It’s taken nearly 13 years to fully regionalise BBC One HD on all platforms, with proposals to launch regional BBC One HD services pushed back time and time again.
On the week that rollout completed on satellite, and weeks before changes reach Freeview viewers, RXTV looks back at some of the key milestones:
3rd November 2010
24th October 2012
First localised version of BBC One HD
As digital switchover completed in Northern Ireland, BBC One Northern Ireland HD was born.
BBC One HD for Scotland and Wales
On 14th January 2013, BBC One Scotland HD launched. Then on 29th January, BBC One Wales HD went live.
18th November 2013
BBC One Northern Ireland HD arrives on Sky channel 101
For the first time, the old standard definition version is swapped out.
Former BBC Distribution boss Alix Pryde (pictured) spoke of putting “the ‘best’ version of a channel first in the EPG, where the ‘best’ version has the right availability of nations or regional content, followed by the highest picture quality.”
14th May 2015
BBC Executive approves plans to regionalise BBC One HD
New BBC Distribution boss Kieran Clifton confirms that the BBC Executive and BBC Trust have agreed that the introduction of BBC One English regional versions and BBC Two national versions in HD will become part of the BBC’s distribution plans for the next BBC Charter period, which started in 2017.
The announcement raised hopes the new HD services would be live within 24 months of the start of the new charter.
16th October 2018
BBC One HD plans on hold
Kieran Clifton posts a further update confirming the BBC is “not in a position at this point to provide all of our regional feeds in HD, owing to lack of broadcast capacity and native HD broadcasting capability across the majority of the English regions”.
18th March 2021
18th October 2021
Regionalised BBC One in HD on Sky Glass
For the first time ever, BBC One HD is regionalised as Sky Glass goes on sale in the UK. But with many regions still needing to receive an HD upgrade to their equipment, regional news is upscaled to HD where native HD isn’t available.
25th January 2022
Regional BBC One HD service arrives on Virgin Media UK
The cable TV platform becomes the second to offer viewers their local BBC One in HD and other BBC channels in HD by default. Later in 2022, the VM Stream internet TV service launches with all BBC channels in HD by default.
30th March 2022
26th August 2022
23rd November 2022
BBC confirms final roll-out and closure of SD channels
The BBC confirms Sky and Freesat viewers will be able to watch all BBC channels in HD by the end of March 2023. Freeview will be upgraded by April.
Meanwhile, the BBC also confirmed it would be closing its standard definition service by early 2024.
7th December 2022
First BBC One HD English region starts testing
BBC One South HD begins test transmissions on Astra ahead of its official arrival on Sky and Freesat.
24th January 2023
BBC One South HD goes live, Northern Ireland is HD only on satellite
BBC One South HD goes live on Sky and Freesat. At the same time, BBC One Northern Ireland and BBC Two Northern Ireland go HD only on satellite.
In the following four weeks, all remaining BBC One HD regions will go live.
21st February 2023
BBC One South East HD becomes final HD regions to launch on satellite
BBC One South East takes over the satellite feed previously used to broadcast the England-wide version of BBC One HD.
22nd March 2023
Freeview: part 1
The first five English regions, plus Channel Islands to get regional BBC One HD.
The first five:
East Midlands, West Midlands
Yorkshire, E Yorks & Lincs
26th April 2023
Freeview: part 2
Remaining parts of England, plus the Isle of Man to get regional BBC One HD:
NE & Cumbria, North West,
South, South East, East, South West and West.
This date is tentative and may yet change.
BBC closes standard definition channels on satellite
The end of the road for older satellite receivers as part of a wider industry move to retire standard definition broadcasts.
Updated and republished on 21st March 2023 following confirmation of the final Freeview HD rollout dates