It is frequently the most watched half-hour on BBC One. But since the launch of BBC One HD in 2010, viewers wanting to watch the 6:30pm regional news have become accustomed to a red screen redirecting them to the SD service. That’s about to change…
In October 2021, the BBC provided its latest update on the regionalisation of BBC One in HD. Online and IPTV-based services will be first to get the fully regionalised service. Other platforms will follow. The BBC originally aimed to complete the regional roll-out by the end of 2022, confirming an earlier timeline issued by the corporation.
In March 2022, the BBC then admitted the timeline had slipped. All viewers should get regionalised BBC One HD by early 2023.
Most viewers will see the regional BBC One HD automatically appear in their channel line-up when roll-out reaches them. Sky Glass users can already access the service. Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media users will see the regional BBC One HD replace the current SD service on channel 101. The process for Freeview users is yet to be outlined. It may trigger a retune to restore BBC One HD. Recordings set for the current national version of BBC One HD will need to be adjusted during roll-out.
2010-2023: the full BBC One HD Regional Roll-out Timeline
Roll-out of BBC One HD in the Nations
3rd November 2010
Launch of BBC One HD For the first two years, there was no regionalisation anywhere in the UK.
24th October 2012
BBC One Northern Ireland HD launches Following the conclusion of the digital switchover in Northern Ireland, the first localised version of BBC One HD hits the airwaves.
14th January 2013
BBC One Scotland HD launches enabling viewers in Scotland to see all their national variations in HD.
29th January 2013
BBC One Wales HD launches. It’s the last expansion of BBC One HD for the best part of a decade.
Online, IPTV, Cable HD roll-out
19th October 2021
Regional rollout of BBC One HD in England begins.
Initially, exclusively on Sky Glass TVs, via Sky’s new IPTV service.
Regional news on BBC One HD is subject to upscaling to HD until all equipment & broadcast chains are upgraded.
26th January 2022
Virgin Media roll-out
Millions of viewers in England gain access to their regional HD service.
Rollout on remaining online/IPTV and cable platforms. The BBC iPlayer will be upgraded to include HD regions.
Terrestrial (Freeview), Satellite (Freesat/Sky)
AIMS TO COMPLETE BY EARLY 2023
Roll-out on satellite (Sky/Freesat) and terrestrial (Freeview). The most technically complex stage, which is why it’s last. Roll-out of BBC One HD regions on satellite requires additional transponder capacity. On Freeview, the current HD network requires reconfiguration into smaller regions. This will ensure the HD regions match the current SD TV regions.
Platform operators stop changes from occurring around major public holidays.
The BBC also avoids making changes that coincide with major events. In 2022, scheduled events include the Winter Olympics, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and Wimbledon. However, uniquely for 2022, the FIFA World Cup takes place, not in the summer, but from 21st November to 18th December. This means the effective deadline for changes to complete in 2022 moves forward by a month to early November.
Updated 02/01/2022 to clarify that regional news on BBC One HD on Sky Glass is subject to being upscaled to HD until equipment and broadcast chains in the regions are upgraded. Updated 25/01/2022 with details of Virgin Media’s roll-out date. Updated 04/04/2022 with details of a delay in timeframes.