Some viewers will need to wait a little longer before the BBC’s HD satellite upgrade reaches their region.
The BBC is half-way through upgrading their TV channels to HD on satellite. It’s already seen viewers in areas including the Midlands, East and Southern England seeing their local BBC One HD appear on Sky and Freesat channel 101. Gaelic channel BBC Alba is now also broadcasting in HD on satellite for the first time.
Viewers in London, West and South West England, plus the Channel Islands are next on the list of regions to be upgraded.
But the BBC HD Satellite Upgrade website confirms a delay. It is now advising viewers will need to wait until Wednesday 15th February before all satellite viewers in these regions are upgraded, 24 hours later than previously billed. Sky has yet to confirm this revised date.
- Earlier this week, the BBC had completed the clearance of standard definition channels and radio stations on transponder 46 of the Astra 2E satellite (10788V), creating space for the new HD regions.
- The transponder was reconfigured for HD on Thursday morning. Tests for BBC One West HD, BBC One South West HD and BBC One Channel Islands HD commenced within hours.
- But the tests came off air by Thursday evening, indicating there would be a delay in the previously published BBC HD upgrade schedule. The transponder reverted back to its former broadcast parameters, carrying no services.
- Revised dates were published today (Friday).
- Currently, rollout of the next set of BBC HD regions to all satellite viewers is pushed back by 24 hours.
- Previously, rollout of BBC One East HD and BBC One East Midlands HD had been delayed on Sky by 24 hours, but pre-launch tests and Freesat launch dates were unaffected.
- Tests for the new HD services are currently not broadcasting on satellite. They will appear on Astra 2E, 10788V Symbol Rate 23000, FEC 3/4 when transmissions return.
- BBC One London HD is due to launch on satellite using the space currently used for BBC Scotland HD. The Scottish channel will change frequency for the second time in the upgrade project. Sky satellite and Freesat receivers should automatically update next week.
- At the same time, the BBC’s Red Button channel, BBC RB1, is also due to switch to HD.
- Satellite viewers in northern England (except East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire) as well as viewers in Kent and East Sussex are due to be upgraded week commencing 20th February.
The current BBC HD upgrade project has already seen numerous channels switch transponders or launch in record time. Normally, services being added to Sky’s UK and ROI satellite platform undergo a multi-week period of testing. The BBC has been adding new services to satellite and launching them on the Sky channel list within five days. The BBC already delivers its channels to Sky in HD for its streaming service. As a result, Sky Glass and Sky Stream users are unaffected by the ongoing changes on satellite.
BBC One HD on Freeview (TV via an aerial) is due to be regionalised by the end of April 2023.