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BBC HD: Top Gear and Heroes in glorious high definition

If you've been waiting for high definition to make an impact on your life, tonight may very well be the night as the BBC airs both Heroes and Top Gear in glorious hi-def

Big news for UK high-definition fans -- some content is actually available. Tonight, Top Gear: Polar Special starts at 8pm on BBC HD followed by the first two episodes of smash-hit US superhero drama Heroes.

For those of you who didn't decide to watch Heroes in 4:3 with Sci-Fi channel logos on-screen all the time, you'll get to see a proper, widescreen HD version with hopefully minimal clutter. Even if you did watch it on Sci-Fi, it's a cracking show and certainly worth watching again, even if not it in HD, to see what you missed the first time round.

Although we're thrilled by the idea of Heroes in HD, we're even more excited at the prospect of hi-def Top Gear. Top Gear has consistently been one of the high points of the TV schedule, and while it has precious little to do with cars anymore, we still love the nearly cinematic features and the presenters' sarky banter. We've also long said that we'd like to see the show in HD, but production costs have generally made this unrealistic.

Indeed, there's no word yet on whether Top Gear will be in hi-def when it returns for its full-length winter run, around October time. For now, just assume the Polar Special -- which features a 450-mile race to the magnetic North Pole -- is a nice loyalty bonus. Don't forget to send the BBC some complimentary and encouraging letters about its brilliant high-definition channel. You are paying for it, after all.

Watching BBC HD requires either a Sky HD box or a free-to-air satellite receiver pointed at the right Astra satellite. You can also watch via Virgin Media, as long as you have the right hardware. If you don't have the kit, both programmes are on BBC2 at the same time.  -Ian Morris