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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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I would combine an OTA antenna with a C-band satellite dish. Both are free and in most cases you will receive hundreds of quality channels (almost all in HD). For those who also want to subscribe to the odd premium channel, you can do so with a c-band subscription service.
 

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On a clear day I can get 50
In my books, that really doen't cut it for OTA. Stations need to be reliable in most weather conditions. It's those overly hot, cold, cloudy, rainy or snowy nights when OTA is most needed.
 

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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.
When I had a chance to have a few words with an engineer at CIHF he said our repeater in my area get it's feed from Eastlink (our cable company here in NS). I'm not sure if that meant they had a cable box feeding it like every other Eastlink cable customer or if it's fibre feed, but that's what he said.
 
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