Hey there Rod,
Well, as far as OTA (over the air) channels here in Manitoba, there are none that broadcast in digital, *****only analog VHF/UHF******.
So you won't be viewing anything in HDTV....and not even in digital with OTA here in Manitoba.
Whatever channels you pulled in with rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna (in other words OTA) 20 years ago are gonna be the same channels you can pull in right now in 2007, other than station "rebranding" (CKND is now known as Global.....MTN became A-Channel Manitoba, and then it became CityTV Winnipeg, CKY more or less calls itself CTV Winnipeg now).
Portage La Prarie....well, I don't know how many of the locals (ie. Winnipeg stations) you can receive out there or on which exact channels they broadcast on in the Portage La Praire area but at the most it will come down to these:
CBC, CTV, Global, CityTV. Don't know if you can receive any channels from Brandon or not. If you do, you might be able to pick up CKX from Brandon? But again, that is still in analog VHF.
A few months ago I contacted all the locals (CBC Winnipeg, CTV Winnipeg, Global Winnipeg, CityTV Winnipeg, and even OMNI 11 Winnipeg).
None of them have any funds / nor plans in place at this time to start broadcasting in digital. These are all analog VHF stations, except for OMNI 11 which broadcasts a weak signal on analog UHF channel.....35 or 36 or something like that, at least here in the Winnipeg area.
To put it simply, there are no digital OTA signals being broadcast in Manitoba at this time. And probably not for many many years if ever.
If you want digital reception and/or HDTV, it will come down to these two choices:
StarChoice satellite or Bell ExpressVu satellite. And you'll have to make sure you get one of their receiver models that can receive and decode HDTV, otherwise you'll be left with non-HDTV digital channels. Not that the non-HDTV digital channels are a bad thing, it's just that you mentioned the HDTV reception requirement.
Not sure if Shaw digital cable has any HDTV channels out there in Portage La Praire, I'll leave that up to you to contact them and find out.
And I'll take a wild guess and tell you that MTS TV probably is not available in Portage La Praire.
That is it in a nutshell, unless you plan to move to Toronto or Vancouver in order to receive OTA digital channels at this time (ok ok, Ottawa has one or two digital OTA channels CBC English and CBC French) and probably likewise for a big city like Montreal.....