Thursday July 14, 2011
With or Without You
The end of the analog era in Canada
n August 31 local television stations in Canadian cities with populations of more than 300,000 will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to digital (DTV).
This means that people watching TV on rabbit ears will have to find an alternative. Either buy a digital converter or they can subscribe to cable. Either way it's going to cost money.
One of the main reasons for the switch to DTV is the need for more "Spectrum", usually referred to as frequencies or airwaves. Spectrum is used for wireless telephone services and emergency communications.
Digital signals use less airwave space than analog signals. The freed up space will be used for other services that have a high demand for more space. DTV technology picture and sound quality is better.
Okay, I've got a secret — I don't have TV.
Well, no TV per se, but I do have CBC beaming loud and proud into my living room via rabbit ears. That TV is on about as much as the Canucks are in the playoffs. The last time I had cable I was a bona fide CNN junkie and OJ Simpson was in court.
Some of us remember Neil Armstrong's lunar landing, the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and the Lone Ranger on Saturday mornings. That was back when there was no alternative and dad had to climb on the roof and to move the antenna.
Admittedly over the years I've missed a lot of what might have been interesting and entertaining viewing. For instance, I've never sat through a Seinfeld. I do know all about the show and have seen parts of it on other people's sets over. "Release the hounds!". I can also say that I've never seen a Simpsons show and somehow missed the Iraq Invasion.
Imaginably, after the transition, there will come a time when I will yearn for CBC TV, but the all their news is available online. So go ahead and take your analog signal away. I'll still find out what's going on in the world, and it's going to be a long time until the Canucks are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs again anyway. The downside? Aliens won't be able to watch episodes of Glee.
For more information about DTV visit: www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/bdt14.htm
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