Smithsonian Channel (UK)
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|Launched||12 February 2019|
|Owned by||Smithsonian Institution|
Showtime Networks, Inc.
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Website||Smithsonian Channel UK|
|Freesat||Channel 175 (HD)|
|Sky||Channel 195 (HD)|
Channel 889 (SD)
|11.171 H 22000 5/6 (HD)|
11.264 V 27500 2/3 (SD)
|Virgin Media||Channel 295 (HD)|
The content of the channel, much of which is drawn from the US station, comprises predominantly original non-fiction programming covering a range of historical, scientific and cultural subjects.
Test transmissions for the new services began with the addition of HD and subsequently SD broadcast capacity on the Astra 2G satellite in late 2018. Broadcast of video tests began in HD in December 2018, with SD following shortly thereafter.
The channel was officially made available on 12 February 2019. Ahead of the launch, it had been suggested that the network would begin on satellite, then launch on Freeview in the spring: however, in practice the channel went live on all four of the UK's main TV platforms on the same date.
Smithsonian Channel has also been made available on the Virgin Media cable platform. As Virgin no longer supplies SD receivers to its customers, only the HD version of the channel is available on cable.
Prior to the channel's launch it had been indicated that Smithsonian Channel would be made available to Freeview devices "in the spring" In practice, though, capacity on the Arqiva-operated COM7 multiplex was secured to enable the channel to go live at the same time as on other platforms. Only the standard-definition version of Smithsonian is carried on DTT; however, as the channel broadcasts on a DVB-T2 multiplex alongside other SD and HD channels, an HD-capable receiver is required to access the channel.
Advance weekly listings for the Smithsonian Channel were carried in Radio Times magazine from February 2019.
- Smithsonian Channel - original US version of the station
- Smithsonian Channel (Canada) - Canadian version of the station
- PBS America - similar UK channel showing predominantly US documentaries
- [Profile of the channel in Total TV Guide (Bauer Media), issue date 9-15 February 2019, published 5 February 2019]