BBC announces timetable for Freeview HD
Posted on 16 Nov 2009 at 12:51, by Seth Barton
Today the BBC announced its long-awaited timetable for Freeview HD. The service will allow the reception of free HD programming via your rooftop antenna. Previously, HD was only available on satellite and cable TV services, via either Freesat Sky or Virgin Media.
Initially we thought everyone would be waiting for their regional digital switchover dates to get HD, but some areas will receive the service much sooner. See below to find out if you'll watching the World Cup in HD, along with around 50% of the population of the UK, or waiting for the Olympics.
Initially there only will only be two HD channels available, BBC HD and ITV HD, with the latter only available as a red-button option for some programmes. However with the best of the BBC's and ITV's content, there will be plenty to watch in HD.
All of this is possible thanks to the use of the new DVB-T2 technology, which can increase the available bandwidth by around 67%. However, to view the HD channels you'll probably need new hardware, most likely a DVB-T2 compatible set top box. A spokesperson said for popular set top box manufacturer Humax said: "Humax expect to be one of the first to the market with a Freeview HD box. However, this will be early in the New Year and not before Christmas." If other manufacturers follow suit, then the only way to receive these channels on the launch date would be via a PC, we've contacted Microsoft to see if its Media Center software will be compatible, but are still awaiting a reply.
From January 2010, viewers will be able to use the Freeview website to find out when HD services will be available at their postcode. Here's a rough list of the roll out dates, if your area isn't listed here then the HD service will roll out on your region's digital switchover date in either 2011 or 2012
Manchester (Winter Hill) and London (Crystal Palace) 2 December 2009
Newcastle and Tyneside (Pontop Pike) February 2010
Leeds / Bradford (Emley Moor) March 2010
Birmingham (Lichfield) March 2010
Liverpool, central Lancashire, Cheshire, north Staffordshire (Winter Hill relays) March 2010
Exeter, parts of Devon, Somerset, Dorset (Stockland Hill) April 2010
Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire (Mendip) April 2010
Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly (Beacon Hill, Caradon Hill, Huntshaw Cross, Redruth) August 2010
Cumbria and the Lake District (Caldbeck) October 2010
Cardiff, Newport (Wenvoe) March 2010
Swansea (Kilvey Hill) March 2010
West and central Wales(Blaenplwyf) March 2010
Carmarthenshire (Carmel) April 2010
Rest of Wales by July 2010
Glasgow, central Scotland (Black Hill)February 2010
Shetland (Bressay) May 2010
Orkney(Keelylang Hill)May 2010
Caithness, North Sutherland (Rumster Forest) June 2010
Lewis, Wester Ross, North West Sutherland, Western Isles (Eitshal and Skriaig) July 2010
Angus, Dundee, Perth, and parts of Fife(Angus)August 2010
Aberdeenshire (Durris) September 2010
Morayshire, Strathspey, and parts of Easter Ross (Knockmore) October 2010
South West Scotland (Caldbeck Scotland) October 2010
Inverness and the Great Glen (Rosemarkie) October 2010
South West Highlands and Islands (Torosay) October 2010
Scottish Borders (Selkirk) November 2010
Rest of Scotland by the end of Q2, 2011.
Freeview HD rolls out with the rest of the switchover programme so that the whole of Northern Ireland is switched over to digital and will be able to receive Freeview HD by the end of 2012.
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