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BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD satellite tests begin

The BBC has begun testing BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD on satellite, ahead of an expected launch next month on satellite, cable and terrestrial TV platforms.

High definition versions of BBC Four and CBeebies are being tested on Astra 2F transponder 61, labels 8931 and 8932, although content appears to be upscaled. It is the transponder currently in use for BBC One Wales HD, BBC One Scotland HD and BBC Red Button HD.

A year ago, the BBC first revealed plans to launch additional services in HD as part of a joint proposal with Channel 4 and Arqiva to Ofcom with regards additional Freeview HD multiplexes. Then in July, the BBC confirmed it was proposing to launch HD versions of BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies and BBC News subject to BBC Trust approval. The BBC Trust subsequently approved the HD simulcasts in September.

On Freeview, BBC Three HD and CBBC HD will be available to everyone who currently has access to Freeview HD. Due to lack of further space on its own multiplexes, the BBC will launch BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News on the new "COM7" commercial multiplex operated by Arqiva, which will be rolled out from the 26th November, with 70% of households covered by the multiplex by the end of June 2014. The exact launch dates of BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD have not yet been officially announced.

Therefore, the satellite version of BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD being tested now might be the only way viewers outside of the COM7 coverage area can gain access to the new services, which will be carried on Freesat.
  • The test services can only be manually tuned in via a Freesat receiver in non-Freesat mode or a generic free-to-air satellite receiver. Not manually tunable via Sky boxes. A reminder that these are test transmissions, the availability of the tests on certain receivers only does not necessarily reflect the situation when the channels launch officially.
  • update 18/11/2013: BBC Three HD and CBBC HD tests commence .

Transponder: 61
Astra 2F 28.2 East  BBC DSAT 8
11,02325 GHz 
(you may need to enter '11023' or '11024' on your receiver for manual tuning.)
Symbol rate:

Service Name
Service ID
BBC One Scotland HD
108 Scotland only
141 Scotland only
BBC One Wales HD
108 Wales only
141 Wales only
BBC Red Button HD
Both showing CBeebies and BBC Four HD
test transmission
n/a test transmission

UPDATED 13:57 18/11/2013


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