All HBO, Cinemax channels to be in HD

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Home Box Office said Tuesday that it has committed to making all 26 feeds of its HBO and Cinemax multiplex channels available in high-definition.

The rollout will begin later this year, with anticipated completion by the end of second-quarter 2008.

Meanwhile, DirecTV will start rolling out the HD feeds of 11 HBO and Cinemax channels nationally in September. Along with the HBO (East) HD channel it now carries, DirecTV will launch these HBO/Cinemax channels in HD: HBO West, HBO2 West, HBO2 East, HBO Family East, HBO Family West, HBO Latino, HBO Signature, Cinemax East, Cinemax West and MoreMax. DirecTV also carries each of these channels in standard-definition.

HBO said it was the first national cable network to offer HD feeds, with HBO HDTV launching in 1999 and Cinemax HDTV in 2003.

"We have a long history of firsts in technology: satellite, multiplex and SVOD," HBO chairman and CEO Bill Nelson said. "Such a commitment reinforces our tradition of giving our customers the best programming when they want it and how they want it. This move further solidifies HBO's leadership in the premium category."

The new HBO channels will be among the up to 100 national HD channels DirecTV is planning to roll out by year's end following the launch of its D10 satellite next month.
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