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Olympics to push HD to the fore

Roger Mosey | 08:27 UK time, Tuesday, 20 November 2007

There was cheering news on Monday from the BBC Trust, who've given the go-ahead for the BBC's High Definition television service.

There has, of course, been an experimental service since last year's World Cup - and it was BBC Sport, in the form of Gary Lineker & Co, who got the channel under way live from Germany 2006.

Now, there'll be plenty of great things on the HD channel: programmes like Cranford, Torchwood and Earth - Power Of The Planet . But sport will be one of its major selling-points.

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And we're particularly excited because this means we can show the Beijing Olympics in HD next August.

We'll have more details of that nearer the time, but at the moment we're busy planning what else we'll be able to offer in HD in the coming months. For all the proper regulatory reasons, we weren't able to commit further money to HD until we got the permission to go ahead - and we're now working through the budgets and booking the technical equipment that's needed.

So we can't guarantee some events in the short term, but as well as the Olympics we're hoping to offer Euro 2008 in HD. Wimbledon and The Masters should be on the channel, too, and we're currently reviewing options for live football and the Six Nations. Most of the rugby should be in HD by 2009 if not 2008.

HD does cost us more to produce, which is the reason we can't just steam ahead regardless; but as anyone with an HD set will know - the results are stunning. So we'll move as fast as we can; and if Beijing lives up to expectations we can't wait to see what the promised spectacular Opening and Closing ceremonies will look like in HD - as well as all the action in between.

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