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IIRC, cable companies, notably Rogers, lobbied the government to make small CATV systems illegal. Just prior to that, dishes started to appear on apartment complexes. Some of those buildings offered free TV to tenants as an inducement and cable companies didn't want to lose the business. The building owners could still apply for a BDU license but the regulations probably made it too much of a burden. What cable companies didn't see, of course, was the emergence of Canadian DBS systems just a few years later.
 

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Around here, many OTA repeaters use a DTH satellite feed so the picture no better. It's often worse due to the use of SD feeds or technical issues. It's easy to see which channels use a high quality HD feed. Their picture is much better.
 

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That's true if you get OTA stations that have direct network feeds. Remote repeaters sometimes use satellite signals as feeds. That means we still get lousy picture quality on some channels with extra problems like more station down time, lack of PSIP data and added artifacts from the extra processing. I guess that's a con if your only OTA is from repeaters.
 

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Some Global repeaters use Shaw Direct feeds as well. (Shaw own Global so it's a cheap and dirty option for them.) We are on the outside edge of two grade B contour Global signals here. The one that uses a Shaw Direct feed has noticeably lower picture quality.
 

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Why would anyone actually spend on the cheapest basic TV plan, between 30-40 tax in.
Because they live where there are almost no channels available OTA. There are lots of areas in Canada like that. Even some major cities in Canada only have a few channels. We get nine channels here, 5 local, one LOS nearby, one 1-edge and two on a 2-edge contour. Three of those are multicultural or religious. Even with an outdoor antenna, a the 2-edge channels are not reliable in some weather conditions. That leaves four, two of which I rarely watch. :(
 
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