BBC launch free-to-air HD trial
BBC HD will start broadcasting on Monday May 15th with a test stream previewing forthcoming programmes.
The first live HD programme will be the opening World Cup match, Germany versus Costa Rica, on Friday June 9th. BBC commentary and studio coverage HD will wrap up the HD feed from German host broadcasters HBS (Host Broadcaster Services)
The HD trial will run for 12 months and will feature some of the BBC’s most ambitious programmes, such as natural history series Planet Earth and Galapagos, drama documentary Hannibal and some BBC Proms concerts including the first and last nights all in HD quality. The amount of new programmes each day will vary, averaging between one and two hours. Some programmes will be simulcast with BBC ONE or, in a few instances, BBC TWO. Others will be time-shifted or offer another chance to view past dramas such as Bleak House and Hotel Babylon, which were originally made in HD.
The BBC will provide its stream on all technically capable platforms such as satellite and cable as a free-to view service during the trial although HD set top boxes are required to receive the signals.
In an FAQ on the BBC website it states that both 1080i and 720p streams will be broadcast during the trial and equipments must be capable of displaying both for complete test reception.
Due to lack of free spectrum for terrestrial platforms the streams will only be available to a few hundred trial households in London.
Source: BBC website
Item added: 17th May 2006