: Popularizing OTA DTV In Canada
2008-10-24, 02:14 PM
Good effort, Roger, and I hope it pays off. Reminds me of an old joke which I'll update here for FS (you can substitute FS with the name of almost any big box electronics store in Canada):
What's the difference between a used car salesman and a Future Shop sales associate?
The used car salesman knows that he's lying to you.
2008-12-04, 12:38 AM
I Guess 2011 is coming....
2008-12-04, 12:47 AM
Couldn't happen soon enough.
"If better picture-quality signals are available from our neighbours, Canadians will turn increasingly to American stations," he said.
Nevermind no subbing and better programming... :D
2008-12-04, 12:51 AM
consumers with those aerials will have to buy converter boxes, which now cost about $200....
The U.S. has tried to ease the transition for its citizens by providing $40 coupons that reduce the cost of many of the boxes available at retailers to around $20 US.
They always said "journalists" can't do math. $40+$20=$200???
2008-12-04, 10:04 AM
This will have an impact on Canadian broadcasters who rely on American programming and regulatory benefits, such as simultaneous substitution, to generate revenues and create Canadian programming.
Doesn't he understand that simultaneous substitution is not done with OTA signals? Sigh!
I think it is more challenging for Canadian cable companies to Sim Sub over a digital signal than an analog.
2008-12-04, 11:06 AM
Patent on digital extraction/insertion from 2005.
Here is an article from 2006:
"Terrestrial broadcasters will continue doing analog ad insertions in the short to medium time frame," Bar said, "but I expect broadcasters will move into digital ad insertion over the next 24 months."
"The SCTE30/35 standards enable frame-accurate transitions within the video and audio feed," Macher said. The key is an advance trigger message embedded within the digital signal that carries timing information for the exact frame where content should be inserted. This is the technology incorporated into Grass Valley's new Sapphire MPEG-2 video servers that support standard definition and high definition ATSC datastreams.
The technology is already here, now. It certainly will be in place at the headends by 2011.
2008-12-04, 11:13 AM
10% use "rabbit ear" antennae? You can't even buy those anymore, can you?
Also, "Digital TV ... allows for two-way transmission"? That doesn't apply (at least not now, probably not ever) to OTA, only cable. And cable has been slowly going digital for a while now.
2008-12-04, 11:26 AM
There is a news article on CBC's website talking about the transition to digital in Canada.
After reading the article, at the bottom of the page, people can leave comments. I have read a number of them and people are all over the map and have no idea what is going on.
If you are reading this could you please leave a comment on the CBC article that will help the public understand the transition to digital.
2008-12-04, 12:07 PM
And when you leave a message give them this link to the OTA Forum if they allow it! (copy and paste):
Hopefully we'll help some people get up to speed. :)
2008-12-06, 10:55 PM
I just got a full tower, 15ft antenna, rotor, and amp about a month ago,as I just moved into my new house. People thought I was weird mostly my friends, when I said well when I get my plasma tv I'll invite you over and show you what I tried to explain to them all as they glazed over nodding yea yea. So I just got a 50 inch Pioneer plasma it does analog and digital, and I get about 25 analog channels and 20 digital(mostly hd channels). Well I invited a few friends back to show them what I was talking about and how amazing the uncompressed hd signal looks. First words out of each person I've shown it to are, "This is all free except for the cost of the antenna? What the f am I paying rogers/bell all this money for." hehe then I just smile,nod and say yup.
Some of the channels look so good in fact that they look 3D. Harry Potter and the goblet of fire was playing on CBC and it was the first thing I watched when I got my tv and I nearly wet myself with excitement. So any of you looking to make the jump, call your local antenna company and buy a half way decent one, it's well worth it and it will pay itself off in less than a year compared to sat/cable.
2008-12-06, 11:05 PM
I find that people don't get it at first when you just tell them about it. Seeing is believing, and after that you can start talking sense into them. :)
2008-12-07, 06:42 PM
I know this is a forum for OTA enthusiasts and I don't want to be too much of a wet blanket, but I think you need to be very clear about the differences between OTA and cable or satellite when you promote it to others. The golden age of OTA in this country when most households used antennas was roughly from 1952 to 1972. By the early 1980s, the vast majority of households in urban areas were on cable with penetration levels in the 80% range. The big exceptions were Windsor and Quebec with cable penetration in the 60% range, and rural homes with no access to cable. The consequence is most people under 40 have little or no experience of OTA television as demonstrated by the near total lack of OTA knowledge in the media and retail electronics stores. When you say OTA or off-air they don't really know what to expect. They may make assumptions that are not correct.
If you happen to live in the Greater Toronto Area, as I do, you have access to about as much DTV service as anywhere in North America with some diversity of content due to the availability of Canadian and U.S. stations. That said, almost every other place in Canada has significantly less or no DTV service at present. Even with the degree of choice in the GTA, OTA viewing options for HD and SD services fall far short of the range of programming available from satellite or cable. Most significantly for many Canadians, TSN, Sportsnet and The Score are not available OTA so NHL hockey is generally limited to CBC HNIC on Saturday night. The whole CFL season is on TSN. On the other hand, if you get all the U.S. networks then a fair amount of U.S. college and professional sports are available on the weekend including golf, football, baseball, basketball and, of course, NASCAR.
So if you are promoting OTA to other people, make sure they clearly understand what programming is and isn't available from OTA stations in the area, and remember that their spouses and children most likely watch different programming than they do. Let them know that atmospheric conditions will occasionally cause loss of service just like rain causes problems with satellite service. If that's all OK, go for the freedom from monthly charges and excellent picture quality in your best OTA pitch.
2008-12-07, 08:27 PM
GeorgeMX - I concure wholeheartedly. OTA is good but I don't think it offers sufficient content for most Canadians to give up their cable/sat subs unless they only watch network TV. In my family I watch sports and movies, my wife watches movies and music video channels and my daughter watches Treehouse.
OTA viewing consists of around 10% of what we watch - and that is almost all for me for sports events that are on OTA channels - which is almost exclusively on weekends. We only watch 1 or 2 network shows (30 Rock, My Name is Earl) and we don't watch them all of the time. Most of the TV series that we do like are cable series like Trailer Park Boys, Mad Men, Sopranos, etc. While I would save close to $100 per month by giving up cable it is not a good trade for us. I probably have spent upwards of $10k on TVs, receivers, surround sound systems, etc so why cheap out when it comes to providing content?
I do have an OTA tuner for my HTPC as it was the only way to get HD content into a HTPC but that tuner is rarely used since so little of what we watch is available OTA.
2008-12-07, 08:59 PM
Bearing in mind what GeorgeMx and Wayne have just said, my message has been consistent all along so I repeat here what I've said for several years in Post #1 of the OTA FAQ:
With a top quality OTA receiver and antenna gear, the improvement in picture and audio quality over CATV or DBS can be spectacular, especially in HDTV, as many DHCers attest. This is not conjecture; the improvement is readily visible and audible on good systems, especially when seen in split-screen mode.
Some consumers will want to have the best of both: keeping their DBS or CATV subscriptions and watching their favourite DTV programming OTA.
Some will find no reason to use OTA because the quality of their DTV is satisfactory.
Some will find that proper OTA reception, no matter how good their gear, is thwarted by densities of buildings in their metro/urban locale or sheer distance to their deep fringe location, and so will rely on DBS if they can aim a dish towards the correct satellite(s), or CATV
Some will find going 100% OTA to be the most worthwhile solution, while watching DVD-based first run movies and specials on rental from video stores.
Some CATV subscribers have had their FM radio service dropped by their providers. With an OTA VHF/FM antenna there are not only analogue FM radio stations available but also many HD Radio stations in border areas carrying digital audio that rivals CDs for quality.If you have an ATSC tuner in your TV and live in a suitable area, what's the harm in hooking up an antenna and seeing OTA for yourself? Even so, suit yourself and respect the decisions of others.I haven't even touched the issue of freedom from simsubs either. :D
2008-12-08, 12:10 AM
OTA viewing consists of around 10% of what we watch - and that is almost all for me for sports events that are on OTA channels - which is almost exclusively on weekends.That may be true for you and others, but I would argue that there is also a not insignificant proportion of the TV viewing public in the GTA - Golden Horseshoe area that also watch network television for a large proportion of their TV consumption. It is this market - when they become aware, understand the technology, understand the limited upfront cost and the freedom from monthly cable bills - that will gravitate to OTA.
The most compelling group for OTA are those that grew up with it - the now retired demographic. $100, let alone $50 a month is a lot to shell out when you are on a fixed income. These people, have cable because that is the only way (they know today) to access TV. The people I know in this demographic tend to watch network televsion for shows and news - and not much else.
If you are looking for children's programming there is a ton available through a combination of PBS 17.3 and TVO - with the benefit of no commercials for the kids.
In terms of arguments regarding weather, yes, in tropical storm like conditions that we get few times a year here in the GTA, I lose some reception on a few channels, but less than my neighbour on his satellite, and a weak excuse to avoid OTA.
The recession we are in will also have people looking at their monthly budgets - as the recurring expenses are those that people will look to see whether they can save on. No greater incentive to consider OTA than being able to say goodbye those cable company bills.
I can speak from experience, as I have been Cable Free since January 2003. Now those pennies can pay for a few plasma TVs, a computer, surround sound and HD home theatre or whatever else you find important. It has for me and the friends and family that I have helped over the years set up their own OTA antenna systems.
OTA is still a below the radar option for most in the GTA golden Horseshoe, but it is slowly and surely catching on as an option for some.
2008-12-16, 04:20 PM
Just forced OTA into my parents house :D
bought them a LCD HDTV and setup an antenna for them to watch OTA (xmas present).
They currently have basic analog cable so I installed a switch so they can easily select between antenna or cable. They're loving the HD and watching less and less rogers cable stuff. When the weather gets warmer, I'll put the antenna on the roof for further motivation... *I'm evil*
2008-12-16, 06:11 PM
Good move....analog cable channels are junk quality anyway, why should your parents pay for that?
OTA is going to get a big propaganda boost in Canada once the US goes DTV exclusive next year.
2008-12-17, 02:23 PM
Did anyone catch the "Get Ready for DTV" on WKBW last night ?
A half hour special hosted by the WKBW News 7 Anchors, and broadcast in primetime 9pm - 9:30pm. - I wonder if it was only broadcast over the air, and simsubbed out by BDUs ? I have no way to check.
Couple things that bugged me earlier in the program, Now I didnt record it or anything, and cant go back and check, so maybe I mis-heard, so please dont flame me if this is the case:
Referring to antennas as "rabbit ears"
Mentioning that "Some" viewers in rural areas "may" require a UHF antenna...shouldnt that be "all" and "will" ?.
"Overpromoting" pay TV services as an option - OK, this is subjective, to be fair it is a perfectly valid option, but I felt as this is aimed at people who currently recieve free analog TV, then they were giving it too much weight. - On the other hand however, toward the end of the show they did stress that DTV was available, that picture quality was great, and that it is free...so maybe this last point is just me being picky.
2008-12-17, 02:52 PM
Good move....analog cable channels are junk quality anyway, why should your parents pay for that?
because the cable guy put the analog filter on the wrong cable line and they're getting a bunch of premium channels even though they're only paying for basic analog cable.
As great (and free) as OTA is, there are still times where I wish I had TSN, Discovery, TLC, and Comedy.