Ten plans free to air digital HD TV

As of December, the Ten HD channel will break away from its primary channel and offer alternative programming and themed events in full high definition “for substantial periods of the day”

The Ten Network announced plans this week to launch Australia's first free to air High Definition digital television channel.

As of December, the Ten HD channel will break away from its primary channel and offer alternative programming and themed events in full high definition "for substantial periods of the day". These will focus on live sport, entertainment, movies, documentaries and science fiction.

Ten emphasises that it is the only (Australian) network transmitting the globally-recognised pinnacle HD broadcast standard (1920 pixels by 1080 lines interlaced (1080i) and 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound.

Ten CEO Grant Blackley said in a press statement that Ten's digital online and mobile activities and the recently concluded retransmission agreement with FOXTEL are demonstrations of Ten's multi-platform distribution strategy.

Blackley added that there is an impressive take up of HD around the world, referring to industry figures from Digital Broadcasting Australia. The figures show that by March 2007, 28 percent of Australian homes had free to view digital television, with HD receiving equipment comprising the fastest growing segment of a market that is itself dramatically increasing each quarter.

At this rate the Australian Digital Suppliers Industry Forum estimates there will be at least one HD TV in the vast majority of Australia's eight million homes in only five years.