DTV Subchannels in Canada's Future? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-12, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Question DTV Subchannels in Canada's Future?

Apparently there is some consideration for Canadian TV subchannel streams. I had a request to ask "what useful program streams" would make television subchannels worthwhile in Canada.

examples: QUBO, Weather, Sports, movies, etc..

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post #2 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-12, 10:23 PM
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I see the opportunity for some cable/sat only feeds to expand to these subs. say CTV 9.1 Toronto can have Newsnet on the sub channel 9.2 or Fox 29 Buffalo can have fox news 29.2. If OTA can make a comeback in popularity i see it as inevitable.
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post #3 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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The industry of providing subchannel streams is growing in the US, but I'm not aware of any Canadian based networks such as ThisTV, CREATE, etc.

Erie channel 12 has CBS HD on the main channel 12.1, CW SD on 12.2, NBC SD on 12.3. Maybe CHCH could have CHCH news on 11.1, and other associated Channel Zero SD content on movieola11.2 and silverscreen11.3 ?

How about CKVR program feed on 11.2 and CHCH program feed on 3.2, etc and CTV content on other channels in remote areas where CTV can not reach.
_______________________________________

The question as it was asked by the station's program management was
"Now, we just need to find useful program streams that would make television watching worthwhile".

It seems like that door will open in Canadian broadcasting if there is worthwhile content to carry that will attract advertisers.

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post #4 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 07:37 AM
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^^^^
Do those U.S. stations have 16:9 or 4:3 SD on their sub channels?
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post #5 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesK View Post
^^^^
Do those U.S. stations have 16:9 or 4:3 SD on their sub channels?
I think it's mostly 4:3, but I think some weather and static news channels are using widescreen SD (16:9). For example, I seem to recall that WCAX-DT2's weather channel is widescreen, but I could be mistaken.

The problem with getting SD network content on OTA in Canada is most of the owners makes their money off Cable fee-driven programming.
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post #6 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Here's some more interesting reading about the 'how's' and 'why's' of the growing and profitable subchannel industry:

Quote:
A growing number of low-power stations are quickly recognizing the potential of digital transmission for expanding service offerings, raising video quality and creating new revenue streams. Now, these stations can follow the lead of KAXT-CA, a Class A community station based in San Jose, CA. This year, KAXT launched an unprecedented digital ATSC television service capable of broadcasting up to 20 MPEG-2 video and audio services within the 19.39Mb/s ATSC spectrum. Using advanced video processing solutions from Harmonic, transmission equipment from Linear Industries, and PSIP generation from Triveni Digital, KAXT is currently broadcasting 12 video channels and four audio channels and is already planning to add four more audio services.
http://broadcastengineering.com/exce...wards/kaxt-ca/

Quote:
"Now, these stations can follow the lead of KAXT-CA, a Class A community station based in San Jose, CA."
KAXT-CA info: http://www.stationindex.com/tv/callsign/KAXT-CA

WANN-CA info:
Here's that Georgia station that has many subchannels an radio station on one frequency. I'll see if I can find the rundown on how they've accomplished it. There is now a station in L.A. that has done the same thing. It must create a lucrative revenue, else they wouldn't bother going to these extremes.
http://www.wanntv.com/

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post #7 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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I found this at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_subchannel
__________________________________________
Digital television supports multiple digital subchannels if the approximately 19.4Mb/s (megabits per second) bitstream is divided. Therefore, station managers and broadcast engineers could run any of the following scenarios using one 6 MHz channel (note that the actual bitrate moves up and down, due to usage of variable bitrate encoding):

HDTV channels Subchannels
1× 1080i or 720p HDTV (19 Mbit/s) No additional subchannels, unless HD is transmitted at 15Mbit/s or less.
1× 1080i or 720p HDTV (15 Mbit/s) + 1 480p or 480i SD subchannel (~3.8 Mbit/s)
1× 1080i or 720p HDTV (11 Mbit/s) + 1 720p HDTV (8 Mbit/s) subchannel
1× 1080i or 720p HDTV (11 Mbit/s) + 2 480p or 480i SD subchannels (~3.8 Mbit/s each)
1× 720p HDTV channel (8 Mbit/s) + 3 480p or 480i SD subchannels (~3.8 Mbit/s each)
2× 720p HDTV channels (9.6 Mbit/s each) No SD subchannels
2× 720p HDTV channels (7.8 Mbit/s each) + 1 480p or 480i SD subchannel (~3.8 Mbit/s)
No HDTV channels + 2 480p or 480i SD subchannels (~6 Mbit/s each)
No HDTV channels + 3 480p or 480i SD subchannels (~6 Mbit/s each)
No HDTV channels + 4 480p or 480i SD subchannels (~4.2 Mbit/s each)
No HDTV channels + 5 480p or 480i SD subchannels (~3.8 Mbit/s each)
No HDTV channels + 6 480p or 480i SD subchannels (~3.1 Mbit/s each)
No HDTV channels + 7 480p or 480i SD subchannels (~2.7 Mbit/s each)
No HDTV channels + 8 480p or 480i SD subchannels (~2.4 Mbit/s each)
No HDTV channels + 9 480p or 480i SD subchannels (~2.1 Mbit/s each)
No HDTV channels + 10 480p or 480i SD subchannels (~1.9 Mbit/s each)
No HDTV channels +120 mono radio subchannels (~0.2 Mbit/s each)

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post #8 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 01:32 PM
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I'd like to see CP24 on CTV as a sub-channel.

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post #9 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 01:38 PM
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My crystal ball is a bit cloudy...

ota_canuck, I was struck by the request you received for ideas on what would be suitable programming sources. If this request came from a Canadian broadcaster (I think I know which one) then I'm curious as to how developed the idea may or may not be at this time within the CRTC. We can rule out any U.S. networks (large and small) as programming candidates in Canada, but certainly there are Canadian cable specialty channels that might be worthwhile if a workable business model and licensing regime could be found. Then there are the candidates like BC's Knowledge Network and Alberta's Access Network, which would be excellent Canadian sub-channels. The all news networks of CBC and CTV would be great too. Again, the business and licensing hurdles are significant.

I get the feeling though that if a brand new Canadian entity emerged as a creator and source of programming for OTA sub-channels it would cause the big cable specialty channel owners to either cry foul and try to kill it or else demand their own means of doing it rather than allow new competition to enter the broadcasting world. In effect they could be goaded into it.

One last thing - the ATSC standard includes the capability to individually encrypt sub-channels, so there is always the possibility that a business model might emerge for a subscription service that would require a decryption STB or software. The usual candidates for that are movie, sports, and adult channels.
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post #10 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 02:07 PM
 
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CP24 would be good, I'd like to see the Weather Network too. CBC newsworld, pb channel...
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post #11 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 02:08 PM
 
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Quote:
The problem with getting SD network content on OTA in Canada is most of the owners makes their money off Cable fee-driven programming.
Although I would love to see Canadian broadcasters use digital subchannels to increase ota content, I doubt that they would be willing to lose the cable subscription fees. They would have to have assurance that increased ad revenue from the subchannels is equal to or greater than the lost cable fees.

Although one has to consider that if subchannels can only broadcast in SD due to bandwidth limitations, how many cable subscribers would keep cable in order to watch the station in HD? E.g. if CBC Newsworld was available ota as a subchannel of CBC-TV, but only in SD, how many would drop cable to watch it in SD only and how many would keep cable to be able to watch it in HD? Many subscribers agree that most of the channels in the 500 channel universe is crap and that they only watch a handful of what they get. And so if the stations that they watch were available ota but only in SD, would they make the switch? An interesting dilemma.
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post #12 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 02:13 PM
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Cable has traditionally offered "value added" features over OTA, so really what you've just mentioned would be a continuance of that and makes sense. As I say, the cable specialty channels could be goaded into doing it if a new contender tried to get in on their action.
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post #13 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 04:03 PM
 
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Forgive me for being so out of the loop, but whatever happened in that fight between the broadcasters and the cable companies? Do Bell & Rogers now have to give some $$ to the broadcast networks?
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post #14 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 04:10 PM
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^^^^
Yeah, they have to move the money from one pocket to the other. ;-)
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post #15 of 81 (permalink) Old 2010-10-13, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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As far as I know the CRTC [or IC,.. I'd doubt they even care as long as nobody breaches their alloted frequency] is neither on the fence or on either side of the fence regarding subchannels. The CRTC has stated in some of the recent fee for carriage issues that the carriage issues are between the Broadcasters and the BDU's to resolve between themselves. I don't think the CRTC would be willing to rule in favour of blocking the use of subchannels in Canada for OTA or the BDU carriage of subchannels. As a matter of fact, I think BDU's could benefit by having carriage of some of these subchannels. The CRTC and IC usually follow the path of the FCC and being that the ATSC standard was developed between IC&FCC, I believe there are no roadblocks and there is potential for some good Canadian programming to develop out of this. Maybe that's where the Canadian government should be providing funds, toward developing watchable Canadian content and Canadian productions instead of throwing money out the window and into the pockets of US film-makers.

What's in it for Canadian broadcasters? The cash flow from local advertisers is added directly to the bottom line,.. near pure profit.

As stampeder has mentioned earlier, there are already a few Canadian streams such as BC's Knowledge Network and Alberta's Access Network available for subchannels.

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