Smithsonian Channel (Canada)

Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian Channel logo
Launched September 5, 2006
Owned by Blue Ant Media
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Formerly called Equator HD (2006-2010)
eqhd (2010-2013)
Website Smithsonian Channel Canada
Bell TV Channel 1629
Shaw Direct Channel 133 / 633
Available on many Canadian cable systems Check local listings, channels may vary
Bell Aliant Channel 447
Bell Fibe TV Channel 1629
MTS Channel 1601
Optik TV Channel 715
SaskTel Channel 474

Smithsonian Channel (formerly known as eqhd and Equator HD) is a Canadian English language Category B specialty channel. The channel is owned by Blue Ant Media and broadcasts completely in high definition. The channel broadcasts programs focusing on geography, people, and cultures.


In April 2006, John S. Panikkar (co-founder of High Fidelity HDTV), was granted a licence by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch Meridian HD, a digital HD specialty channel devoted to "programs dedicated exclusively to the exploration of geography, people, places and cultures. The programming shall focus on the roots of human development as well as teachings from other cultures and traditions in Canada and around the world. It shall also focus on what impact human behaviour has on the natural environment and how the natural world affects human ritual and culture."[1]

Equator HD logo (2006–2010)

The channel launched on September 5, 2006[2] as Equator HD, much of its programming and its name licensed from Rainbow Media, original owners of the now defunct Voom HD Networks, owners of Equator HD in the United States.[3] The original USA channel was launched by executive producer Ali Hossaini, a former vice president at Oxygen Media who was also responsible for Gallery HD and LAB HD.[4]

eqhd logo (2010-2013)

The channel was rebranded eqhd on August 23, 2010.,[5] focusing largely on the same genre of programming.

On December 21, 2011, eqhd's parent company, High Fidelity HDTV, announced that it had entered into an agreement to be purchased outright by Blue Ant Media, majority owners of Glassbox Television and minority owners of Quarto Communications. While initially purchasing 29.9% of the company, the remaining 70.1% will be purchased once it is approved by the CRTC.[6]

On July 15, 2013, it was announced that Blue Ant Media had reached a deal to re-launch eqhd as a Canadian version of Smithsonian Channel.[7] Smithsonian Channel launched on November 13, 2013.[8]


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