Euro1080 HDTV channel to debut in 2004

A new European channel will begin broadcasting exclusively in HD throughout Europe starting January 1, 2004.

Euro1080 will provide sports, music, events, shows, entertainment and European films to viewers in HD.

In addition to bringing HD into the viewer's living room, the channel also plans to expand its service to public places. The goal, they said, is to reach a large audience quickly to speed up the process of acceptance and penetration of HD devices in homes.

To overcome the limitation that, at the launch, there will be few domestic HDTV sets in Europe, the channel plans to additionally orientate to distribution of content through theatres with HD projection capabilities and selected other appropriate venues (e.g. sports bars, etc.) already equipped with plasma screens or other HD displays.

To achieve this, the HDTV image will be distributed via satellite, offering a growth path to gradually increase the number of households with HD screens or sets. Consumers receive their signals then either through a regular dish with HD decoder or through their cable company, when these start to carry distribute the signals that they receive from the satellite (which is already technically feasible at the moment).

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