The BBC has announced that its Sky HD trials will start on Thursday May 11th, and outlined a juicy list of programs for the summer and beyond.
The viewing figures for the first broadcasts may be on the low side considering Sky’s HD installs don’t start till May 22nd, although Telewest subscribers will now be able to receive the service just before World Cup kicks off on June 9th.
The Beeb also announced a terrestrial trial of its HD service from Crystal Palace for a lucky few in London’s north and south circular roads.
If you’re not in this privileged group, its list of new HD programs could tempt you onto the Sky or Telewest waiting lists.
First up is a ‘curtain-raising’ treat over the Whitsun bank holiday between May 27th-29th which will feature the first series of Planet Earth (above) and all sixteen episodes of Bleak House.
June will be all about a high-def World Cup and Wimbledon, which will recreate the bulging of onion bags and the thwack of tennis balls in Dolby surround sound.
In July, you’ll be treated to Hannibal, Super Volcano and, erm, Children’s Party at the Palace, while August will surround you with the audio delights of Later…With Jools Holland and The Proms.
Once you’ve wasted your summer days indoors, you can then turn to the autumn menu of Hotel Babylon, Robin Hood, Planet Earth 2, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, The Chatterley Affair and Galapagos, which we were blown away by in a recent screening.
According to the BBC’s head of HDTV, Seetha Kumar, all these programmes will amount to a decent two to three hours of HD content per day by the summer.
Telewest’s HD service won’t be restricting itself to BBC content either – it’s just agreed rights to show Lost and Desperate Housewives (Seasons 1 and 2) in high-def this year.