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Have an analog TV and a clear view to the CN Tower... what are my options?
This thread has 21 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Thursday June 25, 2009 at 16:57
Frith
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Hello,
I don't watch enough television to justify subscribing to any pay services. In fact at the moment I stream or download and that's about it.
A friend of mine is giving me his old sony tube tv (has s-video and rca inputs). The cn tower is perfectly visible from my house in the back window where the tv will be. What are my options?
Are there over the air digital recievers that output an analog signal (s-video)? How much are they and where are they sold? What sort of antenna should I get?

Thanks!
Post 2 made on Thursday June 25, 2009 at 22:30
NFASTRO
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At this point in time, all you need is a good set of rabbit ears or any indoor antenna to get all of the Toronto stations. You dont need a digital converter since all Canadian stations are broadcasting analog signals until 2011. Only US stations have already gone digital. So for the time being, just hook up any antenna to your tube tv and enjoy analog for a couple of more years.

When 2011 comes along, I am sure there will be deals on digital converter boxes or maybe by then you will have an HDTV with built in digital tuner. Then you can enjoy free OTA HD like the rest of us.
Post 3 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 07:40
NFASTRO
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As I re-read your post, maybe you may actially want to receive digital signals over the air and convert them to analog. The only advantage is that you will get a better picture (Not HD) with no snow and ghosts and a shot at getting Buffalo stations with a better antenna. The disadvantage is that you wont pick up the odd Toronto station that does not yet broadcast in analog (TVO for example).

These converter boxes are available on ebay (try Sabbashop here inToronto which is an ebay seller and has a couple of boxes for auction as we speak). They were giving these out for free in the US when the digital transition took place.
Post 4 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 07:48
NFASTRO
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Quick update. I am not an expert on the digital converter box, however I just read that they have an analog pass thru feature. This means you can actually receive both analog and digital signals at the same time so you will be able to receive TVO after all.
Post 5 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 13:28
OTAHD
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Yes, all that means is it works like a VCR - when the box is off, it allows the signal to pass through.

Doesn't matter if you're using Svideo or RCA to attach the converter though - you can just split the antenna and run it to the TV's tuner and the converter box.

As mentioned though, if you're only looking for TO stations from the CN tower, analog will be fine.
LET'S GO BUFFALO!!!
Post 6 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 18:16
hd fan
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It is my understanding that not all of the Digital Converter Boxes have the Analog passthrough feature but as usual I could be wrong. In such case do as OTAHD said and split it if no passthrough capabalities on the converter box. They are usually around 50 , 60 cad the less expensive ones. FTA Satellite stuff stores usually sell them too. You can use any antenna , even the ones that our grandfathers used (not the russian version that my cuban grandfather used as it only did VHF no UHF at all, lol). Dont bite into the HD or Digital Antenna marketing lingo (for a lack of a better word) since the antenna does not care if the signal is Digital or Analog.
Post 7 made on Saturday June 27, 2009 at 00:38
el gran chico
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You are correct hd fan. Several Digital Converter Boxes have no analog pass-thru. Using a good quality splitter is an easy solution. Most DON'T have s-video (not sure why not). The CM 7000 is one I know that does. Check the wikipedia "comparison of CECB converters" for which has which.

[QUOTE]analog will be fine[/quote] I tend to disagree. I see analog as a last resort. I set my in-laws up on digital and they very much care only for the content not the PQ and they refuse to watch anything analog except TVO since there's no choice.

If you are even the slightest bit handy, you may want to try building a Gray-Hoverman antenna - they work great! Of course, this will only work if have a good place to put it since it's 3 feet high, 2 feet wide, and 6 inches deep.

Keep checking ebay and craigslist - over time, lots of people may be moving up to HDTVs and might be selling their converters. Perhaps start on analog until you get a great deal. I bought one for about $30 Cdn (incl. delivery) about a year ago.

Good luck!
Post 8 made on Saturday June 27, 2009 at 13:33
Anthony
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Honestly, if I where you and all I wanted where Canadian stations (US stations won't be broadcast from the CN tower), then I would not bother with a converter and would use the money on a better antenna. There is little to no advantage with digital over analogue on an old tube TV.
...
Post 9 made on Saturday June 27, 2009 at 17:57
hd fan
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On June 27, 2009 at 13:33, Anthony said...
There is little to no advantage with digital over analogue on an old tube TV.

This is a false statement. In other words , if you prefer , totally inaccurate.

On the contrary there is lots of advantage with watching Digital vs Analogue.

1 PQ is not as dependant on reception levels therefore stays constant over time.

2 Audio Quality is also better and constant.

3 Potential Access to more TV channels due to multicasting on the same 6 Mhz bandwith.

4 Better rejection of interference , including even co-channel interference.

As a result Known Analog problems such as Ghost, "Snow", Color Distortion, Audio noise, Two Pictures from 2 Different Stations and others are from now on are just a thing from the past.

For more info and to watch real life scenarios, examples and tests , point a Ku Dish based FTA Satellite System to: Galaxy 19, formerly called Galaxy 25 and IA-5 (Telstar 5) at 97° west longitude.

The receiver parameters for the program (named PIT on the EPG) is as follows:

· The downlink frequency is 11778.700 MHz, Horizontal

· The symbol rate should be set to 3.978723.

· The FEC rate (Forward Error Correction rate) is 3/4.

Digital is not perfect but performs way better and is more robust than analog.

Unless impossible like with TVO for now, it would be better to watch a digital signal than an Analog one even with an old TV. Well there are exceptions , like some low Symbol Rate TV stations via Satellite , but for the most part going Digital over Analog is the recommendation.

Anthony although it is true that the analog TV will only display a SD image and reproduce at most a stereo sound if the source is digital then the quality will be better than analog (in the large vast mayority of cases, just in case someone wants to watch the now defunct Master Control Analog feed from a major network like CBS and unfairly compare it with a low SR CBS Affiliate Satellite downlink).

El gran chico , I am always right , lol, or at least try my best to be right, lol. I had not noticed that most did not have S-Video output though and that is funny. I guess they just wanted to save some money huh?.
Post 10 made on Sunday June 28, 2009 at 19:09
kooguy
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On June 25, 2009 at 16:57, Frith said...
Hello,
I don't watch enough television to justify subscribing to any pay services. In fact at the moment I stream or download and that's about it.
A friend of mine is giving me his old sony tube tv (has s-video and rca inputs). The cn tower is perfectly visible from my house in the back window where the tv will be. What are my options?
Are there over the air digital recievers that output an analog signal (s-video)? How much are they and where are they sold? What sort of antenna should I get?

Thanks!

Tube TV last a long time...I just picked up an RCA DT800 (at Walmart), connect to my Sony TV and a CM4221HD antenna. Very clear receptions (like DVD quality), the tube TV is a keeper!

If you have LOS to CN Tower, even an indoor antenna will give you good reception.
Post 11 made on Monday June 29, 2009 at 19:37
ott09
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I bought an convertor box from ebay for my daughter in Toronto at Front Street last year.

Wiith an amplified rabbit ear we are able to pick up about 20 digital stations including those across the lake.

That convertor does not have an anlog bypass, at first I left her a switch in case she wants her analog channels back. However I took the switch off the next visit since I didn't see her switching back once we tasted digital channels.

We only have 6 DTV OTA in Ottawa without using an outdoor antenna, but you may get a lot more in Toronto.
Post 12 made on Monday June 29, 2009 at 23:35
Anthony
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On the contrary there is lots of advantage with watching Digital vs Analogue.

but for everything you said there is also the opposite. GOOD analogue reception is better then So-So analogue/digital reception

1 PQ is not as dependant on reception levels therefore stays constant over time.

yes it is, with out good reception you will have macroblocking, black boxes, jerky images (freezing).. all isues you don’t get with Analogue.

2 Audio Quality is also better and constant.

no it is not, with good reception it is good in both, with bad reception analogue will always have audio while digital will cut out

3 Potential Access to more TV channels due to multicasting on the same 6 Mhz bandwith.

true, then agin the US stations I have all have multicasting, but none of them have anything interesting on anything but the main channel, I don't know about Toronto but the few Canadian stations that do have digital here (around 1/2) none of them use multicasting.

4 Better rejection of interference , including even co-channel interference.

yes, but like I said before if he is only interested in Canadian channels from the CN tower (which was what he asked about) then there should not be interference like that.


Anthony although it is true that the analog TV will only display a SD image and reproduce at most a stereo sound if the source is digital then the quality will be better than analog

agree, but that is all else being equal, unfortunetly the guy is not back, but his OP was that he does not watch much TV and so not interested in spending much which I read as bare minimum. It was not a slight against digital. Just that good reception would be most important in his case.

I don’t know abot Toronto but here many stations don't have digital counterparts yet. SRC (F), CBC (E), tQ(F), TQS(F) have digital (that show the same as the analogue) while CTV (E),ATV(F),Global(E), Savoir(F), CH(E) are only analogue. And for the ones that do have digital the signal strength is much weaker then the analogue, and so more troublesome.

To put it differently if the guy, for example, has 100$ to spend on this project then spending 20$ on the antenna (which does not buy much) and 80$ for a converter amd not getting any station well is not as wise as spending 60$ or 80$ or 100$ on an antenna and waiting for digital. Canada is going digital in August 2011, that is more then 2 years away, by that point he might have a better TV with an ATSC tuner, Canada (like the US) might have coupons to cut the price of converters in half….
...
Post 13 made on Tuesday June 30, 2009 at 01:52
Daniel Tonks
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Toronto is pretty much all digital right now for the big networks, except for TVO and CKVR in Barrie. There are other "moderate sized" local affiliate channels around still in analog, but I'm talking major stuff that would be must-carry on GTA cable TV.

Although to be fair I'm probably missing some French channels besides for SRC.
Post 14 made on Tuesday June 30, 2009 at 12:34
hd fan
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I am facing the same problem that the OP has with a Cuban family friend of mine , they can not afford to subscribe to pay services and the also have a single CRT TV. So Anthony you are telling me advice them to watch Analog Canadian Stations from CN Tower only with an indoor antenna?.

Lets assume there is no multipath at all, lets assume there is clean LOS , and lets assume the analog reception is 100% then they would get all 8 major Canadian Networks in the area (including E! from Hamilton) , all in analog. Fine , no problem , you get a picture and sound untill 2 years from now that you will loose everything. Only investment a cheap indoor antenna. Total 20 cad only probably.

There is a problem; big problem, that scenario in real life does not exist for most people although the OP says he/she has a perfect "view" of the CN tower so that could be different.

The reality for most people is that you need an outdoor antenna not necessarilly located outdoor , could be in the Attic. And that one will cost you from 30 to 50 cad for a good antenna that covers up to 45 miles. That one will also get you good 100% reception of Analog.

But there is a problem now, you already spent 30 to 50 cad and now have an outdoor antenna that could potentially give you extra digital channels from Buffalo. Yes, those extra channels have different programming and for some people like me better, like PBS, Universal Sports and RTN Subchannels. Guess what? by going digital and the converter box route you also get, at least, the EPG embedded in the PSIP info that the US broadcasters transmit. A service that analog does not have (it does but requires the tv to have the TV guide feature).

So in other words I am advicing the OP to invest 100 cad total , half in the antenna half in the conv box rather than just 20 on an indoor and hope for the best on analog or 50 cad and be happy with analog canadian stations that most of the time just repeat US content.

but at the end of the day , life is about choices right? , so we give as much info to the OP and it is him/her to decide what is best.
Post 15 made on Tuesday June 30, 2009 at 12:52
hd fan
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On June 29, 2009 at 23:35, Anthony said...
but for everything you said there is also the opposite. GOOD analogue reception is better then So-So analogue/digital reception

yes it is, with out good reception you will have macroblocking, black boxes, jerky images (freezing).. all isues you don’t get with Analogue.

This reply alone goes a long way to show that you have no idea about the world of Telecommunications let alone the nature of the Digital TV signals. I just personally and more importantly professionaly hope that you actually have no background at all on this profession and more important that you have no affiliation with any professional or trade organizations of any kind related to the world of Telecommunications in NA.

It would be an insult for a Cuban Telecomm Eng like me, to even consider applying for a membership of such organizations should they also happen to have members like you. If so, please name them , so I do not even waste my time and ink filling out the application forms.

Without anything further to add,

Regretfully Yours,

Juan Jose Fernandez Suarez
Telecomm Eng , since 1996, at least in Cuba, I can claim that.
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