As we reported yesterday with Sky's similar announcement, the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be the first ever to be broadcast in high definition.

The BBC HD channel, available on Freesat, the free-to-air satellite TV service, will be extending its regular transmission times to broadcast around 300 hours of HD coverage of the games which will offer viewers picture clarity five times that of standard definition TV.

Emma Scott, MD of Freesat said "The Olympics is the ultimate global sporting event, and viewers will be astounded by the quality of the BBC’s HD footage; every drop of water falling off the oars of a rower to the sand erupting from the long jump pit will be beautifully clear".

In order to view the Olympics in HD on Freesat, viewers will need an HD ready television, as well a Freesat HD digital box.