Europe: BBC Trust Formally OKs HD Services

Following a formal period in which the British public was invited to add their two pence’s worth on whether the BBC should launch HD services (to be made available on free terrestrial and satellite channels, among others), the BBC Trust this week formally approved the measure.

The HD initiative was strongly pushed by the BBC itself, although the trust decided delayed its debut on the free over-air channel, Freeview.

Concluding that an HD service was “essential” for British telly viewers and therefore should be made universally available, the trust gave the go-ahead for the HD channel to begin carriage “as soon as possible” on cable and on Freesat, the BBC’s free DBS outlet, according to BBC News.

Meanwhile, pending plans for the Freeview terrestrial service were delayed in order to iron out some confusing technical hurdles that would have required British homes and offices to purchase two different set-top boxes for reception.

Based on early comments from viewers on the HD proposals that were received by the BBC Trust, the group had given its provisional approval in late September.