Sky subscribers will be able to watch Barclays Premiership footie and recent movies in High Definition from early 2006. Both Sky Sports and Sky Box Office are among the channels which will be launched as part of Sky HD next year. Others include Sky One, Artsworld and two Sky Movies screens. HD movie titles available at launch include Spider Man 2, The Day After Tomorrow and House of Flying Daggers. In addition to Premiership football there will also be live rugby from The Guinness Premiership. Sky viewers will be able to pre-register for Sky HD in retail stores from this Friday (August 26). Comet and selected independent retailers will be the first to offer the pre-registration service with others expected to follow.
About Sky’s HD plans Further details of Sky’s HD channel line-up, together with information about pricing and the launch date, will be announced over the coming months.
* Although the Sky HD box can be connected to any kind of TV set, customers are advised to get an "HD Ready" TV of 26" or more to enjoy the full benefits of High Definition picture quality. Sky estimates that almost two million HD TVs will have been sold in the UK by the end of 2006.
* "HD Ready" is a labelling scheme that is being introduced by the TV manufacturer’s organisation EICTA. The "HD Ready" logo will appear on an increasing number of TVs in shops over the coming months. Any TV that carries the "HD Ready" label will work with Sky HD.
* The Sky HD box will be equipped with an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) as its primary means of connecting to an HD display. To get the best from HD you will need a plasma, LCD or DLP TV that has a minimum of 720 lines of resolution. If the TV doesn’t have HDMI or DVI connectors and only has analogue component connectors without HDCP it will still be possible to watch all Sky’s HD channels because Sky’s initial HD boxes will also have these connectors.
* Sky HD will support both 720p/50 and 1080i/25 picture formats. Broadcasters will be able to choose the format which is most appropriate to their individual requirements.
* The PVR capability on the Sky HD box will require a Sky+ subscription.
* Sky will use the advanced compression coding system MPEG-4 for its HD broadcasts.
* In order to take advantage of Dolby 5.1 consumers will need to purchase the necessary audio equipment.