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Japan’s Sky Perfect hits high-def

Broadcaster plans launch for Oct. 1

TOKYO — Sky Perfect Communications, which operates the SkyPerfecTV satellite platform, has confirmed plans for the Oct. 1 launch of SkyPerfecTV HD.

Prexy Masao Nito said on Tuesday that the company will offer 15 HD channels to begin with and expand to 70 by October 2009 and 100 by 2012. Under this plan Sky Perfect would become Japan’s biggest provider of HD channels.

Among the offerings are four movie nets — Star Channel Hi-Vision, Satellite Theater HD, Movie Plus HD and Nihon Eiga, a Japanese specialty pic channel that will bow with the original 1954 “Godzilla” and 27 other classic movies.

Other channels will offer sports (J Sports Plus), foreign dramas (Fox HD), domestic entertainment (TBS Channel, Fuji TV CSHD, TV Asahi HD), PPV (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.

Launched in 1994, Sky Perfect Communications provides 290 channels on SkyPerfecTV and 70 on its e2by Sky Perfect platform. Subscribers totaled 4.28 million as of the end of July.

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