New BBC HD channels tests started

November 16, 2013 19.19 Europe/London By Robert Briel

The BBC has started tests for two of its five new HD channels on the Astra 2 position at 28.2 degrees East.

Last July, the broadcaster announced the launch of BBC News HD, BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, CBBC HD and Cbeebies HD in early 2014. All BBC HD channels will be available free-to-air.

Broadcasts of BBC Four HD and Cbeebies HD have now started on 11.023 GHz/H; this is the same frequency on which BBC One Wales HD, BBC One Scotland HD and BBC Red Button HD can be received.

On digital terrestrial television (Freeview HD and YouView), BBC Three HD and CBBC HD will use capacity on the BBC’s existing HD multiplex, which has 98.5% coverage of UK homes.

BBC News HD, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD will use new HD capacity, which will cover part of the UK and grow in coverage over time.

In a related development, German public broadcaster ARD is adding six new HD channels on December 5 on Astra’s main German orbital position at 29.2 degrees East. They are the three thematic channels EinsPlus, Tagesschau24 (news) and Einsfestival and three regional channels, HR, MDR and RBB.