It's been a long time coming but millions of UK homes will finally be able to watch their local BBC news channels in glorious High Definition from tomorrow, March 22. Until now, all local programming was only available in fuzzy Standard Definition (SD) which has meant switching over from BBC1 HD to keep up to date with what's going on in the neighbourhood. As most BBC viewers will be aware, once the national news in HD ends an annoying pop-up appears explaining that local shows aren't available in this sharper format.
Luckily, that's all changing with Freeview users now getting access to everything in stunning High Definition.
"We have now completed the roll-out of our BBC One HD regions on satellite platforms, and from tomorrow (Weds), we will start the roll-out for Freeview/YouView viewers in England," the BBC announced in a blog post.
Now, before you get too excited there is a slight catch as the regional HD rollout is happening in stages.
The first batch of areas will be upgraded tomorrow, March 22, with other regions then following on April 26.
"Making BBC One HD available on a regional basis is a major undertaking for BBC teams and our suppliers, so we are going to launch regional versions of BBC One HD in two phases," the corporation confirmed. "This allows us to launch the first set of regions as early as possible while we complete the preparatory work to enable us to launch the second set."
Here is when the channels will change in your area.
HD FROM MARCH 22
• East Midlands - East Midlands Today
• West Midlands - Midlands Today
• East Yorks & Lincs - Look North (East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire)
• London - BBC London
• Channel Islands - Look North (Yorkshire)
• Yorkshire - Look North (Yorkshire)
HD FROM APRIL 26
• North East & Cumbria - Look North (North East & Cumbria)
• North West - North West Tonight
• West - Points West
• South West - Spotlight
• South (incl. Oxford) - Look East
• East (incl. Cambridge) - Look East
• South East - South East Today
The BBC says that if you already have BBC One HD on channel 101, the changes will take place automatically. However, some devices may prompt you to perform a rescan or retune to get the upgrade.
How to retune your device
Retuning is straightforward, and while it may vary slightly depending on which device you have, it usually includes the following steps:
• Press menu on your box or TV remote control
• Select ‘set-up’, ‘installation’, ‘update’ or a similar option. If you’re asked for a password, the default code is ‘1234’ or ‘0000’.
• Select ‘first-time installation’ (sometimes called ‘factory reset’, ‘full retune’ or ‘default settings’).
• Press ‘OK’ if your equipment asks if it's OK to delete existing channels and then your retune should start automatically. If you’re prompted to, save the channels that are found.