[ARCHIVE] BBC HD channel information: Sky and Virgin Media viewers

Viewers receiving BBC HD channels from either Sky or Virgin do not need to take any action - the new services will be added automatically.

On Sky, the channels have started to appear on the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) ahead of their launch.

On Virgin Media, placeholders for the new BBC HD channels appeared last week and will go live on the 10th December.

But there are some other changes coming up:

On Sky:
  • In Scotland and Wales, the BBC One HD service will swap positions with the standard definition  (SD) version on channel 101 for viewers with a Sky HD subscription. 
  • This means that BBC One standard definiton for Scotland and Wales will move to channel 141.
  • A similar move took place in Northern Ireland last month, affecting BBC One Northern Ireland HD.
  • In England, BBC Two HD will swap with its SD counterpart, so that viewers in England will see BBC Two HD on channel 102 and BBC Two SD on 142.
  • These swaps can only take place where the HD version is the same as the SD version. The BBC has not yet begun to roll-out BBC One HD in the English Regions or BBC Two HD in the "nations", which is why the swap won't happen everywhere.
  • BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, CBBC HD, CBeebies HD will all swap with their standard definition counterparts.
  • BBC News HD will not swap yet - the BBC does not want to disrupt Mandela Memorial coverage from South Africa tomorrow, and will initiate a switch in the new year. (A Sky platform change freeze starts for the holiday season stopping any switch occurring sooner). UPDATE 07/01/2014: BBC News HD has now swapped places with the standard definition BBC News Channel on Sky HD.
  • The swap will not work for viewers without a Sky HD subscription, due to the way the Sky TV platform works.

Virgin Media:
  • BBC One HD remains on 108, but BBC Two moves to join BBC Three HD and BBC Four HD, grouped together between channels 162 and 164. Channel 161 is the new home of standard definiton channel BBC Alba.
  • Other BBC HD channels will sit in the relevant genre, i.e. children's for CBBC and CBeebies and News for BBC News HD.
  • BBC Parliament will move to channel 605.


BBC HD channels from 10th December 2013

Sky
with HD subscription
Sky
without HD subscription
Virgin Media
BBC ONE HD
101 (Scotland, Wales, N.I.)
141 (England)
141
108
BBC TWO HD
102 (England)
142 (Elsewhere)
142
162
BBC THREE HD
115
210
163
BBC FOUR HD
116
211
164
BBC NEWS HD
503*
570
604
CBBC HD
613
633
710
CBEEBIES HD
614
624
711
Sky:
*BBC NEWS HD moved to 503 on 07/01/2014. The swap was late so as not to disrupt live coverage of Mandela's memorial service which was taking place on the day BBC News HD channel was launched.
For viewers with a Sky HD subscription, you’ll find the SD channels on the following channel numbers:
BBC Three: 210, BBC Four: 211, BBC News: 570, CBBC 633, CBeebies 624

Why can't BBC One HD in England move to Sky channel 101?
The current BBC One HD service for England is not identical to the BBC One SD service, which provides full regionality. As such, a swap that would move the current fully regionalised BBC One down the Sky Guide to make way for BBC One HD would fall foul of the Communications Act 2003, which dictates rules regarding the treatment of Public Service Broadcaster's channels such as the BBC's.

The BBC is planning to roll-out regional versions of BBC One HD in England. Plans will be submitted to the BBC Trust for approval in 2014. This could pave the way for BBC One HD to move to Sky channel 101 in more areas of the UK in the coming few years.

Why can't the BBC HD channels swap on Virgin Media?
A swap/substitution facility is currently not in place on Virgin Media's EPG.

More information:
Receiving the new BBC HD channels:
Freeview HD and YouView viewers >
Freesat HD viewers >
BT Vision+ viewers >



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