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In Kingston it's very unlikely that you're going to get very many OTA channels.
Actually in Kingston ummd should do fairly well (not as well as in Tornto mind you). He is close enought to Watertown that those stations should come in well and he may even be able to pick up CBOT-DT and CBOFT-DT from Ottawa with a good antenna.
 

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Election coverage? First off, that would mean that you have pretty weird friends,
I have to admit this one is pretty bizarre. Unless you or someone you know is running for office, I don't know many people who invite friends over to run for office.

and where, in Canada, will you get HD election coverage?
I wouldn't be surprised if at least one network covers the next federal election in HD. I don't see there being much advantage to this but the stations will do anything to get more viewers and I am sure that the stations will come up with something to take advantage of the technology (like have awesome 5.1 sound effects to draw the viewer in).

I would prefer to watch a commercial free movie in slightly less quality on TMN-HD on a cable/sat fed then watch a movie full of commercials that comes OTA via CBC, ABC, etc.
I agree with you about movies. I gave up watching movies on TV years ago since movies weren't written with commercial breaks in mind. The editing they do to fit it into their time slot doesn't help either. Once the dust settles between Blu-ray and HD-DVD renting will be a good alternative to TMN.

Other network programs are attractive, but I will want to get some type of OTA HD recorder as I tend to time shift this type of program.

For me, the big draw to OTA HD is sports (especially hockey) and for that you want to get the best picture possible and a built-in ATSC tuner is the way to go.

Bottom line, if you watch sports (or other network TV live), you will definitely want an ATSC tuner if not for now, for sometime in the future. Otherwise you might be able to get away without an ATSC tuner but to me having one built in is a small price to pay for something you might want in the future if you aren't going to use it now.
 

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Cyclism,

You are exaggerating the current availability of DTV OTA. Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg do not have any DTV stations yet, Ottawa and Montreal only have CBC in English and French, Vancouver only has CBC-E and CTV and Quebec City only has CBC-F.

As for DTV being available for anyone who live within 160km of the US boarder, that just isn't true. First of all the 100-150km is considered deep fringe and unless you have both a good location and good equipment, you won't get a signal and even if you do, it may not be reliable. Secondly, being close to the border isn't enough, you need to be close to a transmitter and not everyone who is near the boarder is close to one.

Now I agree with you that DTV OTA isn't for a "small subset of the population" like WiseOne implies. Maybe a small subset is currently taking advantage of it, but as more stations go on air and awareness spreads, more and more people will take advantage of it. The biggest problem is awareness and the only way we can spread that is by word of mouth.
 

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Cyclism,

If you are talking about OTA in general, the CBC has a huge network of transmitters and I would say a "small subset" of people cannot get a picture, even with rabbit ears. You could even say the vast majority can get a picture of some sort (even if it is a bit snowy). That is one of the arguments for keeping the analog transmitters operational in rural areas.
 

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WiseOne, Your 2% figure still doesn't jive. According to Paragraph 47 of the CRTC's report THE FUTURE ENVIRONMENT FACING THE CANADIAN BROADCASTING SYSTEM, "anywhere between 10% and 16% of Canadians receive their television signals OTA." All of these people currently have an antenna, know how to use it and would be capable of receiving DTV OTA.

Now this is only the percentage who currently receive programming OTA. There are many other people out there who could easily receive DTV OTA but for one reason or another don't. As the availability (and awareness) of DTV OTA spreads, more people will use it.
 

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GeorgeMx, Your first point is true for both SD and HD. Each person needs to make a choice about what type of programming he or she want to watch and how much they are willing to pay for it. However, I think there is a lack of awareness about what you can get OTA. Most people I talk to are shocked when I tell them how many (and which) channels I can receive. Digital broadcasting makes OTA even more attractive since in many cases the picture quality goes away.

With regards to your second point, I do tend to agree with you, but I think the Toronto/Buffalo case is a bit unusual as Lake Ontario is exasperating the problems making the range seem further than it is. Fortunately most people aren't trying to receive a signal over one of the world’s largest lakes. From what I can tell by reading this forum most people in a:
  • Metro & Urban zone can get away with an indoor antenna or small attic antenna.
  • Suburban zone need an attic or small outdoor antenna
  • Near Fringe zone need an outdoor antenna
  • Fringe zone need a large outdoor antenna
  • Deep Fringe zone need a large outdoor antenna and will have intermittent reception
  • Deepest Fringe zone need a large outdoor antenna and will have occasional reception

Transmission power also plays a factor in these results and can shift the results up or down a level or two, as can physical and meteorological obstacles.

I think the CBC has the right idea with regards to the digital transition and only urban transmitters should be transitioned to digital. The rural transmitters are probably better off sticking to analog as a larger portion of their audience is further from the tower (it is better to receive a poor signal all of the time than a perfect signal occasionally).
 

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GeorgeMx said:
the evidence suggests that around 85% of households in Canada wants the range of programming available on cable and satellite.
The fact that around 85% of households have either cable or satellite doesn't prove that they want programming that isn't available OTA, it just proves that they have bought the sales pitch. Besides, those with basic service don't receive much more than you can get OTA (there are a few additional channels, but not many).

I don't think lack of awareness is the issue. If OTA served the programming needs of more than a very small minority of households it would not be virtual unknown in cabled areas. Tower installation and service would still be a viable business. Off-air was kept alive by the needs of rural households outside cable areas until small dish satellite services appeared in the mid to late 1990s.
People buy what they think they want and know about. If people only bought the products that were best for them, there would be no need for advertising or commission sales staff.

The problem is there is a lot of money in the cable and satellite business and not very much in the antenna installation business. Each time a BDU receives a new customer, they will get a minimum of $350 a year from that customer and could receive over $1000 every year. An antenna installer will likely receive only about $500 once. That is why you will see lots of ads. for cable and satellite companies but none for OTA.

I think this is step 1 in closing many transmitter sites.
That is quite possible.

My guess is CBC will offer some type of satellite FTA service based on cheap DVB standard satellite receivers
This could work for most rural communities, but it won't work in the far north as the satellite would be too close to the horizon. Analog OTA transmission may still be the best option there.
 

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GeorgeMx said:
This arguement would probably apply to a tiny part of the cable and satellite customer base
I don't have statistics about what percentage would be interested. If you do, please share them with us.

If off-air filled the demand for a significant part of the population, people would know about it and choose it.
That is kind of like saying that GM makes the best cars since they sell more cars than any other auto manufacturer (see World's Top Car Manufacturers). There are many factors that influence what people buy, but few people thoroughly research all of the options available to them and make a truely informed decision.

Most people assume they need to have cable or satellite service and don't even give OTA a first thought (let alone a second thought). You are right and many people wouldn't want to give up the extra channels, but there also many people who watch the broadcast networks 95% of the time and might decide that it isn't worth the $30+++ a month for such a small percentage of their TV viewing.

With regards to the arctic, you are probably right. The problem is the cost of migrating to digital becomes very expensive per capita when dealing with such small communities.
 

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Don't forget:

Football

- CBC is showing 1 or 2 CFL games a week and will show all playoff games this year, but unfortunately TSN will get all the games next year. Hopefully CTV will show at least the Grey Cup next year (like they showed the World Cup finals last year) but I am not holding my breath.

Hockey (in Ottawa)

- CHRO (A-Channel) showed 20 Sens games last year. Not sure if they will do that again under CTV ownership.
 

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Lindsay649 said:
For those of us who live in the valley of London OTA HD may not occur in our lifetime.
Are you expecting to live less than 4 years? ;) Unless all the local stations decide to stop broadcasting in August 2011 and lose their sumulsub and priority carrage rights, they will be forced to start broadcasting digitally. Exceptions can be granted for northern and remote transmitters, but London fails the test for both criteria. Granted digital broadcasting doesn't guaruntee HD, but the DTV licence requires the HD version of a program be broadcast when available.
 

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The ATSC and NTSC tuners in my set are never used. What a waste of money!
You probably only payed about $0.05 for the NTSC tuner in your TV, but the ATSC tuner will have cost a bit more. They used to be really expensive but they have come down a lot in price. I haven't heard the latest figures, but my guess is about $10 these days. Does anyone know for sure?
 

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I agree. I really don't think it is likely here. The TV stations don't want to come across like they want money from the consumers. A completely ridiculous notion mind you as where do they think the funding will come from, the pay checks of the BDU employees?
 

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Poncho - I am guessing that you are not a hockey fan?
Even if he was, he can still watch HNIC. Who has time to watch all 82 regular season games for each team? Plus there are lots of other sports broadcasts available OTA for those who are interested in more than just hockey.
 

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As long as the traditional NHL playoff TV coverage formula holds:
  • Canadian teams' series on CBC
  • U.S. teams on TSN
then I'm doing just fine with OTA! :)
Unfortunately not true anymore. Starting last season CBC got first two picks then TSN got the third pick in the first round. That is why TSN showed the Calgary/Chicago series. In subsequent rounds, CBC gets priority.

Since with many (though not all) providers TSN isn't part of basic service, you need an expensive package to get it. IMHO it isn't worth $600+ a year just so I can watch TSN.
 

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Stampeder. I hear you there. For my daughter we get TVO OTA which is far better than Treehouse in my mind. For my wife and myself, we only have about an our or two after our daughter is in bed. I really want to get a PVR or HTPC as many of the programs we watch start at 8:00 and we are never quite ready by then. It would be nice to start watching them at 8:15 or 8:30 instead of having to wait until it is finished recording at 9:00.
 

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Posted by airmike in the Telus TV forum:
One thing that he said that caught my attention was:

I'll also add that I notice about a 10 second delay between when it is broadcasted OTA and then on Telus TV. Telus TV is 10 seconds behind.
Could this be another advantage of OTA? You get the results of the game sooner. The neighbors may be wondering why I am always cheering 10 seconds before Ottawa scores. ;)
 

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What are OTA's biggest selling points in the view of members? (That's what this theoretical website would be all about!)
OTA provides different things for different people.

For some it is an affordable way of receiving programming. Some may not be able to afford cable or satellite, others can but choose not to.

For others it is a way of getting the best HD picture quality possible. Many of these people will also subscribe to cable or satellite.

For a third group, it is a way of avoiding simultaneous substitution.

One of the reasons for a lack of awareness is there just isn't enough money in it. Antenna sales alone aren't enough to pay for a big advertising campaign.
 

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We are fans of certain programs on BC's Knowledge Network, which unfortunately is not OTA in the Vancouver area,
This is probably the biggest sticking point for my dad as well (with TSN also being an issue). The funny thing is I could swear I remember receiving the Knowledge Network OTA as a kid (channel 21 rings a bell). It wasn't very clear, but I am sure it was there. Am I loosing my mind prematurely or did they used to be available OTA in the lower mainland?
 

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One of the cons of OTA is volume control. & loud commercials:eek:
To me not having loud commercials is a good thing so this is a pro for OTA in my mind. Those with a BDU will be stuck with the loud Canadian commercials (assuming you are in a market where you can receive the American networks OTA, which I am not).
 
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