A television station in Germany is the first in Europe to launch a high-definition television channel.
The free-to-air broadcaster plans to show selected programs in HDTV on its two main channels, ProSieben and Sat.1, starting with the Hollywood blockbuster "Minority Report" starring Tom Cruise on Sunday.
Other European broadcasters including BSkyB in UK, CanalSat in France and Sky Italia in Italy have all promised HDTV by next June in time for the football World Cup, which will be used as a showcase for the format.
The UK government has confirmed that by 2012 owners of analogue television set won't be able to get a signal to watch television.
The news will mean that some could incur costs of up to £250 as television viewers pay for hardware to enable them to watch television and aerial upgrades to receive signals.
However over 75s, the blind and disabled will receive a free upgrade for one television set. The cost for this is yet to be decided but it is thought that it will run into hundreds of millions of pounds.
Free upgrades will be paid for out of the BBC licence fee. Other people receiving benefits will be able to upgrade at a reduced cost.