If you have an HD Ready (flatscreen) TV, but have yet to watch
it in High Defintion - up to four times the detail of standard
definition, as well as intense colour and Dolby surround sound -
then the Royal Wedding is a great reason to make the switch! With
reported sales of HD already up this month, time is running out to
ensure HD is installed in time.
Charlie Ponsonby, CEO of Ofcom accredited digital TV comparison
service Simplifydigital.com, said:
"HDTV is the big revolution in TV entertainment in the UK. It
has moved from a niche luxury for the few, to an affordable
mass-market entertainment phenomenon.
"No one wants to miss a minute of such a pivotal event so
everyone is finally taking the plunge and ordering the HD service,
months after they have purchased their HD Ready TVs . "
Who is broadcasting the Royal Wedding in HD and how do I access
The good news is that the Royal Wedding is a "crown jewel"
event, so it will be shown on free terrestrial channels (ITV and
On BBC One, the big day will be in the capable hands of Huw
Edwards, Fiona Bruce and Sophie Raworth. Phillip Schofield and
Julie Etchingham will head up ITV's coverage.
And Sky News will also be getting in on the act, with coverage
from 6am with Dermot Murnaghan and Eamonn Holmes.
So you will not have to subscribe to Sky or Virgin Media to
watch it in HD. However you may want to take the opportunity to
settle on the best HD package for your family, which may well
involve a pay-TV option like Sky or Virgin Media.
What do I need to watch in HD and what are the package
To enjoy HDTV you will need to make sure you have an HD Ready TV
- a receiver that can decode the high definition signal, such as a
Freeview HD box or a Sky+ HD box, and a TV package that includes
high definition programming.
Once you have your HD Ready TV set, there are four HD packages to
• Freeview launched it HD service last year and
is available in 77% of UK homes. Freeview offers BBC, ITV and C4 in
HD (but not Channel 5) so you will get the Royal Wedding in HD for
no monthly subscription, if you are in a Freeview HD coverage
• Freesat like Freeview offers HDTV without a
contract or subscription payment, and offers four HD channels:
BBCHD, BBC One HD, ITVHD and C4HD - so will show the Royal
• Sky offers by far the largest range of HD
programming with their Sky+HD service. This offers over 50
channels broadcast in HD, including premium Sky Sports and Sky
Movies as well as drama and documentaries from among others Sky 1
HD, National Geographic HD, Discovery HD, History HD and Sci-fi HD.
It also includes BBC One HD and ITV HD in order to watch the Royal
• Virgin Media also offers an HDTV
service. This offers 17 HD channels including National
Geographic in HD, FX HD and ESPN HD (which shows 46 live FAPL
games); as well as a library of HD on-demand content. It also
includes BBC One HD and ITV HD in order to watch the Royal
HDTV best buys this Spring
For the budget HD viewer interested specifically in the Royal
Wedding, Freeview HD and Freesat HD are the best alternatives, but
the HD content will feel limited.
As Freeview HD is not available to all UK homes, you will need to
check on the Freeview website first to see if it is available at
However, for anyone who is serious about watching HD, Sky offers
by far the largest selection of HD channels and programming in the
UK, covering the whole spectrum of content - from ITV and BBC HD;
premium sports; to a large range of movies and documentaries.
The Sky+HD box also has all the features of a Sky+ box so that you
can pause and record live TV. In addition Sky recently cut
the price of their HD box and offer it free.
As Charlie Ponsonby, CEO of Simplifydigital.com concluded:
"Sky offers by far the broadest range of HD content, with over
50 HDTV channels to choose from, including premium sports and
movies, to drama and documentaries.
"But the Sky HD experience comes at a price with Sky+HD,
costing £10 per month, on top of your existing Sky
subscription. So for families not looking to pay for TV
content, Freeview or Freesat offers a good no-subscription HD
alternative, though they only offer terrestrial HD channels -
BBCHD, ITVHD and C4 HD."
Virgin Media offers 17 HD channels, including BBC and ITV in HD so
that you can watch the Royal Wedding. It also offers ESPN HD, which
shows live FAPL action in high definition. In addition, they
have a wide variety of on-demand content in high definition.
BT Vision offers a limited range of HD content on-demand and the
Freeview HDTV channels. BT Vision is only available to BT
Broadband customers. So if you are in a postcode that
can receive Freeview HD channels then you will be able to watch the
Royal Wedding in HD as a BT Vision customer.
Notes to editors:
Simplifydigital.com offers a free and impartial "Switching
Support" service for anyone looking to get a digital TV, broadband
or phone package.
Its London-based impartial experts are available for free over
the phone, to answer all those tricky questions and match the
family's needs to the best deal available.
Simplifydigital.com's experts are available for free on 0800 1
388 388 seven days a week (Lines open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm; Saturday
9am-5:30pm; Sunday 10-5:30pm).
You can also use Simplifydigital.com's Ofcom accredited
comparison engine online at www.simplifydigital.com.