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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 May 2006, 04:36 GMT 05:36 UK
HDTV update: ready and waiting
Susannah Streeter reports live from the BBC's News and Sport on Tour in Belfast
Initially, HDTV will only be available on satellite and cable
On Wednesday, Breakfast was at the BBC News and Sport on Tour event in Belfast.

We used the opportunity to tell you about high definition television - HDTV.

HD ready TVs are being sold alongside adverts promoting World Cup matches in the new format.

But following our report, several Breakfast viewers contacted us to say that you were having problems getting hold of the kit in time.

  • Breakfast's Susannah Streeter explained the background to delays with equipment

  • You can watch both reports via the links on the right of this page

    Our report on HDTV was the second part of our series about the changing face of broadcast technology.

    In the first of our series, we looked at digital television, something that will affect us all when programmes are no longer transmitted on analogue.

    On Wednesday we turned our attention to high definition television - or HDTV - and that will dramatically improve the quality of sound and pictures.

    Wednesday on Breakfast:

    Susannah Streeter reported live from Belfast at the first BBC News and Sport on Tour event.

    She took the opportunity to find out about the BBC's new High Definition services, which launch today.

    Simple guide to high definition television

    What is high definition television?

    In simple terms, high definition television signals send out more information to your television set allowing clearer, sharper and more colourful pictures; as well as higher quality sound.

    Known as HDTV, it's basically a new format for broadcasting pictures. While normal TV screens have around half a million pixels, HD sets can have as many as two million - which makes for a much sharper picture.

    Will I need a special television?

    Yes, you will need a television that is described as 'HD ready'

    HD ready logo
    The HD ready logo, shows that new equipment will be compatible

    If you're thinking of buying a new television set, or other equipment, you will need to look out for the logo shown on the right hand side of this page.

    The cheapest HD TVs start at around 500, HD ready televisions will have all the necessary connectors but will need to be linked to compatible equipment such as DVD machines.

    Will everyone be able to receive HDTV pictures?

    No you will need one of the compatible digital 'platforms'; for example digital cable or satellite - so you will need to have an HD set top box.

    At the moment it's not known whether you will be able to receive HDTV via Freeview because there is no room available on Freeview for HD channels, at least until the digital switchover takes place.

    Also, an existing digital Sky box will not be able to receive HD, you should contact your main service provider before investing in a new television as you may have to spend more to upgrade your receiver.

    Will I still be able to see TV pictures in the existing format?

    Yes, you won't be forced to upgrade to HD, and pictures in the existing format should continue for many years.

    For a more comprehensive guide, follow the links to the specialist BBC websites

  • The BBC News Website also has an in-depth section on the News and Sport Tour, but we've provided a summary of dates and locations below

  • News and Sport on Tour dates:

    Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 May
    The Balmoral Show, Belfast. Breakfast's Dermot Murnaghan is planning to visit on 12 May.

    Wednesday 31 May to Thursday 1 June
    The Suffolk show - near Ipswich

    Wednesday 21 to Thursday 22 June
    The Lincolnshire Show

    Wednesday 5 to Saturday 8 July
    Sheffield Children's Festival

    Monday 24 to Thursday 27 July
    Royal Welsh Show. Breakfast's Sian Williams is hoping to visit. We have not finalised a date.

    Saturday 26 to Monday 28 August
    Plymouth Navy Days

    Wednesday - what's it all about?
    Breakfast's Susannah Streeter puts you in the picture

    Thursday - trouble with the kit
    Susannah explained the background to delays with kit

    BBC Breakfast


    Switching to digital
    04 May 06 |  Breakfast
    BBC steps up high definition plan
    09 May 06 |  Entertainment



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