Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: North of Ogdensburg, NY
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We have a real problem in DTV here in Canada and it's three pronged:
1) No broadcasters are equipped for digital. The government run CBC is running on a shoestring budget (and the shoestring is frayed at the ends). Heck, the CBC didn't even switch on analog MTS (stereo audio) until December 2000 here in the nation's capital city. They barely have enough money to keep their ancient equipment working. Commercial broadcasters in Canada are notorioulsy [i]cheap[\\i], and will not invest a penny in DTV unless they know it will make them a lot of money. The business case just isn't there, and unlike the U.S., there isn't a government body forcing the transition to digital. The test transmitters were assembled using mainly donated money and equipment. If it's so difficult getting funding for just one DTV transmitter in Toronto (Canada's largest city), where's all the money going to come from for 15 stations to get equipped? Besides, who's going to watch DTV? See my next point.
2) There isn't a single DTV OTA STB for sale in Canada. Sure, you can buy an STB in the U.S. and import it, like I did. ExpressVu does offer the Echostar model 6000, but the 8VSB OTA tuner isn't available, and I doubt ExpressVu will update the software necessary to enable the tuner. StarChoice offers an add-on box (HDD-201) but that only works on programming originating on satellite.
3) Canada is one of the most "cabled" countries (over 80%). Unless DTV is embraced by the cable companies (and Ted Rogers has pubicly stated that DTV is low priority) there is a problem.
Recently, I was helping a friend install a satellite system in his home. Local TV stations are not carried on this system, so I suggested getting an antenna. The reaction was "is TV even available off air anymore - I thought it wasn't. Even if it is, I don't want to go back to the 1960s by putting up an antenna". This is a very common attitude in these parts.