U.K.: Channel 4’s First HD Channel Taps Pro-Bel

Channel 4 in the United Kingdom launched its first HD service in December (C4 HD) and is using core digital technology supplied by Pro-Bel, which has worked with Channel 4 for several years.

Carried on satellite firm BSkyB, C4 HD is simulcast with Channel 4’s SD feed and mixes native HD content and SD content (which is upconverted to HD). The HD outlet hopes to provide HD-only content as soon as it’s feasible.

Channel 4 has added hardware/software for its existing Morpheus automation system, and a Masterpiece master control with a 32x32 SD/HD router from Sirius. A Channel 4 executive said the biggest technical challenge for getting C4 HD up and going was not dealing with HD video, but rather, devising its systems to handle multitrack audio content.