Sky is adding seven new high-definition channels to its HD TV service in the UK, bringing the total number of HD channels to 26. It had just nine HD channels when the service launched in May 2006.
From October, there will be six genre-themed Sky Movies channels in HD, and an HD version of Real Lives.
As awareness grows and sales of HD-ready TV sets continue to grow, Sky expects to add even more HD channels by the end of 2008.
The number of hours of native HD content on the Sky platform will increase to around 10,000 per month, more than 2.5 times the amount of standard-definition content offered by the five main terrestrial channels combined, claims Sky.
Hilary Perchard, head of advanced TV products for Sky, says: "With equipment prices falling and the choice of content increasing, this is shaping up to be a big year for HD. Almost half a million homes are already enjoying Sky+ HD and we're excited to be offering even more HD content to our customers."
Highlights across the new channels include:
* Sky Movies Action/Thriller HD
UK HD Premiere of Lock Stock and Two Smokin' Barrels, with 300, The Bourne Ultimatum, Die Hard 4.0 and Casino Royale also showing.
* Sky Movies Sci-Fi/Horror HD
UK HD Premiere of The Frighteners and The Haunting, with Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Robocop, Ghost Rider, 28 Weeks Later, Black Christmas and Dead Silence also showing.
* Sky Movies Drama HD
Key titles include: 3:10 To Yuma, Freedom Writers, The Last King Of Scotland and Atonement
* Sky Movies Modern Greats HD
UK HD Premiere of The Sound Of Music and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
* Sky Movies Family HD
UK HD Premiere of Tarzan. Other highlights include Evan Almighty, Eragon, Charlotte's Web and Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End.
* Sky Movies Comedy HD
Key titles include Hot Fuzz, Blades Of Glory, Run, Fat Boy Run and Rush Hour 3.
* Sky Real Lives HD
– Lorraine Kelly's DNA Stories: Lorraine Kelly is back for a second series of the emotionally-charged programme that helps ordinary people find the answers to family-related questions through the use of advanced DNA testing.
– Toy Boys: Sky Real Lives meets a group of women who are hitting the dating scene with a vengeance. After emerging from decades-long relationships, they are determined to recapture their youth by capturing a youth.
– The Real A&E: Sky Real Lives ventures into Coventry University Hospital's A&E department to follow the tireless work of the medical team of consultants, nurses and ambulance crew as they provide 24/7, life-saving treatment to their patients.
– Other highlights include: Fashion Avenue, a new style show hosted by Jodie Kidd; Women Behind Bars, which goes behind the scenes of some of America's most notorious female prisons; and Project Catwalk series three.
Additionally, Sky Movies will launch a weekly HD UK premiere slot on Sky Movies Premiere HD every Friday, which will showcase the first UK HD TV screening of both modern and classic movies. Highlights for October include Back to the Future, Apollo 13, Unforgiven, X Men and Austin Powers 2.