Discovery launches 24 hour high definition TV channel in US

Discovery HD Theater is the latest innovation from the Discovery Channel stable.

The new 24 hour definition television network will be launched on HD platforms being rolled out by EchoStar Communications Corporation on its DISH Network satellite TV service nationwide, AT&T Broadband's Greater Chicago Market and in other markets by Charter Communciations and Cox Communications. 

The launch makes Discovery one of the first media and communications companies in the US using digital signals for spurring the growth of HDTV and digital television, says a company release. Discovery HD Theater features fiction and non-fiction HDTV programming in all categories of entertainment offered by DCI, including nature, history, world cultures, geographic exploration, science, education, travel and vacation planning, world news and events, children's education and entertainment, health and medicine and how-to programming in the areas of home, hobbies and cooking. 

Discovery HD Theater(TM) is delivered to cable systems and satellite providers via Satcom C4, Transponder 14 and will be delivered in 1080i high-definition resolution.

DCI says it will promote Discovery HD Theater in its chain of retail outlets - Discovery Channel Stores - across the US, through a marketing partnership with DISH Network. DISH Network will deliver a live feed of the Discovery HD Theater signal in these stores while showcasing DISH Network HD equipment and services in Discovery Channel Stores beginning this summer.

The network will provide continuous 24-hour HDTV programming repeated in three-hour blocks, and presented in a theatrical format.

Programmes less than 30 minutes long will have no commercial breaks; instead, they will be preceded and followed by commercial messages from the channel's presenting sponsors. Programs longer than 30 minutes will contain intermissions. Discovery HD Theater currently has more than 110 hours of high-definition hours available to be scheduled, and will more than triple its library by the end of 2003, says the release. 


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