It seems an age since we first heard about it, but the BBC has finally fulfilled its promoses.
I’ve made a fair bit of fuss about the forthcoming launch of the BBC’s HD channel in prior weeks so I guess it’s only fair for me to offer up my praise and congratulations now that the service has officially gone live (as of Saturday in fact). Considering the BBC Trust only gave its approval around a fortnight ago, the cynical (realistic?) among us where expecting a fair old wait before we’d be able to tune in to our preferred definition broadcasting so hats off to the Beeb.
BBC Director of Vision, Jana Bennet had this to say on Friday: “I am delighted that BBC HD, the UK’s first public service HD channel, is officially launching tomorrow, after the BBC Trust gave its approval last week. HD is the next generation of television and a real opportunity for programme-makers to reach out to the audience in ways they have never done before. HD is a real creative enabler making our programmes even more powerful and outstanding.”
Speaking specifics, subscribers to either Virgin Media or Sky HD will find BBC HD on channels 143 and 108 respectively. Currently the full 9-hour programming schedule isn’t in effect, so you’ll be subjected to the same episode of Heroes repeating all day until 9pm at the moment, while the evening will net you such shows as Bleak House and Monarchy.
Over the Christmas period things will get better, with HD broadcastings of such films as Kill Bill, Sin City and The History Boys (three awesome pieces of cinematography) along side programs including The Tales of Beatrix Potter with The Royal Ballet and Jools Holland’s Hootenanny. Hopefully the quantity of HD material available will improve in the New Year (is it just me who would like to see Farscape in high def?) but for now this will do very nicely indeed.