Sky has confirmed that it will be offering HD customers a new EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) in February that allows them to replace SD for HD channels where available. 

“With so many high definition channels now available, and more and more of the schedule now available in stunning HD, our responsibility is to help customers find what they want to watch, and to make this as easy as possible,” Says Hilary Perchard, the broadcasters director of product management.

Since the launch of Sky HD in 2006, Sky HD customers have had to learn alternative three digit codes for their favourite stations as HD channels need to have new homes in the EPG, in often unfamiliar locations (Sky 1 HD, for example, pitched up at #170).  

As a result, Perchad says that Sky has been working hard on a solution, and that solution is to ditch the SD channel in favour of the HD one for Sky HD subscribers. 

“I’m glad to say that from 1st February 2011 we are implementing a channel swap for subscribers to Sky’s HD pack. The swap will mean that the HD version of most channels will swap places with their SD counterparts.” 

In practice, this means that, as an example, Sky 1 HD will live at #106, Sky Sports HD 1 at #401 and Sky News HD at #501, and likewise for most other subscription channels.  In non-Sky HD subscriber homes, the channel line-up will remain unchanged.  

Sky+HD subscribers need not panic over the shift in channel locations, Sky says that series links will continue to work after the swap.