MTV-HD phase 2 roll-out

MTVís long-awaited high-def roll-out, including Latino markets, is imminent.

MTVN-HD is already on air in 17 countries, including Scandinavia and Poland, and is now to expand before year-end to the UK and Israel, as well as some Latin American countries. SES Astra will be beaming the service to French viewers.

The new HDTV channel is a combo-service, covering both MTV output plus programming from Nickelodeon. Quite how important the improved transmissions of SpongeBob SquarePants or Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius will be to HD fans is yet to be seen.

Fans will appreciate MTVís more important music output, and a statement says episodes of MTV Unplugged as well as the music awards will be included in HD.

The 24-hour, English language channel will premiere before the end of 2008 in ten new countries including the UK (BSkyB) and Israel (HOT) and for the first time, will launch across Latin America in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Caribbean Islands and Uruguay (DirecTV Panamericana).

The extra HDTV channel takes the number of HD services available from SES Astra to 58.