Sky ditches some BBC channels, but for good reason

You might find a selection of channels missing

Sky Glass
(Image credit: Sky)

Sky no longer lists a number of BBC channels on its Sky Q and Sky+HD boxes.

It has removed the Beeb's SD (Standard Definition) services from the EPG and voice search (on Sky Q boxes). You can now only access the HD versions.

To be fair to Sky, this comes as little surprise. The BBC stopped broadcasting its channels in SD earlier this month, after finally switching its local news services over to high definition at the end of 2022.

And, as we continue into the 4K Ultra-HD era, with one eye on 8K too, it makes complete sense to scrap standard-def broadcasts. It's a move that many other channels should take note of too – have you tried watching the SD music channels on a 65-inch OLED TV? The best AI-powered upscaling in the world still wouldn't help.

Some viewers who added the original BBC SD channels to their favourites lists (the ones around the channel 800 mark) will now have to seek out the HD versions.

Customers who have older legacy Sky+ boxes will still get the channels, but those devices will soon be made obsolete (around Easter time) so are advised to upgrade as soon as possible.

RXTV also notes that Sky boxes that are no longer tied to a Sky subscription but used for free-to-air channels can also still get the SD services, but only for now.

"For some time now, we have been running a variety of messaging – on our BBC One SD channel on satellite, as well as online – to let affected viewers know about the impact of the channel closures and where they can go to get more information about how to upgrade," says BBC support on its website.

"If you are still using SD satellite equipment you now need to upgrade to HD to be able to watch BBC channels."

Customers with Sky Glass and Sky Stream are unaffected by the switch-off. They have only had access to the BBC channels in HD since their devices were launched – even the regional variants.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.