Setanta scores a first in high-definition revolution
THE high-definition (HD) revolution continues with news that the sports channel Setanta Ireland is to launch a HD channel in January 2011, becoming the first indigenous broadcaster to use HD.
Initially the channel will be available on UPC's cable platform with a launch on satellite at a later date.
The station will be taking the lead from Sky and focusing on its major events first, with the emphasis on football and Gaelic games.
"High-definition channels have become established over the past couple of years and HD is rapidly becoming the standard in sports broadcasting. We are delighted to be the first Irish channel to make the move to HD," said Michael O'Rourke, the broadcaster's co-founder and chief executive.
"Sports content shows off HD at its best. In 2011 our HD viewers will be able to see the Barclays Premier League, the FA Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League, plus the pinnacle of Setanta's 2011 rugby coverage will be the Rugby World Cup with all games live in high definition," he added.
"We are thrilled to be able to broadcast Irish sport in HD. This will include the 2011 Allianz National League GAA football and hurling as well as domestic soccer action including the Setanta sports cup. It is important to thank UPC for providing us with a platform to launch the HD channel. Their support has meant that we can launch the HD channel earlier than expected and it will be a great addition to their existing HD channels."
UPC chief executive Robert Dunn was equally pleased with the move to HD.
"This partnership underlines our commitment in using cutting-edge technology to help produce and distribute outstanding content and the HD format is adding a new dimension to home entertainment for our customer base," he said.
Anyone who has watched television, especially sport, in standard definition and then watched the same broadcast in HD will testify to the startling difference in quality and, with TV3 planning to build a HD-compatible studio, it is a space to watch.