|Launched||September 26, 2007|
|Owned by|| Smithsonian Institution |
|Picture format|| 1080i HDTV |
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Slogan||It's brighter here|
|Broadcast area||United States|
|Sister channel(s)|| Showtime |
The Movie Channel
| Freeview |
|Channel 99 (SD)|
Channel 570 (HD)
Channel 1570 (VOD)
Channel 1747 (HD)
|Dish Network||Channel 367 (SD/HD)|
| Sky |
(UK and Ireland)
|Channel 195 (SD/HD)|
| Freesat |
|Channel 175 (SD/HD)|
| Astra 2G |
|11171 H 22000 5/6|
|Available on most cable systems||Channel slots may vary|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 634 (HD)|
| Starhub TV |
|Channel 415 (HD)|
|Spectrum||Channel 763 (HD)|
| Virgin Media |
|Channel 295 (HD)|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 118 (SD)|
Channel 1118 (HD)
|YouTube TV||Internet Protocol television|
|Hulu Live TV||Internet Protocol television|
|FuboTV||Internet Protocol television|
Smithsonian Networks is a joint venture between CBS Corporation's Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution. The service consists of Smithsonian Channel, Smithsonian On Demand , and smithsonianchannel.com .
CBS Corporation is an American mass media corporation focused on commercial broadcasting, publishing, and television production, with most of its operations in the United States. The current President and Acting CEO is Joseph Ianniello. Sumner Redstone, owner of National Amusements, controls CBS by way of his majority ownership of the company's Class A voting stock; he also serves as Chairman Emeritus.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI) is an American entertainment company that oversees the company's premium cable television channels, including its flagship service Showtime. It is a subsidiary of media conglomerate CBS Corporation.
The Smithsonian Institution, founded on August 10, 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge," is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States. The institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. Originally organized as the "United States National Museum," that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967.
The network’s content is inspired by the Smithsonian Institution’s museums, research facilities and magazines. It features original non-fiction programming that covers a wide range of historical, scientific and cultural subjects. It is also available from On Demand in both high definition and standard definition.
Video on demand (VOD) is a programming system which allows users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content such as movies and TV shows whenever they choose, rather than at a scheduled broadcast time, the method that prevailed with over-the-air programming during the 20th century. IPTV technology is commonly used to bring VOD to televisions and personal computers.
As of February 2015, approximately 33.6 million American households (28.9% of those with television) receive Smithsonian Channel.
The Smithsonian Channel features a wide array of programming covering science, nature, culture, history, air and spacecraft, and documentaries. They create everything from long-running series to one-off, in depth specials.
Aerial America is a television series airing on the Smithsonian Channel. Each episode is an aerial video tour of a U.S. state or destination in the United States. The narrated show consists entirely of aerial scenes using the Cineflex V14HD gyro-stabilized camera system mounted under the “chin” of a helicopter. It features flyovers of historical landmarks, natural areas such as national parks, and well-known buildings and homes in urban areas. The series has aired an episode for each state as well as others that have showcased popular destinations such as Hollywood and small towns in the U.S.
Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, film narrator, and philanthropist. Freeman won an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor with Million Dollar Baby (2004), and he has received Oscar nominations for his performances in Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), and Invictus (2009). He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Hosted by actor Tom Cavanagh, Stories from the Vaults is a series of 30-minute shows featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex. The new series, produced by Caragol Wells Productions, showcases the Smithsonian's rarest treasures as Tom Cavanagh meets with the experts behind the Smithsonian and discusses what it takes to preserve these precious artifacts for the generations to come. Stories from the Vaults debuted September 2007 on Smithsonian Networks. The second season premiered Sunday July 12, 2009.
Smithsonian Channel's programming library is currently distributed by Trifecta Entertainment & Media.
Trifecta Entertainment & Media is an American entertainment company founded in 2006. The company's founders previously held jobs as executives at MGM Television. Trifecta is primarily a distribution company and also handles advertising sales in exchange for syndication deals with local television stations, cable outlets, and digital media. Secondary, the company produces television programs and made-for-TV and direct-to-video movies. The company has offices in Los Angeles, California and New York City, New York.
Originally only offered in high definition, the Smithsonian Channel HD began airing on DirecTV's new HD lineup on September 26, 2007. Dish Network had originally added the HD channel on May 12, 2008, until February 1, 2009, when Dish dropped it. Then on December 11, 2015, Dish began to offer the channel again.In 2010, Smithsonian Networks entered into an agreement with Comcast for broadcast of the channel until 2020.
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Smithsonian Networks is also available on AT&T U-verse and Charter Communications in high definition and standard definition and on Verizon FiOS, Mediacom, and CenturyLink's Prism as part of their Premium and Preferred packages.
Since 2015, Cox Communications added the channel on at least a few of their systems.
In addition, full episodes and clips are available on devices such as the iPad, Android as well as streaming media devices such as Roku and Apple TV.
In December 2018, HD test transmissions for the Smithsonian Channel were broadcast on the Astra 2G satellite used by the UK's Sky platform.The channel launched on 12 February 2019 on all major UK platforms.
In 2006 Carl Malamud of publishing and sharing non-profit Public.Resource.Org complained that private company Showtime and the publicly owned Smithsonian Institution were entering a contract to establish Smithsonian Networks without sufficient public disclosure.Under the contract Showtime would be able to deny permission to other media producers wishing access to Smithsonian collections. Documentarian Ken Burns said of this deal "I find this deal terrifying... It feels like the Smithsonian has essentially optioned America's attic to one company".
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Smithsonian Channel is a digital television channel broadcast in the United Kingdom and, via satellite, the Republic of Ireland. It is a British version of the US documentary station Smithsonian Channel. The service is broadcast in standard and/or high definition formats on all of the major linear digital broadcast platforms in the UK since 12 February 2019.