Barely has the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting begun, but Nordic pay-TV platform Canal Digital is planning to switch off its standard definition channels, in favour of the high definition format.
“When it comes to HDTV we’re already ahead of others in Europe when it comes to pick up on the platform. The only question is when do we start to close down the analogue channels,” said Jarl Søderman, deputy CEO, Canal Digital. “Next year we’ll take down the SD channels and already our purchasing departments are no longer interested in new SD channels.” The movie channel Silver has been earmarked as one channel where the SD service can be withdrawn. Søderman emphasised the closure of the SD channels was not a matter of saving costs, but a demonstration to the market that the platform meant business.
Canal Digital was actually the first platform in Europe to offer a regular HD service in the premium channel C More. The original MPEG-2 transmissions have been replaced by MPEG-4 and C More now takes the Canal+ brand as its on-air identity.
“All sports coming in is basically produced in the HD format and I know it will be a good year next year. With those events we can put the message across that they don’t have HD just because they have bought an HD set,” said Søderman. “Next year we will look to have Dancing with the Stars in the HD format, and Idols, so that we can bring in the women in the house and get the message across that they are missing something.”