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Thousands of BBC viewers are warned about HUGE change as channels are moved from tomorrow

The BBC is making a massive change to BBC One HD that will affect thousands of viewers.

Currently terrestrial TV viewers must switch to BBC One to receive the news for their local area, as BBC One HD is not equipped to show it.

But from tomorrow certain regional programs will be broadcast on the channel for those watching with Freeview or YouView in England.

The first six regions to receive this update are London, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire, East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire and the Channel Islands.

All other regions will receive their regional programming on BBC One HD – Channel 101 on April 26.

The update means the BBC can discontinue the ‘red slate’ (pictured), which indicates viewers must switch to the standard definition channel to get their local news

The changes for digital terrestrial television are made automatically during the day for the first six regions, but users may be asked to retune their box.

WHAT CHANGES ARE BEING MADE TO BBC CHANNELS?

BBC One HD will begin showing regional programming, such as the local news, via digital terrestrial television.

Digital terrestrial platforms include Freeview and YouView.

The standard definition version of BBC One, on channel 1, still shows regional programmes.

BBC One HD is on channel 101.

The switch will be made tomorrow for six regions in England and then for the other seven on April 26.

Viewers may need to retune or reset their set-top box if prompted.

The same goes for the other seven regions receiving the update next month; North East & Cumbria, North West, West, South West, South (including Oxford), East (including Cambridge) and the South East.

Standard definition BBC One, on channel 1, will remain available and will continue to show regional programmes.

These include local news broadcasts during BBC Breakfast and at 1.30pm, 6.30pm and 10.30pm on weekdays, as well as similar programs at weekends.

The update means the BBC can scrap the ‘red slate’, which indicates that BBC One HD viewers must switch to the standard definition channel in order to receive their local programmes.

However, regional programs are still not shown to those watching the BBC One HD channel on BBC iPlayer.

Kieran Clifton, Director of the BBC’s Distribution & Business Development Department, says the public service broadcaster is working on this.

It was last November that the BBC first announced the change, before moving regional programming to BBC One HD on satellite platforms, such as Sky and Freesat, in January.

As part of this, the standard definition (SD) version of the channel was removed from the platforms’ respective TV guides.

“This is not a decision taken lightly – indeed it has been one of the main reasons why we have hesitated for so long with our HD rollout plans,” the BBC said in a statement.

From tomorrow certain regional programs will be broadcast on the channel for those watching with Freeview or YouView in England (stock image)

From tomorrow certain regional programs will be broadcast on the channel for those watching with Freeview or YouView in England (stock image)

WHEN WILL MY REGION BE AFFECTED

Tomorrow (March 22)

London

East Midlands

West Midlands

Yorkshire

East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Channel Islands

26 April

Northeast and Cumbria

North West

West

South West

South (including Oxford)

East (including Cambridge)

Southeast

Prior to the switch, BBC One SD was channel 101 on satellite platforms, while BBC One HD was 106.

Channel 101 now carries BBC One HD, showing regional programs such as the local news.

Some satellite boxes are not equipped for high definition channels and currently only offer a standard definition BBC One which does not show regional programming.

But by March 2024, all standard definition BBC channels will be retired for satellite users, so those with an outdated box will have to upgrade to keep watching.

The BBC and Freesat have one special website to support people with only SD satellite boxes moving to a high-definition (HD) device.

Sky also has a list of involved SD-only set-top boxes on its website, including “4F2001 to 4F2006 (Amstrad)” and “0F01 to 0F05 (Panasonic)”.

It also offers affected customers the chance to upgrade to Sky Q at no extra cost.

While BBC 1 SD still tops the TV Guide on Channel 1 for Freeview and YouView, the BBC plans to change this for Freeview Play users.

There will be an update later in the year that will replace the standard definition versions of all BBC channels currently at the top of the channel list with the HD versions.

This only applies to Freeview Play when connected to the internet.