How to check if you’re losing access to BBC One – it’s very simple

The BBC has started shutting down channels to make way for HD.

That means anyone with an old SD-only satellite set-top box will soon lose all their BBC channels unless they upgrade.

If you see this message on channel 799, you're out of luck


If you see this message on channel 799, you’re out of luckPhoto credit:

Why is the BBC shutting down some channels?

SD stands for “Standard Definition” and has long been the main method of broadcasting channels.

But times have changed and modern televisions are at least HD (High Definition) – many have also already moved to UHD (Ultra High Definition).

You may find that your local news on BBC One isn’t currently available in HD, so you’ll need to switch to the old SD version.

The BBC now plans to default every channel to HD – but the only way to do that is to switch off SD channels.

Pure SD satellite boxes are not equipped to process HD channels, so once the SD channels are turned off, no one with an SD box will be able to see them.

So how do I verify that I have the right set-top box?

If you are unsure if you are affected, there is a dedicated channel you can use to check.

Freesat customers can go to channel 799 on their TV.

If your set-top box is OK, it will display “Good news!” Message.

But if it says “Sorry, your satellite set-top box isn’t capable of receiving HD services” you’ll need to get a replacement to continue receiving BBC channels in the future.

Old Sky SD only sets can check this by going to channel 105.

If you see “Channel 5 HD” everything is fine, but if it’s only “Channel 5” you can only receive SD channels.

When do the BBC channels change?

The switch began this week with BBC One South, BBC One Northern Ireland and BBC Two Northern Ireland.

Regional and national channel variations from BBC One and BBC Two (as well as BBC ALBA and BBC Parliament) are changing from now through February.

All SD versions of BBC channels on satellite, including BBC One, will be phased out in early 2024.

January 23 (Freesat) / January 24 (Sky)

  • BBC One South
  • BBC One Northern Ireland
  • BBC Two Northern Ireland

January 30 (Freesat) / January 31 (Sky)

  • BBC One East
  • BBC One East Midlands

February 6 (Freesat) / February 7 (Sky)

  • BBC One West Midlands
  • BBC One East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
  • BBC One Wales
  • BBC Two Wales

February 13 (Freesat) / February 14 (Sky)

  • BBC Red Button (RB1)
  • BBC One West
  • BBC One South West
  • BBC One Channel Islands
  • BBC One London

February 20 (Freesat) / February 21 (Sky)

  • BBC Parliament
  • BBC One North East and Cumbria
  • BBC One North West
  • BBC One Yorkshire
  • BBC One Scotland
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February 22 (Freesat) / February 23 (Sky)

This message means you are in the clear


This message means you are in the clearPhoto credit:

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