Canal Digital is a Scandinavian Pay TV and Internet Service Provider in Norway and Sweden that was founded in March 1997 as a joint venture between the French Pay TV company Canal+ and the Norwegian Telecommunications Operator Telenor. Since 2001, Canal Digital is fully owned by Telenor.
Canal Digital was started as a Direct Broadcast Satellite Television service to Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, but has since expanded into Cable Television in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, Digital Terrestrial Television in Finland and IPTV in Sweden and Denmark. More than 2.9 million Nordic households and activities are subscribed to their services.
FTTH services have slowly started in selected areas in Norway.
Internet Access through the Cable Network is based on the EuroDOCSIS standard.
Canal Digital’s Cable System in the newer Network areas which includes most of Canal Digital’s Cable Networks in Norway is based on Hybrid fibre-coaxial Technology. Some other network areas are Copper only, but are subjected to upgrading in order to support new TV Set-top box’s.
Unlike its DTH rival, Viasat, Canal Digital does not own a TV-Network – they have however secured several multi-year exclusive deals with different TV Broadcasters. As of 2011, Canal Digital has exclusive Satellite rights with C More Entertainment, ProSiebenSat.1 in Denmark, Eurosport, BBC Worldwide and Discovery Communications. Satellite exclusivity was more common in the past, but many channels that were once exclusive to Canal Digital have eventually signed agreements with Viasat. Broadcasters that were once exclusive to Canal Digital but later joined Viasat include Sveriges Television (joined Viasat in 2003), TV4 AB (2005–2006), National Geographic Channel, ProSiebenSat.1 in Norway and Sweden, TV 2 (Denmark) and TV 2 (Norway).
Their satellite broadcasts can be received from the Thor 5 and Thor 6 satellites at 1°W with any DVB-S Receiver Equipped with a Conax Descrambling Module.
Canal Digital was the first major distributor in the region to launch high-definition television, HDTV. The first channel, C More HD, was launched in September 2005 using MPEG-2 compression. In June 2006, Canal Digital started broadcasting HD-kanalen from Sveriges Television and TV4 AB in Sweden, which did broadcast the 2006 FIFA World Cup in HD using MPEG-4 compression. HD-kanalen became SVT HD in October when SVT expanded their HD broadcasts.
The major launch of HDTV occurred in Sweden in November 2006 when a special high-definition package with Discovery HD and Voom HD launched and C More HD was rebranded as Canal+ HD. The high-definition package is to be released in the other Nordic countries during 2007. High-definition channels launching in 2007 include Canal+ Sport HD in February, National Geographic Channel HD in April, TV4 HD (Sweden only) in May, Silver HD in September and History HD in December.
2008 brought Kanal 5 HD in January, Eurosport HD in May, Nelonen HD, TVNorge HD in October and BBC HD in December. Channels launched in 2009 include TV 2 Film HD in January and Animal Planet HD in February.
The HD channels were initially offered for as a separate package, but starting on 1 April 2008 this package was dropped in Sweden and the HD channels were included in the “Family” package.