Freeview: More BBC HD Channels Removed Until Further Notice

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Two HD channels from the BBC, CBeebies HD and BBC Four HD have been taken off Freeview today, and are no longer available on the platform, until the BBC finishes some work that’s needed to bring them back.

The temporary removal of the two channels is part of the major Freeview revamp that’s taking place this week, in which nine channels are being shut down completely (some just on Freeview, and some on other platforms such as Freesat and Sky as well), while others are just changing places.

As we previously reported, the BBC announced that – as part of these changes – BBC News HD is being removed from Freeview for good.

However, BBC Four HD and CBeebies were actually supposed to get increased coverage this week, and become available to wider audiences (even though the linear versions of these same channels are set to shut down in a few years).

But at the last minute, the BBC changed its announcement, which now says that the improved coverage for BBC Four HD and CBeebies will be “coming soon” – and until then, they’re no longer available on Freeview at all (though you can still watch the SD versions of the channels).

Why Is Freeview Changing?

Years ago, each TV channel had to be broadcast on a single frequency. Thanks to digital TV, several channels can now be grouped into a single frequency, and that group is then known as a multiplex.

Several multiplexes (groups of channels) are then broadcast from the transmitter to your home – and your TV / Freeview box knows how to separate the individual channels that are grouped under the same frequency.

This week, a multiplex known as COM7 will be shut down (since EE bought the rights to use its frequency for 5G mobile signals). And since several channels – especially HD channels – used the COM7 Multiplex, those channels had to either find room on one of the other multiplexes or shut down.

Family watching FreeviewPlay new
Photo: Freeview

The BBC had three channels that were carried on COM7: BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD. 

Since there was no room left for BBC News HD (Channel 107) – the BBC decided that BBC News on Freeview will be available only in SD (Standard Definition).

BBC News on TV screen 1200

BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD, however, are set to move to the PSB3 multiplex, which the BBC operates.

But while that was supposed to happen this week, Freeview is saying that the “BBC are making some further changes that will affect BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD”.

According to the BBC, “These changes will be coming soon”, and until then, viewers can watch in standard definition: BBC Four on Freeview Channel 9 (and channel 24 in Scotland) and CBeebies on Freeview Channel 202

Once the BBC is done making the necessary changes, BBC Four HD will be available on Freeview Channel 106, and CBeebies will be available on Freeview Channel 206

For now, you can also continue to watch the HD versions of the channels on BBC iPlayer, which is available on streaming sticks like the Amazon Fire TV, Smart TVs or Freeview Play boxes.

bbc iplayer on TV 800

We reached out to the BBC to ask whether there’s a more accurate time frame for the return of these channels, and were told that there are no further updates yet.

Retune Your Freeview Device

Once BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD return, you will have to retune your Freeview device, again (assuming you also retuned this week for the major Freeview revamp).

Some Freeview boxes – but not all – do this retune automatically, while others require a manual retune.

You can find more information on how to retune your device, on Freeview’s retuning help section.

23 thoughts on “Freeview: More BBC HD Channels Removed Until Further Notice”

  1. Freeview joke for past 24 months constant channel loss ,no data,no signal,retune ,tried everytrick in the book.advise from freeview engineers still piss poor signal and loss of channels.funnny how shopping channels dont get affected at all funny that init.going to scrap my TV licence now and sream from on line or TV box.utter shite freeview and ur just selling frequencies off for 5g foll out also funny as this never happened till 5g came about.

    • I am frustrated but I don’t blame them. They are doing what they can with the constraints handed down to them. I mean, they can’t remove any of the “+1” channels, they can’t abandon of the ancient Mpeg2 standard used for SD broadcasts, and they have to somehow free up frequencies for 5G. Something has to give, and that something is some of the HD channels.

  2. It’s because today’s generation are into all this streaming services they don’t really bother with hd television channels anymore me being one of the older generation still like watching normal freeview and satellite channels.

  3. I am sick of losing the Channels some of us do not have sky or Virginia TV and just have free view I really injoyed watching cos justice which as bin took off not happy at all

  4. BBC Wimbledon,
    Is it time that the Lawn Tennis Association had it’s own TV Channel as the BBC cannot manage it jumping from BBC 1 then 2 then iplayer?

  5. I also Agree that sind of the.+1 channels should rather make way for the channels that have to close but suppose its all business in the end and money.

  6. It would seem to make more sense to me to get rid of the numerous ‘+1’ channels and free up more HD space, I’m really going to miss Quest HD and BBC4 HD (until it’s open ended return).

  7. I fully agree with Martin and Mr Peacock that we have paid a lot of money for an expensive HD and 4K TV and yet get so few channels in HD. What no one else seems to have noticed is that we have also lost Quest HD. Technology seems to be going backwards not moving forwards when it comes to TV picture quality.

    • We only get HD being broadcast on freeview they can’t even be bothered to broadcast in 4K despite the exorbitant licence fee.

      • If Freeview ever tries to broadcast 4K, you will get a maximum of 4 channels in 4K because each DVB-T2 multiplex only fits 4 channels in 4K (at most), and the UK has only one DVB-T2 multiplex available. Oh, and for that, you will have to give up all the HD channels. Basically, one 4K channel takes up twice as much bitrate as an HD channel. BTW the reason there is only one DVB-T2 multiplex available is that the rest of the multiplexes are used to broadcast SD channels in the archaic and inefficient MPEG2 standard (which is broadcast using the equally archaic and inefficient DVB-T modulation).

    • Its all down to money, this government is more concerned with its business friends than anyone who paid £160.00 for a licence. It’s the same with NHS, make it bad enough and we will not want to use it

    • It is all going backward here. I used to live in Spain and soon there is a law that all channels have to be in HD, in the UK they waste space by having +1 channels and cheap channels with low quality broadcast.
      Are we having a reduction on TV licence fees? No
      We need quality…not quantity.

  8. Well I only got 7 HD channels from my transmitter. BBC news and BBC 4 weren’t any of them. So it’s a bonus for me to be able to receive BBC 4. Won’t miss BBC news in HD.

  9. It’s shocking in 2022 that all TV’s are HD some 4k and have Freeview/Play that you have to pay for a TV licence and then they take several HD channels away what the hell are we been made to pay for its now just a TV tax

  10. It’s is time the uk tv Broadcasters Switch off the Standard Defination to switcover to High Defination television, it has been 10 years this year since the Digital tv Switchover from analogue terrestrial tv was completed,

      • The bandwidth required by HD channels is not the problem, the UK’s dependence on MPEG2 and DVB-T for the SD channels is the problem. Getting rid of MPEG2 and DVB-T (and instead broadcasting all SD channels using MPEG4 and DVB-T2, the same formats used for HD) would reduce the space occupied by the SD channels to a third of what is now and hence make space for a lot more HD channels. But then you have to explain to grandmas why her really old non-“Freeview HD” receiver is now useless, so it’s not going to happen. So, I guess we are doomed to watch most channels on low-quality SD forever.


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