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: Sky-Eutelsat agreement: the…

Sky-Eutelsat agreement: the pay TV increases satellite capacity and is preparing to launch HD

Giuliano Berretta: "The entrance of Sky Italy in the field of HD consolidates the important role it plays in the dynamic panorama of Italian television"

Sky Italy, the leading pay-TV platform in Italy, which broadcasts exclusively from Eutelsat's HOT BIRD video neighborhood, has announced for next month's launch in Italy of the new Sky HD package dedicated to HDTV content (High Definition Television).

To support its expansion into HDTV, SKY Italy began leasing an additional HOT BIRD transponder on 1 May, bringing to 18 its total capacity used transponders on Eutelsat's HOT BIRD satellites.

The new service will be launched on May 17 with live coverage of the Champions League. In June, Sky Italy will provide full coverage of the FIFA World Cup in 2006 making it possible for subscribers with HD-ready to dive in and extremely detailed overview of all 64 matches.

Broadcasting in DVB S2 with MPEG4 compression, SKY Italy can accommodate up to five high definition channels on a single transponder HOT BIRD. On July 10, after the FIFA World Cup 2006 Italy Sky will launch its HD bouquet with channels dedicated to movies, sports and general entertainment. Access to Sky HD package will cost € 7 per month, to be added to the subscription general. Subscriptions will be available from 8 May.

Commenting on the upcoming HD launch, Giuliano Berretta, CEO of Eutelsat, said: "We are delighted that our HOT BIRD video neighborhood, which ten years ago accompanied the launch in Europe of the first digital video channels in DVB, is the platform choice for commercial HDTV broadcasting to satellite homes. " Berretta added that the entry of Sky Italy in the field of HD consolidates the important role that it plays in the dynamic panorama of Italian television, opening the door to a new experience for the Italian public. "

With this new offering Sky Italy exceeds the threshold of 160 between TV channels and radio stations broadcast to 3.6 million subscribers in Italy.

For viewers the HDTV is a revolution comparable to the arrival of color TV. For the electronics industry, a magic formula that will increase sales. All European broadcasters are giving to offer this type of service, which will follow the games, enjoying all the benefits of high definition.

The secret of this new generation of television? A resolution of up to five times higher than that of the PAL (Phase Alternation Line), the most common standard in Europe today. The result: a sound and above all an image of better quality in 16: 9 format.

The companies in the industry already are rubbing their hands. Viewers will have to renew everything, from the TV to the decoder, and the readers.

The World Cup in Germany will be the first in history to be fully broadcast in High Definition. In Italy we have mobilized several operators and this technological revolution the ball goes also for screens of Sky, that the World will broadcast all the races live.

To receive it we must have both the High Definition TV (after all costs measured: starting from 800 euro) that the appropriate digital decoder (replacement in the case of Sky costs 99 euro).

"The image is on 16/9, such as Modern Video, and not 4.3 as in old TV sets, will have a greater amount of information side: the image of the football field will be wider overall than a third to the past. From almost square, it goes to almost rectangular, like a human eye or the screen of a movie theater - said Angelo Carosi, director of Sky and of the matches of Italy in Germany - but the images as well as being more defined, will be also much deeper: the new technology it does not crush the images, make fire also a distant figure, perfect, as if finally put the TV glasses shortsighted ... "

Source key4biz

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