1130 UPDATE: Channel 4 is to become the first of the Big Five channels to launch a high definition simulcast of its main channel. The new service is scheduled to launch in December 2007 and will be made available free of charge on the Sky HD platform. In an apparent blow to the BBC-ITV Freesat project, Channel 4 HD, although free-to-air, will still require a Sky viewing card. However, a spokeswoman for Channel 4 told Broadband TV News that the broadcaster was still in talks with Freesat. She added that other platforms would also be granted carriage later on.
“Channel 4 HD is yet another example of our ongoing ambition to offer our viewers maximum flexibility in accessing our high quality programmes and content at the time and the format of their choice,” said Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan.
Brian Sullivan, managing director, consumer group BSkyB said the launch would help Sky HD subscribers enjoy the widest choice of HD programmes. “Be it sports, movies, documentaries or entertainment, Sky HD customers can now access the richest selection of content in HD.”
Channel 4 HD will be broadcast on channel 140 on the Sky EPG, ahead of the BBC HD channels and adjacent to five other Channel 4 digital services – the recently launched Channel 4+1, E4, E4+1, More4 and More4 +1.