HD Regional Channels Are Becoming Easier To Watch
| Reuben Howe
HD Television has become a go-to for many of our community, with DVB-T2 signals accessible on our Set Top Boxes and USB TV Tuners.
This year, throughout 2023, channels will be converted to their HD counterparts on their original channel number.
What this means is that instead of a Red Button prompt or entirely different channel number to access HD, HD will become the new default stationed on the usual channel.
Learn everything about the change and what it means for your devices below...
What Are HD Channels?
For the unaccustomed - HD Channels are the same content and TV as you'd see on, say BBC1, but broadcast in High Definition (HD). When BBC1 on Channel 001 is broadcast, BBC1HD on Channel 101 is simultaneously showing the same show but with much more visual and audio fidelity.
HD is possible thanks to the creation of "HD-Ready" video signals. Nowadays most monitors, TV's, Consoles, Set Top Boxes and more are all HD-Ready, but originally it was a term that showed the device could display in a 720p Resolution.
Screen resolution is the main factor, with a resolution of 720p being the first "HD" resolution. The "Full HD" resolution is 1920 x 1080 (1080p) and is the most commonly referred to in modern parlance.
Of course, most recently we have seen "4K" as the latest in display resolutions, but as of yet even Freeview HD channels are only upscaled to 4K rather than broadcast native. This means that while TV will look great on a 4K TV, it will look just as good on a HD TV of a smaller size.
The HD Channel variant of BBC1 uses this extra resolution and provides more data in that channel than the standard one.
What Channels Are Changing?
While the conversion is ongoing, many channels have already changed without you noticing!
The change isn't going to block anyone from content, as even SD boxes can show the new combined channel, it just won't have the full HD resolution of the original broadcast when it hits your screen.
How To Access Regional Channels in HD
Now that this change has swept across the UK, you can access regional channels in two ways.
- If you already have a HD system you can re-tune your Set Top or TV and enjoy seamless local regional TV in HD without the Red Button diversion!
- If you have an SD system you may still need to re-tune, but your process for watching regional channel variants will stay the same.
- If you upgrade to a HD system from any point now, you'll have easy access to this update instantly without needing to do anything.
What Region Am I In?
If you're unsure what region you are in for your local channel variants including access to regional HD, you have a few options.
Firstly, you can reset or re-scan with your Set-Top-Box, inbuilt Tuner or other DTT Tuning device. This will scan for channel signals and, as a result, automatically detect your closest and most powerful source of signal.
If you are in an area covered by a regional signal, you will be able to receive it!
Alternatively, if you wanted to check beforehand or at a different address to where you are currently, you can use the online Official Channel Checker or the Freeview App to search a postcode. This will predict the available signals to that postcode.
Enjoy Freeview and Freeview HD Easily
Our range of Set-Top-Box, USB TV Sticks and Portable TV's with inbuilt Tuners all offer the complete Freeview experience in all regions, bringing live entertainment and news to millions.