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BSkyB To Support Progressive and Interlace HDTV Formats

Rupert Murdoch's European BSkyB direct broadcast satellite service is building an HDTV DBS system capable of broadcasting HDTV in both 720P/50 and 1080I/25 formats. Its HDTV set-top box, to be launched in 2006, will also be capable of supporting both formats. No codec format has yet been announced.

HDTV has arrived in Europe, with BSkyB and other European pay TV operators having recently specified an "HD Ready" label for HDTV receivers and display devices. The label is intended only for devices that can display both 720p and 1080i scanning formats, and include either HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) or DVI (Digital Visual Interface) with HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection).

In the United States, Murdoch's Fox Network has recently joined ABC in broadcasting the 720p/60 progressive HDTV scanning format, while the other two major broadcasting networks use the interlaced format.