Telewest beats Sky to High-Def punch

Telewest has confirmed that it will start high-definition broadcasts in December. We broke the news in the current issue of Stuff, but now their offic

Telewest has confirmed that it will start high-definition broadcasts in December. We broke the news in the current issue of Stuff, but now their official line is catching up!

Hidden away in a yawn-inducing speech about financial results was the news that Telewest plans to launch HDTV at the same time as its TV Drive digital video recorder. This will make the cable provider the first to offer the service in the UK, beating Sky’s satellite offering by a couple of months.

 

Telewest also confirmed that it will be offering HDTV on demand via its new Teleport service. It has also secured content from the BBC, which will make Telewest a good place to watch Auntie’s HD programming before the Beeb starts its own trials next year.

The BBC produces lots of HD content, mainly to sell overseas, but doesn’t look like having a fully operation service itself until 2010. There is some good news for non-cablers, though – the corporation definitely plans to offer free-to-view HD broadcasts.

This all leaves Sky in a slightly less confident position than it was a few weeks ago, but until Telewest’s schedules and offerings are confirmed, Sky’s HD mix of top-notch US entertainment shows, live football matches and movies still looks like a winner.