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BBC to launch five new free HD channels December 10

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The BBC is launching five new subscription-free HD channels tomorrow, Tuesday December 10.

BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, BBC News HD, CBeebies HD and CBBC HD will all launch on December 10 on Freeview HD, Freesat HD, YouView, Sky HD and Virgin Media.

The UK broadcasting giant originally said it would launch the channels by early 2014 to extend its existing HD offerings, but has managed to introduce them just in time for Christmas.

The HD content will also be available via BBC iPlayer, including the New Year's Day concert from Vienna via BBC Four HD.

The new channels will complement the current BBC One HD and BBC Two HD channels.

“BBC One HD and BBC Two HD have already proved to be highly valued by our audiences and I’m delighted that we’re able to follow this with the launch of five new subscription-free BBC HD channels by early 2014,” said Tony Hall, BBC Director-General. “These new channels will allow us to showcase more of our programming at its very best.”

According to the latest data, over 50 per cent of UK homes are already receiving HD channels, with that figure expected to grow to over 20 million or 80 per cent of the British population by 2016.

By 2019, the number of UK homes watching HD channels is predicted to reach 90 per cent, equivalent to 23 million households.

In addition to these five new free BBC HD channels, the broadcaster is looking to launch regional varieties of the BBC One HD channel and a BBC Two HD channel for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland as part of a proposal it is putting forward to the BBC Trust.

The BBC has already launching BBC One Scotland HD, BBC One Wales HD and BBC One Northern Ireland HD.

Next read our pick of the best TVs of 2013.

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