Check your TV now! Thousands of BBC viewers are warned about a HUGE change as channels are moved from tomorrow
- BBC 1 HD will start showing regional programming on Freeview or YouView
- Six regions will be given the updated channel tomorrow, including London
- Standard definition BBC 1 will still be available and will still show local news
The BBC is making a huge change to BBC One HD which will affect thousands of its viewers.
Currently, terrestrial TV viewers have to change over to BBC One to catch the news for their local area, as BBC One HD is not equipped to show it.
But from tomorrow, certain regional programming will start being broadcast on the channel for those watching with Freeview or YouView in England.
The first six regions to receive this update will be London, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire, East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire and the Channel Islands.
All other regions are due to receive their regional programming on BBC One HD – channel 101 – on April 26.
The update means that the BBC will be able to retire the ‘red slate’ (pictured) which indicates that viewers need to switch over to the standard definition channel to catch their local news
The changes for digital terrestrial television will happen automatically throughout the day for the first six regions, but users may be prompted to retune their box.
WHAT CHANGES ARE BEING MADE TO BBC CHANNELS?
BBC One HD will start showing regional programming, like the local news, over digital terrestrial television.
Digital terrestrial platforms include Freeview and YouView.
The standard definition version of BBC One, on channel 1, will still show regional programming.
BBC One HD is on channel 101.
The switch will be made for six regions in England tomorrow, and then the other seven on April 26.
Viewers may need to retune or reset their set-top box, if prompted to do so.
The same will apply to the other seven regions due to receive the update next month; North East & Cumbria, North West, West, South West, South (including Oxford), East (including Cambridge) and the South East.
The standard definition BBC One, on channel 1, will still be available and will still show regional programming.
These include local news broadcasts during BBC Breakfast and at 1.30pm, 6.30pm and 10.30pm on weekdays, as well as similar programmes at weekends.
The update means that the BBC will be able to retire the ‘red slate’ which indicates that BBC One HD viewers need to switch over to the standard definition channel to catch their local programmes.
However, regional programming will still not be shown to those watching the channel BBC One HD on BBC iPlayer.
Kieran Clifton, the director of the BBC’s Distribution & Business Development department, has said that the public broadcaster is working towards this.
It was last November that the BBC first announced the change, before it started moving regional programming to BBC One HD on satellite platforms, like Sky and Freesat, in January.
As part of this, the standard definition (SD) version of the channel was deleted from the platforms’ respective TV guides.
‘This is not a decision that’s been taken lightly – indeed, it’s been one of the key reasons why we’ve held back so long in our HD rollout plans,’ the BBC said in a statement.
From tomorrow, certain regional programming will start being broadcast on the channel for those watching with Freeview or YouView in England (stock image)
WHEN WILL MY REGION BE AFFECTED
Tomorrow (March 22)
East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
North East & Cumbria
South (including Oxford)
East (including Cambridge)
Prior to the switch, BBC One SD was channel 101 on satellite platforms, while BBC One HD was 106.
Now, channel 101 gives BBC One HD, which shows regional programmes like the local news.
Some satellite boxes are not equipped for high definition channels, and will currently only provide a standard definition BBC One that does not show regional programming.
But by March 2024, all standard definition BBC channels will have been retired for satellite users, so those with an out-of-date box will have to upgrade to continue watching.
The BBC and Freesat have launched a dedicated website to support people with SD-only satellite boxes to move to a high-definition (HD) device.
Sky also has a list of affected SD-only set-top boxes on its website, including ‘4F2001 to 4F2006 (Amstrad)’ and ‘0F01 to 0F05 (Panasonic)’.
It’s also offering affected customers the chance to upgrade to Sky Q at no extra cost.
While BBC 1 SD will still sit at the top of the TV guide at channel 1 for Freeview and YouView, the BBC plans to change this for Freeview Play users.
Later in the year, there will be an update which replaces the standard definition versions of all the BBC channels, currently at the top of the channel list, with the HD versions.
This will apply only to Freeview Play when it is connected to the internet.
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