Remote OTA antenna feed? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question Remote OTA antenna feed?

I was thinking about putting up an OTA setup for my father in Prince Edward County. Looking at the TVFool of my father's home, I wished it was mine. Then I realized it could be. I regularly watch my TV remotely using eyetv and sling media.

Has anyone actually implemented a remote antenna/htpc setup for the sake of a better tvfool??

I would guess the main limitation would the bandwidth (in my case a maximum of 90G a month) used on both ends.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 05:27 PM
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It is a great idea but it slams head first into Industry Canada and CRTC regulations, unfortunately. The Broadcasting Act does not allow it, since it would put you in competition with BDUs and broadcasters. Tread carefully!

Having said all that, it is still an interesting idea that people have discussed here before.



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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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My understanding is it is perfectly legal as long as it is for your own consumption... ie. such as using a sling player. If you distribute it to others then thats another story.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 06:01 PM
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Slingboxes are not illegal.

It will work. I sat in a presentation by Sling in a hotel suite in the SkyDome hotel. The presenter had a SlingPlayer in California that was slinging OTA signals to a SlingCatcher in Toronto.

He was changing channels in LA as we watched.

Since it was buffered you had to wait a bit after changing channels but it worked.

My question is there really that much on those stations that you'd want to see to rationalize the cost?



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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 06:29 PM
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In Canada only the household that has the antenna can use it in real time. Slingbox doesn't break that if your dad is the one using it, but under the strict interpretation of the Broadcast Act if any other household was able to directly use the signal from your dad's antenna in real time it would be illegal. For that reason I do not let neighbours run MythTV clients off of my mythbackend server.



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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 06:38 PM
 
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Technically it might be breaking the law, however I don't think there is a 'police force' out there looking for these types of crimes.

I contemplated doing this. I was going to try to do a wifi link up (so not to use up Internet bandwidth) to my friends house that is OTA challenged. Unfortunately we haven't been able to allocate the funds for this fun project yet.

For me if that's illegal, I'll just add to the list of other crimes, such as j walking across the street to Tim's for coffee in the morning, which happens to be across from the Waterloo Region Police HQ.

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 06:48 PM
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It is actually the local cable company that will raise a complaint, and they always win before the regulators from what I've seen. Even a huge company like BCTel got zapped for illegal signal distribution inside one of their own buildings when the incumbent CATV provider complained.



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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 06:57 PM
 
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So you're saying if I stream via sling box from my place to my friends place it is illegal unless I'm at my friends place watching it. And the local cable company is going to keep track of whether I'm at my friends place or not while the slingbox is streaming. And if I'm not there, they are going raise a complaint and they always win?

I'd hardly call that winning if that's what the local cable company is doing.

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hkaye
Don't do your jaywalking in Seattle!
(you should use high power engenius base stations, I have used them to create my own long distance wifi network in a large mall. Cheap and work well)

Stampeder.
I agree with your interpretation. Distributing to your neighbours or friends is definitely illegal, however you would think that a direct family member would never be challenged, it is easy enough to claim partial or temporary residency.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 07:06 PM
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I don't advocate unauthorized signal distribution. This site has zero tolerance for such.

The scenarios you mention simply don't matter if you get caught, nor do the odds that you will or will not. The Slingbox idea bears some study, though, because it is an area that the CRTC has had trouble figuring out.

BTW, the complainant wins when you get fined and your gear seized. Would that actually happen to you? I don't know.



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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 07:36 PM
 
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Not to be a pain is your arse stampeder, but this stuff is fun to talk about.

From the Broadcast Act -

“distribution undertaking” means an undertaking for the reception of broadcasting and the retransmission thereof by radio waves or other means of telecommunication to more than one permanent or temporary residence or dwelling unit or to another such undertaking;

Loosely read, this means as long as the antenna is not connected to his dad's dwelling he is not retransmitting from one dwelling to another. And since he is only slingbox'ing to his house he is not retransmitting to more than one dwelling.

As such it's not a distribution undertaking. But then again, I'm not a lawyer, I don't even play one on TV

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 07:46 PM
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The case law around it is pretty clear, though.



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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 08:04 PM
 
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I think it a great philosophical question such as when does a pond become a lake. If I take a garden hose and start adding water to what we both agree upon as being a pond, eventually this pond will become a lake to one of us while the other will still think it's a pond.

If I have an antenna and receive OTA that perfectly fine. If I move the antenna so a portion is overhanging my neighbour's yard am I redistributing the signal? What if I move the antenna so it's in my neighbour's yard and run a cable directly to my TV? See where I'm going. At some point the antenna being further and further away from my property and replacing the cable with an Internet connection does it become a redistribution of broadcast TV? It's still one antenna and one TV, just the distance between the two has changed.

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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 08:11 PM
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All I can say is that the property line is the significant factor in all the sharing cases I've ever heard about, so a basement apartment might be ignored while a coax line next door found by a cable staffer would be reported.



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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 2010-06-17, 08:27 PM
 
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Whether or not a cable man reports it doesn't matter anymore in my mind. I've changed my tune and I'm singing a new song now, I've given up on my initial thoughts of there is no 'police force' monitoring such activity and revised them and I'm thinking in terms of the legality of a remote antenna.

I believe having a remote antenna that is not on your property is not illegal because it doesn't constitute a distribution undertaking. One Antenna connected to one tv is fair play. Having an antenna at a better OTA location (such as the OP at his dad's house) and then connecting it to your tv set via a slingbox is technically no different then mounting your antenna on your neighbour's roof because his house is 4 stories tall and yours is only 2 stories tall. There is no sharing just a better location for your antenna.

Unless you believe there is case law against someone placing their antenna somewhere that is not on their property.

Best DYI TV antenna plans - I use the Bi-Quad Indoor TV Antenna
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