BBC gears up for high-def coverage of the Olympics

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Viewers with HD-ready or Full HD TVs will be able to see all the HD broadcasts on Sky HD, Virgin Media's V+ service and Freesat.

Emma Scott, managing director of Freesat, says: "The Olympics is the ultimate global sporting event, and viewers will be astounded by the quality of the BBC's HD coverage; every drop of water falling off the oars of a rower, to the sand erupting from the long jump pit, will be beautifully clear."

Whether the Beeb's HD coverage will be enough to remove the smog surrounding the "bird's nest" Olympic stadium is another matter. Watching the Ten O'Clock News last night, even the finest HD TV would have failed to remove the gloom surrounding the stadium.

Huw Edwards waxed lyrical about how glorious it all looked in bright sunshine the previous day, but China still seems to be struggling to control pollution levels in Beijing. No amount of high-def trickery will gloss over that.

Coverage of the opening ceremony starts at 1pm on Friday, August 8th on BBC One, Freeview, cable and satellite. For full listings, check out the BBC Sport website.