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Europe: Free BBC HD Channel is Up

BBC HD, the first free-to-air HD channel from the BBC in the United Kingdom, was launched on Dec. 1—but ironically it’s only available for now on the pay platforms of cable and DBS.

The BBC Trust had decided to hold back on ramping up the free outlet terrestrially until a few bugs can be worked out that, among other things, would have required BBC viewers purchasing two set-top boxes in order to view the over-the-air channel known as Freeview (HD Notebook, Nov. 21, 2007).

BBC HD will offer programming in coming weeks that is both in the spirit of the holidays (and very much not), with such movie fare as “Kill Bill” and “Sin City,” along with “The Tales Of Beatrix Potter With The Royal Ballet,” “Lessons And Carols From King’s College Cambridge”—and for the first time, “The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast.”

BBC HD is now available in the United Kingdom on Channel 143 (Sky DBS) and Channel 108 (Virgin Media cable).