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I fear the FreeHD project and the so-called "skinny" local packages will discourage conventional broadcasters from using OTA unless they're told they have to — one exception being Quebec's Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspé regions, where local broadcasters have committed to transitioning all OTA operations to DTV, even in the smallest markets.
 

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Who here thinks that FreeHD could actually be up and running by this time next year? Do they even have firm plans to launch satellites? I haven't heard of any traditional cable company planning to offer free local channels - only MTS. The CRTC is just allowing them to do it - not forcing them to.
 

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Why would the satellite, or cable companies want to offer this for free? Right now they charge somewhere around $30.00 per month for locals,albeit with some extra crap thrown in,but if they aren't going to make money, why would they do it? Sure they could sell receivers for a couple hundred bucks, but what about those people who already have receivers,and just want free channels,how are they going to make money that way?
 

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So what is this FreeHD thing suppose to do?
stop us from using OTA. Just wondering will
they have everything from Buffalo, Hamilton
and Toronto, Also if I wanted a few Movie
channels like HBO or A and E could it be like
5 dollars a month. That would definately put
rogers out of business since they make you
pay for channels you will never even watch with
stupid packages.
 

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FreeHD was only approved recently. I'm sure they were waiting for that hurdle to be crossed before proceeding with their business plan. Basically, we don't know what they intend to do as yet, other than offer former antenna customers a "free" solution to replace those channels.
 

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Just wondering will
they have everything from Buffalo, Hamilton
and Toronto,
Well based on this line from FreeHD's website:
Free ‘Local Program Package’
For consumers that are used to receiving a few local channels ‘off-air’ from an antenna, FreeHD Canada will offer
a free ‘Local Program Package’ of 15-20 Canadian television channels
I would take that as...NO, they will not offer anything from Buffalo or anywhere else from "State-side".
 

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Ok so Free HD is saying they will offer 15-20 local channels,but hows that going to work? In the Calgary area we get 7 local channels with antenna. does that mean that we will get some other channels for free to? If thats the case that might be bad for OTA users. I would think the local broadcasters who are spending alot of money converting to digital might be a littled irate at that.

The other thing that baffled me, this morning on the global news they made it sound as though free tv was ending. They made it sound that anyone with rabbit ears would have to buy converter boxes,or go to a satellite dish to get signals,they never seemed to say that anyone with an ATSC equipped tv would not be affected. I wonder if the broadcasters don't even understand this, or maybe I misunderstood what they were saying, but none the less I think theres going to be a lot of confusion amongst viewers out there.
 

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I don't see the FreeHD as end to OTA but an addition to it. I think most of us have that difficult to tune channel that you pvr and it craps out on you (usually in the middle of the wife's fav show).

OTA will still offer us pure uncompressed simsub free US networks (depending on where you live of course) and FreeHD simply will not be allowed to do that they will need to simsub at the very least. Will they offer free US networks? I'm thinking no and OTA will still offer that to us. All speculation of course. We will see when we see.



Bring on the signal boost some of the Toronto stations are iffy up here in Newmarket and they "should" boom in post transition. Nice little treat waiting for our American friends too if they can pick up Toronto in Buffalo post 2011.

You can pry my OTA antenna away from my cold dead hands!
 

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They would offer it as a "foot in the door". Their pitch will be "well, since you've got the equipment and can get these channels for free, for an extra $XX you can get all this other great programming too".

I still think it's a atrocious the way the government has (mis)handled public education for the impending digital switchover. Okay, if you're not going to subsidize set top boxes that's fine but at least educate viewers about what's happening and how they can continue to watch OTA programming.
And they boost the $$ of the other packages WAY UP!!! to commensat the lost revenue from basiic
 

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And they boost the $$ of the other packages WAY UP!!! to commensat the lost revenue from basiic
BINGO...could very well see that happen.
 

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I've only partially followed the BDU's vs conventional broadcasters debate, but doesn't this give the BDU's serious leverage in their negotiations against fee for carriage.

We will carry the locals for free and let you keep your subsim rights if you back off on the fee for carriage proposal.

Win for the BDU, win for the broadcaster, win for the consumer. I'm probably missing the facts that make this more complicated, especially since the CRTC is involved.

Seems to me this may help sort out that problem if I understand the situation correctly.
 

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There is no way that I, as a corporate director of Rogers or Bell TV, etc, would authorize such a service, short of it being mandated by the CRTC. That would be a dereliction of my fudiciary duty to the shareholders. A lot of people don't watch that much TV. The most popular American programs are sim-subbed by Canadian stations anyways. A "free basic service" would amount to giving away what they're currently charging $30 to $50 per month for right now.

I could see a lot of current basic customers cancelling the bill and keeping the service.
 

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The way I see this panning out:
Analogue tower TV will be tower TV with the addition of a digital reciever/converter box.
OTA will still be OTA with some additions (FreeHD)
Analogue Basic cable will still be basic cable but with the addition of a digital box (ie Rogerst will omit the 2.99 surcharge)
All other TV packages will remain.

EC

edit: Ive fully read freehd canadian website.......FreeHD local programing will be available for free via a small sat. dish hardware setup. I dont expect much in the way of freehd local programming.
 

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FreeHD local programing will be available for free via a small sat. dish hardware setup. I dont expect much in the way of freehd local programming
I wonder how "Free" it really will be. Can one take their FTA setup, point the dish at the "FreeHD" sat and use their personal equipment in picking up the signal, or are you going to have to purchase some sort of "carded" system to get FreeHD's "Free" signal? If that's the case, can you really call it "Free"?
 

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I doubt it will be DVB Mpeg 2 or 4 in the clear since they want to make sure you only get the free locals you are entitled to in that area, although that would be nice. Instead, you probably need to buy the hardware and there is no monthly charge.
 

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Just wanted to clarify that the CRTC authorized any BDU to distribute a free "local package both in and outside mandatory markets", since the title is a little misleading.
 

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It will obviously be encrypted and not Free to Air, because their would be lawsuits galore by American broadcasters, since programming has regional rights. They could not broadcast back into the U.S. in the clear.
 

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FreeHD plans to charge approx. $200 for the STB and dish. Very reasonable considering they plan to offer programming with less compression than any cable or sat provider.

I will be signing up the minute it becomes available
 
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