Comcast has added 50 new HD channels in the city of Philadelphia, making it the first Comcast market in the nation to offer 150 HD channels.

The new HD channels included BBC America HD, DIY HD, Ovation HD, PBS Kids Sprout HD and Smithsonian HD. Comcast said it now offers more than 6,000 HD choices to local Philly customers in its Xfinity TV lineup.

In addition to the Philadelphia launch, Comcast also introduced more than 30 new HD channels today in its Garden State system in south Jersey, serving Cherry Hill, Camden and surrounding areas.

Comcast, which is headquartered in Philadelphia and competes with Verizon and satellite providers in the area, also added 22 new multicultural channels that cover entertainment, sports and news.

"We hear daily from customers who have benefited from our Xfinity suite of services," said Amy Smith, senior vice president of the Comcast Freedom Region. "The addition of new HD and international channels on Xfinity TV has played a major role in improving the Comcast experience for our customers, and we intend to continue boosting their level of value and options."

The new networks are being offered on their own or as part of Comcast packages that offer a selection of international channels along with a choice of English language networks, premium channels and video-on-demand.

Channels include:

  1. European: Deutsche Welle (German), Rai Italia (Italian) and TV5MONDE (French)
  2. Israeli: The Israeli Network
  3. Korean: TVK
  4. Mandarin Chinese: CCTV-4, CTI-Zhong Tian channel, ETTV Super Channel, Phoenix Info News and Phoenix North America Chinese Channel
  5. Russian: Channel One Russia (C1R), Russian Television Network (RTN) and TV1000 Russian Kino
  6. South Asian: NEO Cricket, SET (Sony Entertainment Television) Asia, SET India GOLD, STAR India NEWS, STAR India PLUS, STAR ONE, TV Asia and ZEE TV
  7. Vietnamese: SBTN (Saigon Broadcasting Television Network)

Comcast freed up bandwidth for the additional HD and multicultural offerings through its Project Cavalry analog-to-digital initiative that uses digital terminal adapters (DTAs). The digital upgrade is finished in Comcast systems serving Philadelphia, the surrounding suburbs in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and the majority of New Jersey, as well as other systems across the nation.