BBC One’s Full HD Local News Postponed Again

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The long is wait is still not over: Although the full roll-out of regional news in HD, on BBC One HD, was supposed to start this year, the BBC announced today that it will only be ready “by early 2023”.

A small number of people can already get regional BBC One news in High Definition – those with Sky’s streaming TV, Sky Glass, along with Virgin Media customers.

However, despite the BBC’s statements last year, that regional HD roll-out will reach Freeview, Freesat and BBC iPlayer viewers this year – a further delay is now on the cards, following a 12-years wait.

This means those red screens that tell you to switch to the SD channel for your regional news – are here to stay, for now, for most people.

BBC One Regional HD red screen new


BBC One HD launched as a separate channel back in 2010. A few years later, regional programming (which mainly consists of regional news broadcasts) also became available in HD – but only in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The promise of regional HD news for viewers in England has been around for years – but BBC One HD viewers remained stuck with a red warning screen that prompted them to switch to BBC One (SD) to watch their regional news.

Once the regional programmes (such as the evening news) were done, the regular broadcast returned on BBC One HD.

Currently, the BBC airs local news bulletins from several distinct regions – London, South West (Channel Island), East Midlands, West Midlands and more.

According to the BBC, upgrading regional news to HD requires “Significant infrastructure changes”, which is why a phased approach is being implemented, and some TV platforms will now take even longer to get the HD upgrade.

Late last year, with the launch of Sky Glass, which is based on IP-TV and streaming, it already supported regional BBC news in HD. 

Sky Glass TV Guide

Then in January 2022, Virgin Media customers were added to the mix, and can now get Full HD regional news on BBC One as well.

2023 Delay For Regional News

In its annual plan for 2022/2023, the BBC had some bad news for those eager to get their regional news in HD.

Originally, the BBC’s aim was to launch BBC One HD services across England on all platforms “by the end of 2022”.

But in the updated plan, the timeline has changed:

“In regional news, we will ensure all regional variants of BBC One in England are available in HD by early 2023, and continue our work to upgrade our production facilities across our 15 regional bases in England.”

Therefore, viewers on most devices will likely have to wait until some time in 2023. 

There’s also some good news for regional news programmes, however:

“During 2022, we will also begin a programme of investment to refresh the creative look of all our regional news programmes – recognition of the continued role of the 6:30 pm Nations and regions bulletin as the UK’s most-watched news programme”.

Watching BBC on tv

And as stated before, along with the BBC One HD regional news upgrade, the BBC is also adding HD versions to some of their other channels – including BBC Two Northern Ireland, BBC ALBA and BBC Parliament. 

However, while there was no specific mention of these in the new annual plan – there’s a good chance these channels will now have to wait until “early 2023” as well, before they reach every platform.

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15 thoughts on “BBC One’s Full HD Local News Postponed Again”

  1. Its pretty crazy that this can’t be overcome. However its not just the BBC that’s technically inept. Channel 4 news is also not viewable if you miss the narrow viewing window opportunity. I’ve seen the broadcast apology more times than the actual news. Not sure what is worse the 10 sec channel 4 apology or the Red Sea from the BBC – both useless!

  2. Look East news went HD tonight (26/04) and frankly it looked awful, more like a poorly upscaled SD picture. I have video enhancement software which most feature an “edge enhancement” option to make SD material nearer HD quality. It looked like the BBC were using the same software! Did a quick test and the transmitted bit rate was somewhat lower than The One Show that followed. So, after a long long wait, the only plus is not having to change channels.

  3. So BBC News HD (Astra 28.2E 11023 H) shows London local news in HD during BBC Breakfast.

    whilst BBC One London HD (Astra 28.5E 10847 V) shows the Red Screen and advises to switch to BBC One London SD (Astra 28.5E 10773 H) to watch local news reports.

    Come on BBC get your s**t together. And ditch these plans/rumours BBC could go subscription, BBC Drama, BBC W, BBC Yesterday (and subscription BBC Alibi, BBC Eden & BBC Gold) all have advertisements, so go the same way BBC, the streaming services are already noting an alarming churn due to too many streaming services and cost of living crisis, so just take adverts.

  4. There’s been a few tantalising seconds of London News appearing after the national news on Freeview HD this week, only to be whisked away to the red screen of doom. It’s clearly there and available on FreeView. So why deny us?!

  5. I couldn’t care less if the local news is in HD or SD. All I want is BBC One HD to be on position 1 of the sky guide and for the local news to be on there even if it’s just upscaled by the box.

    I’d happily hide all SD channels if possible.

  6. Is this the service that I am forced to pay for despite not wanting to, which every other provider has managed to do years ago? Time to abolish the licence fee and allow people to choose which tv services they wish to purchase.

  7. I can’t understand why the BBC can transmit 4k in preferrance to SD for local news? Come on BBC, why do the majority of us have to watch SD on our 4K TV’s when the competition can?

    • The same way we have to get it in North Yorkshire – turn over to standard definition BBC1 on channel 1 or just listen to the relaxing sound of the sea as I did tonight for 6 minutes and 38 seconds on HD 101. It’s totally ridiculous that we can national news in HD but have to change the channel to watch our local news on the BBC. The other alternative which I have been doing lately is watch local news on ITV in HD. If they can do it why can’t the BBC?

  8. It’s disgusting how it’s 2022 and we still don’t have regional HD content. What have the BBC been wasting all the tax payers money on? Surely that money should be used to upgrade infrastructure and fix any issues that arise. To make matters worse BBC make money from other sources such as uktv and britbox so why are they still being given the TV licence fee if they don’t need it? I feel like the TV licence should be scrapped or a new company created who’s only focus is to keep the equipment up and running and upgrade it, no channels or services just that and it should be fully funded by the TV licence.

    • Transmission in the north east was wiped out by the fire at the north Yorks moors transmitter. The outage went on for months, but the BBC insisted that IPlayer was available, so a very few households were able to get a limited refund of their licence fee. The fee is for TV reception, so even if you watch only non BBC programmes, you still have to have a licence. So, during the outage, nothing was available for the majority. It is a one way street for the Beeb, they take and give your fees to highly paid presenters, and ignore the customer! Time to kill the licence fee!


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