BBC Hotbird changes: BBC Arabic goes HD

The BBC has activated a high definition version of its BBC Arabic channel and started a frequency change of its international radio services.

The TV channel operated by the BBC World Service, will be available in HD via the Eutelsat Hotbird satellite system, at 13°E, facilitated by media services company Globecast.

At the same time, new feeds of BBC World Service Radio's English service - one feed for Europe and one for the Middle East, plus BBC Arabic radio and the BBC's Horn of Africa service have also gone live as part of a transition of services to a new Hotbird frequency.

Viewers with satellite dishes set up for Hotbird can receive all services via the following parameters:
  • Satellite: Hotbird 13B @ 13°E
  • Frequency: 11727
  • Polarisation: Vertical
  • Symbol Rate: 29900
  • FEC: 3/4
  • Mode: DVB-S2
  • Service IDs: 13102 (BBC Arabic HD), 13126-13129 (BBC World Service feeds)

The BBC Arabic channel first launched in its current incarnation in 2008. Funding for the channel and the rest of the World Service originally came via the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and then from 2014 via the UK licence fee. Licence fee funding was then topped up with £289 million from the UK Government, allowing the World Service to expand its language services.