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More HD and 3D for Foxtel

Foxtel will launch new HD channels in sport, music and documentary plus a dedicated 3D channel in November.

Foxtel will launch new HD channels in sport, music and documentary plus a dedicated 3D channel on November 1st.

The new channels arrive a year after the rollout of “Next Generation” channels by Foxtel last November.

As rumoured last month, the new channels include Speed (channel 505), Speed HD (channel 206), MTV Hits (channel 808), MTVN Live (channel 812), MTVN Live HD (channel 252), BBC Knowledge HD (channel 242), Nat Geo Wild HD (channel 238) and Foxtel 3D (channel 201).

CEO Kim Williams said: “With these superb new channels we expand even further the range of choice we offer our customers over their television viewing.

“With the five new HD channels we add even greater depth to what is already Australia’s most comprehensive HD offering – with our customers now able to choose from 20 HD channels including a 3D channel. Our new dedicated 3D channel is another ground-breaking first and will allow our customers to experience movies, sports and documentaries in stunningly clear and immersive 3D pictures.

“These channel additions further Foxtel’s commitment to continue to innovate and invest in our television service and expand our channel offering for subscribers. We now have over 200 channels on the Foxtel platform providing premium programming across all genres, both in standard and an ever expanding High Definition range,” Williams said.

“We are thrilled to announce Australia’s first dedicated 3D channel which will showcase a range of 3D programming. This channel will be a single destination for 3D content which will continue to evolve over time as we work with our channel partners to deliver our viewers a range of the best 3D programming across sport, general entertainment, factual and movie programming.”

Speed is a dedicated motorsports channel from Premier Media Group with extensive racing coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including live coverage of every Superbike World Championship race, NASCAR Sprint, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, the GT1 World Championship, Monster Energy Super X plus prime time racing from the V8 Supercars, Dakar Rally, Formula 2 and World Series Sprintcars. Speed will lift the hood on the latest from the world of motorsport. From the garage to the track, and pit-lane to the Chequered Flag, whether it’s on four wheels or two, on land, water or in the air – if it goes fast SPEED and Speed HD will have it covered.

MTVN Live is a mix of new and classic concerts and music festivals from around the world bringing viewers the best of MTV’s live music, music videos, and music documentaries in high-end visual quality. The channel will also be available in stunning 1080i High Definition and immersive Dolby Surround 5.1 surround sound on MTVN Live HD.

MTV Hits is round-the-clock fresh music hits featuring exclusive access to the hottest music videos from the world’s biggest superstars including Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Usher, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.

Foxtel 3D will be a mix of sport programs and live events from FOX SPORTS and ESPN. The 3D Channel will be available to FOXTEL’s HD subscribers who also subscribe to the Sports Package. ESPN 3D sports programming will be simulcast from ESPN HD channel and includes NBA, College Football and XGames. FOX Sports will be broadcasting popular sports events including Wimbledon Tennis.

Foxtel also adds more Timeshift channels with National Geographic Channel +2 (channel 622), Nat Geo Adventure +2 (channel 629), 13th Street +2 (channel 163), and the new-look Discovery Travel & Living channel known as TLC +2 (channel 647).

All HD channels  will be a simulcast of the standard definition channel.

A recent survey of TV Tonight readers indicated little interest in 3D television, but a stronger demand for more HD Channels.

To accommodate the new channels some channels will be shifting: ESPN HD (channel 211), UKTV HD (channel 214), Main Event (channel 510) and Discovery +2 (channel 620).

35 Responses

  1. I echo other’s thoughts in the odd choices for new HD channels.

    Speed HD, MTVN Live HD, Nat Geo Wild HD and BBC Knowledge HD?

    Really?

    Two of those channels do not even currently exist in Australia, so it’s not like Foxtel can say there is demand for them in HD.

    Foxtel should be concentrating on launching HD versions of the most watched and popular channels. That includes third party channels like TV1, SciFi, LifeStyle and Sky News, as well as Foxtel owned and operated channels like History, Arena, Comedy and Crime & Investigation.

    I can tell you exactly what Foxtel has one here though. They’ve chosen cheap options of HD channels that already exist overseas (Asia, Europe USA) etc that they cab beam in for cheap. It’s much easier and cheaper for Foxtel to do that to make it seem like they have a commitment to HD, rather than invest it upgrading it’s own channels in HD.

    Foxtel should be launching all it’s own channels in HD, and also pushing partners like Sky News, TV1 and Lifestyle to go HD.

  2. The Speed channel is a good addition, but I can see there being an aweful lot or repeated stuff during the racing offseason (over our summer period). Lots more bling without much substance in that package. Once again Foxtel remains obsessed with the ‘next generation’ before getting the current one sorted out.

  3. I think up till this point, Foxtel have been quite reasonable with their selections of which channels go HD (except for the replacement of BBC HD with UKTV HD, and the presence of an HD timeshift when there are only 15 HD channels…).

    But this time around, some of the decisions are shockers (in my opinion anyway). Very surprised that while launching only 4 new HD channels, this figure includes obscure stuff like MTV Live and NG Wild, when there are far more obvious candidates like History, SciFi, Arena, Lifestyle, and a few others that are probably escaping my mind at the moment. I mean, sure, launch them when we have 35-40 channels, but right now?

    And come on, Foxtel 3D is not a channel. There is Rarely anything on. Should be more like a Main Event arrangement, and when there’s nothing to put on, there should be a more useful channel in its place. In addition (and I may be picking bones here) Discovery HD World should be dumped because it is rubbish, and replaced with an HD simulcast of the main channel.

    But at least BBC Knowledge is back in HD. We’re getting SOMETHING on November 1.

  4. I hope MTV Hits has the same blue colour as MTV but MTV should be free of all its music programming as it should move over to the new channel! My Pix should air weekdays @ 9:30 am and 3:30pm on the channel and the show MTV Hits should go from 6-9am weekdays on the channel

  5. ok some of that is absolute bullsh*t!! I’m actually going to make it into dot points the reasons why this is rediculou:
    “MTV Hits, come on we already have V Hits we dont need another music channel dedicated to hits. and MTV in HD, not exactly needed.
    *The launch of SPEED is fantastic as for a sport driven country our sports package sucks. But launching it in HD when there are so many already broadcasting channels that should be in HD is rediculous! Unless Austar plan on making changes throughout the year instead of just every November this is one of their biggest screw ups!
    *Sorry to repeat myself but launching new HD channels when their are already SD channels that need HD simulcasts, such as Arena, LifeStyle, 13th Street, Universal, Sci Fi, and Movie Extra.
    And someone already said about the Austar/Foxtel problem of their “nah uh mine is bigger” competition, I couldnt agree more! Us country foke need to stop being discriminated against and being refused channels (Discovery HD and Nat Geo HD) and services (Box Office HD, updated EPG, etc.). If Austar and Foxtel dont shake hands and agree to offer the same stuff than a new broadcaster needs to start up like DirecTV or Sky Digital that offers to an entire country so they can pull their heads out of their a**es!
    And sorry David about the swearing but I’m sick of it.

  6. I hope Foxtel will stop the double charging with these changes. I like many have been looking forward to HD channels for years, but I won’t pay for the same channel twice, i.e. currently you have to pay for the SD version of a channel to get its HD equivalent. Why would you watch the SD version if you have the HD channel, it’s just a rip off!

  7. Good for the HD channels but what about making all existing 4:3 to 16:9 first, namely Discovery which is already in HD but for those of us not on HD we’re stuck in the old format.

    I hope Austar don’t put the prices up, IMO they should be capped at no more than $99, I mean at a time when other entertainment like the Internet is coming down with lower ADSL costs, pay TV is still going up.

  8. Okay, so not the greatest selection of new channels, but more channels for the same price is fine.
    I think most people will agree here, that when it comes to HD channels, we want to see Arena, TV1, Comedy, and SciFi hit HD more than many of the others.

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