Modern Times Group has confirmed the launch of a HD television service on its Viasat Broadcasting satellite platform in the Nordic countries. The package will include two Viasat-branded proprietary channels – TV1000 HD and Viasat Sport HD. Testing has been underway at the SES-Sirius position (5 degrees East) since November. However, the launch comes two years after rival platform Canal Digital commenced its own HD service.
Subscribers will pay an additional SEK/NOK/DKK 99 for the HD service and will also need an HD box. Two compatible boxes are being made available – a Viasat Plus HD PVR box from Pace, and a standard Viasat HD box made by Samsung. The boxes will support the 720p and 1080i formats and use NDS middleware and content security.
The initial line up of HD channels comprises TV1000 HD and National Geographic Channel HD in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland and Viasat Sport HD in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Viasat’s Danish subscribers will have access to TV2 Sport HD channel. There is no word of the Swedish public broadcaster SVT and its HD channel.