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BBC publishes Freeview HD timetable

London and Manchester top tune-in list

The BBC HD Testcard

London and Manchester will pip Liverpool to the post by becoming Blighty’s first cities able to receive Freeview HD, according to the BBC’s regional rollout timetable for the next-generation digital TV service.

Graham Plumb, Head of Distribution Technology at BBC Operations, told Register Hardware back in June that Liverpool would receive Freeview HD on 2 December 2009.

However, a month-by-month rollout for the service published today by the BBC reveals that Liverpool now won’t receive Freeview HD until March 2010 – the same time as it beams into parts of Lancashire and Staffordshire.

There’s good news in store for Manchester and London, though. The BBC’s Freeview HD roadmap also revealed that both cities will get the service from 2 December 2009.

Fifty per cent of the UK population will be able to receive Freeview HD in time for the World Cup in June 2010, but it will be another three years before all – well, 98.5 per cent – of the UK can receive Freeview HD.

Wales’ Freeview HD rollout will be complete by the end of July 2010, the BBC added, while Scotland will be able to receive the service by Q2 2010.

Telly fans in Northern Ireland, Sussex, Tyneside, North Yorkshire and Kent won’t receive Freeview HD until 2012, the BBC added.

HD TVs that don’t sport a 'Freeview HD' logo won't receive the service, though. Most existing Freeview-ready HD TVs use a DVB-T tuner, but Freeview HD requires sets to have a DVB-T2 tuner. To receive the service you should either buy a Freeview HD set-top box or buy a new telly. Sorry! ®

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