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Sky Sports, Sky Movies to launch in HD on Smallworld Cable

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© Rex Features / olfgang Weinhaupl / WestEnd61

North-West digital TV operator Smallworld Cable has revealed plans to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2, along with all the Sky Movies channels in high definition to its customers by this Christmas.

Smallworld Cable offers broadband, cable TV and landline services over a fibre optic network to residential customers in North-West England and Western Scotland, including homes in Kilmarnock, Carlisle, Lancaster and Morecambe.

The company already offers the Sky Sports and Sky Movies channels in standard definition to its customers, but a launch of the HD variants has been rumoured for some time.

David Durnford, the owner and chief executive of Smallworld Cable, said that the HD channels should launch before Christmas, following final technical checks from Sky.

He also said that the cable operator would be launching Sky1 HD, Sky Living HD, and Sky Arts 1 & 2 HD at the same time.

In response to a question on the Digital Spy forums, Durnford said: "We are expecting to launch Sky Sports HD (1&2) plus all the Sky Movies in HD for this Christmas, but are still working with BSkyB on the technical side.

"Basically they are coming up to double check our technical implementation from a security point of view. I don't expect any issues but we cannot formally launch until that is finalised and the contract signed.

"The equipment has all been ordered and the technical work is underway. We will also be launching a number of SD channels at the same time, plus Sky1 HD, Sky Living HD, and Sky Arts 1&2 HD. I should be able to confirm in the next two weeks or so."

Last year, media regulator Ofcom ordered Sky to cut the wholesale price of the standard definition Sky Sports channels (1 & 2) for other operators after concluding a review of the pay-TV industry.

Sky is also currently facing an investigation by the Competition Commission over its control of the pay-TV movies market, after complaints that the satellite firm is restricting competition.

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