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TNT to Launch HD Service - Broadcasting & Cable

TNT to Launch HD Service

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Turner Broadcasting System Inc. plans in May to launch a high-definition version of Turner Network Television.

TNT HD will feature the linear channel’s mix of off-net series, theatrical movies, sports and originals.

TNT HD will debut with the National Basketball Association Western Conference Finals in high-def. (As it did last year, TNT will also produce the NBA All Star Game in HD, although that will not be on the channel.) The service will feature a mix of true HD content, like NBA and NASCAR events and originals, while other programming, like movies and off-nets, will be upconverted from standard definition. TNT plans to make its originals in HD, beginning with terrorism drama The Grid, a limited series slated to debut this summer.

"Now we will have even wider reach as we translate [TNT’s] long-standing success into the high-definition world," said Turner Entertainment President Mark Lazarus. Turner unveiled its plans Tuesday at the Television Critics Association tour in Hollywood, Calif.

Last year, TNT reigned as the most-watched cable network.

TNT HD, Lazarus said, will redefine the term "HD." While that is typically short for high-definition, Lazarus says, once TNT’s service launches, the letters will now translate to "high drama," a nod to TNT’s branding as a drama-focused network.

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