BBC releases Freeview HD timetable

November 16, 2009

The BBC has given details of the timetable for the rollout of high definition signals on the terrestrial transmission network. The aim is to make Freeview HD available to 50% of the population in time for the World Cup next June and to cover 98.5% of the population once digital switchover has completed in 2012.

The multiplex was created by the reorganisation of the DTT spectrum at the end of September. The BBC will be joined by a primetime version of ITV HD, currently only available to Freesat households, and a simulcast of Channel 4. Broadband TV News understands that transmissions from Channel 4 will commence in the first half of 2010, once contract negotiations with the BBC have been completed.

In the meantime an advance network will enable reception of BBC HD in London, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Bradford and Birmingham by the end of March 2010. The majority of viewers will receive the HD multiplex after digital switchover in their region, commencing with Manchester in December 2009, and Cardiff by the end of March 2010. For the 7% of the UK population who switched before December 2009, a retrofit programme will bring them into coverage before the end of November 2010.

From January 2010 viewers will be able to check with the Freeview website as to when HD is available in their area.

Timetable (Freeview HD signal availability commences at switchover unless otherwise stated)

Area transmitter group DateManchester Winter Hill 2 December 2009

London Crystal Palace 2 December 2009 Advance network

Newcastle and Tyneside Pontop Pike February 2010 Advance network

Leeds / Bradford Emley Moor March 2010 Advance network

Birmingham Lichfield March 2010 Advance network

Liverpool, central Lancashire, Cheshire, north Staffordshire Winter Hill relays March 2010 retrofit

Exeter, parts of Devon, Somerset, Dorset Stockland Hill April 2010 retrofit

Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire Mendip April 2010

Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly Beacon Hill

Caradon Hill

Huntshaw Cross

Redruth August 2010 retrofit

Cumbria and the Lake District Caldbeck October 2010 retrofit

Then Freeview HD rolls out with the rest of the switchover programme, so:

2011 Bedfordshire, Berkshire (parts), Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, East Anglia, East Midlands, East Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Humberside, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire (parts), Stoke-on-Trent, West Midlands (remainder), and West Yorkshire (remainder).

2012 Berkshire (remainder), County Durham, Greater London (remainder), Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Surrey, Sussex, Teesside, Tyneside.


area transmitter group date

Cardiff, Newport Wenvoe March 2010

Swansea Kilvey Hill March 2010 retrofit

west and central Wales Blaenplwyf March 2010

Carmarthenshire Carmel April 2010 retrofit

rest of Wales Long Mountain

Moel y Parc

Presely Mid June 2010 retrofit

Anglesey Llanddona July 2010 retrofit

Wales will have switched over to digital and the roll-out of Freeview HD will be complete by the end of July 2010.


area transmitter group date

Glasgow, central Scotland Black Hill February 2010 Advance network

Shetland Bressay May 2010

Orkney Keelylang Hill May 2010

Caithness, North Sutherland Rumster Forest Mid June 2010

Lewis, Wester Ross, North West Sutherland, Western Isles Eitshal

Skriaig July 2010

Angus, Dundee, Perth, and parts of Fife Angus August 2010

Aberdeenshire Durris September 2010

Morayshire, Strathspey, and parts of Easter Ross Knockmore October 2010

South West Scotland Caldbeck Scotland October 2010

Inverness and the Great Glen Rosemarkie October 2010

South West Highlands and Islands Torosay October 2010

Scottish Borders Selkirk November 2010 retrofit

Then Freeview HD rolls out with the rest of the switchover programme so that the whole of Scotland is switched over to digital and will be able to receive Freeview HD by the end of Q2, 2011.

Northern Ireland

Freeview HD rolls out with the rest of the switchover programme so that the whole of Northern Ireland is switched over to digital and will be able to receive Freeview HD by the end of 2012.

Other Areas

area transmitter group date

Isle of Man Douglas October 2010 retrofit

Channel Islands Fremont Point end 2010