BBC Trust approves HD channelBut viewers on Freeview will have to wait
20 November 2007
The BBC is to launch its own high definition television (HDTV) channel.
The BBC Trust has now approved the corporation’s plans and said that BBC HD should launch on cable and Sky satellite ‘as soon as possible’.
The trust has also said that it should be available on ‘Freesat’ when the platform launches in early 2008.
Freesat will be a free-to-air satellite service jointly provided by the BBC and ITV.
Freesat will be aimed at TV viewers who have been unable to access Freeview and will require a one-off payment for the reception equipment.
The BBC Trust says that BBC HD should launch on Freeview 'as soon as is feasible', although the exact timetable for launch will have to wait for a review of digital spectrum capacity issues in 2008.
The corporation had suggested a limited four-hour-a-day HD channel on Freeview running overnight until the full nine-hour version could be launched but this has been ruled out by the BBC Trust.
Jana Bennett, Director of BBC Vision, said: ‘BBC HD will be available on cable, satellite and – in due course – on digital terrestrial and the internet.
‘It will showcase a rich mix of the BBC's programmes from across its channel portfolio in true, native, high definition.
‘HD is the next generation of television, offering the richest, most intense viewing experience imaginable.’