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23/03/2006

BBC to show World Cup and Wimbledon coverage in HD

The BBC will broadcast its 2006 World Cup coverage and major Wimbledon matches in high definition this summer as part of its pioneering trial.
The BBC HD trial will kick off with the BBC's share of World Cup matches up to and including the Sunday 9 July final. World Cup 2006 will be the first major sporting event to be broadcast in HD in the UK.
The BBC's summer of HD sport will continue with Wimbledon matches from Centre Court and Court One.
HD is a new kind of television which delivers more detailed pictures and sharper shots of fast-moving action than conventional 'standard definition'. The HD format will be an extra stream alongside conventional analogue and digital broadcasts.
It will only be accessible to viewers who have all of the following: HD Ready televisions, HD set top boxes and HD services from satellite or cable providers.
News about the World Cup and Wimbledon in HD follows finalisation of the technical and partnership arrangements for the trial.
The BBC's HD trial will last for about 12 months. It will enable the BBC to test technical delivery of HD and to understand how the audience values a BBC HD service. Any ongoing BBC HD service will be subject to approval by the BBC Trust.
Director of Sport Roger Mosey said: "High definition works particularly well for sport. It gives fantastic picture quality, from the blades of grass that are being played on right to the back of the stands, and although only limited numbers of people will be able to see this trial we hope it will be a glimpse of the future."
Head of BBC HD TV Seetha Kumar said: "We believe that in the long term the BBC can help provide the benefits of HD to everyone, free to air, in the same way that we backed colour, stereo, widescreen and online in the past.
"With this trial, the BBC is taking the first crucial steps to support the development of HD broadcasting in the UK."
BBC HD will start broadcasting on Monday May 15 with a test stream previewing forthcoming programmes. The first live HD programme will be the opening World Cup match Germany Vs Costa Rica on Friday June 9.
BBC commentary and studio coverage in HD will wrap up the HD feed from German host broadcasters Premiere. Standard definition digital and analogue BBC ONE coverage will also draw on high definition images, both for the World Cup and for Wimbledon where the BBC is the host broadcaster.
(GB)
VMI.TV Ltd

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