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OTA Forum Moderator
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If I could I would drop my BEV subscription and go 100% OTA and save the monthly fee. We seldom watch specialty channels anymore, and about the only thing I'd miss would be the time shifting DVR capability on HD channels and the CFL in HD when TSN starts their promised coverage. By going 100% OTA my gear (I'd have to buy an OTA tuner since I use my BEV 6100 for that) would pay for itself in about a year.

Are you ready to go 100% OTA? What are your reasons, for and against?
 

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stampeder said:
If I could I would drop my BEV subscription and go 100% OTA and save the monthly fee. We seldom watch specialty channels anymore, and about the only thing I'd miss would be the time shifting DVR capability on HD channels and the CFL in HD when TSN starts their promised coverage. By going 100% OTA my gear (I'd have to buy an OTA tuner since I use my BEV 6100 for that) would pay for itself in about a year.

Are you ready to go 100% OTA? What are your reasons, for and against?
I'm considering the same decision as you, but from the other side of the signal transport line, I'm thinking about dropping cable and going 100% OTA.

Like you, I'd miss TSN, but mostly for their NHL coverage (whenever that starts up again). I'd also miss the 24 hour news channels and Discovery channel.

However, I'm getting enough more than news, science and otherwise, from the web and it's not worth the monthly fees for just a few hours per month of watching a handful of specialty channels, especially when OTA HDTV provides a much better A/V experience.
 

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Not yet! Since setting up for OTA digital, I've enjoyed access to 24 hr PBS-HD (instead of selected *C programming). I watched Fox-HD coverage of Nascar in DD5.1 last Sunday via OTA. It feels great to be "dish free" on those occasions. BUT, I would still miss the specialty channels like SPEED, BBC World and TSN. Plus, there are going to be channels that I just won't get OTA from here (possibly Toronto stations) which *C will give me access to in the future.
 

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Like many of you, I'd consider going OTA only. If I could sub to the channels I wanted (instead of being forced to pick the 'locals'), I would. Aside from TSN, Sportsnet and maybe Speed, I don't need any other channels. It's unfortunate that consumers are forced to pay for channels they can receive for free in order to receive other channels.
 

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I've already gone back to OTA only.

Within a few years almost half of Canada's population will be able to receive digital feeds of all North Americas OTA networks without needing the cable co's and satellite pipelines and costs. Then the situation becomes very interesting.

The reason that cable originally had higher Canadian penetration relative to the US was to get clean feeds of US OTA networks. As the US OTA transition continues to high power UHF feeds, most of the GVA, GTA, MUC and their surrounding areas will have another choice regarding US network reception. The pipelines will have to work much harder to ensure there is enough compelling/exclusive content in their feeds to keep the eyeballs tuned to their services (and their sponsors products). It should be an interesting shakeout.
 

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I've been ota for few years, and just recently went hdtv, the reason I had my cable disconnected was the commercial /pre emption, it's not that I minded canadian commercials, the originating network controlled the feed, and often they would resume with the program while the canadian station was still selling me toilet tissue, and even worse was during a live broadcast that was running over,as the switching was done automatically and without verification by the cable company, it almost felt like I was living in a communist state, being told what I can and cannot watch, and of course we all want to see those Super Bowl commercials...

but then again it's a personal preference, I certainly don't miss cable or its monthly bills.


sam
 

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Cut your Cable.....Now!

I'm Cable Free, literally. 100% OTA and loving the absence of monthly bills. For those Cdn channels in the GTA which have not yet gone digital OTA, I just use the built in NTSC tuner from my television. I get around 20 channels all told. See my other posts for a summary of my reception and equipment.

If you are not into specialty channels, or even if you are but find that you are paying for something you don't have time to watch, try digital OTA. The three PBS stations alone that are broadcast on digital OTA from Buffalo are each like mini Discovery / History channels themselves and are decent compensation themselves.

As the price of the ATSC tuners continue to come down, the interest in this as a viable alternative to cable for people who don't watch a lot of TV will only go up. I wouldn't be half surprised if the Cable companies start some sort of campaign to have digital OTA reception from the US declared "illegal" on the grounds that watching US commercials somehow undermines Canadian culture.
 

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OTA doesn't do:

- Numerous Specialty/language/news channels (mentioned before and not available OTA)
- VOD
- IPG (I don't believe)
- PPV
- TMN
- HD DVR - once you have a DVR, it'd be "impossible" to "go back (unless you go for a kludgy D-VHS or for an HTPC (beyond the capabilities of most people) I haven't watched anything live since the late 1970s.

Then you've got a significant investment in recorder, STB, antenna, cable, (amp & tower if necessary). So "Free" TV is not really that free, especially if you need to pay someone to install it all, like most people do with cable (see the recent thread on the "average person").

If all you want is 20 or so channels, those packages from the service providers are hardly expensive and the option is there for more channels if you want them.

Again, I can see the draw for some people, but I don't believe the average person is going to give up the many options he has, to go solely OTA.
 

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Cable Free said:
I wouldn't be half surprised if the Cable companies start some sort of campaign to have digital OTA reception from the US declared "illegal" on the grounds that watching US commercials somehow undermines Canadian culture.
I remember back in the late 1970’s the CRTC was actually trying to have the Buffalo channels blocked from broadcasting into Canada. I remember my father was very upset about this because we used a TV antenna at that time and most everything we watched was Buffalo stations.
 

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57,

I was pondering this very issue just last night at work. I figured I can build a nice HTPC using Windows XP MCE 2005 with an ATI HDTV Wonder onboard; therefore,

Numerous Specialty/language/news channels (mentioned before and not available OTA)

True, but as stated above, PBS has some very good programming lately, in fact I have found more interest on PBS than on Discovery.

VOD

With an HTPC services like Cinema Now allow you to "rent" movies and they download to you just like VOD does.

IPG (I don't believe)

All the ATSC STB have IPG and so does Windows XP MCE

TMN

You are correct here. Although some people may get enough of their sports fix with Fox and CBS.

HD DVR

The LG LST-3410A is a HD ATSC STB with DVR --> http://us.lge.com/Product/proddetail.do?actCategory=tv&archivedYn=&actType=search&categoryId=0000000104&prodId=1000000112&parentId=0000000001&parent2levelId=0000000001&category_level=3

Also, again with HTPC the ability is built in and endless.

I myself am considering HTPC to compliment my Starchoice receiver as opposed to buying the DSR-530; sure it will not record satellite in HD but I think DVD quality is sufficient if I need to record off satellite to the HTPC. All OTA recordings will still be HD or SD depending on the source material.

Very interesting article here on "The Green Button" a site devoted to Windows XP MCE talking to 3 Microsoft developers which gives you a "feel" for their direction. --> http://www.thegreenbutton.com/content.aspx?file=hawk.interview.1.htm&pname=ThomasHawk

In short, if all you watch consistantly is "Network" programming like I find myself doing time and time again then OTA may be a substitute for paid programming from cable or satellite.

Crispy
 

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I will almost certainly go OTA but it is at least 1-2 years before the U.S. DTV networks are accessible for Montrealers. I currently have Bell Expressvu and the cost certainly does not match the value. If you could pick and pay specific channels in the future, I may stay with them otherwise I will go OTA.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I suspect quite a few people are fed up with CATV/DBS and a lack of perceived value but don't know about OTA.

Geographic location is a big one, of course. Right now it looks like the only Canadians who could conceivably go 100% OTA are in the GTA/905/Golden Horseshoe area, and thats if they're comfortable with all the issues that have come up in this thread.

With BC's Lower Mainland and some SE parts of Vancouver Island its still a tossup as to whether the SeaTac digital signals are viable enough for regular viewing, and its also murky whether the locals will get serious about DTV when CBC-HD and SRC-HD go live in autumn.

I think parts of NS and NB will be able to get some Maine DTV stations OTA.
 

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Ota

This is absolutly not fair. Out here in the west the only OTA are the local CBC CTV Globe and A Channel. As far as I know there is no HD OTA. There should be some kind of compensation for us poor western schmucks.
I should write to those coctail fancypanters at the CRTC and see if they can't get some of JC's good buddy's to send us some of those plain envelopes that contain the $100. bills out west.

Sorry Hugh if this breaches rules, but I know for sure that by the time OTA HD gets anywhere near western Canada, some regulation will appear out of Ottawa that requires a fee to watch OTA HD.

Ed H
 

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Cut your cable.....tell your friends about OTA HDTV

In response to 57, cable "ain't" free either. As I have mentioned in my other posts, getting hooked on the crack cocaine of cable (priced on a monthly basis low enough that you continue to buy) is easy to do. Its almost the equivalent of the no money down - too easy to pass up. But if you do the math cable can cost the average viewer who doesn't watch much more than network television THOUSANDS over time when compared to a one shot hit for OTA gear.

I understand that you like the ability to drive your Porsche TV every night fully loaded with all the options, and if you enjoy it great. No one is arguing the point and I respect your choice. But if all a segment of the population wants is basic Volkswagen TV then they are getting ripped off with their monthly cable bills (Porsche TV). The game for the cable cos is simply to increase the amount of dollars they squeeze for you each month (since when has your cable bill gone down). For too long people who watch television have had no choice but to pay their cable co. Analog OTA truly was not a comparable option. Digital OTA (in certain border regions of Canada) gives the average Joe a real choice and that's my point.
 
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