Popularizing OTA DTV In Canada - Page 3 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #31 of 834 (permalink) Old 2005-12-17, 08:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh
Guys, the thesis of this thread was that FS and BB were getting kickbacks from Rogers et al in order to keep consumers unaware of ATSC tuners.
I highly doubt this is the case.

Bottom line is that most homeowners do NOT have antenna or tower in place. Look at the price of 40 ft attached towers + rotor + antenna installed - it ain't chicken feed. For fringe area look at price of 60ft self supporting tower/rotor/deep fringe antenna - $1500 or so.

The salesperson job (and income) is based on closing the HDTV sale (+ the profitable cables/extended warranty). So you make the sale as easy as possible as in "Here's a Rogers HD box free for 6 months, or Expressvu HD box free for 2 years, or a complete SC HD setup for $149 installed with $100 programming credit).

It's as simple as that - nothing more, nothing less.
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post #32 of 834 (permalink) Old 2005-12-17, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by HDTV101
Were they the nice Film Crew jackets? I would like a BEV jacket
They were like hockey jackets, with bluish-gray cloth material and black leather arms. Nice looking jackets.
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post #33 of 834 (permalink) Old 2005-12-17, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilight Cowboy
Bottom line is that most homeowners do NOT have antenna or tower in place. Look at the price of 40 ft attached towers + rotor + antenna installed - it ain't chicken feed. For fringe area look at price of 60ft self supporting tower/rotor/deep fringe antenna - $1500 or so.
Most homeowners who can get OTA DTV in Canada are in suburban areas that, at most, are in Fringe areas so do not need that kind of Deepest Fringe gear you've mentioned. Take a look at the ongoing poll here and you'll see that the great majority of folks have paid less than $500 for their OTA gear. If they cancel some or all of their HD programming from cable or satellite the OTA gear begins to pay for itself.

Typical example: cost of one CM4228, one galvanized 10 foot EMT pipe attached to chimney with steel straps, and RG6 cabling is less than $200.

In the case of FS/BB and the other vendors, I'm reasserting that since the small, local OTA installers cannot compete with big ticket marketing programs from BEV, Shaw, Rogers, et al. their voices are not heard and the salespeople on the shop floor therefore don't know anything about them because they only sell what's put out there in front of them.
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post #34 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-14, 03:04 PM
 
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Thumbs up Popularizing OTA HDTV? (See Consumer OTA Manifesto to CRTC)

I just saw a commercial by CTV which talks about the benefits of HDTV and how CTV has more HDTV programming in prime time than any other Canadian station.

At the end of the commercial it says "For more information contact your satellite or cable provider".

I would think that they should also educate people about the OTA option. Why pay for something that you can get for free?

How do we get the message out? Is there any way we can get journalists interested?

Here is an idea - is there a Canadian OTA HDTV group that could put together an information package that Best Buy and Future Shop could give out with the purchase of an HDTV TV. The package could summarize the collective knowledge of what people know here.

I think Rogers is brilliant in giving out the Rogers Digital TV package for free at Future Shop and Best Buy with every new TV purchased. I have a friend that just bought an EDTV plasma and I told him about OTA but for him Rogers was "simpler".
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post #35 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-14, 03:19 PM
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Consumer OTA Manifesto to CRTC

In my own personal opinion, a public awareness campaign would not catch much attention because the media is either owned or in bed with the CATV and DBS companies so the vested interests are against you. Mega $$$ corporate marketing campaigns are also against you. My gut tells me you'd be quite frustrated in your efforts. There is another way.

I have an alternative suggestion: a focused, concentrated push on the CRTC with this Consumer OTA Manifesto:

We demand that the CRTC invoke a specific OTA DTV cutover date in Canada.
  • Mandatory Cutover Date: Rather than try to convert the populace with information campaigns, get the CRTC cracking on a firm, mandatory DTV cutover date and all the rest of your concerns will fall right into place. Get out the pitchforks and light the torches. Okay, maybe not, but email them, write to them, phone them, fax them, and show up at hearings in person if you're handy. Do the same with messages to the Cabinet Minister in charge. Politicians hate form letters but love hand written ones. With an organization of people doing this, taking care not to send out spam and blatant copies that are thus ignored, the impact would be high.
  • 2010 at the Latest: It may be too late to catch up with the U.S. DTV cutover date in 2009, so all DTV cutovers in Canada must take place in or before 2010.
  • Higher Transitional Power Levels: Demand that Industry Canada and the CRTC commit to realistic transitional power levels that provide more than peashooter performance as the cutover happens. The Effective Radiated Power levels being authorized in Canada for cutover DTV stations are ludicrously low for consumer satisfaction.
  • No More Second Class OTA Consumers: With today's voluntary cutovers most geographic areas of Canada outside the major population centres are being left out of the Digital OTA Television revolution. This is discriminatory and unacceptable, and may even contravene the Charter of Rights and Freedoms if taken to its fullest legal interpretation.
  • No More Dumping Of Obsolescent Televisions Into The Canadian Marketplace: Many Canadians will unfortunately find that some of the new televisions in today's marketplace will be obsolete in the near future, especially if they live in a U.S. border area and currently rely on OTA. A specific cutover date will force these television sets out of the market, or at least compel vendors to label them as not having DTV capability.
  • Better use of Electricity: Digital OTA Television is greatly more efficient in energy usage than analogue broadcasting to an equivalent area. Protests from broadcasters about potential high costs of a mandatory DTV cutover must be weighed against the ultimate savings to them in lower electricity costs with the new equipment. Consumers must fight any attempts to pass along the cutover costs to them in light of the future savings to those broadcasters. DTV OTA means broadcasting that is better for the environment.
  • Ban on HD Channel Simsubbing When No Local OTA DTV Stations Exist: Lodge complaints with the CRTC about each and every HD simsub abuse we see happening. For example, Global simsubs U.S. HD programming coming into Vancouver when they have no equivalent HD service up and running OTA here. What is that all about? Are they even up and running OTA in Toronto yet? No. Are they simsubbing their HD content there? Yes. This is unacceptable. In order to be able to legally simsub in those situations, Canadian networks must have local DTV OTA stations in operation.
So, to summarize, if all efforts are focused on getting the CRTC to order a specific DTV cutover date, popular knowledge and adoption of OTA will therefore follow such an order.
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post #36 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-14, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z0z0
At the end of the commercial it says "For more information contact your satellite or cable provider".
The DBS and CATV companies make money off of HD packages. The CTV and Global networks are either directly affiliated or are closely tied to them. All one big happy family that want to maintain the status quo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by z0z0
I would think that they should also educate people about the OTA option. Why pay for something that you can get for free?
FS, BB, The Source, etc. etc. get money for every satellite or cable subscription they arrange. They'd make money on OTA gear sales too, but they are happy with what they're doing now.

About the person you mentioned who said that Rogers is "simpler"... in some ways it is for some consumers, so I don't have a complaint with that comment. To each their own, and as long as DBS and CATV companies continue to work on their "value added" pitches, that's fine with me. As for your friend, just drop by the person's house with an antenna some day and show them the ease and the stunning picture quality, and you will make a convert.
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post #37 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-15, 03:50 AM
 
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There is a lot of ignorance about the availability of HD over the air, and almost as much about the quality of the product.

I'm a prime example. Even though the salesman told me that CBC and CTV were broadcasting HD OTA in Vancouver, and sold me a cheapass Terk antenna, I didn't try very hard to get it working.

First I wasn't sure about the technology (and I'm an engineer). It wasn't clear to me how I could receive the signal. The salesmen told me I needed line of site (well I did with that piece of crap Terk) of Mt. Seymour. And then the setup of DTV on my Aquos wasn't really intuitive. Every time I hit the digital input button it said channel 22.1 (the .1 adding to my technology confusion) and I couldn't just scan with the normal channel up and down buttons. I had to know which channel number to punch in (or later I learned I could have the TV scan).

When I couldn't get anything on channel 22.1 and couldn't change the channel, I gave up. Put the fancy looking (but good for nothing) Terk back in it's box and went back to my 50 year old dipoles. Content with analog.

It wasn't until a friend told me how they were picking up CBC and CTV and told me which channels to try. That's when I put a bit more effort in and figured it all out. And wow, now I'm hooked. I just spent $200 and 5 hours on my roof installing a Channel Master.

I gave the Terk to another friend who has line of site of Mt. Seymour from his place. He was the same as me. Huge plasma TV watching crappy analog, but at least through a cable. Now he's watching HNIC in HD.

So in my life, it's been a word of mouth thing. And it will probably spread like that for a bit. But the easy of use is a big issue. I could pick up CBC with the old dipoles indoors as long as the weather was good. But I had to invest the time and money to get CBC and CTV all the time. Not everyone is going to do that. And really you don't know what you're missing until you watch a TV show in HD.

chris
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post #38 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-15, 06:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrandt
There is a lot of ignorance about the availability of HD over the air, and almost as much about the quality of the product.
Tell me about it. My sister asked me how many channels I get with my antenna (practically schoffing as she asked). I said five, but said that two of them are HD. She hasn't been over to see how good HD really is, so she's not sold on it yet, however I have had a couple of friends over, and they were VERY impressed with HNIC in HD, and CSI in HD. And asked me how they could get it at their house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrandt
the salesman told me that CBC and CTV were broadcasting HD OTA in Vancouver, and sold me a cheapass Terk antenna, I didn't try very hard to get it working.
I used to work at Futureshop, and went back to ask my co-workers if they knew that there were DTV stations in Vancouver. They didn't know, so I gave them a quick education on OTA. For customer service, I think people like free, and if they knew the TV they just bought just needed a decent antenna to get HD, they would buy a $50 antenna rather than a $300 HD box. On a personal note I don't think they push OTA too hard, as they'd rather get the commission off of a DBS or digital cable terminal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrandt
you don't know what you're missing until you watch a TV show in HD.
Amen to that!

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post #39 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-15, 10:33 AM
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There is alot of mis information out there.

I had several people tell me that they went to local stereo shops and was telling them that their friends have a outdoor antenna and is receiving free hdtv and how clear the picture great the quality is.

The sales people tells them Noway you can receive hdtv signal better than satellite or cable.

Some that have owned antenna's have been telling their coworkers about it and they also say Nooooway. That's old technology and it cannot be as good as cable or satellite.

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post #40 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-15, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z0z0
I just saw a commercial by CTV which talks about the benefits of HDTV and how CTV has more HDTV programming in prime time than any other Canadian station.
BUt who watches it? I've had CTV HD for a few years and have never ever watched one second of programming.

Do they have any Canadian content in HD?
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post #41 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-15, 03:19 PM
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The topic of this thread is the next line in his original post about being told in a CTV commercial to contact one's cable or satellite provider to get CTV HD but with no mention of OTA DTV where available, which lead him to ask how to popularize OTA in Canada.

Discussion of CTV programming or CTV viewership is off topic in this thread.
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post #42 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-16, 03:30 AM
 
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One of two things will happen

And to get back on topic, we can only evangelize so much about HD OTA. I believe one of two things will happen:

1. HDTV on cable will remain over priced due to technical constraints, and people will slowly grow to understand the difference between HDTV and SDTV. As they do they'll pick up their local channels over the air because it's cheaper for the same quality. Ultimately this forces the the broadcasters to put more resources into OTA transmission.

2. People will be too slow in understanding that you can receive digital TV over the air. Cable will be the dominant transmission medium for TV allowing the broadcasters to neglect their OTA transmission.

Ultimately the broadcaster only cares about reaching as many people as possible, as cheaply as possible. Air transmission is cheaper for consumers, but is it cheaper for broadcasters? How do the economics of broadcasting over cable work?

Chris
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post #43 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-16, 01:59 PM
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OTA DTV: a great boon for Canadian consumers

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrandt
Ultimately the broadcaster only cares about reaching as many people as possible, as cheaply as possible.
Ultimately the broadcasters in Canada care about keeping their CRTC licences, for without those they are dead in the water. In order to do that, they must prove (amongst other things) that they have a viable business model, so advertising and subscription revenue are critical to their survival. BUT...

The Broadcasting Act clarifies what has been the case since the 1950s: OTA is the television broadcasting standard in Canada. Cable and satellite broadcasting systems are best thought of as supersets of that, based on a business model that forecasts that they can generate revenue from consumer subscriptions by offering "value added" features over OTA (such as more channels).

If a consumer does not want to patronize one of those CATV or DBS vendors, it is their right not to have to do so in order to receive Canadian television networks and stations. The only way a consumer can be compelled to choose CATV, DBS, Telco-IP-TV, etc. is if that consumer wishes to pay for desirable features.

Now, as a result of ATSC DTV, it is apparent that CATV, DBS, Telco-IP-TV, etc. broadcasters have to deal with the fact that their subscription service cannot offer the picture quality of OTA HD. I see that as a great boon for consumers. Now it is consumers who must demand that the CRTC decree a mandatory cutover date of all televison broadcasting from analogue to digital in the near years ahead.
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post #44 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-16, 03:41 PM
 
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ANother way to get more stations/programming on OTA is to make advertisers aware that we exist. They should be made aware of our demographics and our numbers (OTA'ers and their family). Most likely people with good income (hey we all have HD sets right!!).
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post #45 of 834 (permalink) Old 2006-04-16, 11:23 PM
 
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A Little Venture Capital perhaps

Although its just speculation on my part, I wonder whether the absence in Canada of OTA tuner boxes being available for sale in mainstream big box stores, the absence of any information being provided to consumers by electronics stores that sell HDTV's about digital OTA and the absence of much media coverage, TV or print in Canada about digital OTA is just a coincidence???

I wonder what the reaction would be to someone launching a selected campaign say in the Southern Ontario / Golden Horseshoe market advertising a digital OTA service? It would both educate and deal with the valid comment of consumers that it is currently "simpler" to go with cable. For those of us on this forum, it's a hobby. So we don't mind spending hours on this forum and on the net searching for (a) information and (b) hardware and then (c) spending hours to install and set it all up.

For the average Cdn this is too much. HOWEVER I think they could be sold if all they had to do was phone 1-800-digital-OTA and the price was right. Heck, if I had someone who said to me that for $200 bucks they could install the system in my house and there were no monthly's then it would be a no brainer, especially if I just paid 4 grand for that nice big plasma. If the OTA set up and install costed $1000, average Cdn is going to shrug their shoulders and call their cable company.

Prices of hardware (OTA digital tuner box) are coming down because of the US changeover. In terms of antennas and antenna placement, I think as you can see from the board here, people don't want big honking antennas on their roof. The key to selling this is a small footprint antenna with a wide angle (e.g. CM 4221) or even better some sort of powered square shooter alternative that really has some range.

If someone has some venture capital money to spend and the OTA service is packaged and priced right I think you could make a ton of money here AND most importantly would raise the consciousness of digital OTA as a real option for the everyday man on the street. But then again you would be going up against the entrenched interests in Cdn TV distribution so not for the faint of heart or those with small bank accounts. I'd love to see it happen though.

BTW if you want to know what I get, look me up as the first or second post in the GTA / Toronto reception sticky. And yes, for those who are wondering, I'm still Cable Free and loving every minute of it. I haven't posted much because I'm too busy watching free (and legal) digital OTA, building my home theatre and now also watching free (and legal) TV on wwitv.com (click on the "Live TV" link - 1229 TV stations listed). Its just too bad that the average Canadian on the street is not informed or empowered to make similar choices. CRTC - ARE YOU LISTENING???????
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