High Definition Television, HD or HDTV is a revolutionary technology that displays sharper, higher resolution pictures with up to five times more detail than traditional (standard definition) television systems. HDTV content contains vivid colours and crystal clear surround sound is also included in some HD programmes.
Sky, Virgin, and Freesat all provide HD services through either satellite or cable. In April 2008, UK regulator Ofcom announced plans for up to four high- definition digital TV channels to be delivered via a TV aerial on Freeview.
A new high capacity delivery standard: DVB-T2 was introduced to deliver the Freeview HD service. DVB-T2 is an extension of the existing standard DVB-T that is used to transmit current Freeview broadcasts. A new video compression standard: MPEG-4 AVC was introduced to create sharper and more detailed high definition pictures.
The Freeview HD service was launched on a region by region basis, in parallel with the digital switchover, across the UK. Following completion of switchover in October 2012, Freeview and Freeview HD services are now available to 98.5% of the UK.
BBC HD, BBC One HD, ITV1 HD and C4HD are currently available on the Freeview HD service.
To receive Freeview HD consumers will need to purchase integrated Freeview HD TVs or Freeview HD set-top boxes and recorders to work with their existing HD Ready TV's. When you're buying a Freeview product, look out for the Freeview HD logo. This ensures you're buying a Freeview approved product which means you'll be able to access all the Freeview HD channels as well as the standard 50 Freeview channels.