Saturday, 25 March 2006

World Cup Winner

"Sky is just weeks away from an exciting new era that will transform the television viewing experience," said Brian Sullivan, Sky's director of product strategy and management. "Sky HD customers will be able to enjoy stunning picture and sound quality from the widest range of HD channels in the UK and Ireland. We're delighted that the BBC has said that its HD coverage of the World Cup will be available to all customers with a Sky HD box as a non-subscription channel."

Yesterday morning Sky, the UK satellite broadcaster, sent an e-mail inviting me to pre-order its new sky HD (High Definition) service!

Thank you for registering for Sky HD. As one of our registrants we promised to give you the opportunity to be amongst the first to get Sky HD. Now the wait is almost over. Due to the unprecedented interest in Sky HD we are offering you the chance to pre-order Sky HD now.

You'll need to pay a £30 deposit either online or in your local Comet store. Then during early April, before we open the lines to the general public, we will call you to complete your Sky HD order and arrange your installation. Sky HD pre-order is being offered on a first come, first served basis. Installations are scheduled to start from May.

Pricing of the new service comprises a one-off payment of £299 for the new HD set-top box and a Sky HD subscription of £10 month in addition to the main Sky subscription. The HD subscription includes access to Sky One HD, Artsworld HD, National Geographic HD and Discovery HD, as well as the BBC's new free channel.

Sky Sports HD will be available to HD subscribers who also subscribe to Sky Sports 1 and 2 while Sky Movies 9 HD and Sky Movies 10 HD will be available to subscribers of Sky Movies 1 and Sky Movies 2 respectively.

Sky HD comes with Sky+ as standard, meaning that customers will have to pay an additional £10 for a Sky+ subscription unless they take 2 or more of Sky's premium channels.

Free installation is being offered for both new and existing customers until May 31 or initial supplies are exhausted (if earlier).

The service soft launched a few weeks ago. HD is in its infancy and I'd advise a wait and see policy (hope you're reading this Gary Marsh!). Currently available HDTV consumer products are still below par, and remember that the television must support HDMI and not component or DVI connections (DVI to HDMI converters/connectors are available).