BBC Red Button HD on the way?

A BBC Red Button service in HD could be on its way back to our screens, for the first time since last year's extra HD coverage of the Olympics.

On satellite, service label 8900 on Astra 2F, transponder 61 (11023 H), is now showing a duplicate of BBC Two HD, but with programme data for "303". 303 is the currently dormant BBC Red Button HD channel on the DVB-T2 "Freeview HD" multiplex.  

303 is the fifth Freeview HD slot, which was advertised twice by the BBC last year, without any apparent takers. The fifth slot was used to simulcast Red Button channel 301 in HD during the Olympics and then by Channel 4 during the Paralympics for its additional coverage.

Any Red Button HD service would likely be in place for next month's Wimbledon coverage and would also be able to host BBC 3D content, such as the special 50th anniversary Doctor Who episode on 23rd November in the absence of the BBC HD channel, which previously hosted 3D programmes until it was replaced by BBC Two HD in March 2013.

Last year, the BBC indicated a future Red Button HD service, as part of their submission to Ofcom with regards extra Freeview HD multiplexes. The BBC has not yet made any official announcements regarding a Red Button HD service launching.

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