By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Sony Australia has come out in support of the recent announcements from Channel 7 and Network Ten that they plan to introduce new high definition (HD) digital multi-channels within the year.

Both broadcasters this week announced that they would launch a high definition channel showing exclusive content, at times different from their normal programming.

“Given rapid developments in digital technology and consumer trends overseas, it is encouraging to see the local broadcasters really driving digital content, in particular HD content, and taking ownership in this exciting new era in broadcast and viewing technology,” said Sony managing director, Carl Rose.

“I’m particularly encouraged by the vision and direction shown by both networks, especially Network Ten, in adopting HD for the new digital channel. HD, and in particular full HD (broadcast in 1080 resolution), is without question the future for television globally and in Australia, and will set a benchmark for the level of clarity and detail home viewers will come to expect on their TVs.

Sony claims consumers are already switching on to full HD.

According to early figures from the company’s forthcoming HD Benchmark report, produced in conjunction with GfK, HD models (with a minimum screen resolution of 720 lines of horizontal resolution) currently represent 93 per cent of all unit sales in the LCD TV category and 75 per cent of plasma TV sales.

“I urge Australia’s content creators, the Government, other manufacturers, retailers and other networks to embrace HD, to follow the lead set by Network Ten and Channel 7 and give our consumers what they want – a television future in high definition,” said Rose.

Channel Nine, which was formerly opposed to multi-channeling due to its financial ties to Foxtel, has yet to announce any similar plan to introduce an HD channel with unique programming.