Canada: ExpressVu Starts, Stops HDNet Launch

Digital Home in Canada reported Monday that Canadian DBS firm ExpressVu had begun what appeared to be a soft launch of American channel HDNet. But the HD outlet was pulled from the satellite service within only a few hours of its debut.

ExpressVu has been testing the station for several months (Channel 814) but this week HD subscribers in Canada got to actually see HDNet content at home, albeit briefly. A soft launch usually means a content provider will offer a new service for several days or weeks prior to making a formal announcement for a variety of reasons, including dealing with any last-minute glitches that may arise.

Meanwhile, the legal battle to secure HDNet for Canadian DBS and cable venues has now lasted about three years. Digital Home said HDNet "has produced and aired more HD television programming than all of the Canadian network and specialty channels combined," so the all-HD channel will significantly increase the amount of HD programming available in this country.