BBC HD is a high-definition television network provided by the BBC. The service was initially run as a trial from 15 May 2006 until becoming a full service on 1 December 2007. The first HD originated programme to be shown on the channel was Planet Earth, shown on 27 May 2006.
The broadcasts are generally six to nine hours per day, and include simulcasts with other BBC channels, such as Top Gear, Doctor Who, Michael Palin's New Europe and Hustle, and replays of HD programmes such as Planet Earth, Bleak House, Torchwood, and Hotel Babylon. Live coverage of events such as The Proms, Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the Eurovision Song Contest, the FIFA World Cup, and the Concert for Diana have already been shown, with the first live event to be broadcast being the opening World Cup game between Germany and Costa Rica on 9 June 2006.
When high-definition programmes are not being shown, the channel broadcasts a looped preview containing clips from BBC HD programmes.
Initially the trial lasted 12 months, after which the BBC Trust agreed to a Public Value Test (PVT) which began on 21 May 2007 and the BBC extended its own HD trial, which was to end in June, until the end of the PVT process. It was announced on 19 November 2007 by the BBC Trust that following the PVT they had approved the BBC Executive's high definition television proposals to allow the launch of UK's first free-to-air, mixed-genre public service HD channel.
On 13 July 2011, it was announced that head of HD and 3D; Danielle Nagler would leave the BBC in September. BBC HD continued, although Broadcast claimed that it would provide a service which would be closer (but not entirely) a simulcast of BBC Two. It was later revealed, however, that reports of BBC Two HD were incorrect. On 6 October 2011 following the BBC's Delivering Quality First review, it was proposed that BBC HD will be closed and replaced with a single high definition version of BBC Two, as part of cost-cutting plans. The proposal was approved in May 2012, with BBC Two HD scheduled to launch during 2013.
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“To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.”
—Anonymous. quoted in Quote Unquote, Feb. 22, 1982, BBC Radio 4.