Al Jazeera English to launch HD channel on Freeview

Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera is launching an HD version of its English language news channel on the forthcoming expanded Freeview HD service.

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.
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12 comments:

  1. I read a press release about New Zealand Freeview getting Al jazeera HD, but not the UK Freeview. Has there been a mistake or are both countries getting a HD channel from them on DTT!

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    1. Unless Freeview NZ has a new HD mux operated by Arqiva, who describe the launch as an "exciting first step in the launch of more HD channels on Freeview."

      Delete
    2. Just checked: AJE is going HD on both NZ and UK terrestrial platforms.

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  2. That's good news for both countries then!

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    Replies
    1. Choice aside from BBC News with news in HD is good move.

      RT and Sky News will not see rivals outbeat them - like Jurassic Park "life will find a way" to bring HD - IPTV has to be the obvious backup plan!

      Delete
  3. Any news about it appearing on satellite? I haven't had a satellite setup for a few months, but IIRC AJE HD isn't yet available there.

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  4. like see horror channel freeview

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  5. Only Sky News HD really to join follow the "others will be HD so we be stupid if not too" club as it clear even before AJE HD the announcement of BBC universal platform move of BBC News in HD would be enough!

    RT HD - if you get inspiration to join the movement use your Connect TV powered Connected Red Button (CRB) service on 85 via connected to the Internet.

    HD versions of Channel 4+1 and 4Seven - Freesat, Sky and Virgin yeah by all means if you want.
    But an technically spectrum constrained service like DTT - NO (there is a priority queue - consider use Connect TV instead)

    HD versions of E4, Film4 and More4 before "Repeats" in HD!
    Channel 4 sadly putting HD+1 and inventing Repeat Showcase channels (e.g. 4Seven) will be ultimate wants for ITV and Channel 5 to be "ME TOO"!

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    Replies
    1. Sky would never allow Sky News HD on Freeview, its one of their selling points to get people to join Sky HD.

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  6. will this hd channel come to freesat also

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    Replies
    1. Good question. The answer is we don't know anything about when it will appear on Sky and/or Freesat at the moment, but it would be a surprise if it didn't appear on satellite as well as on Freeview HD.

      Delete

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