Eutelsat passes 100 HD channels

By Julian Clover
October 7, 2009 11.43 UK

Eutelsat Communications has taken the number of high definition channels broadcast across its satellite system to 100. The 100th HD channel to be broadcast is Sky Sport 1 HD, the flagship sports channel within the Sky Italia package, broadcast from the Hot Bird neighbourhood at 13 degrees East.

“The quest for constantly enhancing viewer choice and generating premium content is shared by the entire broadcasting community, making High Definition a natural step, with 3D already following close behind,” commented Eutelsat commercial director Olivier Milliès-Lacroix. “We believe that the consumer expectation for a first-class HD experience and the suitability of our satellites for distributing HD content both Direct-to-Home and to cable, IP and DTT networks are guarantees of a long-term market for Eutelsat and the satellite industry.”

HD transmissions began on the Eutelsat system in 2005 with the launch of Euro1080, the number of channels increasing tenfold since mid 2006. Of the 243 HD satellite streams broadcast in Europe and the Middle East, 42% do so over a Eutelsat satellite.

While 40% of Eutelsat’s HD traffic is from the Hot Bird neighbourhood, other satellites are in demand, such as Eurobird 9A (9 degrees East) that hosts two all-HD platforms, and video positions serving broadcast markets in Russia, Turkey and central Europe.