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Catch the Best Digital TV Deals to Ensure HD is Installed in Time for the Royal Wedding

If you are not one of the 1.5 million spectators expected in London, then watching the event on the TV is the next best thing - and HD will help ensure the experience is as close to being there.

By on April 07, 2011 at 00:00 AM
Digital TV
Catch the Best Digital TV Deals to Ensure HD is Installed in Time for the Royal Wedding

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, 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 it?

The good news is that the Royal Wedding is a "crown jewel" event, so it will be shown on free terrestrial channels (ITV and BBC). 

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 options?

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 choose from:

•    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 area.
•    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 Wedding.
•    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 Wedding.
•    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 Wedding

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 your postcode.

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 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: 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.'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's Ofcom accredited comparison engine online at

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