Canadian HDTV

Canadian HDTV fans got a boost when Rogers Cable announced last week that it has launched the largest high definition television offering by a cable operator in Canada to date. Rogers provides services to 2.3 million customers in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland.

Rogers says customers will have the ability to choose from up to eight channels of HDTV programming, which it claims is the widest selection from any cable or satellite company to date. The company says HDTV programming can be initially experienced on the following Detroit channels: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, and the Toronto test transmission of CDTV. And in January 2002, Rogers says it will add The Movie Network and Viewer's Choice Pay Per View.

According to Rogers, this service is now available to customers in Ontario whose systems have been rebuilt to 750mHz. The company adds that those within the developed area who want HDTV signals will need to have the HDTV version of the Rogers digital set-top box, which can be rented for $19.95 per month.

The company notes that over the last five years it has invested over $1.5 billion to increase the capacity and capability of its hybrid fiber-coaxial two-way digital network "to deliver the broadest range of advanced television and data services." The company says the digital platform allows for two-way communication between the customer and advanced services on the network such as Interactive TV, Enhanced Television, high-speed Internet access, and HDTV.

Rogers says, "HDTV will unlock the maximum potential of a customer's digital television or HDTV-ready TV to give Rogers Digital Cable customers the sharpest, clearest, and most realistic broadcast TV images ever seen. We are providing the most extensive HDTV channel selection today because we know more and more people are buying home theatre and digital televisions. We are now providing our customers the richest HDTV product available in the marketplace."