Netherlands: Public Broadcasters Ramping Up HD

Dutch public broadcasters have announced they will start up regular HD services sometime in 2009, but plan to start a temporary simulcast of Nederland 1 in early June to offer Dutch DBS and cable viewers HD coverage of the Euro 2008 soccer championships, as well as the Beijing Olympics in late August.

The HD feeds will be available to viewers of most cable networks (such as UPC, the Ziggo networks, Casema, Multikabel and @Home) as well as the HD satellite subscribers to Canal Digitaal. The sports coverage will be broadcast in native 720p/50 fps, including all live segments from Dutch studios in Hilversum.

Other programming on Nederland 1 will be upconverted to HD. During the first quarter of 2009, Dutch public broadcasters said they “hope to start” permanent HD streams of their three main channels, Nederland 1, 2 and 3.