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post #1 of 25 Old 01-05-2008, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Of interest to DTV viewers in Canadian border areas (Detroit, Seattle, Buffalo, etc.), here is recent info from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) regarding their future plans for OTA Digital TV.

My question: When will (CBC Affilate) CBET begin Digital TV over-the-air in Windsor (ONT)?
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CBC Answer: We appreciate your interest in CBC Television. CBC is currently broadcasting in over the air high definition in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver. Beyond that, no further decisions have been made regarding further expansion as yet, since funding for such projects is not currently in place. Any further new transmitters would likely be placed in major centres of high population, but it's premature to speculate on possible locations for future transmitters at the moment, or on exactly when additional facilities might be installed. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has established a date of August 31, 2011 as the deadline to end analog TV transmission in Canada. Expansion projects will likely not be put in place until some time after the mandated shutdown takes effect. Thank you for writing to CBC. CBC Audience Relations

My follow up question: I'd like to confirm what I think you meant below by "Expansion projects will likely not be put in place until some time after the mandated shutdown takes effect.". Would this mean further digital over-the-air TV stations in Canada will not be operational until 'some time' after analog TV has been turned off?

CBC Answer:
Quote:


Keep in mind that I am not speaking for the entire Canadian broadcast industry. There will be no further CBC HD transmitters put in place before the 2011 deadline. When new projects will be undertaken following this date depends onfunding which has yet to be provided. If you are looking for the plans of other networks, you should contact those companies separately. CBC Audience Relations


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post #2 of 25 Old 01-05-2008, 12:09 PM
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Maybe the reason we don't get Hockey Night In Canada in HD is because NHL CI in the U.S. is fed a feed from the P.E.I. CBC affiliate(WTF!?!?). Perhaps if we a got a feed from the Toronto affiliate, HD would be available to us.

Just a VERY uneducated guess

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post #3 of 25 Old 01-05-2008, 12:26 PM
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i don't really get it. so they are going to wait until after the analog transmitters are turned, and then will 'consider' putting up some digital transmitters to take their places?? Isn't the idea of the analog to get viewers to tune it to the digital signals, not lose their access to CBC entirely?
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post #4 of 25 Old 01-05-2008, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canada_habs2004 View Post

i don't really get it. so they are going to wait until after the analog transmitters are turned, and then will 'consider' putting up some digital transmitters to take their places?? Isn't the idea of the analog to get viewers to tune it to the digital signals, not lose their access to CBC entirely?

Boy, that's what it seems to say. After all of our analog CBS transmitters are turned off we'll consider how many digital transmitters we'll add? This may not affect cable or satellte subscribers, but it sounds like CBC wants out of the OTA business. Unless the original reply was hopelessly mis-informed or mis-stated...
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post #5 of 25 Old 01-05-2008, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canada_habs2004 View Post

i don't really get it.

Neither do I, which is why I asked the follow up.

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post #6 of 25 Old 01-05-2008, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canada_habs2004 View Post

i don't really get it. so they are going to wait until after the analog transmitters are turned, and then will 'consider' putting up some digital transmitters to take their places?? Isn't the idea of the analog to get viewers to tune it to the digital signals, not lose their access to CBC entirely?

I do: OTA is dead. Either they believe that, or the government does, and they only think CBC digital will be viable OTA in those cities for now. Everyone else, screw you and get cable/Starchoice.

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.

People are legitimately concerned in America that over-the-air (OTA) free TV will be dead because people think cable/sat is the only way to get TV out of ignorance. In Canada, cable/sat WILL be the only way if you want CBC, outside of a few markets.

The kicker: their DTV chanels are allocated to broadcast on 52-69, IIRC.
Yep, the ones we lose in 2/2009.

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post #7 of 25 Old 01-05-2008, 08:16 PM
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That isn't logical, Ken.
Canada doesn't have the cable and DSS penetration that the US does. I would think that a LOT of people aren't going to have TV come 2011.

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post #8 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 04:47 AM
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Hmmm - I wouldn't entirely trust an e-mail from an Audience Relations department rather than a response forwarded from a transmission or engineering department, though it does seem pretty well informed and emphatic.

I wonder what the Canadian commercial channels have planned for digital switch-over.
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post #9 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 06:24 AM
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A year or so ago I read an article in one of the US trade rags that stated the CBC doesn't have the money to replace all of their analog transmitters with digital ones. The total number of full power analog CBC signals is very small compared to the hundreds of low power translators that dot Canada that serve only say 50 people out on the frozen tundra of the Northwest Territory, for example. That is the real problem.

As a transmitter engineer from CTV in Alberta told me in 2005, he had the biggest analog transmitter in his area and it was only 22 kW, unlike here in the US where we have many more full power transmitters that run more power that that. My own analog transmitter is a 44 kW. This guy had never seen a transmitter that big. But he had about 30 translators from 50 watts to 1 kw that he took care of all over Alberta for CTV and that was where most of his audience watch TV from, not the big 22 kW transmitter at his main transmitter site.

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post #10 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

I wonder what the Canadian commercial channels have planned for digital switch-over.

From what I was told, not until forced to because they have the same issues with translators CBC does.

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post #11 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 06:38 AM
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Canada has a far greater cable/satellite penetration (~ 87%) than the US.

95% of Canadian transmitters are owned by CBC/CTV/Global. CTV + Global have no redeeming value - they are simply retransmitters of US network programming with a couple of local newscasts and a couple of low budget Canadian shows in off peak hours to meet low CRTC requirements. When you add in that CRTC requirement is for HD broadcasting (not just digital like the US); it is easy to see that there is no business case for them to do HD OTA.

I suspect that the CBC reply is purposely vague at this time. Canadian broadcasters have purposed that the CRTC mandate that cable/satellite pay for carriage of digital OTA stations. OTOH; Canada's biggest distributor, Shaw, says "No way, you pay us for transponder space since you refuse to deliver HD to present licenced OTA analog contours".
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post #12 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

A year or so ago I read an article in one of the US trade rags that stated the CBC doesn't have the money to replace all of their analog transmitters with digital ones. The total number of full power analog CBC signals is very small compared to the hundreds of low power translators that dot Canada that serve only say 50 people out on the frozen tundra of the Northwest Territory, for example. That is the real problem.

As a transmitter engineer from CTV in Alberta told me in 2005, he had the biggest analog transmitter in his area and it was only 22 kW, unlike here in the US where we have many more full power transmitters that run more power that that. My own analog transmitter is a 44 kW. This guy had never seen a transmitter that big. But he had about 30 translators from 50 watts to 1 kw that he took care of all over Alberta for CTV and that was where most of his audience watch TV from, not the big 22 kW transmitter at his main transmitter site.

Quote:
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From what I was told, not until forced to because they have the same issues with translators CBC does.

Interesting stuff - had thought the CBC was more like the BBC than it was.

The largest UK analogue transmitters are around the 1000kW mark, but relays and fill-ins can be down in the 10s of Watt levels. AIUI there are around 1154 analogue transmitter sites - combinations of main sites, relays and fill-ins across the UK. Many are funded by local communities rather than the broadcasters via "Self Help" schemes.

There are already around 80 digital transmission sites - (almost?) all providing the UK 6 mux DVB-T line-up.

Post analogue switch-off most or all of the 1154 analogue sites will be converted to digital - BUT these will only be carrying the 3 Public Service Broadcasting muxes. (Currently PSBs - BBC services, ITV services, C4 services, Five services - are carried across 4 muxes, but with a change from 18QAM to 64QAM and 2k to 8k coding at the same time, there will be more bandwith created on the remaining three PSB muxes to carry all the PSBs - though possibly not all the PSB branded sub-channels? )

The BBC and Ofcom have also tentatively agreed to convert one of these PSB muxes from DVB-T to DVB-T2 allowing approx 30Mbs rather than 24Mbs - and using H264 will aim to broadcast HD services.

The remaining 3 commercial, non-PSB muxes, will only be broadcast from the existing 80 sites currently (their operators haven't asked Ofcom - the UK regulator - to extend to the other 1154 sites). However they will be able to broadcast at higher powers and a higher bandwith using 24Mbs 64QAM 8k (rather than 18Mbs 16QAM 2k) - which from the 80 transmitter sites should increase coverage from 73% currently to around 90% of the UK population. The other 1000+ sites provide coverage for the remaining chunk of the UK population - attempting to match the 99.99something percent population coverage of analogue OTA. The commercial mux operators have presumably decided that the cost / benefit of converting over 1000 sites for less than 10% audience increase isn't worth it ?
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post #13 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Neither do I, which is why I asked the follow up.

Could it be possible that the CBC Audience Relations rep does not understand the fact that a DTV signal isn't necessarily HDTV?
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post #14 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riga View Post

Could it be possible that the CBC Audience Relations rep does not understand the fact that a DTV signal isn't necessarily HDTV?

No, and as noted above, the Canadian mandate is not just for DTV, unlike the US it's for HDTV.

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post #15 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

The largest UK analogue transmitters are around the 1000kW mark, but relays and fill-ins can be down in the 10s of Watt levels.

I was talking about TPO not ERP. My DTV is 1000kw ERP, but the TPO is 51 kw at 600 MHz. My analog is 300kw ERP at 183 MHz, but the TPO is 32kw but the transmitter is capable of 44 kw. The CTV engineer said that 98% of all of the Canadian full power analogs are along the US/Canadian border in the large towns and even he said that he didn't think he would see DTV in Alberta until the Canadian government forced them to because of the cost verses viewer ratio. None of the Canadian broadcasters want to spend the money, public or private. At that time (2005) the only places in Canada that had DTV was Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and only Toronto had CBC HD at the time. I think CBC HD is now in the three major markers of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and no where else. In contrast at the same time (2005), in the US, DTV was available in 95% of the markets.

Canada takes a much different view of DTV than the US. The only reason Canada is doing it because of the USA not because they want to, that according to this same engineer.

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post #16 of 25 Old 01-09-2008, 12:21 PM
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So does this mean they won't increase the power of their current digital transmitters either (forgive me a lot of this engineering talk is beyond me).

I live just north of Buffalo and would love to get CBC-HD OTA from their transmitter on the CN Tower in Toronto (about 50 miles away) but it only broadcasts at 38kw from what I understand and that's too weak for me to get without some fancy outdoor antenna that I don't want to get.

I can get all my Buffalo digital OTAs with my indoor antenna just fine and some of them are over 30 miles away but they broadcast at a factor of 10 higher power.

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post #17 of 25 Old 01-09-2008, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana627 View Post

So does this mean they won't increase the power of their current digital transmitters either (forgive me a lot of this engineering talk is beyond me).

I live just north of Buffalo and would love to get CBC-HD OTA from their transmitter on the CN Tower in Toronto (about 50 miles away) but it only broadcasts at 38kw from what I understand and that's too weak for me to get without some fancy outdoor antenna that I don't want to get.

I can get all my Buffalo digital OTAs with my indoor antenna just fine and some of them are over 30 miles away but they broadcast at a factor of 10 higher power.

To receive a digital station 50 miles away, an outdoor antenna is needed. It will also make the Buffalo reception more reliable.

Fancy? No, not at all. Just a basic VHF/UHF antenna.

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?PROD=HD7080P

And if the digital stations you are receiving are all UHF, it can even be less expensive.

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?PROD=HD-8800

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post #18 of 25 Old 01-09-2008, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

I was talking about TPO not ERP. My DTV is 1000kw ERP, but the TPO is 51 kw at 600 MHz. My analog is 300kw ERP at 183 MHz, but the TPO is 32kw but the transmitter is capable of 44 kw.

Ah - my mistake. Powers I quoted were indeed ERP - haven't seen TPOs quoted on UK transmitter information sites.

RF isn't my forte - I'm low power and mainly digital in engineering background - and haven't used my degree - officially - in anger for too many years. (The approach to practical problem solving you learn through an engineering training never leaves you though - and occasionally I surprise my engineering colleagues who are unaware of my background... )
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post #19 of 25 Old 02-05-2009, 03:43 AM
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I understand that all of you have digital service and look for it, but has everyone considered the unsettling fact that the CBC is funded by public taxpayer funds by the government, and that by switching off their analog transmitters they are cuttingoff service from those who pay their bills? Forcing them to pay. DOes this not seem a little wrong to anyone else but me?
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post #20 of 25 Old 02-05-2009, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savalyn View Post

I understand that all of you have digital service and look for it, but has everyone considered the unsettling fact that the CBC is funded by public taxpayer funds by the government, and that by switching off their analog transmitters they are cuttingoff service from those who pay their bills? Forcing them to pay. DOes this not seem a little wrong to anyone else but me?

It depends how much tax money is saved by not building and operating the towers. At some point, if building and operating transmission towers is sufficiently expensive to taxpayers, it makes more sense to tell the relatively small percentage of Canadians who receive their signal over the air that they need to hook into Cable or Satellite if they want to continue to watch TV.
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post #21 of 25 Old 02-05-2009, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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From The CBC:

Quote:
CBC Will Not Abandon Canadians Who Receive Television Over-the-air

John Agnew, Director of Radio and Television, CBC North


Let me assure readers: CBC/Radio-Canada is not abandoning Canadians. Anyone
who currently receives television over-the-air will continue to receive that
service into the foreseeable future.

About 30 years ago, the federal government provided funding to
CBC/Radio-Canada to extend its over-the-air transmission of television and
radio to smaller communities. The 670-television-transmitter system
currently gets CBC/Radio-Canada's over-the-air television signals to 98 per
cent of the population coast to coast to coast.

A transmitter has a lifespan of approximately 30 years. We are now faced
with having to replace our aging infrastructure. CBC/Radio-Canada's
responsibility is to balance reaching as many Canadians as possible with a
responsible use of our resources. It would cost nearly $400 million to
replace the ailing analogue television system with a digital system. As
well, as the world moves to HD/digital transmission, we need to consider
replacing analogue towers with digital ones.

Last fall, we put forward a hybrid approach for digital/HD television to the
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) where we
would implement 44 over-the-air digital transmitters that would reach 80 per
cent of the Canadian population. This system would cost a quarter of the
cost of replacing the analogue system.


The vast majority of the remaining Canadians today subscribe to cable or
satellite television services, and if the trend continues, that proportion
will only grow.

We are in no way suggesting that those Canadians who are outside our hybrid
coverage and who continue to rely on over-the-air should simply be left
without access. We have recommended that the CRTC examine possible solutions
for those Canadians.

One alternative to over-the-air television, as the letter writer pointed
out, is deriving content from the Internet. CBC.ca and Radio-Canada.ca
remain among the country's top news and information websites and are places
Canadians turn to for breaking news.

They are also places Canadians go for podcasts of radio programs, and soon
many of our television programs will be available as well.

For the record, CBC/Radio-Canada has a 25 per cent ownership stake in Sirius
Canada, which delivers many of our radio services, such as Radio One and
Radio 3. At this stage, what is being envisaged is the delivery of video
content to the car, such as movies. Sirius could not be a substitute for the
delivery of CBC Television signals.

We are waiting to hear from the CRTC with regards to our proposal. In the
meantime, analogue transmitters will remain in service.

John Agnew
Director of Radio and Television, CBC North


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post #22 of 25 Old 02-05-2009, 05:37 PM
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Hopefully the CBC will have Hockey Night in Canada in HD near my mom's house in Detroit before too long.

Better still, I wish there were a way to get the better content from the CBC and the BBC in HD in parts of the US that aren't near the Canadian border. I totally understand that we can't watch US programming on the CBC or the BBC when the broadcasting rights belong to a US distribution channel. However, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be able to watch decent quality Canadian or British programming that doesn't have a distribution channel in the US.

Best of luck to my friends in the North. Hopefully the CBC and the commercial broadcasters will expand their HDTV broadcasts before 2015.

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post #23 of 25 Old 02-05-2009, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimboG View Post

Hopefully the CBC will have Hockey Night in Canada in HD near my mom's house in Detroit before too long.

Better still, I wish there were a way to get the better content from the CBC and the BBC in HD in parts of the US that aren't near the Canadian border. I totally understand that we can't watch US programming on the CBC or the BBC when the broadcasting rights belong to a US distribution channel. However, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be able to watch decent quality Canadian or British programming that doesn't have a distribution channel in the US.

Best of luck to my friends in the North. Hopefully the CBC and the commercial broadcasters will expand their HDTV broadcasts before 2015.


HNIC is in HD on NHL Network now. Get D* or E* and you can watch it. Also some cable tv companies carry NHL Network.
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post #24 of 25 Old 02-05-2009, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKNA View Post

HNIC is in HD on NHL Network now. Get D* or E* and you can watch it. Also some cable tv companies carry NHL Network.

And FiOS, for those lucky enough to have access to it.
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post #25 of 25 Old 02-05-2009, 08:49 PM
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http://forums.canadian-tv.com/showthread.php?t=28790
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst...AN_Dec08-e.pdf

Very good thread and PDF. This lists all the Candian DTV allocations. Canada will not use channels 52-69 just like the USA. CBET-DT is on CH. 35 if it signs on but when Canada switches over to digital they'll go back to CH. 9.
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