Lights! Cameras! HD Action Movies!

Sky at last is upgrading its Action and Classics movie channels to HD.

The services will switch to HD from September 1 for subscribers with MySky (HDi, +) and an HD ticket.

The move is long overdue and comes as a surprise given Sky’s been downplaying rolling out new HD channels because of  impediments such as bandwidth and significant hardware/content/bandwidth costs.

One can’t help but suspect that intensifying streaming competition, from tomorrow’s launch of Spark’s Lightbox to easier accessing of Netflicks to TVNZ beefing up its on-demand content, is spurring the rash of new HD channels, ranging from ESPN2 to The Zone to  Movies Action and Classics.

Whatever the reason for the upsurge, at long last Sky is starting to offer HD ticket-holders some value for money, given they’re been paying an extra $10 a month for years to receive only a handful of sports-dominated channels (I exclude Sky’s carriage of TVNZ and TV3 in HD because they’re not exclusive to its platform).

But viewers of news and general entertainment also are entitled to better quality than the lousy SD compression that compromises the cable news and doco channels (all of which are in HD in the US) and the likes of UK TV and Vibe at a time when their schedules have improved measurably.

In the meantime, Sky says subscribers will need to cancel and rebook any upcoming movies on Movies Action and Movies Classics because of the HD switch. If you don’t rebook, you will lose any bookings you made before September 1.

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2 Responses to “Lights! Cameras! HD Action Movies!”

  1. YAY, wonder if there is still hope for Prime been changed into HD? :)

  2. There are disturbing reports on Geekzone that all of Sky’s HD channels have been reduced from 1920x1080i to 1440x1080i to allow room for the new HD channels. Do you have any contacts at Sky that could confirm that they have reduced the quality by 1/3? If it’s true, I’m very disappointed.

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