Three More HD Channels for Sky

On the eve of Sky upgrading three more channels to HD, there’s no sign of Sky 5 screening the latest seasons of the Arrowverse series that were pivotal to its HD conversion.

Arrow will return for its final season in November but Supergirl and The Flash will screen first on Neon. The former streams weekly from today and the latter, weekly from Wednesday.

Sky has yet to reveal when the series will resume on Sky 5 — even though they stand out among the second-tier reality dross and procedural re-runs that litter the schedule.

It’s great for fans to see these shows day-and-date with the US but given they used to be fast-tracked to Sky 5, and subscribers now have to pay an additional Neon sub to view them, the strategy seems cynical to say the least.

Meanwhile, to my knowledge Sky hasn’t mailed subscribers or issued a media release about Discovery, Discovery Turbo and Living going HD tomorrow.

It has confirmed the change following revelations by an installer on Geekzone but isn’t commenting on whether more channels will go HD or if new HD channels will be launched.

Discovery, Discovery Turbo and Living follow HD upgrades of Duke, Rialto, Vibe and Sky 5, and the expansion of Sky Sport to include 12 HD channels.

Living and Discovery certainly have sporadically decent programming to justify priority but what about BBC Earth, Arts, a cable news channel or one of Sky’s most popular entertainment channels, BBC UKTV, which has evolved from screening classics to modern fare that’s shot in HD?

Case in point: the latest season of Peaky Blinders, which was wasted in SD on UKTV. (If you haven’t already seen it in HD on the BBC iPlayer, it premiered this month on Netflix US.)

The problem Sky faces with UKTV is it’s a foreign service rather than one programmed locally. Upgrading such a channel to HD requires a lot more rigmarole on Sky’s part, from giving notice of its HD ambitions to the service to contractural obligations to whether the foreign operator can even provide all their content in HD.

With channels that Sky programmes, the HD conversion is much simpler and quicker to expedite.

Also worthy of an HD upgrade would be the Vintage movies channel and at least one other documentary service, like National Geographic — although it remains to be seen what the impact of Dinsey+’s November 19 launch will be given the new streaming platform also will carry NatGeo content, at least in the US.

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13 Responses to “Three More HD Channels for Sky”

  1. I’ve been looking for Supergirl for weeks now. I was looking to record in HD for the first time, fast tracked from USA. Due to it not being shown on Sky5, I am forced to continue to illegally download it.

  2. Sky Italia is an Italian satellite television platform operated by Sky, itself owned by Comcast. Sky Italia also broadcasts three national free-to-air television channels: Tv8, Cielo and Sky TG24. As of 2018, following an agreement with Mediaset, Sky Italia also operates a series of subscription-based terrestrial channels offering sports, entertainment and movies. Sky Italia is also the major sports broadcaster in Italy.

  3. +1, it’s as if these broadcasters never learn … In today’s world, if you cannot supply fast-tracked, people will just cancel, switch off watching and do it themselves.

  4. I notice on the official New Zealand Disney+ site it mentions National Geographic but of course that may not mean anything. I would have thought though Sky would definitely turn it into HD, which makes me think it’s leaving Sky 🙂

  5. I’ve been told from Sky “We have no plans for Sky 5 at this stage”.

  6. Thanks, Chris, but just to clarify: Has Sky told you it has no plans to resume Supergirl and The Flash on Sky 5?

  7. I forgot to mention it was for Supergirl. I was asking about that show on Twitter, no clue about the others.

  8. Just to let everyone know, Supergirl S05E01 is up on Sky GO and Sky Ondemand, just not HD!…

  9. Thanks, Darren. To see it in HD you have to subscribe to Neon.

  10. I’m hoping BBC Earth, UKTV go HD with the launch of Cbebbies in November.

  11. That’s why I never use those services from Sky, no HD. Likely also no 5.1 surround sound.

  12. Just an update, Supernatural and The Flash are also up on Sky Go and Sky On demand.

  13. Nancy Drew also available on demand despite it being a Neon exclusive.

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