TVOntario & TFO DTV Transition Status (closed) - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-18, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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TVOntario & TFO DTV Transition Status (closed)

Does anyone have information on when TVO will start sending in Digital?
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post #2 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-18, 05:15 PM
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September 2011. See:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=90621


Please read the following post, useful for those new to the forum - search tips, FAQs, etc.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=57741


And the following OTA knowledgebase/FAQ:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=41102

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post #3 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-18, 09:45 PM
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I recently sent TVO an email inquiring about the digital transition.

Their response essentially indicated that as a not-for-profit organization, they're under financial constraints, and thus won't be changing over until near the deadline.

They recently upgraded their studios and production facilities to digital storage and editing technology.
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post #4 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-18, 10:18 PM
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My crystal ball say 2015 because in 2011 they will not have any money and the CRTC will give them an extension to 2012… then again they will again ask for more time since Pokaroo needs some new spots painted on his long neck … it’ll drag on forever but they’ll get it up and running for you on December 18, 2015.
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post #5 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-19, 01:23 PM
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My guess is the plan is to switch to DTV on or about aug 31 2011. They will be using the same ch 19 antenna, so with some mods to the transmitter the switch could be an overnight thing.
Thats my guess.
Ch19 is the only analog i have mapped on my TV tuner. And it looks slightly better since 17 went off.

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post #6 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-20, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Their response essentially indicated that as a not-for-profit organization, they're under financial constraints, and thus won't be changing over until near the deadline.
And all the other broadcasters don't have any financial constraints!?

This press release below is almost 3 years old now and it was accompanied by a generous sum of money from the McGuinty government. I'm not sure where it was all spent if they have none left for an ATSC transmitter.
Quote:
FOR RELEASE: June 29, 2006

TVO and TFO Mobilize for Digital Future

TVOntario CEO Lisa de Wilde is pleased to announce a new Strategic Agenda for TVO, involving a transition to digital technology, a new content strategy that responds to Ministry of Education priorities and new directions in revenue generation that will address the organization’s long-term sustainability. Today’s TVO news also coincides with the beginning of a new era for TVOntario’s French-language educational
media organization, TFO.

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post #7 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-20, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gran Chico
I'm not sure where it was all spent if they have none left for an ATSC transmitter.
I've disappointedly learned on several occasions that what was meant by "digital conversion" in the broadcast TV world was just the studio stuff and not the transmitter stuff. Much of the older analogue studio gear out there has been swapped out for digital gear by many networks and stations. Getting parts and service for the old analogue stuff is increasingly difficult and expensive, so those kind of conversions are often financially justifiable.



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post #8 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-20, 02:27 PM
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And, what good is a nice digital picture being transmitted, if you're simply feeding it analog input?
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post #9 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-20, 05:52 PM
 
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most of the digital dillemmas in canada are caused by the CRTC for several reasons:
Not requiring televisions to have ATSC tuners
Not offering incentives to viewers to purchase converter boxes or new TVs (such as the USA's coupons)
Not allowing digital subchannels that operate completly independent of each other (the FCC has no such restrictions)

My guess is that the CRTC is trying to actively kill Over-The-Air reception in Canada to force people to get cable television or satellite television. It even proposed a few years back of going strictly all-cable/satelite and killing OTA reception, or going to television licenses like England. Not allowing independent subchannels is probably the reason why the broadcasters don't want to convert, and would rather just shut down all their stations. Limits also need to be put on how many stations a broadcaster can own, as this also harms their ability to convert the stations from NTSC to ATSC.
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post #10 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-20, 06:48 PM
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Lightbulb

A-ha!! Here's the other press release I was looking for. Getting a new state-of-the-art digital production facility is possible for a financially constrained broadcaster, but even a couple of transmitters (or even one!) prior to being forced to do it is out of the question.

I guess us digital OTAers no longer qualify as citizens as "citizen engagement"
is TVO's goal.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2008

TVO HONOURS FOUNDER, NAMING NEW DIGITAL FACILITY
THE WILLIAM G. DAVIS STUDIO

Premier McGuinty and Education Minister Wynne join in tribute

TORONTO – TVO today named its new, state-of-the-art digital production facility after its founder, the Honourable William G. Davis. Premier Dalton McGuinty and Education Minister Kathleen Wynne took part in the tribute, which showcased TVO’s unique educational content and its multi-platform commitment to citizen engagement in the digital age.

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post #11 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-20, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stampeder View Post
I've disappointedly learned on several occasions that what was meant by "digital conversion" in the broadcast TV world was just the studio stuff and not the transmitter stuff. Much of the older analogue studio gear out there has been swapped out for digital gear by many networks and stations. Getting parts and service for the old analogue stuff is increasingly difficult and expensive, so those kind of conversions are often financially justifiable.
You’re correct.
Maintaining digital gear for production and post work is more cost-effective.
Changing over to a digital environment (especially in digital editing, play-out, logging) increases workflow productivity. So much so that in some instances certain jobs can actually be eliminated. You still need skilled workers, but the new digital workflow process automates certain tasks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gran Chico View Post
Getting a new state-of-the-art digital production facility is possible for a financially constrained broadcaster,
It’s a matter of being productive, efficient and cost effective and trying to be competitive. As stampeder pointed out, they most likely needed to replace much of the old analog gear.


Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gran Chico View Post
but even a couple of transmitters (or even one!) prior to being forced to do it is out of the question.

I guess us digital OTAers no longer qualify as citizens as "citizen engagement"
is TVO's goal.
At this point it’s probably not feasible for them to add a DTV transmitter. I’m sure they have a good estimate on viewer numbers via BDU, analog-OTA -- and possible DTV-OTA numbers if they were to add DTV today.
Remember, they can’t just “SWAP” the analog transmitter – they are legally obligated to run an analog transmitter till Aug 2011. And if the OTA-DTV estimated numbers don’t add up by then – they will probably cry for an extension lol.
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post #12 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-21, 12:15 PM
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At this point I think its best to redirect this discussion to an existing thread that discusses the capital costs of digital conversion at Canadian TV networks and stations:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=105619

Any specific info about TVO planning, applying, and/or buying into ATSC should of course be posted here in this OTA Forum thread.



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post #13 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-21, 02:50 PM
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Re: When will TVO go DTV?

The response below from TVO addresses where the organization stands in its conversion to digital:

Backed by one-time funding from the Ontario Government, TVO began its digital transition in 2007. The work has been carried out in the following order: 1) studio and post-production rebuild, 2) content management and archive and 3) distribution.
Rebuilding the Studios
TVO’s new digital studios, control rooms and post-production facilities were completed in early 2008, and were designed to accommodate both live and pre-recorded production. In-house productions like The Agenda with Steve Paikin and Gisèle’s Big Backyard are now shot in 16x9 HD format using new digital Sony cameras and switchers, edited in TVO’s upgraded AVID editing suites, and then digitally archived.

The control rooms were designed for both TV and interactive Web broadcasts, which are either sent directly to Master Control for distribution over cable, satellite, and over-the-air transmission, or streamed live to the Web over content distribution networks such as Internap and Limelight Networks. In the fall of 2008 TVO also deployed its new Air Pack, a fully portable control room that enables live shoots on location in HD.

Digital Content Management
Next up was content management. With the aim of easily repurposing content into different formats – “create once, reuse many times” – TVO is in the process of implementing a Digital Asset Management and Archive system, scheduled for completion in 2009. This will enable a seamless and tapeless digital workflow and storage environment.

This is important to an organization with almost 40 years of in-house produced content in its media library. Opening up access to our archives will deliver a unique record of the province’s culture, politics, education and more. At the same time, it creates new opportunities to monetize TVO’s assets and generate new revenues to sustain future growth and innovation.

Content Distribution
The final pieces of the puzzle address distribution. This includes an upgrade to TVO’s Master Control to enable HDTV broadcast. The digital conversion of TVO’s Master Control is currently underway and will be ready by the fall of 2009. TVO will be available in HD on cable in Ontario and satellite in Canada where capacity can be secured.

The last piece will address TVO’s over-the-air (OTA) transmission network. TVO’s OTA network will be converted to digital in line with the Canadian broadcasting industry as a whole. The deadline for the digital conversion of medium and high power OTA transmission is August 31, 2011.

Like many other over-the-air broadcasters, to date TVO has not announced its plans in terms of the changeover. We are evaluating as many scenarios as possible that are technically feasible, and looking at issues of accessibility, cost, and delivery options. We are also participating in a Canadian DTV working group that includes other OTA broadcasters as well as cable and satellite providers, in order to develop practical solutions that will work for the industry and the consumer alike.

More information for Canada's transition to digital television can be found on Industry Canada's website at: http://www.consumerinformation.ca, or here: www.ic.gc.ca/.
For TVO inquiries contact [email protected].
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post #14 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-21, 07:38 PM
 
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Maybe when they're doing their membership drives we should phone in and say we would be happy to donate once they switch to digital.
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post #15 of 771 (permalink) Old 2009-04-22, 12:26 AM
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okmed, I've already let them know I doing that (and diverted my donations to WNED ). I'll be happy to direct it back to TVO when i gets magically added in a channel scan sometime in the future.

I've even offered to donate if there was a special Toronto ATSC launch fund.

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