HDTV in Canada

Here are some ways Canadian broadcasters, cable and satellite providers, production companies and post-secondary programs are preparing for the high-definition revolution.  This page will be updated regularly, so check back often for new information. 

 

Channels & Programs

  • The Commission received applications by various licensees, all controlled by Corus Entertainment Inc. (Corus), to amend the broadcasting licences for nine national, English-language specialty programming undertakings so that they may be made available for distribution in high definition (HD) format until the end of their licence terms.  Here is the list of services to which this decision applies: Country Music Television (CMT), Viva, W Network, Treehouse TV, YTV, Nickelodeon, Sundance Channel, W Movies, and Cosmopolitan Television (CRTC, 06/10/2010).
     
  • CBC's digital channel bold will launch in high-definition on Friday, June 4, just in time for its coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.  All 64 matches from the world’s most-watched sporting event will air in high def on bold HD from June 11 to July 11, including 8 exclusive live games on June 22, 23, 24 and 25.  In addition to its World Cup coverage, bold HD will continue to air performing arts, drama and comedy series, some of which will be in HD (Cartt, 06/02/2010).
  • Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium will deliver a record 57 hours of high-definition television coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in English and French from March 12-21. This marks the most hours of coverage ever delivered to Canadian audiences and the first time the Paralympic Winter Games are being produced entirely in HD by a Canadian rights-holder (Broadcaster, 03/08/2010).
     
  • The CRTC approves an application for a broadcasting licence to operate a new Category 2 specialty programming undertaking, TVA Sports, and for authorization to make available for distribution a version of its service in high definition format for a term of seven years (CRTC, 02/26/2010).
     
  • The CRTC approves the application by the CBC to amend the broadcasting licence for the national, English-language Category 2 specialty television programming undertaking known as CBC SportsPlus to allow the service to be available for distribution in high definition format until the end of its licence term.
     
  • The national, English-language Category 2 specialty channel known as RCS Television had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format until the end of its licence term (CRTC, 01/19/2010).
     
  • The national, ethnic Category 2 specialty channel known as Sky TG24 had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format until the end of its licence term (CRTC, 01/19/2010).
     
  • The national, English-language Category 2 specialty channel known as Soccer Television had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format until the end of its licence term (CRTC, 01/19/2010).
     
  • The national specialty channel known as Telelatino had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format until the end of its licence term (CRTC, 01/19/2010).
     
  • The national, ethnic Category 2 specialty channel known as TLN en Espanol had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format until the end of its licence term (CRTC, 01/19/2010).
     
  • CTV British Columbia becomes the first television station in western Canada to broadcast news in full high-definition.  The station joins CTV National News and a full complement of CTV programming airing in full HD (Broadcaster, 11/23/2009).

 

  • The national specialty channel known as MovieTime had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format until the end of its licence term (CRTC, 08/28/2009).

 

  • The national specialty channel known as Food Network Canada had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 08/14/2009).
     
  • The national specialty channel known as Showcase had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 08/14/2009).
     
  • The national specialty channel known as HGTV Canada (Home and Garden Television) had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 08/14/2009).
     
  • The national specialty channel known as History Television had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 08/14/2009).
     
  • The national specialty channel known as Slice had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 08/14/2009).
     
  • The national, category 2 specialty channel known as National Geographic Channel had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 08/14/2009).

 

  • The CRTC approves applications by CTVglobemedia Inc. to amend the broadcasting licences of the following analog television programming undertakings:

    CJCH-TV Halifax, Nova Scotia
    CFCF-TV Montréal, Quebec
    CJOH-TV Ottawa, Ontario
    CHRO-TV Pembroke, Ontario
    CHRO-TV-43 Ottawa, Ontario
    CKVR-TV Barrie, Ontario
    CKY-TV Winnipeg, Manitoba
    CKCK-TV Regina, Saskatchewan
    CFRN-TV Edmonton, Alberta
    CIVI-TV Victoria, British Columbia

 

to allow the provision of high-definition signals by direct feed to broadcasting distribution undertakings (CRTC, 08/12/2009).

 

  • The pay TV channel known as Movie Central had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 07/22/2009).

 

  • The CRTC approves the request by Bragg Communications Incorporated to amend its licence to allow its regional, English-language video-on-demand programming undertaking to be made available for distribution in high-definition format (CRTC 07/15/2009). 

 

  • An unprecedented 50 hours of high-definition television coverage in both English and French languages is on tap for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.  This will be the first time that the Games will be produced entirely in HD by a Canadian rightsholder (Broadcaster, 06/22/2009).

 

  • The national, category 2 specialty channel known as World Fishing Network had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 06/12/2009).
     
  • The national, category 2 specialty channel known as Gol TV had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 06/12/2009).
     
  • The national, category 2 specialty channel known as GameTV had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 06/12/2009).

 

  • The regional, category 2 specialty channel known as LeafsTV had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 05/19/2009).
     
  • The national, category 2 specialty channel known as Bite TV had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 05/19/2009).
     
  • The national, category 2 specialty channel known as AUX TV had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 05/19/2009).
     
  • The national, category 2 specialty channel known as TREK TV had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 05/19/2009).

 

  • The national, French-language specialty programming channel known as Canal Evasion had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 04/22/2009).

  • CTV has installed an over-the-air (OTA) high-definition transmitter in Calgary, making it the only broadcaster in that market to transmit OTA HD signals.  This represents the latest stage in the rollout of CTV's Canadian HD strategy, which began with OTA HD transmissions in Toronto and Vancouver in 2005.  CTV has applied to the CRTC for more transitional digital TV licences in other major Canadian markets (Broadcaster, 02/2009).

  • The national, English-language digital specialty described video programming channel known as The Accessible Channel had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 02/06/2009).

  • CBC Newsworld has launched an HD channel for Rogers digital cable customers in Ontario and New Brunswick.  It is " 'the first Canadian news channel to offer HD free to their viewers' "  (Cartt, 01/20/2009).

  • The satellite-to-cable television programming channel known as TFO had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 12/12/2008).

 

  • The national, French-language specialty TV channel known as Le Canal Nouvelles (LCN) had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 12/04/2008).

  • The national, French-language specialty TV channel TV5 had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 11/25/2008).

  • TSN announced that its slate of in-house studio shows will all be transitioned to high-definition starting on October 11.  This transition is the latest move in the channel's commitment to overall HD progression.  In October, almost 75% of TSN's 24-hour broadcast day will be available in HD.  TSN and TSN2 will each feature nearly 6,000 hours of coverage in HD from national and international events and programs this year (Broadcaster, 10/09/2008).

  •  Raptors NBA TV had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 09/24/2008). 

  • bold had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 09/19/2008).
     
  • Documentary had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 09/12/2008).
     
  • The Score has opened its new state-of-the-art, streetfront, high-definition studio in downtown Toronto.  John Levy, chairman and CEO of Score Media Inc. says that around 90% of its hardcore programming will be in HD (Mediacaster, 09/02/2008).
     
  • CTV Newsnet, Business News Network, The Comedy Network, travel+escape, and the Outdoor Life Network, all had their broadcasting licences amended to allow their services to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 08/22/2008).
     
  • The Discovery Channel had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 08/14/2008).
     
  • High Fidelity's HDTV's four HD channels (Oasis HD, Equator HD, Treasure HD and Rush HD) is now available on Westman Communications Group in Manitoba, bringing the total number of HD  channels for customers to 24 (Mediacaster, 08/08/2008).
     
  • Réseau Info Sport (RIS) had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 08/06/2008).
     
  • CBC will provide over 2,400 hours of Beijing 2008: The Olympic Games coverage, and will do so in high-definition (Broadcast Dialogue, 07/17/2008).
     
  • All of TSN's game coverage for the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be broadcast in high-definition (Mediacaster, 07/16/2008).
     
  • Mystere, a national French-language Category 1 specialty channel, had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 06/03/2008).
     
  • Growing Up Living HD received a national, English-language Category 2 broadcasting licence from the CRTC on May 28, 2008 and all programming will be in high-definition (CRTC, 05/28/2008).
     
  • Cogeco Cable has launched two new high-definition channels: RDI HD and ARTV HD.  These channels are provided to its HD television subscribers in Quebec at no extra charge.  Ron Perrotta, vice president of marketing at Cogeco, says, " 'with 19 HD channels, including 13 French-language channels, Cogeco offers more French HD channels than any other provider in its Quebec territory' "  (Mediacaster, 05/06/2008).
     
  • The Green Channel had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 04/28/2008).
     
  • The Score Television Network Ltd. had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC 04/23/2008).
     
  • Family Channel had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 04/22/2008).
     
  • Shaw Communications is changing its channel line-up in all markets to accommodate new HD channels and HD Pay Per View.  The new HD content features TLC HD, Encore Avenue HD, and HD Pay Per View movies (Mediacaster, 04/21/2008).
     
  • CanWest Broadcasting is launching three new digital transmitters in Ontario and British Columbia so that Global Ontario, Global BC and E! Ontario can broadcast programming in high-definition.  As of April 18, TV service providers within the area of each transmitter will carry these services and provide simultaneous substitution of the US HD signals.  Over 25 primetime hit shows and event television including PGA Golf and Wimbledon will be broadcast in HD in these major markets (Mediacaster, 04/11/2008).
     
  • Aboriginal Peoples Television Network launched its new high-definition channel APTNHD.  This channel will carry 16.5 hours per week of distinctive HD programming.  All of APTN's national news and current affairs programs will be available on this new channel.  APTNHD will encourage the development of new and original Aboriginal language HD programming and provide Aboriginal producers with the motivation to create more content in high-definition (Mediacaster, 04/09/2008).
     
  • The 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver are being touted as the first all HD games for TV.  Nancy Lee, chief operating officer of CBSV, which provides all the broadcast feeds for the Olympics, explains that " 'high definition started back in Nagano.  It started off small, games by games a few broadcasters came on and used it and then in Torino it might have been a half-dozen, up to about ten.  And now at this point we're saying, 'OK, if you've got high definition back in your home country, everything'll be shot in high definition' "  (Broadcast Dialogue, 03/2008).
     
  • Encore Avenue had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 03/05/2008).
     
  • CBC's Newsworld had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 03/05/2008).
     
  • Shaw Communications has added Speed HD and NASCAR Hotpass to its schedule.  All Shaw HD customers will receive a free preview of Speed HD until June 1st, and many races on the Hotpass channel will be delivered in HD (Tech Media Reports, 02/13/2008).
     
  • CBC's Le Réseau de l'information (RDI) had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 01/31/2008).
     
  • The Score Television Network is now airing its most watched programs, WWE's "Monday Night RAW" and "Friday Night SmackDown," in high-definition (Broadcaster, 01/22/2008).
     
  • ARTV (a national, French-language specialty channel) had its broadcasting licence amended to allow its service to be available for distribution in HD format (CRTC, 01/04/2008).
     
  • The first 24/7 HD community channel was launched in Ontario: Aurora Cable (Broadcast Dialogue, 12/20/2007).
     
  • HDTV Networks Inc. is applying to the CRTC to operate a free national English-language HD TV service with transmitters in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax (Tech Media Reports, 12/13/2007).
     
  • The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network Incorporated (APTN) had its broadcasting licence amended to allow the service to be available for distribution in HD (CRTC, 06/12/2007).

Studios & Technology

  • Télé-Québec purchased Volicon Observer, a new desktop logging and monitoring system that will be used for the company's HD transmission that is scheduled to launch in June.  Bernard Langlois, technical director for Télé-Québec explains, " 'because the Observer is file based and utilizes our existing IT network, it's right in line with our strategy to adopt digital systems in support of our upcoming migration to HD broadcasting' " (Mediacaster, 05/06/2008).
     
  • Rogers Television is upgrading and rebuilding its studios so that its local community channels can be broadcast in high-definition.  It is creating a new content delivery architecture for Ontario, which will be centralized at three master control facilities in Ottawa, Toronto, and Woodstock.  Pierre Fortin, senior manager of Production Engineering for Rogers Television, says " 'it's a massive project, that's for sure.  We're in the process of getting ready for HD.' "  Even though the stations won't go immediately to HD, they will be HD-ready with just a few minor upgrades.  Rogers has also been deploying Sony HDCAM HD camcorders for field acquisition (Broadcast Dialogue, 05/2008).
     
  • After 30 years in the suburbs, CanWest Global TV's Winnipeg flagship station is moving to the heart of the city on September 1.  The new station will have digital equipment which will allow it to broadcast in high-definition (Cartt, 03/17/2008).
     
  • To convert its 14 newsrooms across Canada to digital, CanWest will rely on virtual set technology at its regional stations, controlled remotely from four production "super centres" that will be built in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto.  This model centralizes control rooms up to 3,000 km away and relies on remote control and robotics for production.  Anchors will deliver the news in front of a green screen using Orad's HDVG virtual set system (Broadcast Dialogue, 02/2008).
     
  • Toronto’s Centennial College has equipped its broadcasting studio with four HD television cameras to train students in their Broadcasting Program in HDTV techniques and production values (Broadcaster Magazine, 01/16/2008).
     
  • Bell Canada is introducing its next generation 6141 High Definition satellite receiver, which offers over 60 HD channels, the largest selection in Canada (Tech Media Reports, 01/15/2008).
     
  • Vu! Productions (a division of Bell ExpressVu) offers everything (producers, editors, graphics, cameras, and sound mixing) for true HD content.  Its motto is “Shooting HD with an SD price” (Playback Magazine, 12/17/2007).
     
  • TVO announced that its Toronto studios will be ready for full digital HD production by early 2008 (Tech Media Reports, 12/06/2007).
     
  • SportsNet is moving into a new newsroom/production studio in Toronto which is entirely for HD (Broadcast Dialogue, 12/2007).

Survey says….

A survey conducted by Motorola in December found that consumers with HD were so impressed by the picture quality that they watched almost anything that looked good, whether they were interested in it or not (Tech Media Reports, 01/02/2008).

 

Quotable Quotes

Matthew Gilbert, writer for the Boston Globe, says that " 'if TV is like a drug, as some say, then I think HDTV must be like crystal meth, delivering a rush of hyper-clarity and sharpness straight to the head' " (Metro News, 06/10/2008).

 

HD Penetration

To view HDTV set and receiver penetration levels and forecasts in Canada, click here

Originally Posted: 4/2/2008 9:11:20 AM
Last Updated: 5/30/2013 2:54:13 PM