It’s bad news for fans of classic Warner and MGM movies as TCM has suddenly announced the closure of its HD channel on Sky TV.
The channel, which has been running its HD service since 2012, has quietly announced the surprising closure by simply stating on subscribers’ EPG that TCM HD is no longer available.
The fact Standard Definition and its +1 channel remain will come as no consolation to fans who have enjoyed an assortment of classic, cult and well-regarded manstream American movies largely from the Warner and MGM archive in high-definition.
When the channel launched in 2012, its first week began with a bang as Ben Hur, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Casablanca and The Philadelphia Story were all screened in HD.
Popular specials throughout the week include Action Wednesday’s with Harrison Ford-starring The Fugitive currently running.
One user on the Sky TV community forum said it was a “real shame” to see the closure of TCM HD. “I regularly watch films on that channel and they do a good job with their HD output,” the user added.
Another user said it was a “disgrace”, saying they would not be watching the Standard Definition channel, asking why BT and Virgin were still carrying the HD format. “After losing MGM HD, More 4 did show classics in the afternoon. This leaves very few options for classic films. I have Sky Cinema, but come on?
“Why have BT just launched TCM HD on their platform & Virgin still carry it? Their HD presentations have always looked great, even on my UHD set. They must have enough viewers to warrant the their launch on other platforms in HD? I certainly will not be watching in SD!”
But one user on the Digital Spy forum suggested most Sky Entertainment subscribers wouldn’t miss the channel “since it’s just constant westerns on a loop” so “is it even worth watching.”
Despite the unfair generalisation, TCM HD’s output featured a heavy regurgitation of the same movies, the channel constrained somewhat by what it could and couldn’t show in the UK due to licensing agreements.
TCM HD will close to Sky TV subscribers at 6am on July 25. The Standard Definition and +1 channels will continue to broadcast.
NB. Updated July 22 to correct the mention of TCM HD being included in the Sky Cinema package. It was actually part of the Sky Entertainment package and included in the film section of the EPG.