ION Television Eyes HD by Mid-February

ION Television will be the latest network to launch into HD by simulcasting its SD content starting Feb. 16—the day before the original transition to DTV (which, at deadline, looks increasingly likely to be moved by an act of Congress to June 12).

ION recently began promoting its programs with a rebranded “Positively Entertaining” theme.

“We've made significant investments in infrastructure and content to bring excellent picture quality to consumers in time for the digital transition,” said Brandon Burgess, ION Media Networks chairman/CEO, when the company first announced its HD plans last fall.

ION, based in West Palm Beach, Fla., said it currently passes and/or broadcasts to a potential 94 million American households with its SD service via cable, DBS, FiOS, and few dozen affiliate stations. Initially, it will ramp up its HD content in at least 20 of its 55 markets (which includes the nation’s three largest DMAs), making its HD content available in an estimated 45 million homes.

ION said its HD programming (both native and upconverted) will originate from a new “state-of-the-art transmission platform via expanded satellite transponder capacity.” By late 2009, ION said its other DTV brands—Qubo and ION Life—also will be launched in HD.

Read all of HD Notebookhere.