With the limited coverage temporary Freeview (terrestrial TV) multiplex COM7 closing at the end of this month (June 2022), the BBC has now confirmed its plans for its high definition (HD) channels on the multiplex.
BBC Four HD, BBC News HD, and CBeebies HD are currently distributed on the COM7 multiplex. As yet, no dates have been given, but two of these will migrate to another multiplex.
The BBC have two multiplexes of their own, know as BBC A and BBC B (or PSB1 and PSB3). BBC A is used to transmit all of the BBCs standard definition channels, alongside national and local/regional BBC radio channels. The BBC are currently prohibited from renting out spare capacity to other broadcasters.
BBC B can be opened up to other broadcasters, and the BBC currently uses this multiplex to broadcast core HD services from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, as well as broadcasting one or two standard definition channels.
The BBC have managed to find enough capacity on the BBC B multiplex for one full 24 hour HD video stream. CBeebies HD and BBC Four HD time share, with the former being available during the day, and the latter taking over in the evenings at 7pm. With these two channels sharing the same video stream, both can be accommodated on the new space found on the BBC B multiplex.
At the time of writing, some details are limited, but what can be confirmed is that CBeebies HD and BBC Four HD will now have a wider coverage area, with the BBC B multiplex being available from all main and relay Freeview transmitters. Theoretically, anyone with compatible HD equipment (eg. Freeview Play, Freeview HD, or DVB-T2 marked devices), will be able to access the two channels once the migration takes place.
BBC News HD will close on Freeview, presumably at the same time as the final closure of the COM7 multiplex, but will continue to broadcast on other platforms such as satellite. The other assumption at this stage is that all existing BBC B channels will continue broadcasting unchanged. No other details are yet available for other channels affected by the COM7 closure.