back to article BBC One HD to go live tonight

BBC One HD goes live tonight at 7pm. The simulcast channel will replicate what goes out on BBC One - the London version, since the Corporation says it can't yet offer regional variations on the HD channel. BBC One HD And while the transmission will be HD, not all of the programming will be. Some shows will be upscaled from …


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  1. Will

    Not showing on the Sky EPG yet

    Wonder if it needs an update?

    1. Rob

      I presume...

      ... that you have to be a SkyHD subscriber before you can access this channel?

      1. CmdrX3

        No subscription required

        It's a free channel

        1. Rob

          That means nothing to Sky...

          ... and on checking the channel lastnight you do need to be a HD subscriber as you need Sky's HD box.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    No in my area

    I live in the center of Reading and BBC1 Freeview HD will not be available until 2012.

    Can I get a rebate on my license fee until BBC 1 HD is available in my apparent rural backwater area?

    1. Grail

      Can not get Freeview HD?

      Then like everyone else awaiting Freeview HD; either get Virgin Media, Sky, or Freesat if you want HD. Were you similarly upset when BBC HD, DAB, or 625 line TV started? Or do you want a special extra HD license charge like happened when colour TV started?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      RE: No in my area

      It *is* available in your area, via Freesat, so no refund for you.

    3. LinkOfHyrule

      Nothing apparent about it

      Central Reading is a rural backwater. I grew up in the damn awful place, I know. :oD

      Joking aside, you used to be able to get normal analogue telly from either the London region or the proper south region that covers the area depending on whether you lived on a hill or not and depending which way you pointed your aerial. I guess this doesn't apply to digital since the transmission power levels are lower.

      Your lucky though, I cant get digital despite living two or three miles away from the transmitter because of a huge hill the blocks the signal out. I can't even get decent analogue either so I literally did stop paying the licence fee and now rely on iPlayer and other online telly watching sites. It will be 2012 until my local relay transmitter is upgraded to digital too but by then I probably still wont use it. Oh and I live in actual rural backwater called Surrey not in some Welsh valley surprisingly given the lack of telly-age.

    4. handle


      No you can't get a rebate on your "license fee," because you don't pay one.

  3. Richard Tobin


    It's not just a question of the BBC's upscaling hardware being better; it will be working on the undegraded source material rather than the compressed and bandwidth-limited SD Freeview stream.

  4. tin 2


    The BBCs upscaler will be processing a decent full quality SD source, while your average TV generally has to try and make something nice out of a nasty digital rendition of what the picture was supposed to look like before it was squeezed over the air. Their good quality upscaled version will then be sent over the bandwidth of a HD channel, which not only is greater due to the resolution of the picture, but also relatively more because people would reject HD if it had the noise and artifacts that are the accepted norm for SD.

    Straightforward normal 576 lines PAL actually looks a hell of a lot better than we're now used to thinking SD actually does, so I'm certain even the upscaled material will look much better than as seen on BBC1 SD.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    BBC HD will move to ...

    Should we assume we are losing it on Freesat?

  6. chriswakey


    On Freesat HD, BBC One HD will actually be on channel 108, with BBC HD moving to 109.

  7. JDX Gold badge

    BBC HD on Freesat?

    Is it gone from Freesat then?

    Why would you get a license rebate, when some parts of the country don't even get decent terrestrial coverage?

  8. Dazed and Confused

    BBC HD on Freesat

    is moving to channel 109 apparently.

  9. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  10. Geoff Campbell

    Now all we need.... some, or at least one, tuner card or USB stick capable of receiving DVB-T2. I'm fed up waiting.


    1. Geoff Campbell
      Thumb Up

      And, as if on cue:

      Early days yet, but it's a start. Any chance of a review, El Reg?


  11. Mike Brown

    great news

    even if it just means i get the Proms in HD with loverly DD sound again: instead of crappy sitcoms and that odoius one show, im all for it!

  12. Richard Lloyd

    Two things not covered in the article...

    1. Will Freeview HD receivers/recorders require a retune or does the Freeview+ standard mandate regular monitoring of the channel list and alerting the user that new ones are available (I bet they forgot to spec this one!)?

    2. Will BBC 1 HD transmit with no onscreen logo, a logo for native HD content only (ITV 1 HD does this) or a logo all the time? I guess I'll find out tonight then...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I welcome the non-regional version

    This means I no longer have to hear the phrase 'except for viewers in Scotland'.

    1. LinkOfHyrule


      Wow, I never knew Armando Iannucci was a Reg reader!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is a title

    "BBC One HD to go live tonight"

    And on a related matter.

    Uk population set to go "meh" tonight.

  15. Scott A. Brown

    Search and replace?

    Can't Sky/Virgin/Freeview look to see if you have an HD enabled receiver and just replace the standard BBC1? I'm sure there's a way of identifying the fact that I have a V+ box and Freeview HD at home, even if it's through a firmware upgrade.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Most TVs and STBs simply don't have the horsepower to do a good job of upscaling a PAL source to 1080p in real time. Presumably the box doing the job for aunty Beeb will be somewhat more powerful, but then you'd expect it to have cost a whole lot more.

    I, however, don't give a shit since I still have an ancient widescreen CRT telly which does for me. When it comes to TV the content matters a lot more than the picture quality. Since most TV conmtent is of pretty poor quality anyway making the picture quality better will not make it any more watchable.

    You can varnish and polish a turd, but all you get it a shiny turd.

  17. Natalie Gritpants

    Freeview and Freesat on channels 108 and 50, respectively!!!

    I hope their upscaler is not the same as ITV's. My TV does a better job of suppressing the deinterlacing artefacts than theirs.

    Can't wait for Strictly in HD, SD Freeview does very badly when the camera whizzes at the same time as the lighting is going mad.

    1. Jim Morrow

      ITV and upscaling

      > I hope their upscaler is not the same as ITV's. My TV does a better job of suppressing the deinterlacing artefacts than theirs.

      Which says more about ITV than your telly. BTW have you ever found *anything* worth watching on ITV?

      1. Pedro Mendosa


        1. Football

        2. Harry Hill's TV Burp

        3. Nothing Else

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Why is the EPG so dumb?

    So why is it on channel 108? Why can't the EPG be smart enough to support replacing the SD version of BBC1 with the HD version, and keep the channel number at 101? An EPG filled with duplicates of channels with HD stuck after their name, in different number ranges or pages is just so kludgy.

    1. Danny Roberts 1


      Even if I set a bunch of 'Favourites' in order to exclude the duplicate SD channels, it's still in the wrong order on my Sky+ HD box.

      I think whoever out of VM and Sky could get the interface sorted would make a killing, both are slow, unresponsive and really need some more customisation.

  19. CADmonkey
    Thumb Down


    "people would reject HD if it had the noise and artifacts that are the accepted norm for SD."

    If you've noticed this, then you've already got HD and are hardly likely to 'reject it'.

    Personally, I haven't noticed this, but then I've still got a CRT. Crystal clear, SD digital signal, but mostly shit programmes. The occasional opportunity to see the all the hairs up someone's nose was hardly an incentive to 'invest' in this tech. Bigger screen? SFW? A good film or show will immerse you, regardless of your diagonal inches or pixel count.

    But now all the sheep are rushing off to buy into the latest embryonic unsupported wild-west technology (3D) so the price of simple HD kit should fall through the floor. In a couple of years, when the kids want something other than Cbeebies, it might be worth considering.

    Really, what exactly have I been missing out on? Same goes for Blu-ray

    1. Pedro Mendosa


      The ramblings of someone who has never experienced a good film that's been transferred well on to BD via a quality AV system.

      HD done properly is jaw-dropping.

      I take your point though; turning on BBC HD and catching the end of Strictly Come Dancing just shows me the same shit with more shades of orange.

  20. DrXym Silver badge

    Pic quality even on SD should be far better

    Upscaling prior to encoding should result in a vastly better picture quality than upscaling afterwards. It certainly does for ITV HD and I don't see any reason to think BBC 1 would be any different. Upscaling before compression and using AVC compression means any artifacts will be far less noticeable than the coarser encoding of MPEG2.

    It should be easy enough to compare just by flipping back and forth between the SD & HD version and I doubt there will be any doubt which is better in most cases.

    And of course over time more content will be filmed in HD so it will be downscaled to fit SD not the other way around.

  21. Dale 3
    Thumb Up


    My new Humax HDR-FOX T2 box (after seeing El Reg hardware review) arrived two days ago and I was about to install it tonight, so it's all coming just in time :-)

  22. ChrisC
    Thumb Up


    Despite being clearly visible on my screen after several page refreshes, both the upvote and "Reply to this post" buttons seem to think your post doesn't exist, so just take it as read that at least one person likes what you've written...

    "Straightforward normal 576 lines PAL actually looks a hell of a lot better than we're now used to thinking SD actually does"

    Absolutely! Even the "good" quality SD channels suffer from excesses of compression artifacts if you start looking for them, and some channels are so hideously and obviously overcompressed that it makes me wonder just how low Sky are prepared to push their bitrates before accepting that there is actually an acceptable limit to image quality, and they've already gone waaaay beyond it... When broadcast video starts to look like something grabbed off Youtube, it's time to say enough is enough.

  23. tin 2

    @ChrisC and @CADmonkey


    Absolutely, I've got a relatively small 32" panasonic TV (with adverts) that IMHO has one of the best processing engines for handling the state of the freeview signal coming in, and sit a good distance away from it, yet the picture is still a disaster most of the time. From blocking in anything fast moving, to MPEG artefacts and redy brek outlines around people, to floaty corruption even displayed in otherwise static graphics, the results of a poor compression method and lack of bandwidth - rather than a lack of resolution - are clear.

    I used to hold that Sky were pushing the SD bandwidth because the majority of people don't really notice or care, but then they started flogging HD on the quality of the image. Freeview and Virgin appear to have also adopted a similar standard of SD quality. So maybe they all made SD so poor that HD becomes a quantum leap in quality and therefore a desirable product.


    I think you might have misread my post - I've got HD and indeed have not rejected it, but am making the observation that IF it was as visibly compressed as the SD we get (which it isn't) then it WOULD be rejected. I agree with you about 3D but not about the content (my PVR is full of stuff I would like to watch given the time) but that's going off the subject at hand.

    However I'm sure either your CRT is out of focus, or you have poor eyesight - digital, on any domestic platform, viewed via any type of TV is visibly compressed to hell with all the artifiacts that brings. I can see it very easily on an old 14" Philips PAL monitor, which is gutting because off-air PAL used to look genuinely astounding on it.

    Personally I find the sharpness of HD TV given the right programme, PS3 and BluRays all quite stunning, but the poor quality SD we get fed with these days pronounces the effect.

    1. CADmonkey

      My vision is 20/20... my Philips 28" CRT was a Which? best buy when we bought it in the mid-90s. I think the digital set top box (BT iPlayer! - really quick) is of similar vintage. The picture, both analogue and digital, is excellent. I'm also very close to a transmitter.

      From what you describe, it sounds more like it's your signal or your equipment which is poor. Several times over the years I've browsed shops like Currys to see the latest shiniest TVs on display, and saw very, very few which I would say had an acceptable picture.

      And for games i use my rather gorgeous 1920x1200 IPS panel.

  24. techmind

    For those of you without programme-guide...

    eg with WInTV NOVA S USB2, the BBC1 HD hasn't got it's name field correct, and the programme name is marked as the ID, ie 6941. It's on the same transponder as BBC HD channel, so with probably be found one channel up from BBC HD.

  25. MJI Silver badge

    Has a stupid logo

    Even worse than BBC HD

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