The BBC plans to begin testing high-definition television broadcasts next year.

A report on BBC News reveals that selected schedule highlights will be made available in HD to "selected digital and cable viewers from mid-2006".

Digital terrestrial TV tests will also be attempted.

BBC director general Mark Thompson has promised free-to-air HDTV on all BBC digital platforms "as soon as practical".

"We hope the World Cup would be a part of the trial but that has still to be confirmed," a spokesman said.

Trials are expected to last a year.