Canadian

Is Free Television Being Phased Out ?

Do you guys remember when we were first told that off air television broadcasts would go digital and that more people would be getting free television using antennas ?

Do you remember when we could watch television programs for free online legally through the Canadian network web sites ?

Well, if you want proof that the cable and satellite companies don’t want people to “cut the cord” you just have to look at the current status of television in Canada.

It started with Global Television in my area.

I had decided to stop paying $7 plus tax per month for extra outlets and although I was able to receive Global Television clearly for months, it has suddenly disappeared one summer.

Apparently the owner of the network decided to reduce the strength of the transmission so now an external antennae is required. But this was of course no problem because I was able to access television programs online via the network’s web site.

Then a few months back I noticed I was no longer receiving CTV, which had a strong signal until then.

I am located within 15 kilometers from the broadcasting tower for both stations so there was no reason for my loss of CTV as well. But like Global Television, CTV is also owned by a cable or satellite provider so I had assumed that they also reduced their off air broadcasting strength. And again I decided to stick to on demand and online broadcasts until I get an external antenna.

By then I had switched from Rogers Cable to Bell Fibe TV so I was mostly just watching television programs on demand for free, just like I has done with Rogers. But since Rogers had purchased the rights to the hockey broadcasts there appeared to be issues relating to what could be viewed by what subscribers online.

Now Canadians are being asked to login their cable or satellite provider accounts to view television programs on the major network sites. And the selection of programing is currently  limited to the networks owned by their provider.

Bravo.

Personally I think we should be able to get our local channels off air and online based on our IP address.

There should be enough advertisement revenue there for networks to profit on and cable and satellite providers could always give people access to specialty networks and  on demand programming.

We should be progressing off the problematic off air VHF frequencies and move stations to UHF like most American networks have.

Phase 3 of the “Let’s Talk TV” consultations at the CRTC will begin in April with the publication of details on the public hearing scheduled in September. And from the government’s response last Budget Day, it appears that our cable/satellite channels may get unbundled.

Hopefully this will not be more expensive for consumers, a concern we should all share because these companies have been hiking their rates excessively over the past few years.

The Friends of Canadian Broadcasting estimated in Oct 2013 that many of Canada’s cable companies had hiked their rates from 81% to 96% since 2002 ; Almost five times inflation. And Forbes believes the model is unsustainable so we’ve got to wonder what exactly we’re going to be subjected to as consumers.

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty had mentioned that “cable-TV companies have become like utilities because there are only so many providers that offer the service in a certain region” in an interview with the Wall Street Journal last October so perhaps the current government is considering regulating them. But I guess we’ll only know for sure after  the public hearings in September.

By the way, you can access information in regards to the previous phases of “Let’s Talk TV” on the official CRTC web site, which includes comments from the public.

Canadian Musician Guitar Contest

Thought you’d like to know that Canadian Musician magazine and Erikson Music are giving away a guitar package. Details can be found by clicking here.

This contest ends August 31, 2013.

Canada Post To Honor More Canadian Recording Artists

Canada Post will be issuing a series of postage stamps, prepaid post cards and limited edition frame prints dedicated to Canadian recording artists The Guess Who, Beau Dommage, Rush and The Tragically Hip on July 19th, 2013.

These collectibles are available for pre-order and previous collectibles for Bryan Adams, Edith Butler, Robert Charlebois, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Bruce Cockburn, Robbie Robertson, Ginette Reno, Paul Anka and Joni Mitchell remain available at their online store.

Empire Theaters Is No More

It looks like my local theaters will again change owners, within a year of it’s conversion from an AMC Theater to an Empire Theater.

Empire Theaters west of Ontario have been sold to Landmark Cinemas whilst the Atlantic Canada locations have been sold to Cineplex Inc. But in Ontario itself all but two Empire Theaters have been purchased by Landmark Cinemas, the Kanata and Whitby locations having been purchased by Cineplex Inc.

News For eBook and App users


Canadians can now pre-order the Kindle Fire HD Tablets and order Android Apps from Amazon.ca..

The standard Kindle Fire HD has a 7″ color display in 720p and comes either with 16GB or 32 GB. The Kindle Fire HD Tablet 8.9″ is also available in 16GB or 32 GB and has an 8.9″ display with a 1080p resolution. Both include Dolby stereo virtual surround sound, a front facing HD camera and unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content.

You will also notice that accessories are discounted on these pre-orders.

Gift Cards On Sale At Best Buy

Bestbuy Canada is selling a $60 iTunesicon gift card multi-pack for $55 at their stores, starting today.

The multi-card pack includes four $15 gift cards and this offer will be available until December 24th, 2012. But unfortunately these are not available to purchase online from Bestbuy Canada.

You can send gift cards from iTunesicon itself though.