BBC launches free HD broadcasts

MUMBAI: UK pubcaster The BBC will give the UK's first high definition viewers a curtain-raising treat of the whole of Planet Earth part one, followed by classic Dickens drama Bleak House over Whitsun Bank Holiday from 27 to 29 May 2006.

The BBC starts the UK's first free-to-air high definition (HD) consumer broadcasts this week, at the start of a 12 month trial of this new sharper, clearer TV format. Meanwhile research disclosed by the BBC suggests that the majority of people who know about HD expect the BBC to broadcast in HD, and to do so free to air, funded by the licence fee. They also expect high definition broadcasting to be available on all platforms including Freeview.

The BBC's HD stream starts broadcasting tomorrow 11 May with a promotional preview. The broadcasts will initially be available to viewers on satellite who have the right HD equipment. Sky has announced it will start installing HD set top boxes from 22 May. The BBC's HD stream will also be carried in some cable areas in time for the World Cup, following a successful carriage agreement with NTL Telewest.

From 9 June, the BBC's World Cup coverage will be simulcast in HD, as will major Wimbledon matches. From July the stream will show BBC highlights in drama, documentaries, events and music for a few hours each day.

BBC director of television Jana Bennett said, "These are small but exciting first steps in the BBC's ambition to offer the option of high definition to all in the future. It's clear that licence fee payers expect high definition broadcasts from the BBC, the same way they have moved to colour television, widescreen, digital radio and online services with us in the past."

The BBC says that HD provides sharper, clearer pictures and the potential for surround sound. It needs different technology from 'standard definition television' at every link in the chain, from the way programmes are shot and broadcast to the equipment in viewers' homes.

The BBC is conducting an end-to-end trial of HD broadcasting over the next 12 months as a test of the technology and trial of the audience appetite for the format. The findings will inform any ongoing offer. BBC HD broadcasting will start officially at noon on 11 May 2006 when the offer appears for the first time to viewers on the Sky electronic programme guide.

GfK NOP conducted an online survey for the BBC of a representative sample of about 1,500 respondents. They were asked what they knew and thought about high definition television. Seventy three per cent of the sample had heard about high definition television. The figure was much higher for men (83 per cent) than women (62 per cent) and digital homes (77 per cent) rather than analogue homes (62 per cent).

Of those that were aware of high definition:

87 per cent said that they expected the BBC to broadcast in high definition in future;
93 per cent expected those broadcasts to be free to air;
95 per cent expected HD broadcasts to be available on all platforms – satellite, cable and Freeview;
88 per cent disagreed that HD viewers should pay a higher Licence Fee.

Latest Reads
CNNMoney new section will be about the fastest growing economy; MoneyStream app launched

MUMBAI: Attracting 1.8 million average monthly page views, witnessing a 37 per cent growth in video consumption and 16 per cent in unique browsers month-on-month from India in less than a year’s time is not smooth. In its ambitious plan of global expansion, CNN Digital is leaving no stone unturned...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Content a 'Game of Thrones'; AT&T's control over HBO, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros faces regulatory lens

The global media landscape is resulting in a new juggernaut as an internet and cable behemoth yesterday purchased an entertainment conglomerate making the former unmatched in its size and reach to consumers through home broadband, smartphones, satellite television and a battery of movies and cable...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
US$ 4.5 bn expected from IPL rights; SC recommends accounts scrutiny

The Supreme Court on Friday froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex body not to disburse any funds till it resolves to abide by the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations on reforms by 3 December . The top court ordered that none of...

Television TV Channels Sports
TVS Tyres is co-presenter for Asian Champions Trophy 2016

Continuing its strong connect with sports, TVS Tyres has associated with Asian Champions Trophy 2016 by becoming the co-presenter. The Asian Champions Trophy is one of the premier hockey tournaments, a much sought after annual international competition promising some great hockey action. This...

Television TV Channels Sports
Q2-17: Zee Learn declares maiden interim dividend

The board of directors of the Essel group’s education company Zee Learn Limited (ZLL) have declared a first time ever dividend of 5 percent per equity share of Re 1 each for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter).

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Whether BARC action can stop unethical practices?

MUMBAI: Can businesses and industries practise their art of selling fairly although they have 'Fair Practices' training during academic courses, workshops and several ISO and other certifications? There seems to be the fear of the lawman, and not the law in India. If the traffic cop is watching,...

Television TV Channels Viewership
TV Superhighway: beIN, Yaddo, AfricaXP have joined us, says Magine CEO Ambuj Goyal

CANNES; Magine has secured partnerships with four of the industry’s most exciting sports, documentary and entertainment content providers. Partnerships with beIN, the international media group and owner of MIRAMAX; Yaddo, the new documentary streaming service headed up by former head of The BBC’s...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Colors emerges strong on strength of Naagin I & II

MUMBAI: One of the top rated shows Naagin Season 2 helped Colors reach a top-ranking position.

Television TV Channels GECs
Pakistan Broadcasters Association to oppose PEMRA Indian content ban

MUMBAI: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) shocked both Pakistan and Indian broadcasters when it issued an order blanking out  all Indian content from Pakistan’s television channels on 19 October.

Television TV Channels GECs

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories