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Global Toronto launching HDTV on October 11th

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Global Television Network
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HDTV/digital television
TORONTO - The Global Television Network announced today that it plans to begin transmitting six hours per week of high definition television programming in Toronto beginning October 11, 2004.

Further HDTV programming will be added to the primetime schedule as it becomes available and for now, the HD content available are the American shows Global airs.

"(The HD schedule) is a little patchy right now," Doug Bonar, Global Television's national vice president, technology, admitted to in an interview last week, "but that will change." And, Global's not alone among Canadian broadcasters with "patchy" HD schedules.

At launch, the programs available in HD will be Las Vegas and LAX on Mondays, Gilmore Girls on Wednesdays, Without a Trace on Thursdays, One Tree Hill on Fridays, and Crossing Jordan on Sunday nights. Global's HD stream will be delivered to the likes of Rogers Cable and Bell ExpressVu and their ilk via fibre. Bonar said that Global will being transmitting an HD signal over the air in about 18 months.

While those with HD television sets have been anxious to see more HD content here, only now does it make sense for broadcasters to get into the more expensive form of broadcasting, added Bonar. "This is probably the right time to do it," he said. "HD equipment pricing has come way down."

However, producing home-grown shows (like Global's Train 48) in HD is still a ways off, adds Bonar, but not too far. The company is looking at buying HD cameras and building its own HD mobile truck because, adds Bonar, "to have a shelf life, (Canadian programming) will have to be produced in HD." However, he didn't want to guess at a time frame for such moves.

However, this is just the beginning for Global Television. It received this digital license for Toronto this year and has applied for CH in Hamilton and in Vancouver as well. Look for Global's next Super Bowl broadcast to be carried in HD, too.
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