Millions of viewers in England will be able to access a fully regionalised BBC One HD from Wednesday, as the roll-out of regional HD services reaches a major milestone.
Regional BBC One HD services will launch on Virgin Media channel 101, replacing the previous SD version of the channel. This means viewers will no longer have to change channels for their regional news.
The BBC is currently rolling out BBC One HD regions to IPTV and cable platforms first. Sky’s new IPTV service, available through a Sky Glass TV was the first to get the regional service back in October. But this is the first time one of the main platforms can offer regional BBC One HD.
The BBC aims to upgrade the HD service on other TV platforms, including Sky satellite and Freeview, by the end of the year, according to BBC Distribution Director Kieran Clifton.
SEE ALSO | BBC One HD: regional roll-out timeline
Not all regional output will be automatically available in high definition, though. Where regional infrastructure isn’t fully converted to HD, BBC One HD viewers on Virgin Media will see their regional news upscaled to HD.
Virgin 360 customers will need to reset series links currently set to BBC One SD.
As the BBC no longer requires a second slot for BBC One in England, Virgin Media channel 108 will be vacated. This will allow other BBC Four to shuffle down to make way for BBC Three’s return.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the relevant version of BBC One is already in HD. Meanwhile, in the Republic of Ireland, Virgin Media already carries BBC One Northern Ireland HD.
Virgin TV provides HD by default on a growing number of channels; all receivers offered by Virgin support HD.