Among the first channels that are viewable in High Definition (HD) format, which Sky is offering the service as a premium package, are Sky Sports, Sky One, Sky movies and various Box Office screenings. Beside, the first World Cup match and live HDTV program to be broadcast will be Germany vs Costa Rica match on 9 June, which will also include match commentary and studio coverage. The feed will come from HBS, Germany’s host broadcasters for the tournament. High-definition images will also be fed into standard digital and analogue transmissions of the game and the Wimbledon Championships, where the BBC is the host broadcaster.
informitv reviewed Sky HD service and concluded that Sky HD represents a dramatic improvement in the technical quality of television that has been long overdue. Despite having the highest penetration of digital television, now in two out of three households, the UK has been surprisingly slow in moving to high-definition.
BSkyB has again adopted a leadership position, with the traditional broadcasting establishment struggling to keep up. The BBC has a target to move all production to high definition by 2010, which does not seem far off. By then most of the country is likely to have digital television.
High-definition is likely to become the new battleground for differentiating digital services, and BSkyB has once again taken the initiative.
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