Starz Encore Group LLC, which has historically been reticent to embrace HD,
rolled out three new HD services at the National Show: Sharper Movies HD, Starz!
HD and Starz On Demand HD.
Those three services will be 1080i (interlaced), 16:9 (aspect ratio) and have
5.1 Dolby Laboratories Inc. Surround Sound, requiring 17.3 megahertz of
Starz! HD will be an HD version of the main Starz! Channel, while Sharper
Movies HD is envisioned as a service that will be part of the HD tiers cable and
satellite operators are contemplating rolling out. Starz On Demand HD will offer
100 movies each month.
Starz Encore founder, chairman and CEO John Sie said 50% of the content on
Starz! HD will be mastered in HD at first, with that number climbing later.
One new service that is bound to spark industry debate is Starz High Res,
which Sie said will give viewers the same viewing experience, as well as a new
"high-resolution" service that the company said will give viewers a near-HD
viewing experience with one-third of the bandwidth. It will also bring 16:9
content to non-HD set-top boxes.