: OTA Station Status: Vancouver, Victoria (Closed - use 2011)
2005-04-13, 01:19 PM
The countdown to local OTA in the South Coast area of BC is now centered around CBC DT 58 going live up top of Mount Seymour some time in 2005. No word on CTV, Global, CH, CITY, VI, or others lately.
I've been doing some research and have been getting feedback on a different web forum regarding some of my ideas for U.S. OTA reception in the Vancouver area. Before I begin, bear in mind that some of you are not going to be happy with my findings. :(
Here's a useful map (http://www.kbcbtv.com/graphics/KBCBcovmap12-30-03.jpg) for seeing the layout of the area. An essential tool for figuring out OTA reception potential is AntennaWeb (http://www.antennaweb.org/), which unfortunately only provides data for U.S. locations. No problem because you can use the closest Washington zip codes and extrapolate from there.
For Victoria and the southern tip of the island I would use the Port Townsend, WA zip code (98368) and factor in a much weaker signal strength due to the distance being almost double. Bear in mind that its not certain that you might be able to see around the Olympic Mountains towards the SeaTac corridor.
For the Lower Mainland if I was in S. Delta, Richmond, or Vancouver I would enter the Point Roberts, WA zip code (98281). Low lying areas will not do so well, and anyone on the north slope of a hill in Vancouver will probably not have much luck.
For anyone on a south-sloping hill in Burnaby, Coquitlam, PoCo, N. Delta, and Surrey I would use the Blaine, WA (98231) zip code, although Blaine is pretty well just above sea level so you would need to take the extra distance into consideration as a negative, but the extra altitude as a slight positive. Your results may vary. People on north slopes in those places will probably be out of luck.
I suspect that most of New Westminster will likely be in a dead pocket due to the signal shadow of North Delta and North Surrey, but people in the upper suites of the high rises on the southern facing sides might have luck. Likewise I think Maple Ridge, Abbotsford, Langley, all the way east through to Hope would have the same problem with the mountains to the south of them.
I also think lower parts of North and West Vancouver are going to be in a shadow effect from Vancouver and Point Grey but people in high rises above the 10th floor or so may have some luck. I have my doubts about anyone in Gibsons or Sechelt getting strong enough signals.
2005-05-24, 06:35 PM
My original email to Glen Altwasser at Global Vancouver:
Congratulations on recently receiving CRTC authorization for digital television broadcasting in the Vancouver area.
I live in North Delta, BC and I would like to know if Global Vancouver will have its digital service (CHAN-DT UHF channel 22) up and running in the near future?
Given the low Effective Radiated Power specified in Industry Canada's database, (4.3Kw) is it Global's intention to provide over the air reception to the entire Lower Mainland area of BC? I am aware that digital broadcasting requires vastly less power than analog, but it seems that the CHAN-DT ERP is quite low. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Also, does Global have plans to similarly begin digital service up and running on CH Victoria (CHEK-DT UHF channel 43) in the near future?
Glen's reply from Global Vancouver:
Jon, thank you for your interest. As it stands now our target date for over the air broadcast of DTV is September of 2006. We are currently researching transmitters etc. We will be installing a 500 W 8VSB transmitter with an ERP of 7KW. I am no expert in tranmission patterns but I am told that the "A" contour for this transmitter will be the same as our analog service. I can tell you that as long as there a 15db s/n ratio with 8 VSB transmission you will get perfect picture and sound. I hope this helps.
2005-05-25, 12:36 PM
I noticed on May 24th that CIVT-DT Vancouver, which broadcasts on 33.1, is now remapping to 32.
2005-11-01, 02:20 PM
Channel M (CHNM analog 42) has applied for a CRTC licence to broadcast DTV on UHF Channel 20 with a max. ERP of about 1.4 kWatts from Mt. Seymour.
The only formality would be Industry Canada approval, which is a given since IC approves ERP and channel slots beforehand. No word on how long it would take for DTV 20 to be up and running, or what their broadcasting plans are (multicasting? HDTV?).
Just my own opinion, but I suspect KBCB-DT Bellingham is taking away advertising $$$ from the Cantonese and Mandarin speaking market in B.C.
2005-11-01, 07:31 PM
Channel M (CHNM analog 42) has applied for a CRTC licence to broadcast DTV on UHF Channel 20 with a max. ERP of about 1.4 kWatts from Mt. Seymour.I received emails from Channel M's President and CEO Art Reitmayer as well as VP Operations and Engineering Peter Gillespie regarding questions I posed about a possible go-live date for their DTV channel.
Mr. Reitmayer's opinion is that a CRTC decision is likely not going to come until about March, 2006, and at that point the likelihood is that it will take as much as nine months to a year to go live due to further rebroadcasting requirements. Mr. Gillespie confirmed that his previous experience with CRTC decisions shows such timeframes to be typical.
I also inquired whether there are plans for a DTV repeater in Victoria to join the existing analog one, and was informed that the Channel M team is just in the final stages of completing a technical brief and will submit a CRTC application for the rebroadcast facility within the coming month, if all goes according to plan.
Mr. Reitmayer also clarified that the only intent regarding the digital bandwidth of Channel 20 is 100% HDTV and no multicasts (sub-channels) in their business plan.
My gratitude to Messrs. Reitmayer and Gillespie for responding to my questions, and my best wishes for their success.
2005-12-06, 03:56 AM
Vancouver's Channel M (42 analog) asked the CRTC for 2 more years to implement their planned repeater in Victoria on channel 29 at 3.3kW (ERP of 8.8kW). The CRTC instead ordered them to have it up and running no later than December 3, 2006.
2005-12-12, 03:51 PM
Today at noon (PDT) CBUT-DT Vancouver began its first ATSC testing program on 58.1 remapping to 2.1. Here are some photos I took (sorry, I wish I could have taken screen caps instead!). Signal is solid and broadcast resolution is 1080i. Audio is Dolby ProLogic and not Dolby Digital 5.1 at this point, with just a steady test tone that sounds like about 1kHz. Test pattern has CBC logo on swirling white ghost animation.
Their PSIP data is not accurate (Station name says VANCHD, date says Dec. 8 instead of 12, and time is off) but that's got to be low on their list of things to do at this point. No activity on SRC-HD 16.1 so I take it they're not brining them up simultaneously.
As Marc from CBC has said, this begins about 2 weeks of testing before going live.
Were not doing detailed PSIP just yet. You're just seeing the basic encoder stream. The PSIP generator will be brought online shortly.
2005-12-12, 04:20 PM
Great job so far! Sorry, I was just letting people know what I'm seeing, not criticizing. :)
No offense taken stampeder, I was just adding my 2 cents. :)
In reply to your earlier question, SRC is not an HD transmitter in Vancouver at this time.
I believe there is a mandatory 3 week test period.
2005-12-14, 02:30 PM
Yes I just phoned the phone number on the screen and asked about it and they said 3 weeks so that will take us into January.
Oh well its coming that's all that matters.
Marc do you know or does anyone know what HD programming they will be showing?
Most of the time it will be the same shows as the existing SD station. If an HD version of the same show is available, you will get it on the HD transmitter. At other times is will be upconverted SD programming.
2005-12-16, 04:12 PM
Anyone else getting pixellation/dropouts and audio dropouts on CIVT-DT 33.1 today? All things being equal (same antenna, tuner, HDTV) and perfect weather outside there is no reason at my end for this to be happening. Signal strength seems the same.
The ATSC standard prevents cross-channel interference from a broadcast signal standpoint, but I have to wonder if something the CBC is doing up on Mt. Seymour with their new DTV channel is having a negative effect on the CTV signal...?
CBUT-DT 58.1 continues to come in perfectly.
But even before CBUTDT test run. Before I could use Terk indoor antenna to get CIVTDT with only occasional dropout. From a few days ago, with 4228 plus 7777 pre-amp indoor, I could have freeze up to 5 minutes.
I would say CIVTDT is t-o-o weak. Can we push them to increase transmission power?
2005-12-17, 02:27 PM
By all means contact CIVT-DT and tell them about any new reception problems with CIVT-DT 33.1 (I will) and maybe they'll find out what's gone wrong with their system. I think their problem is somewhere in their system because their OTA signal was great for such a long time and suddenly dropped.
Contact their Engineering staff at this email:
and please be nice to them because we NEED them "on our side" as they say on their web page. ;)
Regarding turning up their juice, they have to abide by Industry Canada levels, which are included in their CRTC broadcast license parameters and cannot be changed without an application being filed and approved.
2005-12-17, 02:45 PM
Here's the email I just sent to CIVT-DT's engineering staff. I encourage those of you with reception problems to send a similar one, with as much detail as you can give about the situation at your end to help them.
Hello CIVT Engineering staff,
I live in North Delta [details about my home address]
I have been receiving excellent signal from CIVT-DT 33.1 from Mt. Seymour via
a Channel Master 4228 8-bay bowtie reflector UHF antenna mounted about 10
feet above my house, feeding into a top quality ATSC tuner without need of an
antenna preamp. Except for some cedar trees in the distance I have clear
line-of-sight aim at your transmission antenna site and I have used a very
accurate signal strength meter to peak the aim.
As of December 14, 2005 I have found that the signal has deteriorated
significantly to the point of being unwatchable due to low signal strength,
pixellation of the picture, audio dropouts, and some complete signal
Please let me know if there is any further info I can provide to assist with
Thanks and best regards,
2005-12-19, 12:26 PM
I've also been having problems with CIVT-DT lately from
my location in Aldergrove.
If I point my antennas (2 Stacked CM4228) at Mt Seymour
I get a smooth waveform on my Spectrum Analyzer but my
receivers will not lock. This is also the optimized position for CBUT-DT. Should be the same for CIVT-DT
If I move the antennas away from Mt Seymour by 45 Degrees I get a jagged waveform but I can lock the channel with both of my receivers.
I offered to share my readings with the CTV Engineer a few months ago before they went on the air but he was not interested. Good luck to those of you that are trying to get an answer from him.
2005-12-19, 01:27 PM
Good luck to those of you that are trying to get an answer...I've found that the engineering staff at Global/CH, CITY, KVOS, and Channel M have been terrific about getting back to me in the past. CBC of course has a resident DHCer here, and AVSForum has a KOMO staffer on their Seattle forum. I never received a response to a technical question I emailed to A Channel back in May. Lets see if CIVT-DT get back to us.
2005-12-21, 03:48 PM
I have noticed some drops on CTV as well. They must be having trouble, even some of the regular shows that are in HD are being sent out in regular. Corner Gas this week was not in HD (one that I noticed).