Freeview and YouView to receive up to 10 new HD TV channels

Households with Freeview HD or a YouView set-top box will soon receive as many as 10 extra high-definition channels, including new HD versions of CBeebies and BBC Three.

Freeview homes will soon be able to enjoy more TV channels in high-definition (HD).

From early next year, up to 10 extra HD channels will be available to households with Freeview HD or a YouView set-top box. These will include high-definition versions of five existing BBC channels: BBC News, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC.

It's all thanks to Ofcom, the UK's communications regulator, which has authorised the use of airwaves freed up by the recent digital switchover, when the analogue TV signal was turned off for good.

Currently, around half of UK homes are HD TV-enabled and it's expected 90% will have access to HD TV by 2019.

The BBC's director general, Tony Hall, said: "These new channels will allow us to showcase more of our programming at its very best.

"BBC One HD and BBC Two HD have already proved to be highly valued by our audiences and I'm delighted that we're able to follow this with the launch of five new subscription-free BBC HD channels by early 2014."

Charles Constable, from Arqiva, the media services company that will provide the necessary TV infrastructure, added: "This represents a significant investment by Arqiva in the long-term future of digital terrestrial TV.

"It will enable us to add a much broader range of HD services to Freeview, helping it remain the UK's most popular way to watch television."

At present, Freeview has just four HD channels - BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV HD and Channel 4 HD - available to households with an HD TV with either a built-in Freeview receiver or a Freeview HD box connected to it.

YouView, which will also receive the new HD channels, was launched just over a year ago and offers all the Freeview channels, as well as catch-up TV and on-demand services, including BBC iPlayer and 4oD, when hooked up to a broadband connection.

Both Freeview and YouView set-top boxes are available from electronics retailers such as Amazon, Argos and John Lewis. YouView is also available as part of a TV and broadband bundle from either TalkTalk or BT.

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