Friday, June 19, 2009

Why Canadians Should Care About DTV

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Last week's changeover to digital television broadcasting in the United States went off with very few problems. This at least negates some of the excuses that Canadian TV stations give for sticking to analog only with just two years before the Canadian deadline to shut down analog. The only TV stations in Canada that have begun broadcasting in Digital are those in southern Ontario and in BC with densely populated areas close enough to the border with access to American over the air DTV signals. For the rest of us in the rest of Canada are restricted to analog only, no access to DTV converter boxes and plenty of analog only TV's still on store shelves this is not a very good sign.

The Canadian broadcasting companies claim that it would be too expensive to buy and operate digital transmitter for the 9 percent of TV households that depend solely on over the air broadcast signals. They don't factor in the households where there is at least one TV set with an antenna because people don't like paying fees for extra outlets or renting additional set top boxes. What TV station operators need to realize is that the sub-channels that broadcasters can send out with DTV can be used as a source of revenue for broadcasters. Digital Television allows TV stations better reach viewers who currently receive such poor reception that they are cable or satellite subscribers because of poor over the air reception.

Canadians are known for hating their cable, satellite and the telephone providers, so any new competition will be very welcome, switching to DTV will free up radio frequencies to allow for wireless broadband and advanced services such as VOiP and IPTV using WiMax or other wireless technology. Digital television is bringing an exciting new world but most Canadians are being held back. Start calling your local TV stations to start asking about DTV they will need to start providing answers sooner or later.

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