HSN Sets High-Def Launch For August

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HSN expects to launch a native-HD version of the network in early August, trailing shopping-channel rival QVC by about three months.

HSN has spent about $15 million over two years converting seven studios in St. Petersburg, Fla., for high-definition production, including acquiring 43 Sony HD cameras, said chief financial officer Judy Schmeling.

"You can see the products so much better in HD and really see the colors," Schmeling said.

Currently Verizon Communications is the only affiliate carrying HSN in high-definition, as an upconverted version of the channel's standard feed.

Separately, Schmeling said, HSN will expand its shop-by-remote interactive TV feature with Comcast, to cover the MSO's entire footprint in 2010. HSN's shop-by-remote feature is available through Dish Network and Cablevision Systems.

QVC HD launched in April 2008 as an upconverted service, and became 100%-native HD on May 5. The QVC HD service is currently carried by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision Systems, Verizon Communications, AT&T and others.

Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp spun off HSN in August 2008. About 30% of the channel is owned by Liberty Media, which also owns No. 1 cable shopping channel QVC.

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