Sky has announced the first details of the channels it will offer on its forthcoming High Definition (HD) television service launching in the UK and Ireland in early 2006. From launch, Sky HD, will include a Sky Sports channel, Sky One, Artsworld, a Sky Box Office channel and two Sky Movies channels.

From launch, the Sky Sports channel will offer live and exclusive coverage of the Barclays Premiership in HD with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Also available in HD will be live rugby from the Guinness Premiership, with other HD sports to be confirmed at a later date.

Sky will also be offering two Sky Movies channels dedicated to films in HD, with titles available at launch including Spider Man 2, The Day After Tomorrow and House of Flying Daggers.

In addition, movie fans will able to choose from up to ten movies in HD each week on Sky Box Office.

Simulcast versions of the existing Sky One channel and Artsworld will also be offered.

Customers will be able to pre-register for the service from this Friday in the UK, although Sky is as yet not setting a date for the actual launch.