Japanese Satcaster Taps Omneon for World Cup HD Channel

Japan's SKY Perfect Communications Inc., a leading direct-to-home (DTH) provider and digital multichannel broadcast service, has selected the Omneon Spectrum media server system to support the launch of a new HDTV channel dedicated to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The new HD channel is carried on SKY PerfecTV!'s 110-degree communication satellite (CS) digital broadcasting service. It went to air on May 9 and will broadcast all 64 matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, as well as past matches, game forecasts, and other informational programming related to the tournament. Japan lost its first match against Australia earlier this week and will play Croatia on Sunday June 18.

The server system was installed with the assistance of integrator Itochu Cable Systems and is the first such HD system to be used by Sky Perfect TV!. Harris D-Series automation is used to control the server.

"SKY PerfecTV! required a smooth, cost-effective addition of a digital HDTV channel," said Geoff Stedman, vice president of marketing for Omneon. "The Omneon Spectrum media server system offered the flexibility to get on air quickly with a hybrid SD/HD environment, integrating perfectly with their existing automation system."