Socceroos to kick off Foxtel's foray into HD TV

Foxtel HD+ to go live on Sunday, June 22

Foxtel will officially launch its new high definition television service on Sunday night when it broadcasts the Socceroos World Cup qualifying match against China in Sydney.

Foxtel will be broadcasting its HD service, called Foxtel HD+, on five dedicated channels: BBC HD, Discovery HD, National Geographic Channel HD, FOX Sports HD, ESPN HD. It will also offer Foxtel Box Office HD movies On Demand at $6.95 per movie.

Although the Socceroos game will be the official launch, the pay TV provider has been offering the service since the beginning of the month to its early subscribers.

"We've already seen extremely strong take up of Foxtel HD+ and the Foxtel iQ2 with more than 15,000 of our subscribers upgrading to the new service since it was made available to them in the past few weeks," said Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams.

Customers that take up the service need to upgrade to the new Foxtel iQ2 set top box. It comes equipped with a 320GB hard disk drive and also allows customers to record two shows at once, pause live TV and record favourite shows with Series Link.

The company is charging $200 to upgrade to the iQ2 box plus $10 per month thereafter. Packages for the additional channels start at $9.95 per month. Full pricing is listed here.

Foxtel said it will heavily promote the service through a new TV campaign.

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