New Freeview multiplex COM7, operated by Arqiva, will launch from the Rowridge (HP) and Bilsdale transmitters on the 4th March 2014, according to Digital UK. The launch will enable access to the full set of BBC HD channels (adding BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD to the line up) as well as Al Jazeera English HD across parts of Southampton, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Middlesborough and Darlington.
On the 18th March 2014, coverage will extend to the Basingstoke area, when the Hannington transmitter gets the new multiplex.
In addition, the COM7 multiplex also includes the standard definition channel Al Jazeera Arabic, currently on Freeview channel 84.
Viewers who have a Freeview HD certified receiver (showing the logo above) or a YouView box and who receive their TV service from the Rowridge (Isle of Wight) or Bilsdale (North York Moors) transmitter will need to retune their TVs on or after the 4th March 2014 to benefit from the new services. Viewers in the Reading/Basingstoke area who receive Freeview from the Hannington transmitter (ITV Meridian rather than London) should retune on the 18th.
Non-Freeview HD, including Freeview receivers that are just "HD Ready" will not receive the new channels.
Freeview viewers who can already receive channels 101-105 have Freeview HD compatible receivers.
The new multiplex began its roll-out at the end of November, with 50% of UK households within its coverage area by the 10th December 2013. The roll-out will continue during the spring. By the time Wimbledon starts, it will cover around 70% of UK households - including those around Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, Maidstone, Norfolk, Oxford, parts of Somerset, Gloucestershire and North East Wales.
Updated 26/02/2014 - Basingstoke/Hannington roll-out date now known.
ROLL OUT OF EXTRA FREEVIEW CHANNELS
Further HD and SD channels via two new multiplexes.
List showing locations and transmitters where the service is being rolled out
The extra HD and SD channels you can receive with a Freeview HD receiver (subject to coverage).
You need a receiver with a DVB-T2 tuner…
The basic range of HD channels is available across 98.5% of the UK households. A second and third multiplex will bring coverage of extra HD channels to 70% of the UK households.