BBC HD Channel Given The Okay

Now hurry up and get broadcasting already.

I wonder how many of you will recall my report back in September that Ofcom had given its approval for the BBC’s HD service? I know I clean forgot. Still, progress is surging ahead irrespective of my knowledge, or lack thereof, and today marks the end of a series of public enquiries to ascertain the technicalities of the full launch of the service, which has up to now been running as a trial on Sky.

The full channel is intended to be available as soon as possible which, this being the BBC, means some time after the next ice age and will be coming first to Sky and cable before making its way to free satellite soon after and finally Freeview. The previous plans of launching a 4-hour overnight HD slot on Freeview were culled because they required turning off BBC Parliament to accommodate the HD signal – thankfully no one considered ‘House of Lords: HD’ to be a marketable program.

Everyone likes a good quote, so here’s BBC Director of Vision, Jana Bennet, on the launch: “BBC HD will be available on cable, satellite and – in due course – on digital terrestrial and the internet. HD is the next generation of television, offering the richest, most intense viewing experience imaginable. Audiences can look forward to the likes of Earth – Power Of The Planet, Cranford, Torchwood, Hammonds Heroes, Diary Of Anne Frank, Around The World In 80 Gardens and Live At The Apollo in extraordinary sound and vision.

Clearly something is amiss when Torchwood is on that list but Top Gear and Doctor Who, for that matter, isn’t, but we’ll let it slide now on the assumption that the people in charge of such things see sense and sort out that out for future series. Anyhow, one more item has just been added to my ‘why I want an HDTV’ list.


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