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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
Telewest offers World Cup in HDTV
World Cup
BBC and ITV are showing live World Cup coverage in HDTV from 9 June
Telewest customers will be able to watch every World Cup match in high-definition (HDTV), after the cable firm agreed deals with ITV and the BBC.

ITV will also broadcast a range of dramas and classic films in the format.

A deal with Channel 4 also means people with a TVDrive - Telewest's HDTV-ready recorder - can see episodes of Lost and Desperate Housewives in the format.

HDTV offers clearer images and sound. A compatible TV, set-top box and relevant cable or satellite service are needed.

Wildlife show

The deal between Telewest and ITV means only those with cable will be able to watch every World Cup match in HD, provided they have the right equipment.

ITV viewers will also be able to see documentaries including Jean-Michel Cousteau's epic new wildlife series Ocean Adventures and classic films such as All Quiet on the Western Front.

Dramas including a number of Agatha Christie's Poirot specials will also be shown in HD.

ITV controller of emerging technologies Simon Fell said: "We are delighted to be able to broadcast the World Cup in high definition with NTL Telewest - making it the only place viewers can watch every live match in HD."

The BBC is offering coverage of the World Cup and Wimbledon, as well as other programmes, in HDTV via Sky and Telewest as part of a year-long trial.

Surround sound

BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five have also teamed up to test HDTV broadcasts transmitted through normal aerials.

The trial will be restricted to 500 Freeview users in the London area.

Widespread HDTV broadcasts via Freeview may not be possible until after the UK has fully switched to digital TV in 2012.

Television signals broadcast in high definition have four to five times more picture information than standard television signals.

HDTV broadcasts can also include 5.1 surround sound. Sky is launching its high definition TV service on 22 May.

The broadcaster will install its first HDTV boxes that day after taking 40,000 advance orders from customers in the first three weeks of booking.

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