New Canadian DTH Service Applies for CRTC Licence
A new national satellite TV service wants to save local television.
FreeHD Canada Inc. has filed applications with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to provide a Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite television service and a wholesale programming distribution service for Canadian programmers (SRDU).
If successful, FreeHD Canada says it plans to start operations early in 2011, in time to assist in the August 2011 digital transition date.
The FreeHD Canada satellite television servicve says it can provide much-needed satellite capacity to alleviate the distribution bottlenecks arising from the transition to the increased bandwidth requirements of High-Definition TV.
The company can provide an alternate distribution lifeline to rescue ‘over-the-air’ TV broadcasters facing shut down of small and medium-sized market TV transmitters.
FreeHD Canada plans to carry all of the approximately 100 local television stations in Canada that originate local programming, by providing a free Local Program Package into their local markets – and also distributing more than 150 Canadian and foreign Pay & Specialty channels.
FreeHD Canada will offer 1080p quality on program channels as available (movies and sports).
“FreeHD Canada provides a comprehensive solution to the many and varied problems facing Canadian consumers, broadcasters, distributors and programmers arising from the upcoming migration to digital and HD,” said David Lewis, Chairman & CEO of FreeHD Canada. “We look forward to working with the members of the Canadian Broadcast Industry, the regulator, and local television broadcasters to further develop the solution, and assist in providing a seamless August 2011 digital transition across Canada.”
FreeHD Canada takes advantage of several next generation technologies; including Advanced Video Compression and several new satellite technologies to provide a superior quality HD picture and a more expansive HD offering than currently available – more than 250 as available.
In order to receive the free Local Program Package consumers will need to purchase a competitively priced FreeHD Canada receive system, available online or from retailers throughout Canada.
The 'receive system' consists of an outdoor satellite dish of similar size of Bell TV or Shaw Direct, and an HD set-top box.FreeHD Canada is led by Canadian satellite industry veteran David Lewis, formerly with Ciel Satellite, and draws on a talented team of industry professionals that have been involved in the launch and start-up of several satellite-related broadcasting ventures.
The basic HD system is anticipated to be less than $299 at retail. FreeHD Canada also plans to offer a very competitively priced PVR-capable set-top, at prices below the current PVR model price points available (exact retail price TBD).