A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Broadcast TV in Grey Bruce

You have all seen the bits on your screen saying that you MAY have to change your old tv for new or get a 'digital converter' if you want to continue to watch station that you receive via an antenna rather than satellite or cable. For many of us cable or satellite is not an option for reasons of cost or unavailability so we are left wondering if we will have to buy one of those converters or not. I have spent many hours trying to find out if the stations I receive here just south of Owen Sound are are going , a) to continue broadcasting from the local transmitters, b) Continue broadcasting in 'analog' format as they are now, or c) switch to broadcasting in digital format on a new channel.

In some cases that information is easy to find and the stations involved will readily give you that information when requested, in other cases they are no so forthcoming.

What follows is the result of my inquiries in this regard.

Channel 2 CTV 'Georgian Bay' transmitter north of Wiarton will continue broadcasting as is, no change.
Channel 8 CTV / CKNX 'Wingham” transmitter will continue broadcasting as is, no change.
Channel 12 TVO 'Owen Sound' transmitter from Keady will continue broadcasting as is, no change.
Channel 20 CBC 'Owen Sound' transmitter from Keady - unable to get definitive answer, presumed to continue broadcasting as is.
Channel 45 CBC “Wingham” transmitter - unable to get definitive answer, presumed to continue broadcasting as is (see below).
Channel 4 Global 'Owen Sound' transmitter from Keady – unable to get definitive answer despite multiple requests via internet, email AND phone, presumed to continue broadcasting as is but I start to wonder what they are hiding!

What follows is a little more information on some of the above...

An email inquiry to CTV resulted in a speedy and definitive response indicating that both channel 8 Wingham and channel 2 Georgian Bay would remain unchanged.

Conventional TV stations like TVO will be allowed to continue broadcasting in analog beyond August 31, 2011 in markets where we do not make the conversion to digital.
High-and Medium-Powered TVO transmitter sites that will continue broadcasting in analog include: Peterborough, Owen Sound, Sudbury, Kingston, Penetanguishene, Sault Ste. Marie, Hawkesbury, Huntsville, Timmins, Pembroke, Parry Sound, Kenora, McArthur Mills, and North Bay. TVO will also continue to transmit an analog signal via more than 100 Low Power Repeat Transmitters across the province.

"The Corporation will continue to offer analogue service beyond the August 31, 2011 shut-off date established by government in all markets not identified by the CRTC as mandatory for digital transmission."

There are some markets, such as London, which are mandatory for Digital Transmission, and CBC does not operate a station there (but does operate a transmitter). In these cases, CBC will shut down the analog rebroadcaster and not replace it with a digital rebroadcaster.

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which takes place on August 31, 2011,[13] CIII-DT-41 will move from channel 65 to its current analog channel number, 41, following transition, because of the phaseout of channels 52-69.

Global intends on transitioning its CIII-TV Paris and CIII-TV-6 Ottawa transmitters to digital by August 31, 2011. CIII-TV-7 Midland (serving Barrie) is also required to broadcast in digital by August 31, 2011 or cease broadcasting. Global has decided to transition Midland's transmitter after the deadline and by 2016. CIII-DT-41 Toronto will increase coverage area to serve the Barrie area between the transition deadline and when the Midland transmitter begins broadcasting in digital.

CIII-TV-55 Fort Erie is required to vacate its channel frequency as of August 31, 2011. Global has decided to shut down this transmitter. Coverage to the areas in Canada served by the Fort Erie transmitter will be provided by CIII-DT-41 Toronto.

Global plans on transitioning all of its transmitters to digital by 2016.

NOTE this is from wikipedia, neither Global or their owner Shaw has ANY information available regarding individual transmitter sites and both the web site and phone number supplied on air will not lead to further information.

There are many rural residents and cottage owners who receive broadcast TV in the Grey Bruce area and they should not replace their analog TV or purchase a digital converter on the assumption that their signal will be unavailable in analog as of august. For the most part it would seem that thing will remain as is for the next several years in this area, at this point in time the only questionable broadcast that MAY be changed or discontinued is Global as broadcast in analog format on channel 4.