The goal of Dude, Where’s My TV? is to provide Canadian citizens with a platform to voice their thoughts, findings, concerns and solutions related to Canada’s ongoing digital over-the-air (OTA) television transition. This blog was launched in May, 2010 as part of a directed research course supervised by Dr. Michael Murphy at Ryerson University.
I’ve taken to addressing my posts to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. James Moore was the first minister I wrote to since he was in charge of Canada’s digital television transition related to the 700 MHz band of spectrum. I’ve yet to hear back from any Heritage ministers. To be fair, it is possible that they don’t know this blog exists.
After August 31, 2011, analogue broadcasting in mandatory digital television markets ended (with a one year extension granted to CBC/Radio-Canada), as specified by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Canadian television viewers without cable, satellite, mobile or Internet access to their “TV” (for reasons related to cost, availability, or simply on principle) now have to rely on the availability of digital OTA TV signals to watch television.
Unfortunately, new digital OTA television signals do not match previous analogue OTA television signal footprints (the TV signals being sent out over the air by operational digital television transmitters are not strong enough to reach across Canada). As a result, some Canadians have been left without any OTA television since September 1, 2011.
Although broadcasters have been allowed by the CRTC to continue to broadcast in analogue (outside of the 700 MHz band) in non-mandatory digital television markets, it is unclear how long they will do so and when, if ever, all Canadians will be able to benefit from the digital transition.
PwC reported in 2009 that 9.9% of Canadian households relied on OTA signals to access their TV (over 3 million Canadians).
Steven James May