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Discussion Starter #1
This thread is a one-stop-shopping location for info on receiving Over The Air High Definition and Digital broadcasts only in the cities of Vancouver, North Vancouver, and West Vancouver, as experienced by Digital Home Canada members.

In your posts please specify:

1. Your Location (city, town, locale, on a high rise, in a valley, etc...)
2. Receiver and Antenna Brand/Model
3. Stations Received with their Picture Quality (excellent, pixellated, etc...)
4. Other helpful info...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Vancouver/Victoria OTA

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 for seeing the layout of the area. An essential tool for figuring out OTA reception potential is AntennaWeb, 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.
http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/forum/showpost.php?p=162960&postcount=52
 

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Discussion Starter #3
CTV Vancouver Live In DT Today

Today CIVT-DT (CTV Vancouver) went live on UHF 33-1, and as I type this at 14:20 PDT they're running the same programming as on their analog station but the audio is in Dolby ProLogic instead of PCM @ 48. The digital signal is strong at times but then cuts out while they tweak it.
 

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North Vancouver

Wanted to get a few comments on my specific situation

Live in North Vancouver, about 7 miles from Mt Seymour

With regard to local transmission of CTV and others from Mt Seymour, I unfortunately do not have line of sight to Mt Seymour - I am in the Edgemont Village area, so the crest/ridge separating the Lonsdale area from Lynn Valley blocks the view

Can I hope to get CTV?
I assume these signals cant bend, but can they bounce (off statosphere?, or of signal towers elsewhere?
I know multipathing can occur - how likely I can avail of this reliably?

With regard to signals from the US, my elevation is about 360ft. so the crest of Vancouver City might block signals from the far South e.g. Seattle area - any comments on this, beyond the copmmnets already here on Vancouver being a fringe area, and the fact that N Van is another 8-10 miles further north from places like Delta where Stampeder has made observations. I can tell from one of these mapping programs that the signals would be coming to me over the Killarny Park Joyce Stn area of Vancouver City itself, which has an elevation of about 340 ft

Is there any possibiltiy of the big networks from Seattle having booster towers up towards Bellingham? Is this a legal issue?

Thanks
Jeff
 

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North Vancouver

Jeffnoone said:
Is there any possibiltiy of the big networks from Seattle having booster towers up towards Bellingham?
They use small repeaters at very low power levels throughout WA but none that you'd pick up. Repeaters are used by local community groups to fill in dead zones or other places where signals drop off. There are a few to the east of Bellingham but they're tiny and isolated in valleys around the Mount Baker area.

I think those of us in the Lower Mainland are unfortunately at the extreme fringes of SeaTac UHF signal, especially given the amount of sea moisture in the air causing further UHF signal degradation. I'm going to keep trying from where I am in North Delta. Anyway, Global will jump on the DTV bandwagon soon, and CBC is going digital in September. More locals will follow in 2006.

Regarding CTV's signal, I would test for UHF 32 (CTV analog) with a cheap set of VHF/UHF rabbit ears since you're so close to their broadcast antenna. If you get a good signal its probable that you will also get the digital station on 33. If it didn't work out, no big $$$ spent.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
CITV-DT (CTV Vancouver) remapping

I noticed on May 24th that CIVT-DT Vancouver, which broadcasts on 33.1, is now remapping to 32.
 

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Vancouver Near UBC

Yes, I`m having some luck. With the 4228 and a Winegard 4800 pre-amp on a rotor I`m getting,

CTV 85%
KBCB 95%
KCTS 50-60%but get dropouts
KVOS 50-60% but get dropouts
KSTW 50-70% but get dropouts
KING 55-85% but get occasional dropouts
KOMO 50-75% but get occasional dropouts
Have not been able to get KCPQ or KIRO.
I have lots of trees in the way, so I`m getting mutipathing. If I can find a 30ft.
ladder I will be able to do a chimmney mount which will get the attenna about
10 ft. higher than it is now, which should give better performance.

I`m located near the UBC area of Vancouver.
 

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I have a Sony 34XS955 tv which has a built in tuner. I hope to do the chimney mount in the next week or two. It will be interesting if I can receive the Seattle channels in the winter rain.
 

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Vancouver CTV-HD with a cheap loop antenna

Just out of curiosity, I put a cheap old UHF indoor loop antenna on the roof desk vaguely oriented towards the transmitter on Mt Seymour, connected it to my BEV 6100 via a 50 foot length of RG6, and tuned in CIVT-DT channel 33 (CTV HD W). To my suprise, it came in at 75% signal strength and a rock solid picture and sound. I guess I shouldn't be suprised since we have a clear line of sight to the transmitter.

We really don't watch much that we couldn't get from the local stations. I would love to drop satellite/cable go strictly OTA. The money saved would pay for a dozen DVD rentals every month, more than we would ever watch.

I wonder if there is a relatively inconspicuous or at least non-hideous outdoor antenna that the neighbors wouldn't absolutely hate? The satellite dish on the roof deck points southish and can be hidden from the neighbors on our side of a low wall, but a TV antenna would have to be put on top of the wall to point at the transmitter and would be vsible to the neighbors.

Dave
 

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Just an update on my reception of the Seattle stations, I think the only reason I was recieving them was because of skip, because I can`t get them any more, not even KVOS.
I`m still getting 90% on CTV and 95% on KBCB from Bellingham.
I`m still going to mount the antenna higher to get more gain, to see if I can pull in the Seattle stations.
 

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North Vancouver

mingus said:
Hi All,

I am thinking of buying a new HDTV with a built in digital tuner.
I live on the North Shore in North Vancouver BC.
I was wondering how many HDTV channels I could get with a small antenna.
I am not sure if there is one or two Vancouver stations testing.
I see a list of some USA stations?

This is the TV I am thinking of buying.

"Samsung 30 in. SlimFit™ HDTV with Built-in HD Tuner"

Any comments would be appreciated.
We don't know your elevation in N Van but the higher you are the better.
CIVT-DT(CTV) is currently broadcasting, CBC has said they will be on this September and BCTV is saying next year. These are all short range stations which you should be able to get with a small antenna. If you can see the lights on Seymour Mountain, that's where the transmitters are.

To have a chance of getting the US stations you will need a larger antenna such as the CM4228 and a preamplifier.

Information on Digital channels available in the Pacific Northwest can be found here: http://members.shaw.ca/nwbroadcasters/digitaltv.htm
 

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North Vancouver

In my situation, the slopes of Grouse Mt block me from Mt Seymour, where I gather most (?all) of the local broadcasters will broadcast from. My elevation is about 400ft - see my post earlier in thread where there is reference to the height of Vancouver City itself

Using the small UHF antenna that comes with the ATI HD Wonder, and the Expressvu 6100 as tuner, I get a very patchy 50-60% on both CTV (Mt Seymour) and same reading on KBCB (not hi-def)
So I get an intermittent picture

I will get a 4228 or equivalent type antenna and I would assume I will get the Mt Seymour broadcasts OK

The posts here to date make me more gloomy re the Seattle HD channels - the North Shore is 120km out, 4DTV is about 100km from downtown Seattle - his unobstructed height and his relative proximity probably make a big difference

If you are high up, I would be interested in seeing your results
 

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Discussion Starter #13
North Vancouver Antenna Recommendations

Jeffnoone said:
In my situation, the slopes of Grouse Mt block me from Mt Seymour, where I gather most (?all) of the local broadcasters will broadcast from.
...
I will get a 4228 or equivalent type antenna and I would assume I will get the Mt Seymour broadcasts OK
In your case you could even use a 4-bay reflector like a Wade-Delhi 4BT-1483, a Winegard PR4400, or a Channel Master 4221 if your goal is just the Vancouver stations and you don't want an imposing antenna up on your roof. Avoid using a yagi in your situation because of the obstruction (they're for line-of-sight). All of those I listed are bowtie reflectors that will be able to pick up the scattered signal coming from around Grouse. If you're intent on trying for SeaTac the 4228 is a needed first step, but a 4228 would also do just great for the Mt. Seymour signals.
 

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No difference at all. The signal meter still shows 9-10 db signal on KING and KIRO, but not enough signal to lock onto. I have a lot of trees in the way. I tried going up the chimmney using a 40 foot ladder but got spooked working up that high. I`m getting the house painted now and the painter said he would install the chimmney mount for me(he has to go up there anyway). This will raise it another 5-10 feet, so I hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
madbob said:
This will raise it another 5-10 feet, so I hope it helps.
I hear ya! My trees absolutely kill the SeaTac signals, so I might have to go with a 60' tower to clear them, or I could just be happy with CIVT and KBCB... not! :)
 

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One asian station

Vancouver Fraserview (SE Marine Dr close to Kerr St, north side of the Fraser)

ATI HDTV Wonder with enclosed antenna (Silver Sensor clone I think), no amps.

19.1 KBCB-DT Bellingham 85%
24.1 KBCB-DT Bellingham 85%

Everything else 0%

I just received the ATI HDTV Wonder today, and after minor driver problems it's now all up and running... somewhat. One Asian channel! I r0xx0r!!

Seriously though, what's going on? How come I can get this one channel so well and nothing else? I realise that my position is not very good (appartment not very high up on a slope facing south), but the main reason I wanted to add OTA was for CBC-HD once it starts transmitting. I had of course hoped to be able to pull in a few American networks, but it's all 0%.

Is this normal when they signal is weak, to register 0% instead of say 20%? Is it worth investing in a pre-amp and new indoor antenna?

Shouldn't I be able to get KVOS from Bellingham if I'm getting KBCB? They're both transmitting from the same place and they both have roughly the same HAAT but KVOS's ERP is much stronger.
 

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Sarke said:
Vancouver Fraserview (SE Marine Dr close to Kerr St, north side of the Fraser)

ATI HDTV Wonder with enclosed antenna (Silver Sensor clone I think), no amps.

19.1 KBCB-DT Bellingham 85%
24.1 KBCB-DT Bellingham 85%

Everything else 0%

I just received the ATI HDTV Wonder today, and after minor driver problems it's now all up and running... somewhat. One Asian channel! I r0xx0r!!

Seriously though, what's going on? How come I can get this one channel so well and nothing else? I realise that my position is not very good (appartment not very high up on a slope facing south), but the main reason I wanted to add OTA was for CBC-HD once it starts transmitting. I had of course hoped to be able to pull in a few American networks, but it's all 0%.

Is this normal when they signal is weak, to register 0% instead of say 20%? Is it worth investing in a pre-amp and new indoor antenna?

1) Seattle is too far away in most cases unless you are lucky and live on a mountian and have a top of the line on TV antenna on a large tower.
2) There is only one full power DTV broadcaster ins the Vancouver-Bellingham Area KBCB-DT 19 UHF transmiting at 3,000,000 watts (The channel gets asigned a virtual channel number by the reciever to 24.1 to match the real analog channel)
3) CTV is only broadcasting at 300 watts from Mt. Semour, wich in UHF is pathetic. It is CIVT-DT 33 (remapped to 32.1)

If you get an outdoor UHF antenna and mount it outside, sometime attic will work okay, you will likely get both digital channels.

CBC will have an effective radiated power (ERP) of 15,600 watts on channel 58 in September, likely you will recieve this with an indoor antenna.

The KVOS-DT 35 (12.1) won't be full power untill next summer and CHAN-DT 22 (8.1) (global) will only be broadcasting with effective radiated power (ERP) of 4,300 watts when ever they decide to get on the air (next year???).

CKVU-DT (CityTV) has not applied for a licence yet.
 

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Thanks for your help sputnik, that is very informative. As long as I can get Hockey Night in Canada in HD I will be happy.

May I ask where you're getting the numbers from? The FCC's website lists KBCB as only 165 kW.

And to clarify, there would be no benefit for me to upgrade my antenna and buy a pre-amp? As I live in an appartment there is no way for me to mount an antenna outside.
 

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Sarke said:
Thanks for your help sputnik, that is very informative. As long as I can get Hockey Night in Canada in HD I will be happy.

May I ask where you're getting the numbers from? The FCC's website lists KBCB as only 165 kW.

And to clarify, there would be no benefit for me to upgrade my antenna and buy a pre-amp? As I live in an appartment there is no way for me to mount an antenna outside.

I got the wattage from
http://www.kbcbtv.com/pages/AboutKBCB.html
Although re-reading it the number may be the total of both of their analog and digital transmitters.

A site for info is North West Broadcasters page at
http://members.shaw.ca/nwbroadcasters/

The Digital TV page is good.
There is one error in that CHEK-DT will not be at 68 but has been reasigned to another channel that I can't remember.

Candian TV channel OTA list
http://home.cogeco.ca/~tvdx/tv-can.htm
 
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