Apr 12, 2021
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Montreal a late arrival to over-the-air digital television

MONTREAL – A seemingly mundane technical announcement has great implications for the way Montrealers watch television.

CBC/Radio Canada is updating its 50-year-old transmission antenna at the top of Mount Royal, and television in Montreal may never be the same.

After a one-year delay, the work on the Mount Royal antenna is scheduled for June through August and when complete, Montrealers with digital-ready televisions will benefit from something other major Canadian urban centres have experienced for a while now: free over-the-air (OTA) high-definition television. And not just any HD, but a quality of image that surpasses that offered on cable or satellite.

That’s right: You do not necessarily need cable or satellite to enjoy the clarity and sound of high definition, provided you have an HD-compatible television. A standard rabbit-ear antenna can still work, though electronic stores will try to sell you on the virtues of more expensive models. There are also standard definition digital signals, but the plan for Canada is to emphasize HD.

There has been some HD available from the CBC/Radio-Canada for more than a year, but the low-power (500 watts) transmitter is at the CBC building, and cannot reach the vast majority of Montreal homes, especially on the other side of the mountain.

While much of urban Canada enjoyed the 2010 NHL playoffs and World Cup of Soccer in free OTA HD glory, Montreal homes made do with analog or had to subscribe to cable or satellite services.

All of Canada’s analog television signals are scheduled to be converted to digital by August 31, 2011, though many broadcasters believe this target is ambitious. The other Montreal English broadcasters, CTV and Global, have not announced any intention to transmit in HD before the analog shut-off deadline. As a point of comparison, CTV has been offering signals in HD in Vancouver since 2005 and in Calgary since 2006.

In Montreal, only Télé-Québec and V have been widely accessible for high-definition OTA reception, with a few possibilities from Vermont and New York after the U.S. went fully digital in 2009. Other urban centres in Canada are far more antenna-friendly. In the Greater Toronto Area, there are now more than 20 HD OTA channels accessible from southern Ontario and Upper New York State.

It’s unfortunate Montreal is so poorly served, because there is certainly an audience here. Montreal leads the way in Canadian rabbit-ear reception. A 2007 study prepared for the Canadian Association of Broadcasters concluded that 10 per cent of Montrealers rely on OTA signals as their sole means of receiving television programming, the second-highest percentage of urban areas in the country behind Windsor, Ont.

Quebec has the highest percentage of OTA reception in the country. A 2006 report for the CRTC bluntly titled How Many Canadians Subscribe to Cable TV or Satellite TV found 9.7 per cent of Canadians relied on OTA reception in spring 2006, which varied from a low of 3.2 per cent in Newfoundland to a high of 14.3 per cent in Quebec.

Digital television offers clearer reception, great sound and frees up space on the spectrum that governments sell to highest bidder, usually wireless providers.

Over-the-air television has always been the foundation of the Canadian system, which ensures no citizen is excluded. Soon all of Montreal, not just cable and satellite subscribers, will be able to receive high-quality high-definition signals from the national public broadcaster with no monthly cable or satellite fee.

The real question is: Why did Montreal have to wait so long?

Source: Montreal Gazette

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Headline, Industry News

Montreal a late arrival to over-the-air digital television

MONTREAL – A seemingly mundane technical announcement has great implications for the way Montrealers watch television.

CBC/Radio Canada is updating its 50-year-old transmission antenna at the top of Mount Royal, and television in Montreal may never be the same.

After a one-year delay, the work on the Mount Royal antenna is scheduled for June through August and when complete, Montrealers with digital-ready televisions will benefit from something other major Canadian urban centres have experienced for a while now: free over-the-air (OTA) high-definition television. And not just any HD, but a quality of image that surpasses that offered on cable or satellite.

That’s right: You do not necessarily need cable or satellite to enjoy the clarity and sound of high definition, provided you have an HD-compatible television. A standard rabbit-ear antenna can still work, though electronic stores will try to sell you on the virtues of more expensive models. There are also standard definition digital signals, but the plan for Canada is to emphasize HD.

There has been some HD available from the CBC/Radio-Canada for more than a year, but the low-power (500 watts) transmitter is at the CBC building, and cannot reach the vast majority of Montreal homes, especially on the other side of the mountain.

While much of urban Canada enjoyed the 2010 NHL playoffs and World Cup of Soccer in free OTA HD glory, Montreal homes made do with analog or had to subscribe to cable or satellite services.

All of Canada’s analog television signals are scheduled to be converted to digital by August 31, 2011, though many broadcasters believe this target is ambitious. The other Montreal English broadcasters, CTV and Global, have not announced any intention to transmit in HD before the analog shut-off deadline. As a point of comparison, CTV has been offering signals in HD in Vancouver since 2005 and in Calgary since 2006.

In Montreal, only Télé-Québec and V have been widely accessible for high-definition OTA reception, with a few possibilities from Vermont and New York after the U.S. went fully digital in 2009. Other urban centres in Canada are far more antenna-friendly. In the Greater Toronto Area, there are now more than 20 HD OTA channels accessible from southern Ontario and Upper New York State.

It’s unfortunate Montreal is so poorly served, because there is certainly an audience here. Montreal leads the way in Canadian rabbit-ear reception. A 2007 study prepared for the Canadian Association of Broadcasters concluded that 10 per cent of Montrealers rely on OTA signals as their sole means of receiving television programming, the second-highest percentage of urban areas in the country behind Windsor, Ont.

Quebec has the highest percentage of OTA reception in the country. A 2006 report for the CRTC bluntly titled How Many Canadians Subscribe to Cable TV or Satellite TV found 9.7 per cent of Canadians relied on OTA reception in spring 2006, which varied from a low of 3.2 per cent in Newfoundland to a high of 14.3 per cent in Quebec.

Digital television offers clearer reception, great sound and frees up space on the spectrum that governments sell to highest bidder, usually wireless providers.

Over-the-air television has always been the foundation of the Canadian system, which ensures no citizen is excluded. Soon all of Montreal, not just cable and satellite subscribers, will be able to receive high-quality high-definition signals from the national public broadcaster with no monthly cable or satellite fee.

The real question is: Why did Montreal have to wait so long?

Source: Montreal Gazette

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

Montreal a late arrival to over-the-air digital television

MONTREAL – A seemingly mundane technical announcement has great implications for the way Montrealers watch television.

CBC/Radio Canada is updating its 50-year-old transmission antenna at the top of Mount Royal, and television in Montreal may never be the same.

After a one-year delay, the work on the Mount Royal antenna is scheduled for June through August and when complete, Montrealers with digital-ready televisions will benefit from something other major Canadian urban centres have experienced for a while now: free over-the-air (OTA) high-definition television. And not just any HD, but a quality of image that surpasses that offered on cable or satellite.

That’s right: You do not necessarily need cable or satellite to enjoy the clarity and sound of high definition, provided you have an HD-compatible television. A standard rabbit-ear antenna can still work, though electronic stores will try to sell you on the virtues of more expensive models. There are also standard definition digital signals, but the plan for Canada is to emphasize HD.

There has been some HD available from the CBC/Radio-Canada for more than a year, but the low-power (500 watts) transmitter is at the CBC building, and cannot reach the vast majority of Montreal homes, especially on the other side of the mountain.

While much of urban Canada enjoyed the 2010 NHL playoffs and World Cup of Soccer in free OTA HD glory, Montreal homes made do with analog or had to subscribe to cable or satellite services.

All of Canada’s analog television signals are scheduled to be converted to digital by August 31, 2011, though many broadcasters believe this target is ambitious. The other Montreal English broadcasters, CTV and Global, have not announced any intention to transmit in HD before the analog shut-off deadline. As a point of comparison, CTV has been offering signals in HD in Vancouver since 2005 and in Calgary since 2006.

In Montreal, only Télé-Québec and V have been widely accessible for high-definition OTA reception, with a few possibilities from Vermont and New York after the U.S. went fully digital in 2009. Other urban centres in Canada are far more antenna-friendly. In the Greater Toronto Area, there are now more than 20 HD OTA channels accessible from southern Ontario and Upper New York State.

It’s unfortunate Montreal is so poorly served, because there is certainly an audience here. Montreal leads the way in Canadian rabbit-ear reception. A 2007 study prepared for the Canadian Association of Broadcasters concluded that 10 per cent of Montrealers rely on OTA signals as their sole means of receiving television programming, the second-highest percentage of urban areas in the country behind Windsor, Ont.

Quebec has the highest percentage of OTA reception in the country. A 2006 report for the CRTC bluntly titled How Many Canadians Subscribe to Cable TV or Satellite TV found 9.7 per cent of Canadians relied on OTA reception in spring 2006, which varied from a low of 3.2 per cent in Newfoundland to a high of 14.3 per cent in Quebec.

Digital television offers clearer reception, great sound and frees up space on the spectrum that governments sell to highest bidder, usually wireless providers.

Over-the-air television has always been the foundation of the Canadian system, which ensures no citizen is excluded. Soon all of Montreal, not just cable and satellite subscribers, will be able to receive high-quality high-definition signals from the national public broadcaster with no monthly cable or satellite fee.

The real question is: Why did Montreal have to wait so long?

Source: Montreal Gazette

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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