Al Jazeera English to launch HD channel on Freeview
Al Jazeera English HD is the first non-BBC service confirmed for the extra Freeview HD multiplexes, which will reach up to 70% of UK households by mid-2014. Initial rollout of the extra Freeview HD channels, starting in London and West Midlands, will commence in the new few months. Full details of the roll-out will be announced shortly.
Channel 4 is expected to announce further Freeview HD channels in the coming months, with the broadcaster securing terrestrial licences for HD versions of 4seven and C4+1 - but these have not yet been confirmed as being the actual extra channels.
The new Freeview HD multiplexes will use part of the 600 MHz band, a group of frequencies that has been dormant since digital switchover and are being launched to encourage viewers to upgrade to Freeview HD equipment in time for a major replan of the terrestrial TV service later this decade.
It is not yet known if and when Al Jazeera English HD will launch on other digital platforms in the UK.
Freeview HD Extra channels: Announced so far
CBBC HD / BBC Three HD (timeshare) - using existing capacity with 98.5% of UK households in the coverage area.
CBeebies HD / BBC Four HD (timeshare) - via new multiplex. Up to 70% coverage.
Al Jazeera English - via new multiplex. Up to 70% coverage.
Expected other services:
Two services from Channel 4 HD. Possibly initially 4seven HD and C4+1 HD. These services have the appropriate terrestrial licences from Ofcom. Other C4 services are dependent on existing carriage deals with pay TV providers. Via new multiplex, up to 70% coverage.