Eutelsat Now Transmitting 100 HD Television Channels

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Satellite fleet operator Eutelsat has signed on its 100th high-definition television channel, Sky Italia’s Sky Sport 1HD, bringing the total number of HDTV channels in Europe and the Middle East — including those not carried by — to 243, Paris-based announced Oct. 7.

Eutelsat began transmitting high-definition television (HDTV) broadcasts in 2005 and has seen its HDTV channel count double in the last 15 months. The company said a survey it commissioned in 37 nations in Europe and the Middle East found that more than 10 million households “intend to move into an HD environment over the next year.”

Satellite fleet operators are counting on the move toward large HD-Ready flat-screen televisions to accelerate demand for HDTV, which uses more satellite bandwidth than standard-definition digital programming. Eutelsat has begun experimenting with 3-D television, which requires still more bandwidth.