Sky names HD launch day

But Telewest/NTL gets Lost and Desperate Housewives in high def

After months of speculation Sky has officially confirmed that its HD service will start broadcasting on Monday, 22 May. On that date the first of the 40,000 telly addicts who have signed up to the HD service will have their system installed.

Sky has also revealed what HD punters will be watching in the first week on its HD channels. Top billing for the opening night goes to Star Wars with Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith the big draw. Other big movies for the first week include Wallace & Gromit In The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and the oldie, but probably very good in HD, Independence Day.

Sports fans are offered the cricket test match between England and Sri Lanka, and the final of Rugby Union's Guinness Premiership. There's a full list of the programmes Sky has lined up for its first few months here.

However, the satellite broadcaster isn't going to have it all its own way. Telewest/NTL has signed a deal with Channel Four to deliver Lost and Desperate Housewives. It will show series one and two of both shows, on demand via its digital service in May and June. And the big news for HD fans is that Telewest/NTL has secured the HD rights to the shows.

NTL/Telewest needs some exciting HD content on its service. After a good start with movies like Sin City and programmes like Pride, the HD content has all but dried up.

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