The BBC has officially launched its new high definition TV (HDTV) channel on satellite and cable.
The corporation has heralded BBC HD as the UK’s first free-to-air high definition television channel.
BBC HD is available on channel 143 on Sky and on channel 108 on Virgin Media.
Seetha Kumar, Head of BBC HD, said ‘Our Christmas schedule is also fantastic, with the likes of Extras Christmas Special, major blockbuster movies such as Kill Bill, Sin City and The History Boys alongside shows like The Tales Of Beatrix Potter with The Royal Ballet, Lessons and Carols From King’s College, Cambridge, Carmen, Jools Holland’s Hootenanny and To the Manor Born.’
The BBC Trust has said that the new high definition channel should also 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.
People with Freeview will have to wait for BBC HD because there is currently not enough bandwidth space for high definition channels.
However, broadcast regulator Ofcom unveiled proposals last month for a significant upgrade which could mean high definition television channels appearing on Freeview by 2009.