Japan's NHK World HD will become Freesat's fifth high defintion TV channel in May 2011

Freesat today announced its viewers will be able to enjoy news channel NHK World in HD when it launches on the subscription-free satellite TV service in May 2011. NHK World will be the first news channel to broadcast in HD on Freesat.

Already available to Freesat customers in standard definition, the channel offers a truly international perspective on world news and affairs. A hugely trusted service, it has acted as a vital information line to the rest of the world during recent tragic events in Japan.

As well as news, NHK World HD carries programmes about music, art, cooking, travel, science and technology, making it a true window on Japan.

NHK World HD will become the fifth HD channel on Freesat joining BBC1 HD, The BBC HD Channel, ITV1 HD and C4 HD, which is planned to launch in April. Freesat currently offers over 150 TV, radio and interactive channels to its 1.5 million customers, alongside BBC iPlayer, with ITV Net Player imminent.

Makoto Harada, head of international broadcasting at NHK said: 'We would like to convey our great appreciation to those broadcasters who have co-operated with NHK to convey the hugely tragic news in Japan.

'I feel proud that our channel, NHK World has been able to contribute to the world coverage.

'It is also our great honour that we will soon be able to show our HD channel to viewers in the United Kingdom on Freesat.'

NHK World HD will be on Freesat channel 209 (also in standard definition on the same channel for Freesat SD viewers).

There is no mention if this new HD channel will also be made available to SkyHD users.

source: various,