CBC MDTV testing in Toronto

Credit: SJM

Dear Minister Moore,

Received a Twitter tip from @mvormittag this morning that CBLFT (French CBC TV in Toronto) was doing ATSC Mobile DTV testing, also known as ATSC Mobile DTV, ATSC M/H or just MDTV.

I scanned for signals on the RCA MDTV portable television borrowed from @catmiddleton when I got home this afternoon.

Sure enough, I was able to pull in one MDTV signal.

It wasn’t in French but it was a MDTV broadcast of the same episode of CBC TV’s “In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita” that was also airing on CBC’s Toronto DTV broadcast.

As you can see above, the station displayed as 5 -2 (25) CBC E. Please note that the time in the photo is one hour behind (I need to spring the internal clock forward).

The display did not show any Closed Captioning or multilingual audio.

Both H-264 and HE-AAC were both highlighted which is strange.

The picture signal was good but the audio had a variable clicking sound to it.

This is exciting news. I hope CBC keeps this sort of multiplexing up.

Now we just need MDTV devices in Canada.



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4 Responses to CBC MDTV testing in Toronto

  1. Hugues Cormier says:

    Aiming to encourage Canadian broadcasters to justify also using MDTV for distributing their programming (if there is a “listening” audience out there), I ordered from the U.S. (there’s nothing similar here in Canada) a small 7″ RCA Digital Pocket TV. I should get it in a couple of days.

    I am not expecting to pickup any Mobile DTV signals in Toronto yet (except for the experimental ones), but I know I will get all the ATSC-encoded High Definition and Digital TV channels — for FREE — that I have been getting successfully for the last couple of years with my bigger “static” TV set at home, hooked up to a “static” analog antennae in the attic (I am lucky to be able to point it directly at the CN Tower with very few obstructions in the way).

    The future is mobile, and mobile TV is the next step. Most cellular phones will soon have a Mobile DTV feature. Within the next couple of years, glass-free 3D phones and tablets will expand the way we watch TV and movies. That’s going to be really immersive and fun !

    Being on the go most of the day (cameraman for a TV station), I want to be able to catch some shows while I wait for an assignment or watch developing news stories that I am either missing or maybe involved with (just want to check what the friendly “competition” angle is). Occasionally, I may even be able to watch some of the stuff I shot. That’ll be cool ! All I need for now is a decent line of sight with a TV tower or its bounced signal off a building… When Mobile DTV comes to Canada, we’ll be less picky for a location and be able to move around a little.

    With all that on-the-air advertising, it is my true conviction that television should remain absolutely free for its intended audience. Please avoid giving away your hard-earned money to cable/satellite/Internet companies (unless you live in the middle of nowhere) and all these other money-hungry opportunists taking advantage of less technically knowledgeable people.

    Analog television has always been free. ATSC over-the-air is free. It should be the same for MDTV. Call or write to your MP and the C.R.T.C. and demand free Mobile Digital Television signals for all Canadians. It is our right !

    Hugues Cormier

    • Thanks for the detailed comment, Hugues! You mention that most cellular phones will soon have Mobile DTV. Does this apply to Canada? Have you heard of any manufacturers offering such phones here? I haven’t.

  2. Hugues Cormier says:

    Hey Steven,

    MDTV for phones is in the works with most phone companies around the world. I believe South Korea is doing some test markets over there. Here, Bell, Telus and Rogers have future plans but they hope to charge people for the “convenience”. That is why I’ll stick to my portable TV until enough people rally together and complain about the unecessary phone fees.

    Not receiving CBC (English) MDTV signal anymore here in Toronto. Maybe their test test period is expired. I’ll keep checking once in a while. The picture quality was not HD but it was clean and definitely watchable on a small screen. Rarely any hiccups, even when moving around downtown. Did not experience bad sound like you did.

    On the other hand, when parked on the streets in downtown Toronto, I am surprised to pickup most DTV stations (ATSC) with a fairly good signal. These include TVO, CBC, Radio Canada, Global, CFTO (CTV), OMNI1, OMNI2, CITY, and occasionally, near Lake Ontario, some US station like PBS, NBC and ABC, broadcasting from Buffalo, NY. And, of course, I get all these channels for free.

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