Sky News has announced plans to launch a high definition version of the channel in the spring of 2010.
The broadcaster says it will undertake an upgrade of its studios, production facilities and newsgathering operations in the UK and overseas. Its West London studios will be upgraded as will a number of its international bureaux. Staff training will take place in areas ranging from production through to make-up.
“It’s an investment in the future of news, for the audiences of today and tomorrow. It is a vision that clearly defines Sky’s strengths, passion and restless pursuit to be first and to be the best,” said Sky’s head of news John Ryley. “As well as enhanced studio presentation and compelling on-air graphics, news is also about the drama of human emotion: from keynote speeches and police news conferences to picket lines and joyful crowds at ceremonial events, HD is an opportunity to bring our viewers much closer to events, building on one of Sky News’ existing strengths.”
Sky News HD will be a simulcast of the current standard definition channel. The channel says that its new HD graphics will be capable of “delivering a 3D look on-air”.
Asked whether the HD version would be made available outside of the UK, a Sky News spokeswoman told Broadband TV News that the channel was focussing on the a successful launch on the UK platform. “But we’re always evaluating distribution opportunities for all of our channels and will look at the opportunities internationally based on the capabilities of distributors,” she said.
Sky’s first foray into HD news came during Barack Obama’s Inauguration as US President in January. The channel streamed an HD feed live on the internet and used Sky Arts’ HD channel to provide a broadcast outlet.
Last month, BBC head of news Richard Porter promised HD transmission of BBC World News by 2012.