Page last updated at 06:57 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 07:57 UK

Freeview to launch new HD service

Natural World
Programmes like the BBC's Natural World will be broadcast in HD

Freeview is to launch a new free high definition (HD) TV service later.

BBC, ITV and Channel 4 HD channels will be offered on Freeview HD, as well as up to 50 standard definition channels.

Viewers will need a new set top box connected to an HD Ready TV, or a TV with built-in Freeview HD to receive the service.

The launch comes just before the football World Cup this summer, when both the BBC and ITV will be showing matches in HD on Freeview.

Freeview HD boxes are already available to buy from around £140, while TVs with built in Freeview HD have just been introduced this month. Freeview+ HD recorders will also be available later this Spring.

Viewers will only need to update their equipment if they want to watch the new HD channels on Freeview, otherwise their existing set top boxes will continue to receive all of the current standard definition channels.

Those who currently own an HD Ready TV, or one with built-in Freeview, will not be able to receive the service without a Freeview HD set top box. HD Ready TVs bearing the Freeview HD logo will also have the capability.

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