Star Ray TV

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"Star Ray TV"
CityToronto, Ontario
BrandingStar Ray TV
OwnerJan Pachul
Founded1997; 27 years ago (1997)
Technical information
WebsiteStar Ray TV

Star Ray TV is an independent pirate community television station in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The station, which broadcasts in digital on channel 22 in Toronto's Beaches neighbourhood, was launched in 1997 when Jan Pachul, an amateur radio operator, applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for a licence to serve the community. Star Ray TV has temporary authority from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada from 1993 to 2015) to transmit on UHF channel 15 and 22 in Toronto with call sign VX9AMK.


Star Ray TV test pattern

On August 21, 2000, after five interventions from established broadcasters, the CRTC turned down Pachul's application,[1] on the grounds that it did not meet with the CRTC's low-power broadcasting (LPTV) policy, but Pachul alleged that the CRTC was simply protecting established corporate broadcasters who had already failed in their responsibility to provide programming of community interest.[2] On September 9, the station began broadcasting illegally as a pirate station.[3][4][5]

Pachul appeared before the CRTC on September 19, 2001,[6] and was ordered to shut the station down by November 15 of that year.[7] In December, the CRTC published a new policy permitting the development of community stations on LPTV.[8]

At one point in 2002, Star Ray broadcast on UHF 15 as text-only, based on a loophole by which it claimed text did not constitute "programming" and was therefore not prohibited. More recently, Star Ray has faced allegations that its operations interfere with VHF channel 13, home to CTV's CKCO-DT in Kitchener.

Star Ray TV's alternate logo, used on website

In recent years, the station has broadcast over the Internet. Pachul applied for another broadcasting licence on June 3, 2004, but as of 2008 the CRTC has not published a decision either approving or denying the 2004 licence application.

Since its inception, Star Ray broadcast on UHF channel 15. However, since CHCH-DT moved its signal to UHF 15 on December 2, 2013, Pachul moved Star Ray TV to UHF channel 22 and began broadcasting in digital with a new ATSC transmitter[9] on December 13, 2013, with the virtual channel remaining 15 via PSIP.[10]


  1. ^ "Star Ray TV muted by the CRTC: Broadcast regulator denies abrasive TV entrepreneur a license, Kara Aaserud, Scene and Heard". Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  2. ^ "Pirate TV Station Brandishing Air Wave 'Sword' at CRTC". Art Threat. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  3. ^ "Star Ray TV will pursue UHF/Internet strategy despite CRTC decision, September 6, 2000". Retrieved 2013-12-21.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Star Ray TV abandons plans to stream pirate station over the Internet, CNM, September 2000". Retrieved 2013-12-21.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations: Pirate TV Station in Toronto Challenges CRTC". Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  6. ^ "Rebel TV station to take on CRTC: Star Ray headed for hearing over its illegal airing of community programming, Keith Damsell, Globe & Mail, Aug 06, 2001". 2001-08-06. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  7. ^ "CRTC 2001-109 Mandatory Order issued pursuant to subsection 12(2) of the Broadcasting Act concerning the operation of an unlicensed undertaking at Toronto, Ontario, Ottawa, 26 October 2001". 2001-10-26. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  8. ^ "Proposed CRTC bill concerns community TV activists". 2007-12-17. Archived from the original on 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  9. ^ Spurr, Ben. "Star Ray TV, Toronto's unchanging channel". NOW Magazine. Toronto ON. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  10. ^ Jan Pachul (2013-12-13). "Star Ray Is back in ATSC!". Star Ray TV Forum. Retrieved 2013-12-29. [dead link]

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