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United Kingdom: Sky to launch first HD All-News Channel

BSkyB, the market-dominant DBS provider for much of western Europe owned by Aussie Rupert Murdoch, said it plans to begin airing the first all-HD version of its existing Sky News channel sometime in the second quarter of 2010.

The HD service—to be known as Sky News HD—primarily will be dedicated to Sky subscribers, although some British media outlets suggest the HD news service could be expanded to include other venues, too.

Sky News HD will be simulcast with Sky’s currently operating SD channel, once Sky’s production facilities have been upgraded to include most of its studios and ENG operations. Once fully operational on the HD side, Sky hopes to be able to deliver enough HD quality to replicate a “3D look on-air,” according to the London Telegraph (and not to be confused with actual 3D technology).

Sky News’s first special-event HD broadcast (and simultaneous near-HD online streaming) came on Jan. 20 of this year for the Obama Inauguration in Washington. Sky News’s facilities are located in West London.