China: CCTV HD Goes Up May 1

China Central Television (CCTV) said it plans to launch a comprehensive high-definition channel on May 1 to offer “a better Olympics broadcast service and start a new era of TV technology in China.” The government-run channel (as are all channels in China) will be called “CCTV-HD.” It will begin to air sports, plays, documentaries, entertainment and financial programs on a 24/7 basis in the few months leading up to the summer Olympics in Beijing

Not apparently noted in the press reports out of China this week was any mention of the fact that earlier this month a media services firm, China Television Media, said it will soon quit its arrangement to operate CCTV’s pay-HD channel for reasons that were not made specific, but apparently involved money. It’s also not known whether that development involved the same CCTV HD channel mentioned in the newer announcement. (HD Notebook, April 16, 2008)

Eight Chinese cities currently receive HD programs: Tianjin, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenyang, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.