BBC HD is a high-definition television channel provided by the BBC. The service was initially run as a trial from 15 May 2006 until becoming a full service on 1 December 2007. The first HD originated programme to be shown on the channel was Planet Earth, shown on 27 May 2006. The broadcasts are generally six to nine hours per day, and include simulcasts with other BBC channels, such as Michael Palin’s New Europe and Hustle, and replays of HD programmes such as Planet Earth, Bleak House, Torchwood, and Hotel Babylon. Live coverage of events such as The Proms, Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the Eurovision Song Contest, the FIFA World Cup, and the Concert for Diana have already been shown, with the first live event to be broadcast being the opening World Cup game between Germany and Costa Rica on 9 June 2006. When high-definition programmes are not being shown, the channel broadcasts a looped preview containing clips from BBC HD programmes.
When BBC One HD was launched on 3 November 2010, the BBC HD channel became a showcase for BBC HD content.
On 6 October 2011 following the BBC’s Delivering Quality First review, it was proposed that BBC HD will be closed and replaced with a single high definition version of BBC Two in 2012, as part of cost-cutting plans. On 19 February 2013, it was announced that BBC Two HD would replace BBC HD on 26 March 2013.
BBC Two HD, does not yet (2016) offer regional variations, and therefore the channel cannot broadcast during regional programming slots, most noticeably the local news programmes. The BBC Trust admitted that this is due to technical and financial constraints.
BBC Two HD is available on all digital television platforms offering HD channels – Freesat HD, Freeview HD, Sky HD.
Since 29 July 2003, all domestic BBC TV channels are are available for free on satellite, without viewing card or subscription. They are classed as “free to air” channels, and can be received on most digital satellite receivers, including Sky digiboxes and Freesat set top boxes. The channels were transmitted from the Astra 2D satellite with its “spot beam”, aimed at the UK. This tried to limit reception of BBC channels in Europe. To some extent this worked, as some areas of Spain, like the Costa Blanca, had to use large 1.8m satellite dishes, 1.9m satellite dishes, and 2.4m satellite dishes to watch BBC TV channels. Some areas of Spain were more lucky, like the Costa del Sol, where they could use the smaller “125x135cm” ( or a “1.4m” ) satellite dish.
In February 2012, the BBC channels moved from the Astra 2D satellite, to a temporary home on the Astra 1N satellite. The Astra 1N satellite “signal footprint” is more generous to expats in Spain, and so the BBC channels on Astra 1N could be received on a satellite dish as small as 90x100cm, a “1m” satellite dish.
During February 2014, the remaining BBC channels on Astra 1N moved to their new satellite, Astra 2E.
The new Astra 2E, Astra 2F and Astra 2G satellites UK “spot beam” or “narrow beam” signal footprint is different to the previous UK TV satellites UK beam. This has meant that reception of BBC channels on the new Astra 2 satellites will be different to previous reception. In the areas between Valencia and Alicante, our service area, the BBC channels on the new Astra 2 satellites UK beam can still be received on a small satellite dish – as small as a 110x120cm satellite dish with a 125x135cm satellite dish being the recommended size satellite dish.
However, in other areas of Spain, reception of these BBC channels on the new Astra 2 satellites UK beam has become harder. For example, in areas such as Barcelona, Catalonia and Zaragoza, you need at least a 1.8m satellite dish to receive these channels on the Astra 2F UK beam, whereas previously you only needed a smaller 80cm satellite dish. It is a similar story in the south of Spain, in areas like the Costa del Sol, Malaga, Almeria, Seville, Gibraltar and even Portugal, where even the larger 2.4m satellite dishes are struggling to receive these channels on the Astra 2 satellites UK beam.
BBC Two HD on Freesat and Sky
The BBC Two HD region that you are allocated on Freesat channel 102 is determined by the postcode you enter into your Freesat box during the Freesat Installation Wizard.
The BBC Two HD region that you are allocated on Sky channel 102 is determined by the address and postcode of the Sky viewing card that is inserted into the Sky box.
Note that BBC Two HD will appear on Freesat and sky channel 102 for all Freesat HD and Sky HD users. Standard definition BBC Two variations for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be available on Freesat and Sky channel 102, with BBC Two HD on Freesat HD Channel 109, and Sky HD channel 142.
A Sky box with no Sky viewing card inserted will have BBC One London as the default BBC One region on Sky channel 101, and BBC Two England as the default BBC Two region on Sky channel 102.
BBC TV Channels: