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Terrestial Broadcast & Reception > Analog Conversions > Replies - Add Reply     Sort by newest posting on top
cdtv_admin@cdtv.ca 05/21/2005
11:32 AM
hcu9lke02@sneakemail.com wrote on 2021/05/20

Analog broadcasts stopping in 2006
In 2006 US broadcasters are forced to turn off the analog signal they are currently using and only transmit digitally. While Canadian broadcasters are not doing this (http://cdtv.ca/en/faq/index.htm#12) this affects me and my business greatly. Since the Canadian population consists of a ribbon that hugs the US border, I'm sure that I can't be the only Canadian that gets US broadcasts.

I currently use an off the air (OTA) antenna system. Due to Lake Ontario and other geography the vast majority of channels I can receive are US ones with only 2 Canadian stations. I don't care about HDTV (none of my TVs are capable of displaying it) and the OTA switch to digital will not only be inconvenient but extremely costly with no benefit to picture quality. I'm sure other people (especially in the US) must be in a similar situation and don't feel like spending $1500 on a new TV to gain something from the digital signal.

Even though it is an expense that gains them nothing, most people have the option (if they go to the US) to purchase a digital-to-analog set-top box (STB) so they can use their existing analog TV set for a few hundred dollars per TV. However I own a small motel with 25 TVs and I don't feel that is a viable option.

Even if the price of STBs drops to $200 Cdn with tax (which I haven't seen yet) that will be $5000 for no benefit over what I have now. Plus these STBs will be in rooms at a time when many people will want one but don't wish to pay for one. I expect a great deal of theft of these devices if I bought them.

The setup I have now consists of one antenna that distributes the signal via underground cable several hundred feet long to 3 separate buildings with boosters strategically placed along the way. Considering my guests are happy with the current TV reception and my monthly costs are $0, I really don't like any of my options now nor in 2006...

From my limited knowledge about digital signals the digital signal won't reach the rooms due to the signal-to-noise problem. So simply buying 25 STBs is both prohibitively expensive, and it is doubtful they will do anything if purchased. Commercial sources of signals from cable or satellite are not economically viable.

I like the status quo with an OTA signal. For me HDTV and a digital signal means lots of extra costs with absolutely no benefit to me or my guests. I can bite the bullet and buy extra hardware... but not per TV. And monthly rates that are charged per household quickly become insane when each TV becomes its own household. Please give me another option that isn't going to cost me an arm and leg... even if it costs only half a limb per month I'll be even worse off because then I'd be a torso in under a year. For example is it possible to convert all digital signals to analog at the tower so that each TV can use its existing tuner?

Comment from Admin.

First take a look at the Set-top Box section in the Terrestrial STB thread for some background on the Canadian and US situations.

I would comment that your last suggestion seems to be the most practical, put in some STB’s as converters to analog NTSC and modulators to put the signals on convenient channels on you house system. If you only want a few channels, this would be quite economical and preserve the NTSC 4 x 3 receivers until you need to swap them out for other reasons. When you have digital receivers in the rooms, then you can put the digital signals on the system as needed. OTA digital and analog channels use the same RF bandwidths.

3:03 AM
The questioner has more time to come up with a solution to his problem than he thinks.

The shut down of analogue TV transmitters in the USA will not start until 2007 at the earliest. Even then, US stations will not be allowed to turn off their analogue transmitters until at least 85 percent of households in their broadcast area that rely on OTA signals have ATSC digital tuners.

According to the National Association of Broadcasters President Eddie Fritts*, there are currently 73 million OTA receivers in the USA not connected to either cable or satellite systems. Also CEA members intend to sell millions of more analogue sets between now and the end of 2008.

Clearly it is going to take some time before the mandated 85 percent threshhold is reached.

Brian O'Leary
Pointe-Claire QC

* Letter dated May 12, 2021 from Eddie Fritts, President and CEO of NAB to House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton.

5:52 AM
I have read all the info on cdtv.ca including all the forums. I found a lot of info, but nothing that helped with this problem.

If I understand you correctly, I would buy a separate STB for each channel and put them all in the room where the signal is split. I would then get a device to put the output from all these separate STBs together but on a different channels so they aren't all trying to broadcast on channel 3. Is that correct?

If so, how much would this hardware setup cost for a dozen channels? Is there a STB that can tune all the channels it gets simultaneously rather than just one at a time? (The most I've seen is a STB able to do 2 at the same time.)

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