The announcement follows the successful launch of BBC One HD on 3 November 2010 and a longer than expected wait for BBC Two HD, originally announced as part of the Corporation's Delivering Quality First (DQF) plans and originally expected to be on air by the end of last year.
It has been confirmed that BBC Two HD will replace the existing BBC HD service and will be available free to air on all digital TV platforms. A single version of the channel will broadcast across the UK, with national variations from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continuing in standard definition only.
Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two, says: "BBC One HD has already proved to be highly valued by our audiences and I’m delighted that we’re able to follow this with the launch of BBC Two in HD. The launch of BBC Two HD will allow us to showcase more of our programmes at their very best – helping to highlight our commitment to high quality, engaging and ambitious programmes on BBC Two."
However, the move to close BBC HD has resulted in blocks of children's programmes being no longer available from the BBC in high definition. The BBC HD channel originally featured blocks of content from the BBC's children's channels during weekend afternoons and some weekdays, but this has been cut back as of late ahead of the closedown. BBC Two no longer broadcasts children's programming. There has also been concern among viewers about the loss of an HD outlet for top BBC Three and BBC Four shows in the future.
The BBC has committed to participating in the future plans for two new multiplexes on digital terrestrial television, with further HD services possible as a result from next year.
|BBC TWO HD
Channel numbers from 26th March:
update: 19/03/2013: Sky channel number: BBC Two HD will now be shown on channel 142 on Sky, not channel 169 as originally announced. It is unknown if the channel move from 169 to 142 will be in place for the 6:00am launch on the 26th March, or whether BBC Two HD will move later in the day.