European satellite provider SES Astra is enabling the launch of German-French public channel Arte's first high-definition TV broadcasts in Germany. Arte will broadcast Bizet's opera Carmen from the national opera house in Berlin tonight in HD.

"We are very pleased that our partner Arte has chosen SES Astra to broadcast its first HD programme in German", said Alexander Oudendijk, chief commercial Officer of SES Astra.

"We have played a major role in the creation and the development of HDTV and we will keep on promoting and supporting our partners for the great benefit of the TV viewers."

Dr Gottfried Langenstein, vice-president of Arte, said: "We recently succeeded in showing some important HDTV events in France, but it is the first time that Arte provides the German TV viewers with such a high quality programme."