Malcolm Baird said that his father, who transmitted the first TV pictures from what is now the site of the famous Bar Italia in London's Soho, would have been thrilled to witness the arrival of HD TV.
Existing television pictures are made up of 576 lines of information, but high definition screens have more than 1,000 lines.
A Sky spokesman declined to give any details on pricing, saying only that the service will launch early in the new year with four satellite channels.
He added that HD broadcasts will offer a picture quality five times better than conventional television and the sort of surround sound currently found in cinemas.
Viewers will need an HD ready plasma or LCD television.
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