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HD: BBC Broadcast Dates; Sky Starts Pre-Orders

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Already feel battle weary before the whole thing starts? If so you’re not alone. At least dates are now coming through thick and fast for the High Definition revolution with broadcasting superpowers the BBC and Sky the latest to spill the beans.

Starting with the Brits, Auntie has announced it will offer HD TV from 15 May. This will initially take the form of a test stream previewing upcoming programmes and sporting events with the first live High Definition programme being the opening match of the 2006 World Cup between Germany and Costa Rica on 9 June (Come on Los Ticos!).

Other highlights to look out for include HD Wimbledon, first and last nights of the Proms and nature series Planet Earth where we’ll be able to grasshoppers get it on in detail like never before. The trial will last 12 months and will be provided to both satellite and cable subscribers with a minor test over Freeview taking place solely in London.



As for Aussie Rupert Murdock’s Sky it today sent out a press release to all customers who registered with the Sky HD website to signal the start of hardware installation pre-orders.
These will then take place from May on a first come first serve basis.

Those interested need to pay a £30 deposit either online or in your local Comet store and are told to expect a call in early April to finalise the order. Though many specs have still to be confirmed, a Sky HD box (above) will set punters back £299 with a Sky HD subscription £10 per month on top of whatever channel package is chosen. Installation is free as are the Sky+ capabilities of the box when you select a package containing two or more Sky Premium Channels.

Eagle-eyed Sky subscribers may already have noticed the company has reserved a selection of channel numbers for its high def broadcasts in recent months. Notably 197: Sky One HD, 268: Artsworld HD, 311 and 312: Sky Movies 9 and 10 HD and 405: Sky Sports HD.

Let the ‘Summer of the Couch Potato’ begin!

Links:
BBC UK
Sky TV

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