Viewers retuning find on-screen messages advising them to switch to the standard definition versions of BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD.
It affects Freeview and YouView viewers who previously watched BBC Four HD on channel 106 and CBeebies HD on channel 205. They will find both channels are not available.
The BBC confirmed at the beginning of the month that both HD channels would continue broadcasting on Freeview beyond the end of June. Both BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD faced the loss of their Freeview slots due to the closure of the COM7 multiplex to may way for 5G services.
At the time, the BBC explained that provision had been made for BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD to move into available capacity that has been newly identified on the PSB3 multiplex, which the BBC operates.
Freeview then confirmed that on 29th June, both channels would require a retune.
The BBC has now amended the wording of its announcement. It now says these changes are “coming soon”, without committing to a date. It has not explained why there has been a delay. An off-EPG test transmission of BBC Four HD on the new capacity was observed earlier this month in the London region. Since then, no further tests have been observed.
What does this mean for me?
For the time being, both BBC Four and CBeebies will be unavailable in HD on Freeview or YouView.
Since this article was first published, Freeview has issued a statement saying:
“[The] BBC are making some further changes that will affect BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD. Programming on the new channel numbers won’t be available till the changes are complete and both channels will return soon.”
Standard definition options
- BBC Four is available on Freeview channel 9, except in Scotland where it can be found on channel 24.
- CBeebies is available on Freeview channel 202.
iPlayer HD streams
- Both channels can be streamed in high quality through the BBC iPlayer.
- All recordings for CBeebies HD/BBC Four HD will need to be re-programmed for the standard definition version until the HD channels return.
Temporary workaround valid for Wednesday 29th June
- After retuning, viewers should find CBeebies HD still working on channel 791 until the end of programmes on Wednesday 29th June. BBC Four HD will appear on 790.
- From 11am on 30th June, this workaround will no longer work.
Viewers who couldn’t previously get BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD
The changes do mean both channels will be more widely available. Both channels will ultimately be available on relay transmitters, boosting coverage to around 98.5% of UK households.
Until then, some viewers will find the placeholders for BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD for the first time in their channel list.
BBC News HD
As previously confirmed, BBC News HD closes on Freeview on Thursday 30th June. BBC News continues to be available in standard definition on channel 231. Smart TV users can access a high quality feed through the iPlayer. Alternatively, BBC News HD continues on Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media.
Following the closure of COM7, there is no additional capacity for further HD channels.
Aidan Smith, editor, RXTV
Updated 29/06/2022 19:21