Since Ofcom announced in 2007 that there would, eventually, be HD Digital Terrestrial we've been waiting for something close to a definitive timescale for when the service will actually launch. Thanks to the BBC, if you live in Manchester, Liverpool or, in fact, anywhere covered by the Winter Hill transmitter you now have one: 2 December this year.
The beginning of HD Freeview transmissions will coincide with Winter Hills digital Switchover, which starts in November. Multiplex B is scheduled to switch on 2 December, and as that's the multiplex being used for HD Freeview, that's the date the service will go live.
The rest of the country will be waiting a little while longer although four further transmitters will be upgraded in the "first half of 2010." More details will, the BBC says, be announced once they have been made firmer.
Some areas of the country will be getting Freeview HD ahead of their digital switchover dates, such as London which is scheduled for a 2012 switchover but will actually see an upgrade to the Crystal Palace transmitter in the first half of 2010.
The Digital UK postcode database, currently being used to show digital switchover sates, is to be updated with Freeview HD details - although there's no word on when that update will take place - so you'll be able to plan ahead on finally making that HDTV purchase if you've managed to shun Sky HD and Freesat thus far.