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Premiere launches HDTV preview channel via ASTRA

HDTV will be the main theme at the forthcoming IFA Exhibition in Berlin this September.

HDTV is seen as a motivation for the switchover to digital in Europe. Pay TV operators in Europe have announced that they will launch regular HDTV channels via the ASTRA satellite system over the next year. Premiere will be first with their new HDTV program package Premiere HD.

A special Premiere HD trailer can now be seen on the ASTRA HD demonstration channel with a sample of 'Premiere HD' with its three full 24-hour programs that will feature films, sport and documentaries. The ASTRA HD demonstration channel is available for specialized retail outlets or at home 24 hours a day for those with suitable reception equipment throughout Europe.

The official launch of Premiere HD programs via ASTRA will take place this November. The football world cup is already confirmed in HDTV format on Premiere. In time for the start of Premiere's HDTV channels, digital receivers suitable for Premiere HD are expected to come to the market. The boxes will be equipped to receive signals sent via satellite using MPEG 4/H.264 and DVB-S2.

In addition, the HDTV receivers will be able to display the conventional formats 720p and 1080i, in both 50- and 60Hz. It will be possible to receive all other Premiere programs and all digital free-to-air TV and radio channels with the new receivers.

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