefer one BBC HD Channel used to exploit the capability of the technology, hopefully matching what was achieved during the days just post the HD Trial, before the loss of quality that the reduction in transmission bit-rate and the new encoders inflicted on us.

    I miss the stunning picture quality and miss the high quality 5.1 sound that used to be available.

    Moderators: I have posted here in a vain attempt of alerting those new to BBC HD, following the press release, to the FACT that the BBC are no longer the Gold Standard of HD broadcasting in the UK.

  • Comment number 34.

    Let me respond to some of the further points that have been raised - though I'm not going to go into an extended debate about bandwidth which is covered far more ably and effectively by the BBC's Head of Technology for HD, Andy Quested, over on the Internet blog.
    dobs (#18) asks about sound and the quantity of 5.1 that we will broadcast. We are looking at ways to deliver a greater volume of surround sound on the channel, recognising that it is something that matters to many of you. More complex sound mixes can however add substantially to the complexity and costs of production - but we are working on it.
    As for new programming, ysarn (#25) I'm delighted you think Casualty looks so good - but it isn't currently shot in HD. It's move will be linked to plans to move where the programme is made, which means a short delay, but when it comes to HD it will go straight to BBC One HD. STeve (#22) we would love to do the Chelsea Flower Show - and in the past (although not last year) it has been in HD. But the way in which the coverage is produced for SD has changed, and we've had to take the decision that it would simply be too expensive to move it to HD at the moment. Citizenloz (#19) is absolutely right in identifying the opportunities that arise with the shift of BBC One programmes from BBC HD to consider taking sport (and other programmes) that demand more airtime. That doesn't mean that we have plans to fill the hours freed up with HD sport - BBC HD will not be a default sports channel. But it does mean that we hope to use the channel to do things that have not been possible in the past. I would just ask you to give us a little time to get the creative balance right.
    AS for DOGs (#24 HONEYSE) - or Digital On-Screen Graphics which sit in the top corner of the screen and identify digital channels - we have not yet made a decision. We will though of course be trying to make sure (as #9 SkyCaddie suggests in his question) that viewers can easily establish whether a programme is "true HD" or upscaled.

  • Comment number 35.

    Any on screen graphics would be a backward step. BBC tried when they launched digital TV on satellite, but were soon forced to drop them. I hope they don't spoil what could be the best HD channel on the TV with one, as I'll just stick to watching the clean standard definition version. There is no need and no reasonable excuse for them. Any metadata can easily be added into the EPG, or like the red button dissapears within 20 seconds.

  • Comment number 36.


    As an owner of a HD TV & Service(V+) I record alot of BBC Programs because I work shifts. When I record HD I use 5Hrs for a 1Hr Program, due to the higher quality.

    Can I still be able to record SD to maximise the amount of recordings I reoord on my box??



  • Comment number 37.

    Danielle, firstly can I say that I'm really impressed that you personally are responding to people's questions on here. I'm really excited about the prospect of a dedicated HD simulcast of BBC One. I guess this will commence around mid-September when Strictly starts? Will there be new idents? Also, regarding the DOG, my suggestions would be that you don't use the word "HD" when it's just upscaled SD, and that you use it sparingly like on BBCHD (ie take it off for dramas and sport). I'm sure you've heard the argument many times that most of the british public are not stupid, they know what channel they're on simply by pressing the ok/select button! Looking forward to BBC One HD!

  • Comment number 38.

    Well done BBC!

    BBC HD has been very good. Gardeners World has been a pleasure to discover and enjoy in HD. I was disappointed not to see The Chelsea Flower Show (second year running) in HD and last years Autumnwatch also not in HD, so fingers crossed that the next editions will be in HD thanks to this decision.

    BBC HD's dog has been unobtrusive (thank you for that) so I hope if BBC One HD must have one, that it's equally so.

  • Comment number 39.

    #34 We will though of course be trying to make sure (as #9 SkyCaddie suggests in his question) that viewers can easily establish whether a programme is "true HD" or upscaled.

    Simply put (HD) after the title on the EPG. If you use a DOG, then just as when the current HD channel does, I won't watch it.

  • Comment number 40.

    #34 Thanks for the quick and full reply.

    I have made my point that I would prefer the BBC HD to be a Gold Standard service with Quality given priority over quantity.

    When done well 5.1 sound can add another dimension to the TV experience. Like all things getting the most out of the available technology is expensive. It is disappointing that the BBC HD team that was instrumental in the development and adoption of HD TV in Europe cannot afford to make the best use of this magnificent technology.

    I missed the Chelsea Flower Show not being in HD. I can understand that it is not economic to provide the blanket coverage the BBC decided to offer. What I would have liked is say a one hour HD programme that used HD cameras to show in glorious HD the highlights of this occasion.

    DOGs: I do not accept the need for them. I can see what is planned to be broadcast in HD in the Electronic Programme Guide. In the good old days of BBC HD there was no doubt that it was HD sourced and delivered in Stunning HD.

    Thanks to all at BBC HD. I wish you would provide the highest quality HD experience, not cramming in as much as the budget and technology can be forced to provide. HD can be a quality experience and should remain be so.

    Most of BBC TVs budget must still be on Standard Definition for the majority who are not willing/ able to spend the money to be able to receive HD TV. I only wish more effort is made on increasing the SD picture and sound quality of this service. Things have improved recently with some poor picture quality that may be technical problems that can be overcome.

  • Comment number 41.

    Very good news about BBC1 going HD from autumn. A step in the right direction. Was this a planned development or just an opportunity
    which came about because Five did not take up their HD slot?

    Why ask? well perhaps if you are using Five's space then a full 1080x1920 at high bitrate will give a cracking picture- but if you were already planning to run BBC1HD alongside BBCHD would you have lowered the bit rate once again to cram both channels into the same space...? The answer to this question will dictate the satisfaction of your viewers and the volume of blog posts for months to come.

    On the Issue of D.O.G's any screen graffic is irritating and counter productive as the large colourful ones on some channels put me off watching them. The banner advert for Graham Norton in the Dr Who shows that inappropriate interruption can destroy the viewers enjoyment.
    Thankfully The BBC HD logo is fairly transparent and is held back from some shows but I would prefer no dog at all. Every channel change gives me the Identity of the channel but if the purpose is to Highlight your Brand when selling your shows abroad why not add it then, not for domestic consumers.

    As the World Cup is nearly upon us please do your best to provide the best possible picture quality as fast moving sports,moving crowds and grass combine to test your current setup to it's limits and a temporary increase in bandwidth with it's associated increase in costs is justified by this once in four year event.

  • Comment number 42.

    #41 Well said

  • Comment number 43.

    What will happen when/if FIVE decide to launch their HD channel on Freeview? The space you intend to use for BBC One HD will no longer be available.

    You should make this clear to people who might invest in Freeview HD on the assumption that this extra channel is a permanent fixture.

    Presumably, at that time, you won't be able to continue BBC One HD on Satellite & Cable either, as your channels have to be available on ALL platforms, don't they?

  • Comment number 44.

    Does this mean that F1 will in HD as well?

  • Comment number 45.

    Would it not have made more sense to have had BBC HD 1 and BBC HD 2 instead of constantly have a HD simulcast with BBC One, even though most of BBC One's programmes won't be in HD? This would then resolve the problem of having the news pointlessly in high definition.

    Surely committing yourselves to a BBC One HD channel is wasting the resources available to you.

    Also, will Freeview HD be available by the 11th of June in all areas that are planned to have Freeview HD?
    I'm really looking forward to seeing the World Cup in High Definition.
    And, yes, I do have all the set-up ready ;)
    Just need a source now :)

  • Comment number 46.

    I see that BBC 1 is also starting a BBC 1 HD simulcast channel on all digital television platforms.

    No problem with it on Freeview as each transmitter is for the local array
    on Freesat and Sky, what's the plan for the local programs.
    Is there room to have 18 regions of BBC1 HD?
    If not will there be;
    A; Half an hour of the test card after the national news.
    B; A different program to BBC1 SD after the national news.
    C; A different regional program each time.
    Eg. The whole of the UK will get BBC1 local news from the Isle of Wight, them the next time from South West Northumberland, BBC East Riding, BBC Isles of Scilly....


    D; BBC1 London only. (To keep ever body in Scotland, Wales, Ireland etc. happy)

  • Comment number 47.

    I very much welcome this BELATED development after repeatedly writing in over the last 2 years.

    Thus I would like to take this opportunity to ask why has it taken till now given that BBC-HD has been running following the succesful trials and when BSkyB has even launched 3D tv?

    The explanation for NOT DOING the Chelsea Flower show this year in HD is rather odd: "the way in which the coverage is produced for SD has changed, and ....that it would simply be too expensive to move it to HD at the moment." - I am most intrigued in knowing more of this change?

    Given some 90% of households have HD-ready tvs NOW according to Ofcom. Indeed affordable tvs are now being produced with BOTH Freesat and Freeview-HD tuners (the latter as a result of the decision by the powers be on the standard), Why is it going to take til 2012 for BBC to go full HD?

    Can you please tell me what is the TOTAL cost to the BBC-tv of maintaining programming in analogue transmissions?

    Given, that once again ONLY after the commercial sector has failed that the BBC has come in to deliver the service: i.e. Channel-5 couldn't satisfy OFCOM's requirements ( https://www.dtg.org.uk/news/news.php?id=3692 )and hence Ofcom handing over the bandwidth to the BBC, when was the BBC going to deliver BBC-1 HD otherwise?

    Evidently there is plentiful bandwidth given that so much of bandwidth on Freeview-SD is wasted on duplicate channels+1 and channels that show repeat rubbish could be rationalised. The fact that the BBC has Freesat it clearly proves the bandwidth is not an issue but POLITICS or just plainly the BBC is letting down its License fee payers?

  • Comment number 48.

    Good news that you are going to add another layer to the BBC HD availability.

    However, I would also echo other posts earlier on; I was amazed by the quality of the early HD broadcasts, both in picture quality and sound, and that was my driving force to go HD once the Freesat service was announced. Unfortunately I have been less than impressed by the current BBC output - not a patch on those early broadcasts - and subjectively not as good picture quality as ITV's.

  • Comment number 49.

    This is really good news, but please, please sort out the picture quality which has so obviouslyThis is really good news, but please, please sort out the picture quality which has so obviously deteriorated since the introduction of the new encoders and associated drop in broadcast bit-rate since August last year. The BBC HD service used to be the showcase standard with which I would show-off the picture quality of my HDTV system; this is no longer the case. Programmes which looked fantastic with pin-sharp pictures are now mediocre to say the least. A prime example of this was with Ashes to Ashes in ‘HD’ where the picture quality barely qualified to be called HD. So many people have noticed the reduction in picture quality, how can they all be wrong? I’m all for BBC One going HD, but please bring it to us with the picture quality that BBC HD had before the new encoders were brought on-line. deteri

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    @49, 50, et all, firstly are we talking about the picture quality being bad on Freeview-HD and/or on Freesat?

    What is the BBC-HD picture quality like on Virginmedia and/or BSkyB?

    Also, Danielle, can you please clarify if the BBC is paying BSkyB and VirginMedia to provide BBC content via their platforms?

    If so why, when now BBC has Freesat, Freeview, Freeview-HD? Wouldn't this money be better spent providing us BBC-HD PROPER and responding to the complaints as per posts herein and elsewhere? Not all these complainants be wrong?

    Perhaps the BBC-HD Management could go round to the viewer's place and see the degraded BBC-HD service for themselves. In the meantime the viewers could e-mail a video or still pictures of the HD reception to the BBC-HD management c/o one of the BBC e-mails!

  • Comment number 52.

    So this is the last Mary Poppins on BBC HD today as it would be on BBC1 HD in the next Bank Holiday. Maybe you could show the good stuff from BBC2/BBC4 on the second HD channel at the same time as BBC1 HD shows Mary Poppins

  • Comment number 53.

    There are a number of comments here about HD availability - I'll try to provide all the information that's been asked for.

    #45 (Dan_boi) asks whether Freeview HD will be available right across the UK in time for 11/6 and the World Cup. Freeview HD will be available to about 50% of the UK population by the end of June, but won't be available everywhere until digital switchover is complete. To check whether it has reached you, there is a postcode checker on the Freeview website (www.freeview.co.uk/freeview/HD).

    #41 (John1961) and #43 (Stuart Tunstead) and #47 (Arch_angel)all raise issues about the development of BBC One HD and five. To clarify for those not familiar with the detail, Freeview has limited space for HD channels, and the BBC originally received one slot (for BBC HD) with ITV and C4 each taking one slot, and the fourth slot was provisionally awarded to five. A few months ago five indicated that they did not wish to take up their slot for the time being, and the space reverted to the BBC. Clearly, this has been a critical development in allowing us to launch BBC One HD earlier than would otherwise have been the case since a fifth HD channel is not likely to be possible on Freeview HD until 2012. BBC One is a service which belongs to the whole of the UK - and is cherished across the UK. We could not and would not have considered developing an HD version of it had it not been possible to make it available across all the HD platforms. But the space that BBC One HD will take on Freeview does now belong to the BBC, along with the space for BBC HD, and neither channel will disappear in a couple of years time. Once it is certain that there is space on Freeview for a further public service HD channel, it will be for Ofcom to decide what channel goes there and five, along with any other interested parties, will be free to throw their hat into the ring.

    #45 (Dan_boi) also suggests that the BBC is a laggard in our development of HD, and criticises the fact that it will still be a few more years until the vast majority of our content is made in HD. He is right that the vast majority of new TVs bought are HD-ready (though I don't recognise the claim that 90% of TVs in people's homes are HD-ready). But those of you reading this with full HD connections remain in the minority. Under 20% of UK households currently have access to HD services, even though numbers are growing fast, and with an average of around three sets/computers/mobiles per household capable of receiving television pictures, even homes that have HD conections still spend a lot of time with screens which can only get SD pictures. The BBC makes more HD programmes than most other broadcasters and makes a broader range of programmes in HD than anyone else, anywhere. Of course that doesn't mean that we couldn't - and shouldn't - do more, but I don't think we are out of line with where we should be at the moment.

    #46 (Mark AJA) asks about regional news and presents some options. We can't technically offer all the regional and national variations of BBC One at the moment in HD, because the various platforms are not configured to do so, and/or the capacity is not available. Resolving these issues is not straightforward. And as I said in an earlier comment, we don't believe providing a London service for the whole of the UK is an acceptable answer. So it is something that we have to work on as we move from the certainty that we are going to be able to provide BBC One in HD, to making the service available to you. Regional and national programming is not disappearing from the BBC - but for the most part it is not made in HD and we won't be able to show it as part of the BBC One HD service. Where individual programmes are in HD, we'll showcase them on BBC HD. Where they are not - and at the time of the main news bulletins, we will work to provide the most seamless service that we can and highlight how to access the programmes we are not able to show.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    This is potentially very good news, not only more HD but also fewer scheduling problems. But please don't spoil it with a DOG - on other HD channels you just have to check the EPG to see whether a programme is HD or upscaled - a permanent on-screen indication is not needed and can often spoil a stunning picture. Not all commercial channels use DOGs you know - Sky Arts 1 and 2 don't and are all the better for it.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    _I don't understand how you can say that future development depends on 'how far you feel that HD is the way you want to watch television.'

    Who wouldn't want their watching to be in HD? We've gone out and bought the sets and the set-top boxes - what more do we have to do?

  • Comment number 58.

    I'm very pleased that you have confirmed BBC1HD will be using
    The HD slot not taken up by Five. However you stopped short of confirming
    that BBC1HD will make full use of the opportunity this presents you with
    to use the 1080 x 1920 @ 16Mb/s which will be availiable to you.
    If no decision has yet been made on the resolution/bandwidth it should be clear that considering the blog posts, number 10 petition, and viewer group visit to BBC that opinion of viewers who contact you is that 1440 and 9.7Mb/s does not provide a service which leaves us totally satisfied.

    If you have already decided to continue with the current format please
    let us know at this early stage so that expectations are not raised only to end in another round of complaints.

    General feedback- from my perspective Picture Quality is the number 1 Priority followed by more 5.1 surround, then production styles and lastly scheduling.

    I thank the BBC HD staff for their hard work in bringing us HD at no extra charge -it is appreciated.
    If you would prefer to reserve the TV blog for non tech discussions
    (i'm non tech ) i'd be happy for you to pass this on to Andy Quested to reply via the internet blog.

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 60.

    Thank you John1961 and everyone for your comments.

    You're right, the TV blog is targeted at a mainstream audience to discuss programmes and channels. For more detailed tech discussion about HD, please post your comment on Andy Quested's post on the BBC Internet blog. The discussion there is more in depth on the tech side regarding bandwidth and bit rate etc.


    Fiona, TV blog editor

  • Comment number 61.

    Thank you FionaWickham I will add the same post on Andy's blog-
    I had posted here because since mid April Andy has not been active on his blog and now here we are in June... and Danielle is answering questions.

    Untill the feedback from the viewers visit to the BBC is made availiable
    and the BBC's position is known to viewers then with the new BBC1HD channel coming up this Blog is the one in which we can let our thoughts be known to Danielle.
    Program Quality wise the BBC has no issues that need adressing in my view

  • Comment number 62.

    Danielle: first let me sincerely thank you for your detailed participation in the blog comments.

    As for regional opt-outs, in place of regional news you could take the BBC News channel feed (mirroring what happens when the News channel takes the BBC One feed for the 6 and 10).

    And, while I'm here, an extra vote for 1920x1080i on both channels...

  • Comment number 63.

    WOOHOO! EE in HD! Can't wait!!!! :-)

  • Comment number 64.

    Who wouldn't want their watching to be in HD?

    I don't want to watch in HD - yes I have the equipment capable of watching in HD and in a few months will even be able to receive Freeview HD - but don't see the point.

    I watch almost EVERYTHING on demand - rarely ever watch TV as it goes out live - HD takes up a LOT more space than SD and it's the space on my recorder that matters more to me than a bump in quality.

    I'd happily watch a video off youtube to be honest - it's the content not the quality that matters for me.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    Danielle - Great news about BBC1 HD. It's unfortunate it won't be here in time for Wimbledon - since there will be clashes with the World Cup. Can you clarify the priority that will take place - I can understand England football matches would beat anything, but do ALL football matches take priority over tennis even if, say, Andy Murray is playing? Regardless, could you perhaps ensure that live match coverage always takes priority, so for example you don't cut away from Wimbledon just for 30 mins football warm-up - surely joining 5 mins before the match and leaving right after would be more appropriate?

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    Wonderful news

  • Comment number 72.

    What about Casualty on Saturday Nights on BBC One?
    Can that go HD as well

  • Comment number 73.

    Let me respond to a few more of your points:

    F1 in HD (raised by a few of you) - we're all keen, but unfortunately F1 the organisation is probably less excercised by the launch of BBC One HD. We live in hope, but if it isn't available in HD it will be upscaled.

    BBC One films (#19 citizenloz) - a number of these are already available in HD, and therefore shown on BBC HD where possible. We do try to source as many as possible in HD, but different studios have different approaches to HD.

    Casualty (#72 Josh Welby) will be available in HD once it completes its move from Bristol (where it is currently filmed) to Wales. That does mean some delay I'm afraid.

    As Bluestraw (#69) suggests, it would be ideal to have two channels available this month, to handle the World Cup and Wimbledon (and some programming for people who don't want to watch either). Unfortunately, life doesn't work like that. So it will be just BBC HD for this sports extravaganza and we will do our very best to balance the different interests. In practice this may mean some late calls on afternoon programming since the Wimbledon playlist is not determined until the night before, but we will work hard to make sure that the most exciting action from both South Africa and South London is available in HD.

    rangerray (#30) asks why HD should appear to take priority over digital TV. I understand the thinking behind the question, but I'm not sure the suggestion is fair. It is more than a decade since we began work on digital services, and the digital switchover programme is also many years old. The nature of the programme - replacing the entire analogue TV service across the UK with digital TV - means that it takes time, but the importance of managing that process has been absolutely understood, and Digital UK set up to lead it. Our involvement with HD began much later and our offer is more limited. There is no plan currently for SD to HD switchover, and the resources being committed to HD - people and money - are much, much less. But we do want to make sure that licence payers have the opportunity to get great HD TV through free to air channels, whether or not they then choose to get more through subscriptions.

    And Mark Stevens (#36) asks about HD storage - HD programmes will of course take up more space than SD. That's one reason why new HD hard disc storage boxes tend to have more capacity. But you can still choose to record programmes in SD, and indeed the interfaces on a number of platforms will ask you to select between HD and SD whenever you indicate that you want to record something.

    Finally to picture resolution and bandwidth. The place for extended discussion of these issues is the BBC Internet Blog. The posts from the group who came into visit the BBC to see how we look at these issues in more depth should be going up on the BBC Internet Blog within days. There is no refusal to engage with these issues - but nor will I respond to bullying and tantrums because the views that I have expressed (based on further examination and research as a result of the original questions raised by blog comments) do not deliver what some who post here believe is the right answer.

    As regards BBC One HD, the channel will use 1440x1080 as the transmission standard. It will be statistically multiplexed (stat mux'd) with the other HD channels (including BBC HD) on the terrestrial multiplexes (Freeview), and will be stat mux'd with the BBC HD Channel on satellite. Virgin Media has it's own encoding method using MPEG 2 technology.

  • Comment number 74.

    It's very good news about the stat mux'ing Danielle, and I'm glad you are finally in a position to do it. Thanks for keeping us informed. It'll be interesting to see by how much the resulting, occasional, bandwidth boost improves the picture quality of some of the more challenging scenes for the HD channels. I'm sure that the sports fans amongst your HD viewers will be delighted. Let's hope you have some good news for the BBC's F1 fans to break very soon too.

  • Comment number 75.

    been away for a while but very pleasing developments

  • Comment number 76.

    Will there be a BBC One HD on the iPlayer as well?

  • Comment number 77.

    Excellent news that the channels will be stat mux'd. Thanks for that. It is a shame that the channels will only be running at a poor resolution, but the fact the channels will be stat mux'd is a major boost and its a start. Who knows, maybe in years to come, BBC HD will catch up with the rest of the world and go to 1920/1080 which most large TVs are crying out for.

    Anyway, thanks for the Stat Mux'd news.

  • Comment number 78.

    I have a Full HD TV at 1920x1080 and I have to say that the quality of Springwatch in HD is excellent. I don't know if it is full HD or not on the BBC, but it certainly looks very crisp and sharp with great colours.

    Only 5.1 sound could improve it in my humble opinion. The quality of the BBCHD idents is always excellent too, but I have noticed that the some shows are better than others. Dragons Den always has a great sharp image.

    Well done and thank you. Can't wait for Autumnwatch in HD now!

  • Comment number 79.

    Hmmm...Oaks and Derby NOT in HD even though the higher definition would have made it an obvious application when covering an event involving closely packed, fast moving, multi coloured objects (i.e., horses and jockeys) at distance. After all, horse racing is the only sport where even the commentator requires binoculars, so any visual enhancement would have been welcome. And it probably would have demonstrated the potential of HD far better than the incessant preview loop...

    The decision to go in SD is even more surprising when you bear in mind that the cornerstone of the technical operation over these two days is SIS-Live's state-of-the-art OB3 mobile control room, 'one of the most sophisticated HD trucks in Europe' (according to the SIS website). As a licence payer, I trust that the BBC are paying SD rates for the kit...?

  • Comment number 80.

    For those who may be interested in the findings of a viewers group invited to BBC Television Centre by Andy Quested to better understand issues surrounding transmitted HD picture quality, our report, findings and recommendations are published here:


  • Comment number 81.

    Are there any plans to broadcast BBC news in HD as Sky has?

  • Comment number 82.

    Someone asked whether BBCHD is better on Virgin or Freesat/Sky. From my experience (I have both) Freesat/Sky is much better than Virgin. Not only for HD but all channels have better picture quality on Freesat.

    Why not just scrap BBC HD and just show BBC1 HD and BBC2 HD? Surely that's easier than a completely seperate channel.

  • Comment number 83.

    @82 Peter Flower asks:

    Why not just scrap BBC HD and just show BBC1 HD and BBC2 HD? Surely that's easier than a completely seperate channel.

    Because there is also BBC3 and BBC4.

    And shows from these channels may be shown on BBC HD.

    If the HD channels were just simulcasts of BBC1 and BBC2, then there would be no place to show BBC3/4 output in HD.

  • Comment number 84.

    In response to Matt Dee (#81), there aren't plans at the moment to deliver the BBC News channel in HD. We are working on how we can get at least some of our news programmes into HD, but the reality for all News broadcasters is that news will remain a mixture of HD and SD for quite a long time. Moving News studios into HD is (relatively) straightforward. But the content for News comes from hundreds of different places and people, and it will take a long time before all those inputs are arriving in true HD.
    On an unrelated point, while I know that BBC One HD (subject of course to the issues you've raised) is the channel that you are looking forward to loving, there is a chance to share your views on our current channel (BBC HD) via the Freesat Viewers' Choice Awards which are still open for your votes (https://www.freesat.co.uk/index.php?page=awards.Main%29. How you choose to vote - whether for HD or SD - is of course entirely up to you.

  • Comment number 85.


    Note: Freesat nor BSkyB own any satellites, these are owned by SES Astra and Eutelsat. Broadcasters lease capacity on one of the several co-located satellites.

    Freesat and the Sky box platform are EPG systems and they both pull the same channels down from the same satellites. So for example you want to watch BBC1 West Midlands it will be the same channel (10.788Ghz Vertical) from the same satellite (Astra 2D) whether you use the Freesat box or Sky box, or any other DVB satellite box.

  • Comment number 86.

    See no reason why [HD] can't be put in the EPG info pane, or [Native HD].

  • Comment number 87.

    I refer to the comment I made earlier about scrapping BBCHD and showning BBC1 and 2 as HD channels.

    I love BBC HD. I really enjoy watching programmes like Spring Watch and Antiques Roadshow in high definition when I couldn't bear watching them in Standard Definition. However, surely BBC HD is just a showcase channel, it doesn't have any content of it's own. It can't really have a character. It's really a "best of" channel.
    So it must be doomed in the long run.
    If it's not doomed, give it a number and a budget and let it commission it's own stuff.
    I would like to see BBC3 and 4 in HD as well, but I guess someone would need to make space for that many channels.
    Anyway anything on BBC3 and 4 that is any good ends up repeated on BBC2 at sometime.

  • Comment number 88.

    What a joy. I've just seen a BBC commercial informing me that I can watch the World Cup in "Haitch Dee".

    May I suggest that the "voice-over" in question -and those responsible for the commercial - spend some on Learning English? Then they might learn that there is is only one AITCH in H.

  • Comment number 89.


    I don't want to wait for however long it may be to see HD programmes from BBC3 and BBC4.

    How will I know if and when the shows will ever air on BBC1/2?

    And what about CBBC and CBeeBies' HD content?

    Juat think about it, Peter, it's a silly idea.

  • Comment number 90.

    I really can't wait to see Eastenders in more detail.

  • Comment number 91.


  • Comment number 92.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 93.

    Its good that there some programs are broadcast in HD, however it baffles me when some programs such as natural history programs, and travel programs are only broadcast in standard def, when at the same time the HD channel has something on which doesn't need to be in HD. Also, why are the same programs broadcast at different days and times on SD and HD, such as Top Gear, and Heroes? This is confusing.
    Why not scrap the HD channel all together, and simply broadcast BBC1 and BBC2 in HD all of the time?

  • Comment number 94.

    I have just ploughed through all the above comments and it seems as if all is going well for the launch of BBC One HD in "the Autumn". May I be the first one to ask what (even roughly) could be the launch month (I wont dare ask for a precise date yet lol). I am hoping this will tie in with the new season programmes usually in September? Fingers crossed...

  • Comment number 95.

    Well done to the Beeb for catching up with ITV1, who have been broadcasting most of their programming in HD for a while now. However, why oh why does Auntie think that she knows best when it comes to how HD is being broadcast. I refer of course to the reduced bandwidth being used by BBC HD to display the HD material. If you were to compare this with the quality being broadcast on European satellite and even cash-strapped ITV, the resulting output is a poor relation. So much so, that my wife, who has better vision than me, cannot tell the difference between HD and normal BBC output. However, it is significantly better than the Freeview picture, which until HD comes here (April 2011 in the East) will undoubtedly remain the case. As it happens, we live very close to the Sandy Heath transmitter and our main TV gets its signal from a modern external aerial, so generally, we can get all channels currently available. Interesting point however, Comet, Currys and one or two other major retailers are already pushing Freeview HD kit but it isn't going to be available here until next year, so who's in charge of this messy switchover/ upgrade process?

  • Comment number 96.

    As an Addendum to my last comment - just what is the BBC HD station ident trailer all about? Cats turning into lions, tiddlers turning into sharks - who's kidding who? I expect it is meant to convey that with HD ' you can see much more'. Frankly, it is only marginly better than the advert for Virgin HD, which, if you take what you see literally, would imply that by signing up to Virgin HD your living room would be filled with 3D images, totally surrounding the viewing family. Hopefully the ASA will take them to task over this misleading ad.

    If you want to watch top quality HD, the Astra satellite at 19.2E, showing the German channels, have superior output, even those broadcasting in 720p.

  • Comment number 97.

    Re 21. Whilst Fiona was entirely correct in pointing all those complaining about the reduced quality of HD output on the Beeb, due to lowering the bit rate, it seems to me that if customers in general (for that is what we are)have a perception that we are receiving an inferior product, then we cannot all be wrong (can we?) Ongoing justifications by the techies just won't cut it. If the licence fee must go up to ensure the absolute best in quality, then so be it - the alternatives are miles more expensive anyway (Sky), so come on Beeb, grasp the nettle and give us what we want.

  • Comment number 98.

    How does the dead come alive like this, how would this twist work after everyone see what happeneed in the car at the canal unless that converted girl in the flat was in the car as well.

  • Comment number 99.

    It is great news that BBC1 is going HD. I am a little surprised that it has actually taken this long, and also surprised that F1 especially is not on the BBC HD channel.
    BBC should be showing the way in HD programming but ITV appear to have stolen a march on them. However, I am glad that the BBC have finally got there and look forward in seeing ALL channels on there as soon as possible. Just don't do an ITV and use poor compression rates for some programmes. It lets HD down. Anyhow. Looks like the Beeb have finally got there. Great stuff!

  • Comment number 100.

    I find it astonishing that anyone thinks that the BBC needs to catch-up with ITV on HD. ITV might have ITV1 HD but the number of programmes actually in HD is tiny.

    At least when BBC1 goes HD, it appears that a high percentage of their peak time programmes will be in HD, unlike ITV. I don't think the BBC is 'catching-up' with ITV. ITV will take a few years to catch up with the BBC - if they ever do.

    As regards the hope that all BBC channels can be in HD in the future. A hope perhaps but unlikely for many years because of the lack of transmission space on BBC controlled satellites or terrestrial. It might help if ALL the +1 channels were scrapped - does anyone really want or need them. ITV would not need HD on their other channels as they have no (or very few) programmes made in HD on ITV2,3, or 4.

    As regards F1 in HD, then this is not a BBC decision, it is the controllers of the F1 sport. Hopefully it might change next season.

    No, keep going BBC, and let the others catch up with you.


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