Sky Perfect readies HD service

Japanese broadcaster to unveil channel Oct. 1

TOKYO — Sky Perfect Communications, which operates the SkyPerfectv! communications satellite platform, has confirmed plans for the October launch of SkyPerfectv! HD (in Japanese, Sukapa! HD), its new HD channel service.

At a press conference on Tuesday, prexy Masao Nito said the company will offer 15 HD channels on the service, starting on October 1, expanding to 70 by October 2009 and 100 by 2012. This will make Sky Perfect the biggest provider of HD channels in Japan.

Among the offerings are four pic channels: a Star Channel Hi-Vision, Satellite Theater HD, Movie Plus HD and Nihon Eiga, a Japanese pic speciality chanel skedded to bow with the original 1954 “Godzilla” and 27 other classic pics, all broadcast in HD. Other channels will offer sports ( J Sports Plus), foreign dramas (Fox HD), domestic entertainment programming (TBS Channel, Fuji TV CSHD, TV Asahi HD), PPV broadcasts (four channels) and adult programming (two channels).

To receive the HD service, subs will need dedicated tuners, but will be able to take any number of channels, starting with one. The picture quality will be comparable to that offered by broadcast satellite and terrestrial digital strands.

Launched in 1994, Sky Perfect Communications provides some 290 channels on its SkyPerfectv! platform and 70 on its e2by Sky Perfect platform sourced from 100 channel consignees. It also operates the Hikari optical fiber network service and, since its April 2007 merger with JSAT, communication satellites in a holding company structure.

As of the end of July, subs totaled 4.28 million.

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