Although Virgin Media and Sky customers have had access to pricey subscription freeview services for a while now and Freesat has brought a limited bunch of free to air HD channels to those willing to fix a dish to the side of their houses, most people have been stuck with standard definition broadcasts via Freeview.
However, this spring Freeview HD is launching in certain areas of the UK, coming with ITV HD and BBC HD to start with, but with plans to offer Channel 4 HD and potentially some HD channels from Channel 5 as and when they are made available.
It is worth checking out the official Freeview website if you want to see when your area will become Freeview HD enabled and as the switchover to digital proceeds over the coming years, more and more regions will get high definition content without the need for a subscription.
At the moment there is no officially sanctioned Freeview HD set top box on offer. However, manufacturer Humax is working on the first, which it has called the Fox-HD T2.
When Humax and other manufacturers come out with Freeview HD boxes, they will be required to include an Ethernet connection. This will allow for the box to take advantage of catch up TV services such as iPlayer and 4OD using your broadband connection, which will take Freeview HD in line with subscription services without the monthly costs.
Whilst HD broadcasting will be fairly limited at first, the 2010 World Cup will arrive in HD, as will the 2012 Olympic Games.