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BBC regions in HD held back until new Charter period

How soon you'll be able to watch your local BBC One in HD or the national variants of BBC Two in HD will depend on the outcome of the impending BBC Charter Renewal, which will determine the level of funding for the public service broadcaster from the beginning of 2017.

The BBC's Kieran Clifton, head of BBC Distribution and Business Development, has confirmed an agreement with the BBC Trust that the "introduction of BBC One English regional versions and BBC Two national versions in HD will be proposed as part of our distribution plans for the next Charter period."

Once finding has been secured, roll-out of the HD variants would take 12-24 months. The BBC had indicated last year that BBC Two Wales HD wouldn't launch until 2018.
In the meantime, the BBC has committed to continuing all existing regions in standard definition, with what Mr Clifton calls the "less than ideal" signposting to regional content during regional news on BBC One HD for viewers in England.

The BBC's current Charter, under which it operates, runs out at the end of next year. The level of funding from the beginning of 2017 will determine how fast it can move to an all HD environment.

TV tech: roll-outs
  • From BBC One HD launch to the launch of BBC HD English regions: at least 6-7 years (Nov 2010-2017)
  • From the launch of BBC channels on digital terrestrial TV to the complete end of BBC channels on analogue terrestrial television: 13 years, 11 months* (Nov 1998-Oct 2012)
  • From the launch of BBC TV as part of the public launch of Sky Digital^ via digital satellite to the complete roll-out of all BBC regional variants via satellite: 4 years 9 months* (Oct 1998- Jul 2003)
  • From the public launch of the first broadcasts using 625 lines colour in the UK (with the launch of BBC Two), to the complete end of 405 line black and white TV broadcasts in the UK: 20 years 9 months* (Apr 1964- Jan 1985)
(*Years/months rounded / ^1st Oct 1998)


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