BBC to launch five new HD channels

The BBC has announced plans to expand the Freeview service with five new HD channels, to be launched by early 2014.

Freeview HD

There will be high definition versions of BBC News, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC.  This news coincides with Ofcom’s announcement that they have freed up airwaves following the switch off of analogue TV, with room for up to 10 new HD channels.

The BBC currently offer four HD channels via Freeview: BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV HD and Channel 4 HD, with the service having launched in 2010.

Two of the BBC’s new HD channels will utilise existing unused capacity while CBeebies HD and BBC Four HD are to share a channel, so there is the potential for up to eight more HD channels to appear on Freeview.

BSkyB has said it has no plans to launch any HD services on Freeview.  ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 have made no statements at this time as to whether they may launch HD services of their own.