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Sky HD is here

Subscriptions up for grabs next week

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Deck your telly in bunting: Sky has finally announced a date for its high definition service. You can start snapping up HD Sky+ boxes and subscriptions next Wednesday (12 April), though you'll have to wait a few weeks for installation.

Meanwhile, you might want to amuse yourself by selling all your old Deep Space 9 DVDs – because the HD service doesn't come cheap. The 160GB box (what happened to the rumoured 300GB one?) costs £299, and they also want £10 a month for an HD subscription - that's on top of your usual Sky digital subs. Oh, and you'll need to have an HD-ready telly.

If you can stretch to that, you’ll be able to watch Sky One HD, Artsworld HD, National Geographic HD, and Discovery HD, the channel where you can almost taste every hair on that meerkat's face. You also get access to pay-per-view Sky Box Office HD. For Sky Sports and Movies HD, you'll need to be subscribing to the regular Sky Sports or Movies channels. Find out more and book an installation at Sky's website.

Another TV titan that's going futuristic is Blue Peter, which has ditched the sticky-backed stuff for another kind of plastic: swipe cards. This Orwellian move is to stop all those pesky kids getting into Madame Tussaud's for free with Blue Peter badges they've bought off eBay. Rather than get a badge, Blue Peter's favourite viewers will now be rewarded with an ID card for swots.

I was upset when the eBay badge story broke. Not because of the badge-sellers’ enterprising spirit, but because I've got a Blue Peter badge, and they never told me I could get into things free. I just thought it was a nice thing to have. Just think,with all the cash I’d have saved, I might even have been able to afford Sky HD.

Five to watch this week:

Doctor Who Weekend, UKTV Gold, Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 April, 11am-6pm
A week ahead of the new series, UKTV Gold wants you to stay indoors, close the curtains and immerse yourself in Eccleston-flavoured Who. Best time to catch the new trailers, by the way, is about 7pm on BBC1.

Hypnosurgery Live, More4, Monday 10 April, 9pm
Is hypnosis as good as novocaine? One poor soul gets to find out when he has a hernia operation live on More4 – and the only anaesthetic is a bloke swinging his pocket watch.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Five, Tuesday 11 April, 9pm
A splendid episode, in which Grissom and co find the body of a man with a form of hirsutism so extreme that he looks like Teenwolf. Silver bullet?

Stardate: Mysteries of Venus, BBC2, Wednesday 12 April, 7pm and 11.50pm
The Venus Express spacecraft has long been trundling towards our neighbouring planet, and it’s due to arrive during this programme. Adam Hart-Davies and inexplicably ubiquitous Myleene Klass host the countdown.

Forensic Detectives, Discovery, Wednesday 12 April, 11pm
A look at how such technological advances as DNA testing and fibre analysis are helping criminologists catch the crims.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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