Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,737 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Seeing how this country's television networks are generally showing little or no interest in providing OTA DTV service, I propose the CRTC allow for community groups to operate relay services, subject to Industry Canada approval and minimal CRTC regulation.
I emphasize the word *relay* in that these groups would not be allowed to sell advertising or produce local programming — only to rebroadcast. (Although now that I think about it, perhaps they should be allowed to insert occasional crawls or PSAs for fundraising purposes.)
For example, if Radio-Canada will not provide DTV service to Calgary, a local interest group should be allowed to apply to operate relay stations in Red Deer and Calgary, passing the signal to Calgary using off-air pickup.
Similarly, if CBC won't install a DTV station for Saint John, NB, a local group should be allowed to pick up CBC Fredericton off-air and relay it, with minimal red-tape.
Groups should also be able to apply to operate a multiplex relay offering digital versions of existing analog channels, especially if the owners/operators of those stations have no intention of converting their own facilities to DTV. (I'm thinking of places like Sydney, NS; Red Deer and Fort McMurray, AB; Cornwall, Belleville, Kingston, Brockville, Peterborough, ON; Kelowna and Kamloops, BC; and other non-mandatory markets with substantial populations.)
Where off-air relays are not financially feasible, groups should be allowed to relay service via a signal received through any BDU. I'm thinking of places like Whitehorse, which will lose CBC OTA on Aug. 31.
Such community groups should not be able to extend coverage, however — only to provide service where it was lost at the transition deadline, or to provide DTV service where only analog service exists.
Thoughts as to the feasibility of such a scheme?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
Yes - generally agreed - I cannot see any reason why this should not be allowed to happen. This has operated successfully in the UK for small numbers of homes (20 or so). I can't imagine why it shouldn't work in a city like Calgary for the French SRC Channel or in the case of the English service for St John NB. I also believe that some Canadians are sufficiently motivated to achieve the implementation of such relays! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
This concept has been successfully used in the US for years, either via local governments or private entities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
880 Posts
Not sure I agree. I think the problem is the CRTC. They have allowed a tightly controlled situation to develop that benefits certain parties. And these parties are trying to kill OTA. Just this week we got the Bell CTV deal approved. How is this not going to further the problems. I would have forced CTV to sell some of it's stations to other groups and have them affiliate with CTV. If CTV had to sell 55% of the stations it owns, we might see a better situation in OTA. Then these affiliates would be more interested in providing a proper OTA service.

As for the situation with CBC and SRC not providing minority market services (except in NB where it's majority market services), a federal law needs to be past that will force the CBC/SRC to offer a sub-channel that will offer the others service. And subject to the main stations license of renewal. So, if SRC analog gets shutdown in Calgary, then the main CBC stations must place the SRC feed on a sub-channel. The reverse would apply in the case of Quebec City. I get PBS stations offering from 2 to 3 sub-channels on their main license, and we can't get this to happen in Canada.

As well, the CRTC needs to stop allowing re-transmitters invading other markets. CHCH-DT being allowed to install a new re-transmitter in London, ON is unacceptable. All re-transmitters should be shutdown in that market. And a new local station should be licensed to operate, with full use of sub-channels. And the networks forced to affiliate with the station or they have access thru BDU denied to them for that market. Thus simsub does not apply.

As well, a min. power output should be established for OTA stations. No more low powered stations that require cable access in order to receive their signals.

All this would require federals laws to be forced upon the CRTC.
 

·
OTA Forum Moderator
Joined
·
24,867 Posts
It exists: see the Fort St. James TV & Radio Society

downbeat and all, I'm pleased to let you know that the CRTC actually has provision for such systems already. :)

Here in B.C. the Fort St. James TV & Radio Society has had an OTA operation since 1972 that carries a variety of satellite-origin TV channels on analogue NTSC TV, as well as a variety of distant radio stations. They've now added ATSC digital channels:

http://tv.fsjames.com/

I would suggest that people interested in organizing such a system pattern their proposals on the Fort St. James model since it has already been approved. Keep in mind that the CRTC does not seem to go out of it's way to facilitate this type of system with common and plentiful information.

For vast swaths of Canada this type of system could be viable if the circumstances and favourable chances of success could be sorted out beforehand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Interesting.

I can see how it makes sense to rebroadcast existing OTA channels, or even OTA channels pulled down via satellite. However, I'm not sure how they are able to get away with Speed, HBO etc. - channels that are PPV everywhere else.

It would be nice if they had a page that lays out more about how they are structured and funded.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,262 Posts
There are many of these tv rebroadcast societies in rural BC. I suspect some are funded by the local municipality, just like in the US. The societies negociate carriage rates with the specialty channels just like the BDUs (cable and satellite companies) do. If you look at the Logan Lake tv society, at one point they dropped one of Bell Media's channels because Bell wanted too much. If I recall, it was tsn, and if you google "logan lake tv society tsn dropped", you can trace how the whole storey played out.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top