|Launched||9 June 2006 (trial service)
7 June 2008 (full service)
|Owned by||ITV Digital Channels Ltd
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Audience share||2.46% (September 2015BARB),|
|Broadcast area||ITV plc owned regions
(except Channel Islands)
|Formerly called||ITV1 HD (2009–2013)|
ITV Encore HD
|Astra 2F||11097 V 23000 2/3|
|Virgin Media||Channel 113|
ITV HD is a British free-to-air high-definition television channel operated by ITV plc, the company which is contracted to provide 11 ITV services across the UK. ITV HD is available to view in England, Wales and the Scottish Borders on Freesat via channel 119, Freeview channel 103, Sky channel 178, Virgin Media channel 113 and in Switzerland on SwisscomTV.
From 2 April 2010, ITV1 HD became a standard channel available on all digital platforms.
The channel was available to subscribers of the Telewest TV Drive cable service and was also broadcast as a low-power digital terrestrial (DVB-T) channel from London's Crystal Palace Transmitter as part of a terrestrial HDTV trial involving 450 homes. ITV HD did not broadcast on satellite television, unlike BBC HD. It was available on Telewest channel 118 and Freeview channel 503 in homes which were involved in the HD trial.
In addition to the World Cup games, ITV HD showed classic films remastered in HD (such as All Quiet on the Western Front and The Big Sleep), documentaries (such as Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Adventures) and dramas such as Poirot.
The original ITV HD stopped broadcasting on 30 November 2006.
High definition broadcasts from ITV plc launched exclusively on Freesat, the new digital satellite service from the BBC and ITV on 7 June 2008, just in time for the start of UEFA Euro 2008. ITV plc planned to spend £10m during 2008 on the launch of ITV HD.
Freeview and 2009 rebrand
ITV1 HD aimed to include 35% 'native HD' content at the start of 2010, rising to at least 60% at the start of 2012 and at least 70% at the start of 2014. In the early years, the service will focus on sport and drama content, over time it is expected that the majority of other genres to convert to native HD.
ITV1 HD operated from 18:00 to 23:00 seven days a week. From August 2009, ITV began testing a HD simulcast of ITV Granada on satellite, before later switching to ITV London. On 26 November 2009, the ITV1 HD logo appeared as a digital on-screen graphic during programming and the off air station identification.
2010 launch as a standard channel
On 12 March 2010, it was announced that ITV1 HD would become a standard channel on 2 April 2010, simulcasting the main ITV1 channel, and launching on Sky and Virgin Media, as well as switching from a red button interactive service to a full-time channel on Freesat. It continues to only be available in ITV plc owned ITV franchise areas, covering England, Wales and the Scottish Borders area, though red button access on ITV1 London (Freesat channel 977) remains in place. The launch coincided with the closure of Men & Motors. During March 2010, Ofcom issued broadcast licenses for six regional variations of ITV1 HD, with Central, Granada/Border and Meridian/Anglia regions joining London/LWT in June 2010. Some variations had only available on a free-to-view basis on satellite, Freesat viewers in those regions are instead given either the Granada/Border or London/LWT variation. However, Meridian became free-to-air in September 2012 with Central following in October 2012. On 14 January 2013, ITV1 HD received a new logo and went back to its former name, "ITV HD", as part of a rebranding of ITV's television channels and online services. On 25 August 2015, ITV Cymru Wales became available on HD.
ITV1 HD's first HD drama broadcast of Harley Street reportedly suffered technical problems including picture and sound quality and failing to revert to the normal ITV1 broadcast after the programme had finished. Also, several Digital Spy forum members reported that they could not access HD content via the red button due to the ITV1 HD service "only being available through the London region".
2010 World Cup
On 12 June 2010, ITV1 HD cut off England's first 2010 FIFA World Cup game inadvertently into an advert break for 25 seconds, as a result, missing their first World Cup 2010 goal. This interruption also caused the remaining transmission to be in standard-definition. The standard definition ITV1 broadcasts did not miss the goal, scored by Steven Gerrard. The broadcaster confirmed on 15 June that it had received around 5,000 complaints about the incident. ITV has already said it was not to blame for the problem, which was pinned on human error at Technicolor, the firm which provides transmission. On 23 August 2010, Ofcom cleared ITV over the "unfortunate error", despite receiving 823 complaints. After reviewing the situation, Ofcom acknowledged the frustration of ITV1 HD viewers at the transmission break, but decided that ITV's actions to resolve the situation had been sufficient.
The X Factor
On 12 November 2011, a power failure at the BT Tower resulted in the loss of ITV1 HD, the channel froze during Harry Hill's TV Burp and continued throughout The X Factor live show. ITV1 in standard definition was unable to show live footage and instead aired re-runs of the contents auditions until the problem was fixed 15 minutes later. Although the standard definition channel began to work after 15 minutes, ITV1 HD Granada was still frozen although ITV1 HD London seemed to work.
On 25 April 2012, a technical fault during extra-time in the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich resulted in the Meridian and London versions of the channel cutting to Mark Austin preparing to read the 10 pm news bulletin.
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- "ITV strike again! Another gaffe as viewers left watching news not extra time in Madrid". Daily Mail. 26 April 2012.
- "ITV HD cuts from Champion's League football to newsreader fiddling with buttons". The Daily Telegraph. 26 April 2012.