Discovery HD & HDNet could be coming to Canada soon, great news for owners of HDtv capable sets. Recent applications by Canadian cable companies could pave the way for these US services into homes across the country.
General manager of HDNet Paul Gavin writes “HDNet was conceived in July 2000, and launched its satellite service in September of 2001. HDNet was co-founded by Mark Cuban and Philip Garvin. Mr. Cuban is well known for his work in computer networking and as an Internet entrepreneur. He launched the Internet startup Broadcast.com in the 1990s, and is the owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks. He is now investing in high definition television and is the President and CEO of HDNet. Philip Garvin is the General Manager and COO of HDNet. He began his career in broadcasting in 1973 as a producer/director/cameraman at a PBS affiliate in Boston. In the 1980s, he established Colorado Studios, which produced PBS’s long-running and highly acclaimed MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour. Mr. Garvin also teamed up with Fox Sports in the 1990s to provide mobile production vehicles for sports telecasts. He is the technical architect behind the high definition programming services.”
“Today, HDNet operates the world’s first programming service that broadcasts pure high definition content 16 hours per day, 7 days a week. The service, which broadcasts live sports, movies and entertainment specials in 1080i format, is distributed by DirecTV on channel 199. After its first year of operation, this satellite service had more than 100,000 customers – a significant number given the limited number of DirecTV subscribers that then had high definition receivers. This Winter HDNet will launch three new high definition services – HDNet Sports, HDNet Movies and HDNet Entertainment. These services will be available for distribution in the U.S. by cable and satellite operators.”
“Once the three HDNet services are available to homes in the U.S., HDNet intends to begin winding down the operation of the HDNet service that is distributed today by DirecTV. This means that eventually the version of the HDNet service that currently exists, which consists of an amalgamation of entertainment programs, sports and movies, would cease to be available to satellite and cable distributors in the U.S. and in Canada. Given that a majority of the programs currently provided by HDNet fall within the “entertainment” genre, we are proposing, as part of this application, that the new service to be known as HDNet Entertainment would be the service authorized for distribution in Canada when the current HDNet network ceases operations. In addition, HDNet has secured the HDTV rights to an NHL package, which allows for 65 live televised games per season. HDNet will pre-empt the programming broadcast on HDNet Entertainment and insert the NHL games into the HDNet Entertainment channel satellite feed delivered to Canadian cable and satellite affiliates. HDNet will also pursue arrangements to produce local and national sporting events in Canada in a high definition format to be inserted into the HDNet Entertainment channel satellite feed. These Canadian originated events will provide additional value to the HDNet Entertainment channel for our Canadian affiliates and their subscribers.”
Discovery HD Theater offers one of the world’s most captivating library’s holding programs about nature, wildlife, science and technology, world culture and more. Their team at Meteor Studios also produces new creations of HD content from their computer animation facility.