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Sky Completes Terrestrial High Definition Line-up With Five HD

Gordon Kelly


Sky Completes Terrestrial High Definition Line-up With Five HD

I had always pictured FreeView as terrestrial broadcasters' attempt to claw back market share from Sky. Yes, I know Sky is an equal partner with the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 - but the perception remains. So it is somewhat ironic that the last of the terrestrial broadcasters, Five, has just pinned its HD colours to Rupert Murdock's mast (ooh er).

Five HD will launch on Sky's high definition service in July to a customer base which now tops two million subscribers. It follows the news ITV HD will launch on Sky in April and completes a full house of terrestrial channels alongside BBC HD and Channel 4 HD. Five HD becomes the 42nd high def channel on Sky HD with the broadcaster announcing ambitious plans to reach 50 by Christmas.

Like the other terrestrial High Def channels Five HD will be free to subscribers, but sadly Sky still enforces a £10pm premium for receiving HD content. Fingers crossed it will drop that soon in the same manner it dumped the £10pm PVR capabilities in Sky+.

In related news confusion reigns following claims yesterday that LG had sold 15,000 3D HDTVs to Sky for equipping pubs nationwide. It sounded like nonsense and the company has issued the following statement:

"LG Electronics UK (LG), a leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics and appliances, clarifies its agreement to supply TVs for British Sky Broadcasting Group's (Sky) forthcoming 3D TV service.

LG is currently working with Sky to bring 3D TV to pubs and clubs throughout the UK and Ireland. LG will supply 3D TVs nationwide to support the launch of Sky 3D, Europe's first 3DTV Channel The channel goes live in pubs and clubs from April 2010. A previous release issued 16 March 2010 referenced a commercial deal to supply 15,000 3D TVs to Sky.

LG Electronics UK would like to further clarify the situation. The figure of 15,000 3D TVs is inaccurate. Sky is helping support its commercial customers purchase TVs direct from a UK third party.

Well that's as clear as mud. Still, while I've never been a fan of 3D (I'm not sure you'll find many on TR who are) a pub environment seems the absolute worst place to have one. Quite how pub owners are meant to stock hundreds of pairs of expensive glasses and stop them being stolen or broken is beyond me. Furthermore, anyone not wearing glasses simply sees a blurry image so it is useless to them as well.

Avatar really does have a lot to answer for...


Sky Press Release


March 18, 2010, 12:15 pm

Not sure what is on Fiv eHD (or Channel 4 HD for that matter) but is there any news on when they will be available via FreeSat?


March 18, 2010, 12:33 pm

I thought you didn't need expensive glasses for Sky 3D. Thought it was the same as the ones in the cinema that cost 80p or something?


March 18, 2010, 1:48 pm

Gordon, I can usually see several TVs after a few drinks without any special glasses, does that count as 3D?


March 18, 2010, 1:49 pm

If Channel 5 HD are comiong to sky, are they coming to Freesat soon as well I wonder?

Neil B

March 18, 2010, 2:16 pm

As I live in a area that already has Freeview HD, it would be nice no know when any HD PVRs are going to be released.

David McBroom

March 18, 2010, 2:23 pm

Great news. All we need now is comedy central and living tv to be added to sky hd. And if they could drop the £10 monthly charge, that would be great. I'm hoping that they will now look to add dts ma and dolby true hd to the sound menu.


March 18, 2010, 3:31 pm

@David - I doubt you're going to see DTS MA or Dolby TrueHD on SkyHD anytime soon. I'd assume (maybe wrongly) that the bandwidth requirements of these codecs don't lend themselves very well to broadcast. Moreover, considering HD audio needs to be carried via HDMI (doesn't work over optical/coaxial digital), you realise you're going to be waiting quite a while, as Sky haven't even sorted standard Dolby Digital bitstreaming over HDMI yet, even on their new HD boxes.


March 18, 2010, 9:55 pm

@Neil B - Toshiba will be releasing a Freeview+ HD 500GB PVR in time for summer:



March 19, 2010, 6:06 am

I'm glad Five goes HD, they do get a footy transmission from time to time.

I wouldn't hold breath waiting for Sky to drop it's HD sub, could be years yet, if ever, they have a lot of 3D R&D to pay for.


March 21, 2010, 6:29 pm

Not sure if I can dream of every pub in the UK haveing 3D TVs and everybody in it with glasses on watching sport in 3D. It makes me think why o why do we have to spend another £1K on a 3D TV just to not get left behind.

It reminds me of the movie The Matrix when all of human kind gets together for a celebration on what we have created. The all of technology throws in the towel and starts to hold in a grunch.

I like my technology dont get me wrong but come on sky you only care about new customers, were as the old ones like me still see things in 3D and you (sky) only see things in 1D (sell, sell, sell).

To be quite honest what a way to blow 3K on a 3D TV and then the rest of the upgrades.

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