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TV & Radio

Cbeebies sharpen up! BBC to launch five further HD channels


The BBC is to launch five further HD channels today to accompany its digital stations next year.

The services will bring higher quality pictures for BBC News, BBC3, BBC4, Cbeebies and CBBC, adding around 250 hours of HD shows each week.

The announcement comes as Ofcom today said it would use spare capacity to create 10 HD channels for digital terrestrial viewers who use Freeview.

Most of the HD programmes from the new channels will also be available on the BBC's on-demand iPlayer service.

The BBC said more than half of UK homes are able to receive HD pictures, and this is expected to rise to 80 per cent by 2016.

Director-general Tony Hall said: "BBC1 HD and BBC2 HD have already proved to be highly valued by our audiences and I'm delighted that we're able to follow this with the launch of five new subscription-free BBC HD channels by early 2014.

"These new channels will allow us to showcase more of our programming at its very best."

In addition to the five new services, the corporation hopes to launch regional variations of BBC1 in HD for England and BBC2 versions for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.