- High-definition television in the United Kingdom
High-definition televisionbroadcasts began in the United Kingdomin 2006. They are available on free-to-air digital satellite, the Sky HDsatellite service and Virgin Media(cable) with BBC, ITV and Channel 4 channels available under contracts that expire in 2008. A new service, called Freesatlaunched on 6th May 2008, initially carrying the BBC HD channel. Freesat is a not-for-profit company formed by the BBC and ITVin collaboration, and is completely free with no contract required, although viewers have to purchase a suitable HD satellite receiver and install a satellite dish if they do not already have one. ITVhave been trialling HD broadcasts for their new channel, ITV HDwhich will be exclusively available on Freesat, and no other digital television platforms. Channel 4 are also expected to broadcast over Freesat.
BBC channels are currently available without subscription on digital satellite. They may be received by anybody with suitable equipment — a high-definition satellite receiver and a satellite dish. Many Sky viewers currently opt for a full subscription which provides extra channels. The Freesat company has complete control of the new satellite platform, allowing them to set up the EPG without having to pay Sky for the facility as they currently do, once their contracts with Sky expire in 2008. It is expected that the Sky platform will continue to carry BBC programmes.
BBCwas running a trial channel called BBC HDon the BSkyB satellite broadcast platform & the Virgin Media platform. [ cite web | url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/hd/ | title = BBC HD | accessdate = 2007-09-19 ] . Following recent approval, the BBC is currently broadcasting on free-to-air digital satellite, appearing on the new Freesatsatellite broadcast platform. The Channel launched on December 1st 2007 on digital satellite and Virgin Media cable.
High definition broadcasts from the
ITVNetwork launched exclusively on Freesat[Cite web |url=http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/digitaltv/a95312/confirmed-itv-hd-is-freesat-exclusive.html |title=Confirmed: ITV HD is Freesat exclusive |publisher=Digitalspy |date=2008-05-06 |accessdate=2008-05-06] , the new digital satellite service from the BBCand ITVon 7 June 2008, just in time for the start of UEFA Euro 2008. ITV plans to spend £10m during 2008 on the launch of ITV HD. [cite news
title = HD version of ITV to launch next Spring
12 September, 2007
url = http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/digitaltv/a75516/hd-version-of-itv1-to-launch-next-spring.html
accessdate = 2007-09-12] An ITV Trial service was broadcast on digital cable television as well as on the DTT trial in London during the 2006 Football World Cup. ITV will continue to push for HD broadcasts on the terrestrial Freeview platform too.
Channel 4launched its HD service on digital satellite in December 2007. [ cite web | url = http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/digitaltv/a75939/channel-4-hd-to-launch-in-december.html | title = Channel 4 HD to launch in December | author = James Welsh | accessdate = 2007-09-19 ] The channel is encrypted but is available with a free-to-view viewing card. There is some speculation that the channel may go free-to-air alongside BBC HD when its current contract with BSkyBexpires.
Five has not announced any HD plans to date.
BSkyBbegan Sky HDtransmissions of several channels in May 2006.
There have been no terrestrial HD transmissions other than two low-power trial multiplexes in
Satellite: Sky HD
Sky HDhas been carrying HD channels since May 2006. The platform now has more than 20 channels broadcasting in HD.
Freesatlaunched on 2008-05-06. It provides an alternative to Sky and includes support for HD (BBC HD & ITV HD are avaiable to receive with the Freesat HD box).
Virgin Mediacable carries the BBC HD channel and on demand content from several broadcasters as part of its V+service. [ cite web | url = http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/dtv/vplus/hdtv.html | title = Virginmedia: High Definition TV | accessdate = 2007-09-19]
List of HD channels in the UK
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