Friday, September 10, 2010

Update on Winnipeg's Digital TV Future status

Here is pretty much the final likelyhood of how Winnipeg will look after the digital TV switchover in Canada in 2011.

Channel 40 - CKND/Global TV. It will be up by the end of the year. Probably late october or early December, as I doubt they like working on antennas as much when its icy and snowing. This is the only channel Winnipeg will have before 2011 in HDTV, so advertisers, make note, its probably a good idea to spend your money there rather than on another network.

Channel 7 - CTV. According to documents filed with the CRTC, they plan to switch over in August 2011 right on the cutover date. Thats commitment to the community. They have to be forced, and can't be bothered to do it until the last minute. But hey, you know who is worse?

Channel 27 - CBC - August 2012. CBC is LEGALLY REQUIRED to switch over to digital before August 2011, they are legally required to do this, and they have known for years, and I have e-mailed them asking them at least two years ago, and I know I'm not the only one, but lo and behold, they don't have the money to do it and can't do it until August 2012. Sure they found money for Toronto like 3 years ago, and Vancouver maybe 2 by now, but Winnipeg.. nope. Can't properly budget for anything, apparently.

Same with Channel 51, CBWFT. They won't be up and running because CBC doesn't think over the air television in HD is a necessity for anyone outside of Toronto or Vancouver. Despite the fact studies are showing, at least after the U.S transition, for the first time Cable TV subscribers are actually going down after almost a 30 year increase. People don't want to pay for a million channels they aren't watching. They want their local networks in HD and that's more than enough (anything else can be supplemented by DVD's and Internet TV. Now, theoretically CBC could save money and get BOTH CBWFT and the regular CBC up on one shared antenna until they can find money for both. they could fit two 720p quality signals up and I'd be happy enough and they'd meet the minimum requirements of the CRTC, but the CBC likes to play political games and wants to make itself irrelevant. They actually seem to want to stop broadcasting. Isn't that insane? In the USA, PBS was at the forefront. They saw the opportunity. In Britain, the BBC helped spur the technology. In Canada, the CBC is an anachronism that I suppose doesn't feel it needs to exist if the Liberal party isn't in power. Pathetic. But I've blogged about this before. The CBC clearly doesn't think of itself as Canada's public broadcaster.

I mean, look at it like this. Imagine if someone told you that the CBC was going to abandon FM radio. "You can still get it on Sirius satellite radio! and the Internet!" You'd think they were mad! But for TV, that's exactly what they're saying. That's exactly their perspective. Insane. But I digress.

If you have a really good antenna in Winnipeg and you're lucky, and its a nice day, you might be able to pick up Fox KNRR on channel 12. With regular bunny ears or non amplified cheap antenna, probably not. They still aren't broadcasting in HD, presumably if they ever do get their HD up and running they might boost their power a bit.

City TV owned by Rogers also plans to switch over to HD digital on August 2011 (staying on Channel 13). I currently can't pick up City TV with any quality, so I'm a bit saddened that they're not going to switch earlier as I can't be the only one unable to pick it up except as a snowy ghost channel. Oh well, guess I won't watch it then.

Channel 35, Joy TV, I have no idea, as they seem incapable of responding to emails. Perhaps it is their spam filter. Who knows. Technically they are required to switch over to digital by August 2011. I can actually pick up Joy TV the best of any signal in Winnipeg, and I don't really find myself the target of most of their programming, but still, I assume August 2011 like the rest.


A.S. in Elm Park said...

Thanks for the update. I've been scouring the web trying to find out if anyone is broadcasting ATSC in Winnipeg. It really pisses me off that CBC is not changing over until 2012; I bought a huge antenna and DVR so that I could record and watch HNIC in HD, now I have to wait 2 more seasons!!!

reedsolomon.matr1x at said...

Well if its any consolation, if you're a leafs fan it doesn't look like you're going to be missing any leaf Stanley Cup finals. And if you're not a leafs fan, then good for you.

Though as it stands, the CRTC has to approve their delay. You can make your voice heard by submitting mail to who seems to be the person to talk to regarding this whole nonsensical ordeal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. I get Global digital also with rabbit ears. I was surprised that KNRR has not switched. I am hoping someone who lives in far south of Manitoba to let us know if they get KNRR and at what channels.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I actually agreed on somthing today!! As soon as all of the Winnipeg stations are up and running in DTV HD, we are cancelling our satellite service. Most of what we watch is on the networks anyway and the rest is just not worth the $80.00 plus per month that we spend on satellite anyway. The picture quality is excellent as well. We get a 70% signal quality on Global in Stony Mountain with just a pair of amplified rabbit ears. Can't wait!!