Monday, August 9, 2010

Call To Delay Canadian DTV Transition

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The transition to digital over the air broadcasting similar to what happened in the United States in June 2009 set to happen on August 31 2011, just a little more than one year away.  While most Canadian viewers who use antennas to get TV signals haven't seen any difference yet, since only five of Canada's largest cities have digital TV signals available from broadcast stations. 

Already one of Canada's broadcast networks is already claiming that they can't switch all their stations by the deadline.  It's not the impoverished (yeah right) CTV or Global, it's network with big pockets of Canada's taxpayers funding it.  CBC has announced that they won't get all their transmitters changed over to send out digital signals.  CBC stations in Yellowknife, Regina, Winnipeg, Windsor, Saint John/Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax and St. John's will not be switched in time according to the CBC. 

The current regulation as set out by the CRTC is that Analog broadcasting will end after 11:59 PM. While the CBC is asking for a one year extension to keep CBC broadcasts operating while they make the change over.  Under the DTV transition regulations as they are today CBC broadcasts in those cities will cease on August 31, 2011 and will resume when Digital transmitters are in place. 

Since Canada's private networks are able to make the deadline although probably just barely in some markets there is no reason that the CBC with all their access to taxpayer money can't make the switch on time as well.  The CRTC should not give CBC any special treatment, giving the CBC an extension means that the private television broadcasters will want an extension as well.  That could potentially snowball into years and years of delay before some areas of Canada will be switched over to digital TV.

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