More HD Christmas Cheer


Freeview UHF viewers can watch Prime TV in HD.

The upgrade happened overnight and coincides with Prime’s owner, Sky, today relaunching BBC UKTV and BBC Earth in HD.

The BBC channels are quasi HD (1440 x 1080i) but Prime offers 1920 x 1080i resolution (the not-so-good news is audio appears to be stereo only).

The changeover’s just in time for Prime’s stripping of the year’s most compelling drama series, Chernobyl, which will air 8.30 Sunday-Thursday.

Inexplicably, neither Sky nor Freeview has issued press releases about the long-overdue Prime upgrade, which viewers have been impatient for since Prime went HD on the Sky platform years ago.

The best updates have been on the Geekzone Freeview forum while regular contributor Leo reports Prime will start streaming on Freeview from Friday:

More great news with Prime finally joining Freeview LIVE streaming this Friday. It’s been a long time coming but finally Prime is joining the 21st century. [Other contributors please note the comments section should be up and running again within the next day or so.]

Meanwhile, here are some of the premieres you can expect to see in HD on the BBC channels over the next few weeks:

The Planets (BBC Earth, 7.45 Sundays from December 8): This stunningly ambitious series brings to life the most memorable events in the history of the solar system, by using groundbreaking visual effects to tell the thrilling story of all eight planets. Transporting you to the surface of these dynamic worlds, it pieces together clues of magnificent lost waterfalls on Mars, the mass planetary migrations as they jostled for position in their history, and even the distant fate of Saturn as one of its moons awakens to form a beautiful water world. Narrated by Brian Cox (Human Universe, Wonders of the Universe, Wonders of the Solar System).

Hold the Sunset – Christmas Special (BBC UKTV, 9.30 Christmas Eve): Edith plans one last Christmas with the family before she and Phil embark on their sunset idyll, and Phil’s anxiety about not selling his house leads him to a spooky encounter. Starring John Cleese (Fawlty Towers), Alison Steadman (Gavin and Stacey) and Jason Watkins (The Crown).

Hold the Sunset (BBC UKTV, 9.30 Tuesdays from January 7): In season two, Edith and Phil are still determined to escape to the Mediterranean sun. But life conspires, and the dream seems to be drifting further away. Roger, always broke, hits on the idea of running Edith’s spare bedroom as a bed and breakfast – a plan he hasn’t quite got around to sharing with his mother. And when his first guests arrive just as Joan – Edith’s difficult sister – comes to stay, chaos in the house reaches its peak.

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2019 (BBC UKTV, 8.30 New Year’s Eve): The 2019 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo features colourful talent from around the world on the magnificent esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, including from NZ the Lochiel Marching Drill Team and the New Zealand Army Band.

24 Hours in A&E (BBC Earth, 8.30 Tuesdays from January 7): The Royal Television Society award-winning documentary series returns for its 14th season, following patients treated in the same 24-hour period at St George’s in south west London. The hospital has one of the busiest A&E departments in Britain – under more pressure than ever. It’s a place where stories of life, love and loss unfold every day.

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