Smithsonian Channel (Canada)
Smithsonian Channel logo
|Launched||September 5, 2006|
|Owned by||Blue Ant Media|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
Equator HD (2006-2010) |
|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|
|Optik TV||Channel 715|
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."
The channel launched on September 5, 2006 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. 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.
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.
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. Smithsonian Channel launched on November 13, 2013.
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-176 CRTC 2006-04-28
- High Fidelity HDTV Launches 'Rush HD' and 'Equator HD' Broadcaster Magazine 2006-09-05
- Satellite TV Planet
- AMC Networks
- High Fidelity Rebrands Rush HD, Equator HD TVB.ca 2010-08-20
- Blue Ant Media Enters Agreement to Acquire High Fidelity HDTV CNW press release 2011-12-21
- Smithsonian Channel Launching in Canada This Fall