Television in Canada’s major cities will be going digital in less than 48 hours.

In the early hours of the morning on September 1st the vast majority of television networks in these cities will be converting their off the air signal, the television signal that people capture using an antenna, to digital.

If you’re subcribed to cable or satellite, you will not be required to do anything. These companies will likely convert the digital signal to analog for their customers that don’t use HDTV televisions. And those that are already subscribed to their HDTV services will not likely see any change in their services.

If you have a digital tuner equipped HDTV television and an antenna, you will need to rescan your channels to find the new digital channels and repositioned channels. And if you have an outdoor antenna you will probably have no problem watching the stations you already watch, unless you watch CBC and/or Radio-Canada because they have delayed their analog to digital transition for a year in some smaller markets.

Viewers that use indoor antennas will likely need to reposition their antenna and rescan to find the best signal.

Most VHF/UHF antennas will suffice in the major urban centers, including most of the older models. But many sub-urbanites will require attic or outdoor antenna installations to obtain the best signals.

Amplified antennas are another option but these should be able to capture both VHF and UHF signals ; Many antennas claiming to be “HDTV” may only capture UHF signals and some Canadian broadcasters will still be using the VHF band after the transition.

In regards to individuals who use analog televisions or HDTVs that are not equipped with a digital tuner, they will still be able to watch their local stations if they purchase a digital to analog converter box, which will be installed in-between their antenna and television. But as previously mentioned cable and satellite subscribers will not be required to do anything, even if they have analog televisions or HDTV televisions that are not equiped with digital tuners, because these digital signals will be converted into analog signals by their cable or satelite company.

Depending on your viewing preferences and physical location, you may be able to substitute your cable or satelite with digital television, with is usually clearer because it is uncompressed.

I’ve personally disconnected my extra outlets in my second floor bedrooms and replaced them with digital antennas, saving the associated fees and taxes. And i’ve had very good results placing these antennas near my windows.

Like many people in Ottawa, i’m having problems with Global and Omni 2 because of their weak signals. But i’m guessing they will eventually be conhearsed into better coverage.