Sky News today announced that it will launch in High Definition on Thursday 6th May at 9.00pm to coincide with the channel’s election night show Decision Time. Sky News HD will be broadcast on Sky channel 517 and will be simulcast alongside Sky News’ existing Standard Definition channel 501.

As part of a premium service, the new High Definition channel unites first-class journalism with sharp picture quality and uses a widescreen format to show more detail about the key stories of the day, bringing HD customers closer to the news. The new channel is supported by an updated HD studio and HD resources in the field, while HD graphics create a striking on air look to deliver a clear, crisp and compelling new television experience.

John Ryley, Head of Sky News said: “We’ve made the news ourselves in 2010 by launching the first UK news service in HD with sharper pictures and enhanced services for HD viewers. It’s an innovation which clearly defines Sky’s strengths, our passion and our restless pursuit to be first and to be the best. The detail of Sky News HD is stunning - I hope our viewers will enjoy the new experience.”

From Monday 10th May 2010, viewers will benefit from a new and innovative way of story telling - HD Premium Panels – providing contextual detail about the key stories of the day. Content will include live video feeds from developing stories, rich graphics that enhance Sky News coverage and real-time text analysis from Sky News specialist correspondents during live speeches and events.

The launch of Sky News HD responds to increasing customer demand for high quality programming with the intensity and vividness of HD, and follows the channel’s successful HD broadcast last week of The Sky News Debate with Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

With the launch of Sky News HD, all Sky channel brands are now available in HD, with 40 HD channels spanning all genres. As of 31st December 2009, 2.1 million customers had signed up to receive Sky’s HD pack of channels.