Following the news we brought you that this would be coming soon, the BBC's iPlayer service is now offering programmes in high definition.

In a move that will have the UK's ISPs cowering, the iPlayer will offer high definition streaming as well as downloads of some programmes.

The claim is that the new high def programming is around twice as good as the current image quality and will automatically switch the streaming options to give the best quality image.

As part of the launch, BBC is to release a new version of the BBC iPlayer Desktop, as well as tools that will mean Windows, Mac, and Linux users can all download programmes, including the available HD episodes.

Other new features include the ability to resize the iPlayer's viewing window and a new internet speed diagnostics page.

The HD service is not yet available on other platforms such as Virgin Media, or games consoles, where the iPlayer has been launched but we'll keep you posted.