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Sky News HD channel launches on election night

6 May launch date for satellite HD news channel

Sky News HD channel screenshot

Sky has announced that it will launch its Sky News HD TV channel on Thursday 6 May at 9pm, to coincide with coverage of the General Election.

The first programme to be broadcast on Sky News HD will be ‘Decision Time’ – an election special on Sky channel 517. This follows last week’s trial HD broadcast of ‘The Sky News Debate’ between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

The broadcaster says that its new High Definition channel ‘unites first-class journalism with sharp picture quality and uses a widescreen format to show more detail about the key stories of the day, bringing HD customers closer to the news’.

To watch the Sky HD channel you’ll need a Sky+ HD box – read the Which? review before you buy

According to Sky the new HD channel is supported by an updated HD studio and HD resources in the field, while HD graphics create a striking on-air look to deliver a ‘clear, crisp and compelling’ new television experience.

John Ryley, Head of Sky News, said: ‘We’ve made the news ourselves in 2010 by launching the first UK news service in HD with sharper pictures and enhanced services for HD viewers. It’s an innovation which clearly defines Sky’s strengths, our passion and our restless pursuit to be first and to be the best. The detail of Sky News HD is stunning – I hope our viewers will enjoy the new experience.’

For more information on HD services, see our guide to high definition TV explained

Sky HD Premium Panels

Sky has also announced what it describes as ‘a new and innovative way of story telling’. Sky says that from from Monday 10 May, viewers will also be able to see Sky HD Premium Panels which will provide contextual detail about the key stories of the day. Content will include live video feeds from developing stories, real-time text analysis from Sky News specialist correspondents during live speeches and events.

There are now 40 Sky HD channels available to subscribers who pay £10 per month for Sky’s HD pack. The Sky+HD set-top box costs £49.

To watch programmes in high definition, you’ll need an HD service and an HD-ready TV. The Which? LCD and plasma TV review has the latest HDTV models, and our review of Freesat has information on HD content you can get without paying a monthly fee.

Sky TV package subscribers also get free broadband and phone calls, but to see how Sky compares for user satisfaction with other providers, see our reviews of broadband and phone, internet and TV packages.

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