BBC1 HD Channel Has Successfully Gone Live Tonight

Jonathan Sutton

BBC1 HD, the high-definition simulcast of the UK public broadcaster’s flagship channel, has successfully gone live on various digital TV platforms tonight.

Kicking off with The One Show hosted by Salford-born comedian Jason Manford and Welsh television presenter Alex Jones at 7pm, BBC1 HD (BBC One HD) is the second high-def channel to come from the Beeb, following the largely successful launch of BBC HD back in 2007.

BBC HD will continue to air alongside the new BBC1 HD channel, but certain TV programmes have been shifted around to give consumers more flexible viewing choices. Since the introduction of BBC One HD, high-definition content on BBC HD will originate mainly from BBC’s other channels (BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4). After some jiggling, here are the channel numbers for BBC One HD and BBC HD on different TV platforms (Freeview HD users may need to rescan their channels):

  • Freeview: BBC1 HD channel 50; BBC HD channel 54
  • Freesat: BBC1 HD channel 108; BBC HD channel 109
  • Sky: BBC1 HD channel 143; BBC HD channel 169
  • Virgin Media: BBC1 HD channel 108; BBC HD channel 187

After The One Show, other TV shows scheduled to be broadcast in glorious high definition on the BBC 1 HD channel on this launch night were Wallace and Gromit: World of Inventions, Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers, Jimmy’s Food Factory, The Apprentice and Film 2010.

Some popular BBC series slated for the high-def treatment on the BBC1 HD channel in the future include Strictly Come Dancing, Countryfile, The Graham Norton Show, Antiques Roadshow, Children in Need, and The Royal Variety Show. The broadcaster’s flagship soap EastEnders will begin airing in native high definition on Christmas Day featuring the customary highly dramatic festive plot, although until then the soap opera will only be shown in an upscaled SD (standard-definition) format on the channel.

TV shows that have been produced in high definition will be broadcast in HD natively on the BBC One HD channel, whereas the rest will be upscaled/ upconverted. The Beeb aims to air most of the TV programmes available on BBC1 in high definition by the year 2012.