“ Sky Sports has recently launched two new HD channels. Sky Sports HD launched on February 13, 2006, and currently airs live cricket, Premier League and Football League, and Guinness Premiership Rugby. Sky has also announced that this year's Ryder Cup will be televised in HD. In July 2006 Sky Sports HD 2 launched on Sky Digital channel 409, at the same time Sky Sports HD 1 moved to channel 408, with Sky Sports News switching to channel 405. There was also an HD version of PremPlus, called Prem Plus HD, which broadcast on Sky channel 483 until the football session ended. It was briefly branded Sky Sports HD X and used to broadcast other Sky Sports content in HD, before it ceased broadcasting. It has been announced that the new season of the rugby Super League will be broadcast in HD from the start of the season in February. The NFL Super Bowl was the first American event to be broadcast in HD in the UK. „
As I write this review there are currently 3 Sky Sports HD channels plus as part of the HD package you get Eurosport HD even if you don't get Eurosport.
The Sky channels are Sky Sports 1, 2 & 3. They show a variety of both domestic & international sports. These include things like Football, Rugby (League & Union), Cricket, American Football & Darts.
If you have a HD TV set & have connected your Sky HD box with a HDMI cable, you will see a difference in picture quality. The difference is hard to describe but I would compare it to the difference between DVD & VHS. At first I wondered what the fuss was about. But after getting used to DVD, watching a VHS felt terrible & like watching something 30 years old.
One thing I feel that I have to mention. Just because something is on Sky Sports HD does not actually mean that it is in High Definition. American Football is a good example. Last season, most of the regular season games were on the HD channels but were not in High Definition. Only the post season games were shown in HD. The way to tell if your programme is actually in HD is to bring up the info & look in the top right where you can see the Subtitle or Dolby surround details. If it says HD your programme is being broadcast in High Definition. If it doesn't, even though the programme is on a HD channel, the programme is actually being broadcast & shown in Standard Definition. Another thing to mention, because sport is fast paced, it is NEVER broadcast in Full High Definition (1080P) it is normally broadcast in 720. This means you will probably get a better picture when watching Sky Movies or a Blu-Ray.
Over all it isn't a bad service. Plus Sky Sports is one of only 2 ways you can watch the Premier League live & in HD (the other being ESPN). This picture & sound quality is very good. The range of sport you get is really large. Just remember that half of it will be in Standard Definition.
Sky Sports HD offers three high defintion sports channels which are a simulcast of Sky Sports 1,2 & 3. Occassionally the 3rd sports channel may show Sky Sports Xtra in high definition rather than 3 when there is a relevent sporting event being shown. Currently the HD versions of Sky's service is only currently available on their own satellite platform & not on cable.
The picture quality of these channels when showing events in native High Defintion is superb & I would say they are probably the best channels at present from which to get the maximum high definition experience. I watch alot of football from the Barclays Premiership to the Champions League and can say the picture quality is very crisp & detailed. I have also been watching alot of the Cricket this summer on Sky Sports HD & can say the picture is fantastic and almost like being there.
As well as the superb picture quality, a number of events are also broadcast in Dolby Digital adding great sound quality to the superb picture. These channels don't broadcast everything in high definition and some programmes may be upscaled which still improve on the picture quality provided by the standard defintion equivalents.
If you're a sports fan & want to experience it like it was supposed to be, Sky Sports HD won't disappoint!
SKY Sports HD is actually now made up of 3 separate sports channels that are basically SKY Sports 1, 2 & 3 but in high definition. This means now that if the program you really want to watch on SKY Sports is available in high definition then it will definitely be on in high definition because no programs are cut anymore to merge 3 normal definition channels into 1 high definition channel. This is great for me because I love WWE wrestling and that always seemed to miss the cut when programs had to be selected for the single HD channel.
Now, as with all SKY HD channels, not everything is broadcast in high definition, which was a little disappointing for me when I first got it, but then again. The vast majority of sporting events now are and every single football match, barring Spanish La Liga, is in high definition, so that, along with the glorious and vibrant WWE wrestling shows, means that I pretty much have all of my sporting needs delivered in high definition. To check whether the program you are wanting to watch is broadcasted in HD could not be easier. You simply need to press the information button on the remote and look for the HD letters in the top right. This is where W (widescreen) and PG (parental guardian) kind of keys are placed.
The picture quality will naturally depend upon the standard of your TV rather than the HD Box itself, but needless to say, you will struggle to not be impressed by any sport in HD regardless of your exact resolution and I am certainly delighted with how it looks on mine, even though it is not the best HD resolution currently on the market.
SKY is re-nound for the bright colours and impactful graphics it uses on its sports channels and this is brought to life brilliantly on these HD channels. The screen almost seems to be pooping out at you at times and the animation effects work well too.
All in all, Sky Sports HD channels are worth the purchase of a HD Box and a HD TV alone. A must buy for any sports fan.
Sky Sports HD has been implemented into 3 channels, Skysports HD 1, Skysports HD2, and Skysports HD 3, each showing regular programming of each skysports channel in high definition picture. HD television is best watched doing three things, watching sport, watching action movies, and watching the discovery channel. The skysports HD channels have provided a great picture for needed sports such as golf, football, cricket and now even WWE wrestling is shown in High Def. Not all programming on the HD channel is HD. This is because not all programs can be broadcasted with the right equipment. However, most of the programs are HD.
High definition television is just an increase in picture quality. This is because more colours can be viewed through the new technology making the picture more crisp and bold. Without HD when watching football, the players have a blurry outline. On HD, each player looks clear. You can see the state of the football pitches for what they are. The crowd even looks crystal clear.
In all honesty, I cant watch sport nowadays unless it is in HD. However it is definitely something I could live without. It is not needed in all entirety. However, it is great to have. I cant stress enough how much better watching sports is in high definition quality.
If your entertaining guests in your home for a football game, the only way you can impress them more is by having the game in High Definition. Its the next best thing to being there in the flesh.
To watch Sky Sports HD you must subscribe to Sky HD, and buy a high definition box. HD channels although they appear on the listings of Sky and Sky+ boxes, will not work unless you have subscribed to a Sky HD package. To do this follow the instructions you recieve on your tv, or just visit sky.com for more details on the types of packages you can acquire.
On sky the Skysports channels are:
1) SkySports HD1 - Channel no. 408
2) Skysports HD2 - Ch no. 409
3) Skysports HD3 - Ch no. 450
Remember though, skysports HD does not provide any new programming that the original skysports channel show, unlike BBC HD. The only upgrade is the picture quality. However, sports gets so much better when you watch HD, and live in the future.