Channel 4 to go high definition on Sky

Channel 4 is about to become the first terrestrial broadcaster to offer a high definition simulcast of its main channel on BSkyB's digital satellite platform. The launch of Channel 4 HD, which is expected to take place in December, will allow Sky HD customers to watch HD versions of hit Channel 4 shows. Channel 4 HD will also be available without subscription to viewers with a Sky HD box and viewing card.

Launched last May, the award-winning Sky HD service has become Sky's fastest-growing additional TV product ever, with 292,000 customers signing up in the first year. Sky HD offers around 5,000 hours of HD content each month across a dozen dedicated HD channels.

Rod Henwood, new media director, Channel 4, said: "Channel 4's aim is to offer our viewers maximum flexibility in accessing our high quality programmes and content at a time and in the format of their choosing. HD is a fast-growing consumer technology and we believe our viewers will welcome the opportunity to watch their favourite Channel 4 shows in high definition."

Brian Sullivan, managing director, customer group, BSkyB, said: "High definition is transforming the TV experience and customers are responding in record numbers to the fundamental improvement in quality and sound quality. We want our customers to enjoy access to the widest choice of HD programmes so we're extremely excited about the launch of Channel 4 HD."

In addition to dedicated channels from Sky Sports, Sky Movies, Sky One and Sky Arts, the Sky HD service also offers channels from National Geographic, History Channel and Discovery Channel. Viewers with a Sky HD box can also access the HD trial channel from the BBC.

Earlier this month Sky HD won the first-ever 'Best Contribution to Digital TV in the UK' award. The prestigious award, created by the Digital TV Group and Pace Micro Technology, was presented to Sky at the IBC trade fair in Amsterdam.