The BBC has announced today that it will broadcast its 2006 World Cup coverage and major Wimbledon matches in high definition this summer.
The BBC HD trial will kick off with the BBC's share of World Cup matches up to and including the Friday 9 July final. World Cup 2006 will be the first major sporting event to be broadcast in HD in the UK.
It will only be accessible to viewers who have all of the following: HD Ready televisions, HD set top boxes and HD services from satellite or cable providers.
The BBC's HD trial will last for about 12 months. It will enable the BBC to test technical delivery of HD and to understand how the audience values a BBC HD service. Any ongoing BBC HD service will be subject to approval by the BBC Trust.
BBC HD will start broadcasting on Monday 15 May with a test stream previewing forthcoming programmes. The first live HD programme will be the opening World Cup match Germany Vs Costa Rica on Friday 9 June.
BBC commentary and studio coverage in HD will wrap up the HD feed from German host broadcasters Premiere. Standard definition digital and analogue BBC ONE coverage will also draw on high definition images, both for the World Cup and for Wimbledon where the BBC is the host broadcaster.
The BBC HD trial will run for about 12 months. It will feature natural history series Planet Earth and Galapagos, drama documentary Hannibal and some Proms concerts including the First and Last Nights, in HD quality.
The BBC said it will provide its HD trial stream on all technically capable platforms, including satellite and cable, once available, from commercial providers.
The BBC also said that will run a simultaneous technical trial of HD on digital terrestrial television (Freeview). That trial will be confined to few hundred trial households in London, which will be chosen shortly.