Discovery HD - Canada's First 24-Hour High Definition Specialty Service
CTV Specialty Television Inc. (a subsidiary of CTV Inc.) and US-based Discovery Communications announced today that their joint venture application to the CRTC for a new High Definition (HD) specialty satellite channel - Discovery HD - has been approved, representing a landmark in Canadian television. Expected to launch before the end of 2005, this Category 2 Digital Specialty Service will be Canada's first 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week High Definition Specialty Service.
"Today's announcement sets a new bar in the Canadian television landscape as Discovery HD combines one of the world's greatest television brands with unparalleled HD production and broadcast experience," said Rick Brace, President, CTV Inc. "CTV Specialty Television Inc., in partnership with Discovery Communications, is uniquely positioned to lead the way in the Canadian HD arena and feed a growing consumer demand for High Definition content. The CRTC approval of Discovery HD will greatly benefit not only Canadian audiences but the Canadian television production industry as well."
"Discovery's leadership role in the global High Definition content arena will be further strengthened by the launch of Discovery HD in Canada," said Dawn L. McCall, President, Discovery Networks International. "Discovery's long-standing tradition of using spectacular imagery to bring viewers closer to their world lends itself naturally to the high-definition format and makes Discovery HD the gold standard in High Definition programming."
From science and technology to adventure and natural history, Discovery HD will represent the best of the Discovery brand and showcase a dynamic line-up of programming that maximizes the potential of HD. High Definition television is characterized by its 16:9 aspect ratio (versus 4:3 for
Standard Definition), 1080i lines of resolution (versus 480i for Standard Definition), and CD quality sound - resulting in an audio and visual experience that is richer, deeper and more panoramic than Standard Definition viewing. Discovery HD marries the enhanced technology of HD with stunning Discovery programming and reveals the wonders of our world – from the massive to the miniscule - in an exciting new way: mountain ranges are more breathtaking and treacherous, oceans are deeper and broader, and space exploration is more exhilarating.
The schedule will be a compelling mix of Discovery Channel's most popular series and specials plus original HD programming from Canadian independent producers, international producers and broadcasters from around the world. Discovery HD will broadcast live events, original Canadian productions and popular series from Discovery including American Chopper and Monster Garage. Discovery HD will also leverage Discovery Channel Canada's unique relationship with NHK Japan – a global leader in HD technology and content - and the National Film Board (NFB). Discovery Channel Canada's own in-house production company, Exploration Production Inc. (EPI), will also be a key HD content provider as it continues to expand its production slate, including more than 75 hours of HD production in 2005.
This newly approved channel is a stand-alone, independently scheduled channel and is distinguished from the existing simulcast service in that the content is specifically produced and broadcast to capitalize on the advantages of High Definition technology. In 2003, CTV Inc. launched its current incarnation of Discovery HD and TSN HD, followed by two HD channels for CTV (CTV HD East and CTV HD West). Since then, Discovery HD has aired more than 500 hours of High Definition programming in tandem with its popular analog service. Pending cable, DTH and other television service provider carriage, the new Discovery HD will replace the former HD service by the end of 2005. Details about the launch date and early programming highlights will be released at a later date.