Unitel Classica reveals HDTV details

German production and distribution company Unitel Classica wants to launch its high-definition channel for classical music and opera fans in mid-2009.

“Especially in uncertain times like these the classical music market remains a solid bastion,” managing director Jan Mojto told German financial newspaper Handelsblatt. The company already operates subscription channel Classica, which is offered in standard definition on Premiere’s pay-TV platform in Germany and Austria. “We have 40,000 subscribers who pay €8 per month,” said Mojto. Sister services are available in Spain and Italy, with a programme window offered in Japan.

Mojto has high hopes for the brilliant picture and sound quality offered by HDTV. He believes that classical music lovers are prepared to pay even more than €8 per month for an HDTV offer. In the coming three years he plans to produce 300 hours of classical music footage in the new TV technology.

The HDTV channel, plans for which Mojto announced in August 2008, will be available for carriage by pay-TV platform operators via cable, satellite and ADSL worldwide. Last year Unitel Classica in collaboration with satellite operator SES Astra transmitted music and opera concerts in high definition during the “Festivalsommer der Klassik” (Festival Summer of Classics) on Astra (19.2° East).