Five to make HD debut on Sky this summer

Five and Sky today (WEDS) announced the launch this Summer of Five HD, a high definition version (HD) of Five which will show programming that has been made in high definition. Five HD will start broadcasting to more than 2 million Sky+HD homes in July.

The public service broadcaster’s line-up lends itself to transmission in HD with top-rating US dramas such as CSI and FlashForward, popular soaps including Neighbours and Home & Away, international cricket and live Europa League football, as well as blockbuster movies.

With the addition of Five HD, Sky customers will enjoy the largest range of HD programming across both for free-to-air and pay television.  With access to HD channels from all UK terrestrial broadcasters, and the widest variety of high-quality pay TV channels from Sky and other leading channel brands, Sky continues its commitment to offering homes the widest HD choice anywhere in the UK.

Five becomes the 42nd channel to commit to joining Sky’s HD line-up, following news that ITV 1HD, Sky News HD, Sky Sports HD 4 and Hallmark Channel HD are all to launch in the months ahead.   Sky is aiming to have 50 HD channels by Christmas.

Charles Constable, Five’s Director of Strategy, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Five. Our programme schedule is more suited to HD than that any other major free-to-air commercial broadcaster given the wide range of high quality series we broadcast, such as our top-rated line-up of US dramas.  We’re delighted to begin our HD journey with Sky.”

Hilary Perchard, Sky’s Director of Product Management, comments: “We’re delighted to announce the addition of Five HD to Sky+HD, the UK’s leading high definition service.  Sky remains committed to delivering customers the best HD service available, and this means continuing to launch high-quality channels right across the schedule.  With the best of free and pay TV now in HD, there’s never been a better time to embrace HD.”

As Europe’s most comprehensive HD service, 2.1 million Sky+HD homes can currently access up to 37 HD channels spanning entertainment, sports, movies, arts, drama, kids and documentaries, including channel brands such as Sky Sports, Sky Movies, FX, Discovery, Channel 4, Sky Arts, MTV, Nat Geo, ESPN, Disney, the BBC and Sky1.

Sky recently standardised its set-top strategy by automatically offering a Sky+HD box to anyone joining Sky TV, and all new and existing customers can receive the box for free when subscribing to the Sky+HD channel pack for the first time.  The Sky+HD box not only provides access to Europe’s most comprehensive HD service and Sky’s new HD electronic programme guide (EPG), but later this year it will also offer customers access to full broadband-enabled video-on-demand service and Sky 3D, Europe’s first 3D TV channel.  Sky intends to launch Sky 3D to pubs and clubs in April before reaching residential homes later this year.

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