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Hello blueroomelectro,

Wayne is correct as he is referring to Public Notice CRTC 1995-156 where Rogers Cable complained to the CRTC and had the owners remove their OTA master antenna setup for a multi-dwelling unit.

However, saying that neighbours sharing a single antenna is illegal is like saying traveling at 105 km/h in a 100 km/h zone is illegal. Most people will do it for a lifetime without any legal repercussion.
 

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That doesn't make it legal. It's still illegal and if (other) neighbours complain (they may not like that tall mast), or a BDU subscriber or owner complains, then there will be legal repercussions for the owner of that "BDU". Those repercussions often depend on the magnitude of the infraction (number of people connected) - for example doing 190 in a 100 is different from 105 in a 100. ;)

Splitting a service provider signal (account splitting) is also technically possible, but is again against the terms of the agreement with the provider and if caught you will be shut down, or worse, depending on the magnitude of the infraction.
 

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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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I believe what killed the small CATV systems was the fact that if you only had access to OTA, that was not acceptable for most clients. When I first moved to Toronto over 40 years ago, there were plenty of apartment buildings with antenna arrays on the roof, however, apartment dwellers were not happy with the OTA-only offering and cable came quickly to those apartment buildings with their sports, movies and other (cable) channels not available OTA. Also SAT later...

Although large dishes appeared on some buildings, that was quickly shut down with the encryption of the signals since that amounted to "signal theft" since people were supposed to be paying for those premium channels. FTA is still around, but mainly as a hobby, again since most of the signals are encrypted. OTA is also still around for those who find that offering (typically enhanced by other offerings like the web) acceptable.

This is not an all-or-nothing game. Various people have various requirements that can be met in various ways. However, we do not condone or discuss illegal activities on this forum.
 

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Hello 57,

yes I agree and I do not condone illegal behavior. I'm just saying that like all laws, enforcement may be subject to a different "rigidity" and in certain cases the origin of the compliant to initiate an investigation would be highly unlikely.

For all we know the neighbours on the block prefer having just one house with one consolidated mast than three houses with three masts :)

PS: no cable service in that remote area
 

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From what I gather, it isn't illegal in an apartment or condo, where one person or group owns the land that all of the dwellings are located (it is called an MATV system). It becomes illegal when the cable crosses from one owner's property to another. So in the OP's example, it would be legal if the houses are all on one piece of land.
 

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I believe that MATV systems for multi-dwelling must be licensed by the CRTC. There are licensing exemptions for hotels and motels.
 

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...back on the topic of OTA pros and cons, we "cut the cord" last spring in favour of a combination of OTA, Netflix, and Hulu Plus. I put some of my thoughts on the experience in this article

HDTV for free - your grandfather's TV antenna is still useful!

It doesn't go into a lot of detail on antenna types since that would have taken several more pages, but hopefully folks will find it useful and it will inspire a few people who've been thinking about cancelling cable/satellite to give it a try. Feel free to PM me or post any corrections/suggestions on the blog.
 

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I laughed when I read $700. I'm sure a good OTA system isn't cheap, so I'm not saying it's wrong. Just sounds expensive.

And the part about the LAWYERS reconnecting after a year... Lawyers! Enough said.
 

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I laughed when I read $700. I'm sure a good OTA system isn't cheap, so I'm not saying it's wrong. Just sounds expensive.
LOL, no kidding. I paid $16 for my Philips indoor antenna (and these days I've seen it for as low as $8). My broadcast towers are 20-26 km away, but I have good line-of-sight.

20 HDTV channels via OTA? Must be nice... then again, even though I only receive 6 channels in Calgary, I find it's more than enough. I supplement it with downloading the movies and shows that I watch, and unlike that lawyer, Telus has never sent me a warning about a usage cap. :)
 

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...and unlike that lawyer, Telus has never sent me a warning about a usage cap. :)
Telus and Shaw have much more reasonable usage caps than Rogers or Bell here in Toronto. Looking at the web page I see that the Telus Internet 25 service is $60 and gives 250 GB per month.

Bell has a service called Fibe25 that costs $58 but it gives you only 100 GB per month. Rogers has an extreme service for $64 per month with 35/3 speeds but only 120GB.
 

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I bet they had their Netflix set to best quality as well... with superHD it doesn't take long to rack up the usage.

I leave mine on the middle setting - the quality is fine and I can stream all day long without worry of the caps. :)
 

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LOL, no kidding. I paid $16 for my Philips indoor antenna (and these days I've seen it for as low as $8). My broadcast towers are 20-26 km away, but I have good line-of-sight.

20 HDTV channels via OTA? Must be nice... then again, even though I only receive 6 channels in Calgary, I find it's more than enough. I supplement it with downloading the movies and shows that I watch, and unlike that lawyer, Telus has never sent me a warning about a usage cap. :)
20 OTA channels in the golden horseshoe isn't too hard... I had a full OTA only setup in Grimsby and loved it. Moved to Calgary and decided I needed cable again. But the Telus bills lately have me thinking!
 

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LOL, no kidding. I paid $16 for my Philips indoor antenna (and these days I've seen it for as low as $8). My broadcast towers are 20-26 km away, but I have good line-of-sight.

20 HDTV channels via OTA? Must be nice... then again, even though I only receive 6 channels in Calgary, I find it's more than enough. I supplement it with downloading the movies and shows that I watch, and unlike that lawyer, Telus has never sent me a warning about a usage cap. :)
OTA is better in areas where there are a number of cities within easy range, like Toronto. Calgary wouldn't have easy access to other cities. Here in Toronto, my regular count for OTA channels is 28. Not all HD, of course, but many of them are.
 

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Food for thought

Just in case any of you have forgotten some of the basics, as I had until my son's Rogers bill arrived today along with my Hydro bill.

My son's Rogers Cable TV bill was $78.62, taxes in, for one month of "service". That's $943.44 per year just for him to watch "Speed TV" on one television set.

In comparison, my entire Hydro bill was $86.56, taxes in, for the month of November 2013. That's $1,038.72 per year to power all my lights, all cooking and baking, all refrigeration, heating and air condioning and distribution, all computer uses, all radio uses, all TV uses, all washing and drying of clothes, all dishwashing, all telephony, all Christmas lighting, all grass cutting, all battery charging, all well, everything!

Either we get the best hydro rates ever or we pay the worst cable bills ever.

What an eye-opener!!!
 

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I had no idea my post #677 would have so much more meaning after experiencing the 2013 Toronto ice storm that occurred 2 days after the post and we are still recovering from today.

EVERYTHING relies on Hydro.
NOTHING relies on cable.

I also couldn't help but wonder about the intelligence of the radio station operators who keep telling us to go to their web sites for more information. Our wind-up radios are good but they don't give access to the internet.
 

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I have a cheap inverter in my vehicle, which was able to power my Laptop and Internet Hub, I had no problems accessing Websites.

It is all about being prepared.

I was also able to power my TV for an hour or so and with the OTA Antenna could catch local news. I was not sure the inverter would power the Bell Receiver so we managed with OTA and Internet for a couple of hours per day.
 
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