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Old 2009-02-09, 10:00 PM   #331
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Quote:
Cable in Canada has a very long history going back to the 1950s and is somewhat different than most other countries.
Good synopsis of cabel in Canada, Wayne (except "second channel service' the predecessor to CTV, started in 1961.)

One analog related note, though -- although cable TV started in the early fifties in areas that couldn't get American channels well, in other areas it realy took off in the late sixties with the advent of colour TV in Canada (1966). For example, in Montreal, many people without cable were happy to use a single channel 3/5 market special yagi to get CBS and NBC from the states. (If they really wanted ABC, then they got cable, since only the cable company could get reliable reception of ABC from Mt Washington on channel 8 200 miles away, when there was a CBC (later CTV) station in Cornwall 60 miles away.) For local channels 2, 6, 10, 12 (CBC english and french, CFTM french and CTV), people would usually use rabbit ears. This was fine for black and white, but the ghosts in colour made the signal unwatchable. People were faced with the choice of adding a local antenna to their TV mast, or giving up and paying Cable TV or Redifussion (later NAtional Cablevision, and finally Videotron) for more channels. At only $4/month, it wasn't a big stretch.

Fast forward to 2009, and now, if you live on the GTA, you get almost all the American and Canadian networks (except Achannel and TVO) OTA in digital, with no image destoying ghosts.
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Old 2009-02-10, 09:49 AM   #332
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Ah, thanks for the run-down. Kind of makes more sense - it all started because the US had TV and Canadadians all wanted to piggyback off it - Fair enough.
I guess to do that, we islanders would have had to bring the signal in by ship from England or somewhere

Thanks folks
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Old 2009-02-11, 09:48 AM   #333
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Well, i can report that as of Feb 1, we have completely paid off our OTA investment with the money saved from not paying Cogeco 110$ per month. (We did keep their internet, which is the best in Ontario)

It took me a bit longer to hit this milestone than most folks because I purchased another AppleTV unit and a DTVPAL DVR to "replace" the various Cogeco boxes.

Now, we are SAVING 110.00 per month AND getting the cream of the crop of HD programming due to our location in Oakville.

There was some initial resistance at making the switch due to about 3 programs that my wife watched on specialty channels. But, she now brags about being "off the grid" (to borrow an electricity phrase) to everyone and has adjusted her viewing. These particular shows are available online - but she never watches them now anyway - it was mainly background noise when she had them on...

I will watch baseball online now via MLB.com (which I did last fall before the playoffs) - which was the only sacrifice for me.

So - I say - go for it. Feels good!

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Old 2009-02-11, 04:52 PM   #334
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I concur, my wife was very skeptical, but is now bragging to her friends about the free HD we get.
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Old 2009-02-13, 09:58 AM   #335
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Congratulations, tenstu. I hit the savings mark last summer, and my family and I couldn't be happier. We're OTA snobs, too, of course.

Just out of curiosity, what do you find most compelling about Cogeco's service? I used to be a customer of theirs in the 1990s and early 2000s back when transfer quotas were all but unheard of and traffic shaping wasn't even dreamed of, so I don't really know what their service is like these days. When I ditched my (Rogers) cable I also switched to TekSavvy for Internet (DSL) service, and I couldn't be happier---but then Rogers provided me with horrible service at inflated cost.
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Old 2009-02-13, 10:47 AM   #336
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Congratulations ot you too! Very good to know there are others...

The speed of the Cogeco internet got me actually. In an old section of Oakville, we get near the maximum of their "pro package" internet speed - nearly 15 megs doen and nearly 1 meg up.

Years ago, we gad bought a new house in a new housing development near Unionville (Markham). We had Rogers' pro equivalent and got nowhere near the advertised speed. Probably sharing with too many others - maybe in our new place we have less on our node.

Anyway, I knew I did NOT want DSL, as it can not compete with the raw theoretical speeds of Cable. I also did not want Expressvu - too much compression - and at the time - we had just left them at our first house due to very poor CS.

So - we are now 100% OTA for TV, and only kept the internet from Cogeco as it has been excellent as noted above, with almost zero downtime on 3 years.

Let the OTA snobbery continue!!!
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Old 2009-03-20, 09:22 PM   #337
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Default Is all this OTA stuff worth it

After reading all this stuff, I am seriously wondering if using an OTA antenna is worth the hassle. I currently use Bell HD, get perfect reception on approx. 25 HD channels for $10/mo. I also get their regular SD channels as part of my bundle. Looking at the hassles associated with setting up OTA reception and the hit/miss reception for areas like mine that have no clear 'over the lake' line of site, it probably would not be worth the time and effort to save $10/mo and get half the programming if I am lucky..any thoughts.
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Old 2009-03-20, 09:25 PM   #338
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Well, if you give us a little info on where you are, we can tell you how easy it'll be

Depending on what those 25 HD channels are, it's definitely worth it if you can change that $10/month to $0/month
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Old 2009-03-20, 11:01 PM   #339
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10$ a month for HD sat.- that's a great deal! I thought it was at least $50/month.
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Old 2009-03-21, 02:50 AM   #340
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie876
I currently use Bell HD, get perfect reception on approx. 25 HD channels for $10/mo
Well, there's no accounting for taste. If he's happy with all that compressed HD signal, all the channels he'll never watch, and he doesn't want to tell us where he lives so that we can offer him realistic OTA advice that would burst his bubbles of doubt, then I say let bygones be bygones.

Last edited by stampeder; 2009-03-22 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Please read Post #343
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Old 2009-03-21, 07:27 AM   #341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stampeder View Post
we can offer him realistic OTA advice
I'm as big a proponent of OTA as anybody and certainly don't want to start a flame war, but I'd like to point out that all the time and expense I've put into setting up my OTA gear has saved me around the $10 per month as stated by charlie876.

Until I can find some other legal method of getting Animal Planet, Discovery, etc for the wife, not to mention TSN, Sportsnet etc for me, it is unthinkable to give up Bell.

I don't know what would be a worse scenario for my wife, Animal Planet going off the air or the local mall closing
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Old 2009-03-22, 12:10 PM   #342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie876 View Post
I currently use Bell HD, get perfect reception on approx. 25 HD channels for $10/mo.
I'm a Bell TV customer as well. You can't get just HD from Bell without SD. The $10/month that charlie876 is talking about is only for the HD theme package that must be added on to the required basic SD TV package (minimum $23/month.) And a lot of the most popular HD chanels (e.g. sports) in that $10 HD package are NOT included if you don't also get the matching SD channel, which usually involves getting other SD theme packages, which of course adds to the bill. It's all explained (and complained) about in detail in the Bell TV threads in this forum

Last edited by stampeder; 2009-03-22 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Fixed quote
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Old 2009-03-22, 12:40 PM   #343
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This is a long thread that covers the arguments for and against OTA versus satellite or cable for one's TV channel requirements. Indeed, in Post #1 of the OTA FAQ I said this years ago and have always tried to follow it:
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTA FAQ
11. Aren't satellite and cable TV better than OTA TV?
For specialty channels and pay-per-view movies and events, satellite (DBS) or cable (CATV) are needed because such channels as TSN and Discovery HD are not broadcast OTA. However, if you want regular, local programming, OTA is free of charge! Also, in case you are planning a move to another city, CATV set top boxes from one cable company almost always do not work with the systems of other cable companies, while DBS can be moved anywhere and OTA gear works fine as long as stations are available.
  • With a top quality OTA receiver and antenna gear, the improvement in picture and audio quality over CATV or DBS can be spectacular, especially in HDTV, as many DHCers attest. This is not conjecture; the improvement is readily visible and audible on good systems, especially when seen in split-screen mode.
  • Some consumers will want to have the best of both: keeping their DBS or CATV subscriptions and watching their favourite DTV programming OTA.
  • Some will find no reason to use OTA because the quality of their DTV is satisfactory.
  • Some will find that proper OTA reception, no matter how good their gear, is thwarted by densities of buildings in their metro/urban locale or sheer distance to their deep fringe location, and so will rely on DBS if they can aim a dish towards the correct satellite(s), or CATV
  • Some will find going 100% OTA to be the most worthwhile solution, while watching DVD-based first run movies and specials on rental from video stores.
  • Some CATV subscribers have had their FM radio service dropped by their providers. With an OTA VHF/FM antenna there are not only analogue FM radio stations available but also many HD Radio stations in border areas carrying digital audio that rivals CDs for quality.
If you have an ATSC tuner in your TV and live in a suitable area, what's the harm in hooking up an antenna and seeing OTA for yourself? Even so, suit yourself and respect the decisions of others. You can discuss these issues in the Pros & Cons of Going OTA thread.
I regret that in some irritation I replied to charlie876 in a fashion that breaks that call for respect of others' decisions, and I wish I hadn't.

cheers
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Old 2009-04-17, 04:48 PM   #344
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I've been lurking the OTA forums for the last few weeks hoping to learn enough to eliminate my cable bill.

The obstacles so far have been TSN, Discovery HD, NATG. Also, wife seems suspicious of the whole idea - imagining perhaps a long project that once completed may require someone to stand outside holding the antenna while one wants to watch TV.

I'd love to give up paying the monthly bill but seem to be stuck on those channels.

ps. Good recovery, Stampeder.
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Old 2009-04-17, 05:49 PM   #345
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Welcome to our area d2e8b8!

Yes, those are certainly obstacles with OTA. Adjustments in ones perception of what is NEEDED is required.

My wife had issues about losing HGTV and such, but we quickly found out that most episodes of her favourite shows on those channels are available for free online. (Discovery Channel Canada has LOTS OF FREE episodes available online as does NATG!!!!!) Other shows are available through our US or Canadian iTunes account on our AppleTV. (Discovery for example)

TSN and Sportsnet are lost - this is true. However, I personally only miss the Blue Jays, so bought a subscription to MLB.COM and spoof my IP to avoid the silly Canada -wide blackout imposed by the Jays on the broadcasts and get to watch them this way for all 162 games.

We have saved nearly 120.00 per month on our Cogeco subscription for a long time now. My wife now brags to her friends that we are "off the grid" and that we get the absolute BEST HD picture quality available for TV.

with some small adjustments in what we perceived to be "necessary" and the use of some alternative delivery methods, we are very, very happy with the minimal efforts and costs needed to put up our antennas.
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