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BBC launches HD Sound

The BBC has decided to do something about the often woeful quality of its on-line radio streams with the launch of HD Sound, a new high-definition netcast technology.

Due to hit Radio 3 in December, and to be available on selected programming on the BBC's other radio channels starting with the Electric Proms on Radio 2 later this month, HD Sound will offer a wider dynamic range and less heavily compressed audio - greatly improving the enjoyment of those listening on higher-end equipment.

There is a trade-off for all this enhanced quality, however - at first, the HD Sound streams will only be available on live streams via the browser-based offering, although the BBC has confirmed plans to integrate the technology into iPlayer and Radioplayer at some future point.

Tim Davie, director of audio and music at the BBC, declared the new streaming technology as "an exciting development and a signal of our commitment to innovate in digital radio for the benefit of our listeners."

The HD Sound technology has already been trialled for the final week of the BBC Proms on Radio 3, with station controller Roger Wright exclaiming: "I'm thrilled that we can now offer this streaming permanently across our full schedule."

Details as to the precise codec used or the bit-rate of the stream have yet to be made available.