UTV’s new HD service gets a right royal lift off

22 Oct 2010

The Queen launched UTV’s new high-definition (HD) channel on the Virgin cable network in Northern Ireland in Belfast yesterday.

The move, which will bring the next generation of TV to viewers across Northern Ireland, occurs after 50 years of broadcasting by UTV.

The service is now available on channel 113 on the Virgin network.

At a reception at UTV Media plc’s headquarters in Belfast, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh toured Studio One, the news and content floor, and watched footage from the UTV archive of their previous visits to Northern Ireland.

“Last year, we celebrated 50 years of broadcasting and it has been an interesting half century which has seen UTV grow from television to radio, new media and beyond,” said John B McGuckian, chairman, UTV Media plc.

“Who knows what the next 50 years will hold – but I am delighted that we continue to entertain and inform our audiences and remain by far the most watched channel in Northern Ireland.

“Today represents a major milestone in UTV’s history and once again we are leading the way in by becoming the first broadcaster on the island of Ireland to launch HD television.

“HD pictures will add a new dimension to our outstanding coverage of news and current affairs in Northern Ireland and reinforce our reputation for outstanding journalism and as market leader,” McGuckian said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years