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Old 2006-06-12, 11:35 AM   #1
ardsa
 
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Default CRTC OTA Review November 2006 Discussion Thread

Today the CRTC announced that a review of OTA television will happen in Nov.

http://crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Hearings/2006/n2006-5.htm

Of importance is Objective C: To examine options for the most effective means of delivering Canadian digital/HD television to Canadians.

This objective discusses the perception of declining need for OTA television in Canada, both analogue and digital. This objective openly discusses eliminating OTA digital television.

I encourage everyone in this thread to comment on this section specifically and express to the CRTC the importance of OTA digital television to you.
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Old 2006-06-12, 12:15 PM   #2
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Interesting stuff in that doucment, including:

A discussion as to whether viewers should pay subscription fees for OTA channels to help cover the cost of moving to digital/HD. How would they do this? Would they just charge viewers through their cable/sat co. so that OTA viewers would pay no fee? That seems kind of unfair as you would be charging people to fund digital transmitters who will never use them - these people (i.e. sat/cable customers) may prefer if all OTA transmission ceased completely as it would allow stations to use the money they save on running OTA facilities to buy content and it would allow the government to sell the bandwidth for other services.

And then there is the following
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRTC
In light of the regulatory policies set out in the Act, the Commission seeks comment on the most appropriate and effective means of delivering Canadian digital/HD signals to Canadians. Specifically, comment is sought, with respect to the future of OTA television, whether there are circumstances under which it may be in the public interest not to require OTA television undertakings to replicate existing analog over-the-air transmitters with digital transmission facilities, and if there are, what those circumstances would be.
Presumably these would mean the end of OTA over time as, eventually, analog OTA would die off.

While I do supplement my cable subscription with an OTA-HD receiver (in my PC), I personally am opposed to paying more just so digital is available OTA. I cannot imagine having an HDTV and not having access to specialty channels as that is where the most compelling content is - just like right now where the World Cup is on for about 6 hours per day plus replays. Most of my HD viewing, with the exception of the Stanley Cup playoffs on CBC, has been the channels that are not available OTA, such as RSN, TSN, Discovery, TMN, Score.
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Old 2006-06-12, 05:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardsa
Today the CRTC announced that a review of OTA television will happen in Nov.

http://crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Hearings/2006/n2006-5.htm

Of importance is Objective C: To examine options for the most effective means of delivering Canadian digital/HD television to Canadians.

This objective discusses the perception of declining need for OTA television in Canada, both analogue and digital. This objective openly discusses eliminating OTA digital television.

I encourage everyone in this thread to comment on this section specifically and express to the CRTC the importance of OTA digital television to you.
This review is big news. I think it needs its own thread bolded and in sticky. There are a lot of potential implications to digital OTA and subsequently to OTA HDTV. It could be killed. A lof of careful analysis is needed and effort put into defendable knowledgable and commen sense comments that will advocate for continued OTA digital television. And to keep the CRTC committed to it.

kw........
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Old 2006-06-12, 05:59 PM   #4
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Default How Do I Get Involved In Saving OTA In Canada?

Folks, if you want to become a part of this process rather than a helpless bystander, get involved and let them know what you want.

Please be sure to print out the "Public Proceeding", "Procedures For Filing Comments", and the "Examiniation of public comments..." sections of that CRTC page so that you will have instructions on how to make your thoughts known in a proper manner.
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Old 2006-06-12, 06:23 PM   #5
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Here is my first stab as some comments....


I'm not expert here but in reading objective C, it appears that the CRTC is thinking of getting rid of digital television OTA in order to pay for more canadian content in the stations, that would then be available in digital through BDU's (cable companies). This sounds extremely shortsighted. Your robbing peter to get more from paul.

As an extension of this OTA transmission could and most likely would cease to exist. If there is no mandate for OTA, why would any station pay to have analog or digital transmission of a signal through a tower?. Thus I could only see local content being available by paying BDU's for it.

This so contravenes the US approach. And the US approach appears to be logical and working.

I would argue that one of the most basic tenets of television and culture in any society is free access to local canadian programming and information. That I thought was a major concept in OTA. OTA should be required as such, as is the US approach.

BDU's should have a business model that can enhance the product availability over OTA for a subscriber cost, but they should not be permitted to supplant OTA.

I would argue that Digital OTA television is the logical future and superior product for society over analog OTA. It should be welcomed and encouraged, like the US approach.

Much better digital OTA educational campaigning needs to be done by government, and possibly by local stations. It is a complete joke that no one knows about this alternative. 99% of society get their television from BDU's because of ignorance of OTA digital television. Furthermore, the drawbacks of analog OTA (poor signal quality, ghosting, snow, etc.) further helped BDU market penetration, and people minconstrue digital OTA as having the same drawbacks as analog OTA, leading to little market digital OTA penetration. The only non-enthusiast place I have ever seen for information on OTA digital television in Canada is a single website. The information is just not out there. BB, futureshop, most any tv store do not inform the public about OTA DT. In fact, there are placard placed beside HDTV's that say to get HDTV one has to subscribe to BDU's. Sad.

I would recommend the following.

Mandate DT OTA (objective D). One of the most basic tenets of television and culture in any society is free access to local canadian programming and information. Have a drop dead date like the US.

Analog OTA is dead (objectiv D). Do not support it. Using analog OTA is like still using a Commodore 64 computer.

Permit a subscriber fee for the carriage of certain OTA television signals by broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) (objective b, question c). Sure, make cable companies pay for these signals so that OTA stations can recoup costs of OTA equipment, and to further expand canadian content. Especially when consumers can get those OTA stations for free. The fee schedule could be based on local OTA availability, allowing small markets to not have to subsidize OTA when it is not available.

The fee should apply to carriage of any local OTA digital television signal (objective b, question d). Higher carriage fees could apply to carriage of locat HDTV OTA signals.

Make a concerted education campaign to enhance DT OTA adoption for the public (objective D). The lack of market penetration is due to lack of knowledge.

More comments need to be given for the other questions in objective d,

kw..........
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Old 2006-06-13, 07:49 AM   #6
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The CRTC is undertaking:

Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2006-5

Ottawa, 12 June 2006 Review of certain aspects of the regulatory framework for over-the-air television

The Commission will hold a public hearing commencing on Monday 27 November 2006 at 9:00 a.m. at the Conference Centre, Phase IV, 140 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau, Quebec, to consider the matters addressed in this notice as part of a review of certain aspects of the regulatory framework for over-the-air television. The Commission invites written comments on the matters for consideration set out below. The deadline for filing written comments is Wednesday 27 September 2006.


Here's a good summary article:

http://jam.canoe.ca/Television/2006/...627426-cp.html

The CRTC hearing addresses OTA and more general HD issues. Do we need to start a new thread or change the name of this thread?
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Old 2006-06-13, 04:06 PM   #7
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Default Action-plan specifics, not general CRTC/OTA discussion please

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwtoxman
This review is big news. I think it needs its own thread...
Quote:
Originally Posted by otown47
Do we need to start a new thread or change the name of this thread?
Agreed and done, chaps.

Folks, lets keep this thread very specific and detailed about how to respond to the CRTC's upcoming Review.

I'm keeping the previous thread open for more general discussion about the CRTC possibly killing OTA:

http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/for...ad.php?t=41343
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Old 2006-06-14, 03:09 PM   #8
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Default common statement

How about if we come up with a common statement for the CRTC?

If we come across as an informed group for better broadcasting in Canada they'll be more inclined to listen.
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Old 2006-06-14, 05:01 PM   #9
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I think that's a good way of clarifying things for everyone. For many people the irritation/rage of losing OTA is one thing but finding the words to make a case for it to bureaucrats is another.

I think it would be good if we post bullet-points in this thread so that others can respond and add their own. We don't need "War And Peace", just bullet points.
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Old 2006-06-14, 05:04 PM   #10
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For starters:

- OTA is the original method of TV broadcasting in Canada
- satellite and cable tv are supersets of that
- satellite and cable companies have business plans that are based on value-added features over OTA
- they are not meant to replace OTA
- citizens do not owe private satellite and cable companies a living if their business plans are not able to keep up with modern technology
- citizens have the right to not pay for television service to their homes

Anyone else?
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Old 2006-06-14, 05:23 PM   #11
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You're on the right track Stampeder.

My 2 cents:

- Many people have invested money in OTA equipment, and expect a return for their money. This includes people that have bought new HDTV's with bulit-in ATSC tuners.
- The picture quality is better with OTA (since BDU's compress the signal)
- OTA provides both consumers and broadcasters an additional choice, resulting in a more competitive market.
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Old 2006-06-17, 06:01 PM   #12
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I think there is something to be said about the CBC.

- if I am paying through my tax dollars for a TV station, then should I not be able to get access to that TV station without paying more dollars for a 3rd party delivery?

like I can pick up a bell telephone and dial 911 and get through to the police/file/ambulance for free as these are publicly available services.

- The CBC provides news services and other public information. Not giving this free is simply discrimination bases on economics. If I don't earn enough money to pay the $55+ a month expressvu or cable tv bill, then i am being denied access to basic news that is paid for by tax dollars.

- The CRTC is a regulatory body to over see the transmission of publicly accessible TV stations. If the TV stations are now transmitted in a scrambled privately owned method, then why is the CRTC needed. They don't govern satellite radio now do they?
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Old 2006-06-18, 02:27 AM   #13
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Why is it that the CRTC zeroes in on OTA TV with a view to bringing it to an end and at the same time grants licences to foreign-owned satellite radio broadcasters ? Does this indicate that OTA Radio is next in line for the axe ? Could the underlying reason for the change in policy be that the Federal government receives no revenue from OTA TV and Radio from Joe Public, but if the only means of receiving TV and/or Radio were solely by satellite or cable subscription, then the Feds would be able to derive additional revenue from the taxing of those services that were forced upon consumers who were formerly receiving those services OTA.
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Old 2006-06-18, 07:21 AM   #14
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Default Our tax dollars right !

Why don't we say in letters that, if they the CRTC go ahead and eliminate OTA . We then would expect these same tax dollars to still provide us with what we were receiving via OTA.
Then, demand to know when we can expect BEV etc... will be installed at my home. Ofcourse we will then expect the same quality of video and audio that we had via OTA (HD and DD5.1 ). We also need LOCAL news as we had with OTA. Not me being in Windsor and my local news being Kitchener/Waterllou area !
Ofcourse we also would demand that this service be FREE, since we did not pay for it via OTA.
Why could we not make these demand ? We will still be paying the same taxes that now support CBC now. They are the ones wanting to eliminate what we presently pay for and enjoy. This is now our basic rights as Canadians is it not. If not, why are we paying taxes for this service?
I would love to see their faces if something like this were to go ahead. Could you imagine the cost involved. It would surpase the gun registry cost for sure. Maybe, making this type of demands will open their eyes ?
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Old 2006-06-18, 09:00 AM   #15
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Free-to-air unencrypted satellite transmission isn't so crazy an idea, particularly for a large sparsely populated country. If the CRTC mandated that the national networks had to be unencrypted on satellite, the numbers of free-to-air satellite viewers would grow, and other channels would also become fre-to-air to get the advertising revenue.

there's also nothing to stop the crtc saying cable companies need to provide unencrypted cbc signals to anyone who pays a one-off connection cost. Though the CBC would probably loose revenue given to it by bell and rogers.
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