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Dave, in the specific case of Global Ottawa, a little history, which will show why this channel six is worse than most other ch. 6 ATSC disasters:

CII-TV-6 was implemented back in 1974, when few people in Ottawa had UHF reception capabilities. The English market was basically CBC on 4 and CTV on 13, TVO on 24 with some people pulling in the Watertown CBS (and secondary NBC and ABC) affiliate WWNY on 7.

Cable had started in the mid-sixties, and most people who wanted more than 4 and 13 got hooked up to that, which offered Montreal stations, as well as Watertown CBS and PBS and Plattsburg NBC (still, no ABC affiliate until the CRTC permitted microwave delivery of distant signals in the late seventies).

In order to elbow its way into the Ontario TV market without upsetting local affiliates jealous of their local ad revenues, Global came up with the idea of a "regional" stations with no direct local presence, and no local ad sales. Except for Ottawa, not one transmitter was located in a major centre. Sarnia was served from Oil springs, London and Kitchener from Paris, Toronto from Uxbridge, Kingston and Pembroke barely from Bancroft.
(And Windsor was "unserved" by a transmitter in Cottam)

Eastern Ontario (east of Ottawa) was supposed to be served by a high-powered ch. 36 transmitter in the Glengary Highlands at Maxville.
Because that station would rimshot Montreal (and get mandatory cable carriage there) it was not approved.

In order to slip in a channel 6 transmitter to serve Ottawa, channel 6 had severe nulls toward short-spaced CBMT in Montreal and CJOH-TV-6 on Mount Carmel near Deseronto.

(According to TVfool, channel 6 is putting out as little as 70 watts towards now heavily-populated areas such as Orleans.)

That eastern null would have been served by Maxville had it been approved.

Analog reception in Ottawa with rabbit ears was always atrocious, mostly due to FM interference.

(Oh, and did I mention that channel 6 analog started off with 12 kW, not the 50 kw it ended up with?)

In the meantime, the FM band here in Ottawa has completely filled up -- we're even got second adjacents now. I think there are at least two FM stations below 90 MHz that share channel 6's antenna low down on the tower.

Shaw took over Global late in the transition game, so I expect the mandatory stations were all converted with the minimum of changes to existing equipment, so right now we're stuck with a combination of NTSC short-spacing-based equipment and faulty planning parameters.

My best guess is that, should Global do anything, they would apply for temporary permission to increase power (the channel 6 allotment in Montreal is vacant, and CJOH-TV-6, being an analog station, no longer enjoys protection - in any case, those in the interference zone would likely get CJOH-DT.)

In the longer term, I could see them applying for one of the two vacant UHF allotments (33 or 50), but I would bet on the recently freed-up-by-SunTV 33, because perhaps it could be accommodated on the existing TeleQuebec antenna on the Ryan Tower at Camp Fortune already carrying 30, 34, and 40. (The VHF-high allotments on 11 and 12 are both short-spaced.)

As part of Shaw's purchase of Global TV, one of their promised "tangible benefits" was to convert ALL of the Global stations to digital by 2016. I believe they may even have to report annually on their progress, so the public may have more leverage than usual getting this discussed at the CRTC level. (What's the point of serving the countryside from Bancroft if Ottawa residents in a mandatory market can't get Global OTA?)
 

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^^^^
What happens when a 16:9 SD signal is received on a OTA HD converter? IIRC, they have a button for aspect ratio,
Yes and no.

In the case of my RCA DTA800, the aspect ration can be changed, but only after decending into a few levels of menu.
and while you're in the menu system, there is no audio or video.

The only buttons on the remote that allow for live changing of parameters are for audio cannel seclection, and Closed Captioning selection.
Changing aspect ratio on the fly with a single button push on the remte would be nice.

Note that some stations that broadcast 24/7 in 4:3 use AFD to tell the converter to display the signal as full frame 4:3 on a CRT display. This is the case for some PBS subchannels, as well as CHCH-DT-1 in Ottawa, which is sending a 480i signal as 1080i 19 Mb/s 4:3.
 

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Subject to all of the gov't approvals, etc, wouldn't it be simpler for Global to just increase their ERP? Or am I over-simplifying things?
Perhaps, but Global's exisitng antenna has a very sharp null towards Orleans, and probably would have to be replaced, preferably higher up on the tower. Once they're doing that, they might as well apply for 9, 12, or 50. 9 and probably 12 have the possibility of piggybacking on existing antennas.

There is also the issue of the other 88 MHz FM transmitters. Any capital expenditures required on the FMs to co-exist with a super-power channel 6 would be on Global's dime.
 

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Peak power from horizontal and vertical sync on analog would easily exceed the maximum ERP from a more powerful digital transmitter. I don't see any issue here.
George, were Global to stay on channel 6, they would have to use a new antenna without such a sharp null towards Orleans. According to TVFool, the ERP towards Orleans is only 70 Watts.
The null towards Montreal, originally there to protect a 100kW analog stations on channel 6, causes woefully inadequate coverage of Orleans, a highly populated suburban area. To overcome that null would either require going to much higher than 50 kW average, or a new antenna. Either way would require re-engineering of the colocated FM stations. Hopefully Shaw has a deal to use channel 9, which should work fine if the power was increased from 3 kW to something like 20 kW or more, or is willing to pony up to build a high power station on channel 50.
 

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There are lots of non-CBC tenants on the tower. That wasn't my point. My point is that Global would probably want to move higher up on the tower, and as non-owner it would be subservient to what the landlord's priorities are.

When the tower was originally built, it was just CJOH, CBOT, and CBOFT at the top, and I imagine a handful of FMs.

The first tower at Camp Fortune was built in the early sixties by Frank Ryan, then owner of CFRA 580 / CFRA-FM 93.9, and unsuccessful applicant for the TV license eventually won by Bushnel's CJOH.

It's not clear to me whether the CBC bought the tower from the Ryan estate in the mid sixties, or built a new one in the same place. Any oldtimers know the history?
 

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There were a lot of things going on at Global over the past few years - bankruptcy, takeover by Shaw, digital transition. Perhaps if Global could afford to focus on the future at the time the IC plan was up for commebt, they might have asked for something better than 3,5 kW on chanel 6.

But once Shaw took over, there was no time to implement anything other than what they were dealt -- relatively low power on their existing equipment.
In the meantime, the CBC coming in and snatching the recently released channel 33 hasn't exactly helped matters for sure, but who knows what is really going on behind the scenes. The other remaining UHF allotment, 1MW on channel 50, would surely require a lot more capital.

Hopefully, they worked a way to use the soon to be former SRC antenna on channel 9 at high power ( 20 kW or better, since 20 kW seems to work fine for channel 13) instead of 3.3 kW,
 

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Not an old timer, but according to Wikipedia, Ryan Tower "originally stood at the foot of the Carp Ridge in the town of Hazeldean, Ontario (present-day Kanata), and was disassembled in sections and relocated to its current location for superior coverage."

Not sure if it was moved when CBC bought it or not.
Roger, I had read that too.
It's possible, I suppose.
The CBC had a tower at the old Lanark Street studios for 4 and 9, and channel 13's tower was on Hazeldean.
Frank Ryan had erected a tall tower at Fortune in 1960 or 61 for CFRA-FM, now BOB-FM.
Frank died in the mid-sixties, and I believe the CBC bought the tower from the estate but I'm not sure of the exact chronology.
Perhaps the channel 13 antenna moved from Hazeldean to Fortune? Bushnell might have had a backup antenna atop the old CityView studios on Merivale to cover.

I do know that the relay in South Lancaster picked up CJOH over the air for rebroadcast to Cornwall and Montreal on channel 8. I have a number of google archive links of old Citizen and Gazette articles on the history.
 

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There is the issue of whether running two identical programming streams complies with the Broadcasting Act's intention that the broadcasting system be run in an efficient way. Of corse, the ost of managing custom streams from the Calgary MC could be an issue. However, I suspect that only the PSIP stream would need to be duplicated, assuming null packets could be inserted at the transmitter.

Of course, there is going to be some more surplus CBC analog transmitting equipment on the Kelowna tower come August 1.
 

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I had a look at the CHBC and Global BC schedules online. While they both show Global shows, they rarely show them at the same time. For example, CHBC shows the prime schedule on Calgary time, starting at 7 PM instead of 8 PM PT. Instead of the Morning News program from 5:30 to 9, CHBC shows James Robison. Weekday schedules are shuffled, and on weekends there is some diferent programming altogether.

So, while the programming is mostly the same, it is rarely shown at the same time. Above all, it is more than the news that is different, and the important thing is that CHBC shows most programming BEFORE the Global BC repeater, so it has the edge there.
 

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I checked the Kelowna Daily Courier TV listing (which use zap2it from Tribune Media, as well), and CHBC and CHAN (CHKL) both show identical programming except during the news blocks in both the cable and broadcast listings for postal code V1Y 7V1.

I heard Global uses Rovi for their PSIP EPG, so perhaps Rovi's listings are different? I don't seem to be able to independently access any Rovi-based Canadian listings online, so I cannot check.
 

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I lost PSIP EPG data yesterday on 6.1 Ottawa, but strangely enough not on 41.2 (the SD version) Ottawa. They're both on RF 6.
(Actually - not lost. I think it said 8AM - 8PM Digital Program, which is not the same thing as "No Data" on CBC, SRC, or the local french channels in Ottawa.)
I haven't checked today yet.
 

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RF 14 is not allocated for Ottawa area... unless there's an updated document? But I'm sure there's another frequency they can use.
Broadcasters are free to apply for channels that were not previously allotted in the DTV plan -- they have to follow all the rules in in BPR-10 to deal with any interference issues.
That's the reason you're seeing this application as a CRTC Part I application which is open for comment, because it is proposing a channel not previously allotted in IC's plan.

The bottom line is that under International agreements, neither WUTV nor WPTZ are afforded protection outside their own country.
 

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The Canadian broadcast spectrum is regulated for the benefit of Canada, not the US.
There was no "flaw" for Shaw to exploit -- RF protection rules are designed to protect a broadcasters investment in serving its licensed area which is limited by recent rules to 100km from the transmitter, no matter how good the propagation conditions.

Under international agreement, stations in each country are only protected within their own country. Don't forget that cross-border audiences of commercial stations do not even count towards their ratings.

From Shaw's point of view, and there were a lot of reasons to favour 14 over other options (4, 6, 9, 11, 12, and 50 are the other existing allotments in Ottawa)

4 and 6 are practically unusable for digital
9 would require an increase in power and agreement from CBC for interference to CKSH
11 needs to protect the CKWS-DT assignment in Kingston, and might not even be possible from Camp Fortune instead of Herberts Corners because of the elevation
12 needs to protect Montreal
50 would require much hihger power than 14 to cover the same area, and would need to protect a 50 allotment in Watertwon.

UHF is preferred because it is much more amenable to Mobile ATSC than VHF.

Most of all, there is some concern that IC might eventually follow the FCC and (try to) auction off the channels above 31. Investing in 14 is a prudent choice, in that case.

Also, don't forget that during the pre-transition era, 14 was in use by a high-power analog station on 14 from Herberts Corners.

While obstructing reception of American stations may be a minor consideration in channel selection, I doubt that it plays a major role compared to economics of operation, amenability to mobile ATSC reception, site location, and preference for a station in the 14 to 31 range.

Also note that reception of Mount Mansfield stations in the Ottawa area is obstructed by a mountain range about 50 miles to the west of Mount Mansfield, so any reception in this area is iffy to start with.

I agree that people in the area between Cornwall and Valleyfield might be affected, but that is not a protected reception area for either the American nor Ottawa stations.
 

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I don't see how 14 from Ottawa will interfere with anyone's reception of WPTZ on the island of Montreal. Aside from the fact that that TVFool does not support your theory (WPTZ receive level on the West Island is WAY more than 15 dB higher than ANY Ottawa UHF station), don't forget that until last August 31, channel 14 used to be used for 1.5 MW analog station in Herberts Corners, which is much closer to the West Island than Global's proposed new station at Camp Fortune. I don't believe there were any issues at that time with channel 14 interfering.
 

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Leaving protection issues aside, if you have ever studied a realistic propagation prediction for WPTZ (TVfool is close enough, even though it is only Longley-Rice and not one of the more accurate tools), you will see that reception in most of eastern Ontario of WPTZ is shaded by Covey Hill in Southwestern Quebec. So reception of WPTZ west of the Quebec border is problematic already.

As far as Global goes, if they did care about more reliable reception in that small reception hole between Ottawa on channel 14 and Montreal on a low power channel 15, they would look at higher power options for Montreal. If they want to spend money on a new antenna, there certainly are higher power options (like 36). Other options would be a fill-in transmitter near Cornwall. Note that such a transmitter was approved years ago, on the proviso that Global apply for a different channel (they had applied for channel 11, which went to CHCH in Ottawa instead. They never reapplied for a new channel for Cornwall -- instead, they eventually partnered with TVA to take over CKMI Quebec City and put in relays in Sherbrooke and Montreal to create what eventually morphed into Global Montreal.)

But realistically, Shaw Media will have their hands full planning and paying for their commitment to replace all the existing analog transmitters with digital ones. Given that Global's Ottawa and Montreal coverage will both be drastically improved over what they previously had on analog*, trying to minimize the (decreased) lack of coverage in a relatively lightly-populated previously not-covered area between the two cities in not likely to be high on the priority list.

It is also interesting to note that, with channel 14 Foymount likely to stop broadcasting on July 31, the increased coverage on channel 14 to the west compared with channel 6 will give Shaw Media more options when replacing the Denbigh (nominally Bancroft) transmitter on channel 2 in the next few years.


*if you were worried about reception in Prescott-Russell and the United counties on channel 14, imagine how little coverage they had when they broadcast low power on channel 6 when CBC Montreal was broadcasting with 100 kW, to say nothing of the minimal power they used on channel 46 in Montreal, which barely covered the Island!
 
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