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HDNet Logo.svg
Launched September 6, 2001
Owned by HDNet Inc.
Picture format 1080i
Slogan The Reason HDTV was invented
Headquarters Dallas, Texas, United States
DirecTV (U.S.) 79 HDNet (MPEG-2)
306 HDNet (MPEG-4)
306-1 HDNet (alternate feed)
552 HDNet Movies
1079 HDNet On Demand
1552 HDNet Movies On Demand
Dish Network (U.S.) 362 HDNet
383 HDNet Movies
Bell TV (Canada) 814 HDNet
Shaw Direct (Canada) 275 HDNet
Available on many cable systems Check local listings for channels
Verizon FiOS 569 HDNet
746 HDNet Movies

HDNet is a general interest television channel in the United States, broadcasting exclusively in high-definition format and available via cable and satellite television. The channel currently shows a wide variety of HD programming, using the 1080i video standard, without focusing on any specific genre.



On September 6, 2001, HDNet was launched by Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban and Phillip Garvin from studios in Colorado. In December 2001 and January 2002 HDNet aired exclusive HD coverage of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan with former CNN correspondent Peter Arnett. In February 2002, they originated eight hours of high definition video each day from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. This feed was picked up by NBC and aired in 24 hour rotation on NBC's digital television stations. The channel has since grown to be available on a number of platforms, including the DirecTV and Dish Network satellite services and the cable systems of Charter Communications, Insight Communications, Bright House Networks, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, and WOW! Internet Cable Phone. On September 4, 2008, Cuban announced that Comcast officially made an agreement to carry both HDNet and HDNet Movies to their subscribers in various markets.

In fall 2006, Rogers Cable and Bell TV in Canada added HDNet to their lineups; Shaw Cablesystems followed in April 2007. Presently, as is the case with many U.S.-based channels, HDNet does not own the Canadian rights to many of the sporting events or off-network repeats aired in the U.S., such as the NHL or Arrested Development. These are blacked out and replaced with additional repeats of HDNet's original programming. While referred to on the channel's website as "HDNet Canada", this is not a separate Canadian channel, but an alternate U.S.-based feed.

Time Warner Cable announced on May 18, 2009 that it would drop HDNet and HDNet Movies across all cable systems effective May 31. Currently Brighthouse Networks, an affiliate of Time Warner Cable is telling its Customers that Time Warner Cable canceled negotiations with HDNet and HDNet movies. According to claims made by Brighthouse representatives "HDNet wants to charge Time Warner Cable more for their programming content but Time Warner Cable does not want to pay more in order to save raising the cost of cable services to its (Brighthouse) customers". Time Warner Cable is refusing to offer its customers the choice to pay an additional fee for the HDNet channels; subsequently other HD channels by lower cost providers, such as MavTV, The Outdoor Channel and The Sportsman Channel have taken the place of the HDNet networks. Time Warner Cable, Brighthouse Networks, and its affiliates have always charged extra money for a Premium "Pay" HD Package and continue to do so. This "Premium Pay HD package" originally included HDNet and a total of less than 10 HD channels. Time Warner Cable and its affiliates did not give any written warning to its customers of the possible cancellation of the HDNet programming channels. At this time conflicting/contradicting reasons are being presented to the public regarding Time Warner Cable's decision to cancel HDNet programming.


HDNet airs exclusively 1080i high definition content from a diverse base of genres. A number of the channel's programs are original, such as Dan Rather Reports, a signature news program featuring hour-long investigative news pieces (both topical and ongoing) hosted by the veteran journalist - he joined HDNet in July 2006.[1]; HDNet World Report, an hour-long news magazine; Inside MMA a weekly sports program hosted by Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten focused on the sport of mixed martial arts in coordination with Cuban's HDNet Fights promotion; Ultimate Trailer Show (hosted by Dallas Observer writer Robert Wilonsky), which centers on teasers and long form trailers; Deadline! (hosted by Katie Daryl); and Get Out! (hosted by Deal or No Deal model Lindsay Clubine). Other programs are licensed from the major media corporations Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., and Sony Pictures among others. These include Smallville, and Andy Richter Controls the Universe. Programs from public television, such as Rick Steves' travelogue programs and Rudy Maxa's Smart Travels series, are also bought via syndication from their producing stations to air on the network. NASA Space Shuttle launches and landings often air live. The channel also broadcasts a number of sporting events, including UFL, MLS and NCAA football and basketball as well as mixed martial arts from HDNet Fights. In September 2006 Star Trek: Enterprise and Arrested Development joined the HDNet lineup. HDNet also features Bikini Destinations (2003 - present) and Get Out!, a travel show featuring various models visiting hot spots around the world.

Unlike most other broadcasters offering high definition programming, HDNet is not available in standard definition. HDNet's sports programming also uses wider shots of the playing field or arena than most SD telecasts, since the network does not have to protect the shot for a 4:3 aspect ratio, giving HDNet the ability to fill the entire 16:9 widescreen with detail. Other networks that simulcast an event in standard definition must protect the shot for the 4:3 aspect ratio.

HDNet recently signed a deal with Professional wrestling promotion Ring of Honor to produce Ring of Honor Wrestling, a showcase of the promotion that will be filmed using HDNet equipment.

On August 4, 2009, HDNet reached a television partner deal with the United Football League announcing that they would air games on Saturday night in October.

The channel also has an alternate feed which airs games of Cuban's Dallas Mavericks.

HDNet Movies

A second channel, HDNet Movies, accompanies HDNet and is devoted entirely to movies. Films shown vary in age and category, but all were either transferred from 35mm film to 1080i high definition or shot in the latter format. Many films shown on HDNet Movies have never before been released in HD on other networks.[2]

Recently, HDNet Movies has received press concerning their controversial day-and-date release strategy. This strategy subsumes the tiered theatrical release followed by DVD sales followed by broadcast distribution. A notable HDNet film with a day-and-date release was Bubble, directed by Steven Soderbergh.[3] This strategy is seen as a blow to the traditional release window of theatrical films. Movies released using this strategy are simultaneously shown on HDNet Movies and in theaters on a Friday (the traditional release day of a film), followed quickly by a DVD release of the movie on Tuesday (the traditional DVD release day). Soderbergh has signed a deal with HDNet films to make a total of six films released using this strategy; however, HDNet Films allows other directors to release their films day-and-date, not just Soderbergh. Many theaters see this as a threat to their business, and have banned these films.

HDNet Movies shows a film two days before its theatrical release almost every month. A schedule can be found on the HDNet Movies web site.[4]

On Demand

Both channels also have Video on demand versions. DirecTV added the on demand versions of both of October 24, 2009.[5]

In popular culture

In a Saturday Night Live skit, HDNet's Dan Rather Report was parodied, with the Rather impersonator claiming "You're watching HDNet. In case you just bought an HDTV and want to make sure its working, you're in the right place." which is a parody of its actual slogan "The reason HDTV was invented".




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