We only had to wait 11 years – and now BBC One HD is finally starting to roll out regional news in High Definition across England, instead of those annoying red screens that tell people to switch to the SD channel for their regional news.
Unfortunately, for most, the wait isn’t over – as the rollout will only start with Sky’s newly launched TV, Sky Glass.
In a few months, HD regional news will start to appear on BBC iPlayer – but Freeview and Freesat viewers will have to wait even longer.
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.
Talk of adding regional HD news to England has been heard 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.
Only when 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.
Today, the BBC finally announced that regional HD programmes on BBC One will begin to roll out – starting today.
According to the BBC, this upgrade requires “Significant infrastructure changes”, which is why a phased approach is being implemented, and some TV platforms will take longer to get the HD upgrade.
Internet-connected TV platforms will be the first to get the new BBC One HD Regional programmes – which is a fancy way to say “Sky Glass” – Sky’s brand new internet-connected streaming TV.
Since Freeview channels – including the BBC – on Sky Glass are streamed via the internet, and not via an aerial – it’s easier for the BBC to implement the new HD changes, so Sky Glass customers will get the new HD broadcasts starting today.
Of course, BBC iPlayer, on all streaming devices and platforms, is also based on streaming via the internet – but the BBC says it will take a few more months for the regional HD broadcasts to be rolled into iPlayer.
The rollout will continue throughout next year, “with the aim of launching BBC One HD services across England on all platforms by the end of 2022.”
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 to all the platforms.