The new PBS kids channel came just in time. TVO has announced that it is closing down all its transmitting facilities in Ontario except in Toronto ( July 31, 2017). Apparently the CRTC will still allow them to be on basic cable throughout the province. Once again OTA users and rural viewers in Ontario are irrelevant. All that matters are the people of Toronto. If it was a private broadcaster this could be justified and would be their prerogative, however TVO uses tax resources from non-Toronto citizens also. Using tax resources for public broadcasting only receivable on charged private services (Cable and satellite) makes no sense.
All it does is drive the lucky ones living near a border station, to American broadcasting. As the CRTC tends to encourage local frequencies that masks remote US channels, perhaps some viewers in Ontario may be able to receive more content from the freed up stations (from the US). Unfortunately in the Ottawa area channel 24 is not used by anyone within 120 miles.
Official notice: http://tvo.org/article/about/tvo-decommissions-8-over-the-air-transmitters
The two local PBSs have added PBS Kids to their broadcast programs. One is 18.4 from Norwood. The other is 57.3 from Plattsburg. 57.3 had classic opera (really?) and 18-4 is a new substation. Both are 480i, but thats fine for the kids cartoons. Good for my 2 4-year olds. I have one TV on TVO (24-1) most of the time as they show kids stuff until 6pm most days. Not only that 18-4 is next to 24.1 on the dial. Now they have two cartoons to choose from at any time. No need for anything else (except Finnish kids videos).
Both 18-4 and 57.3 are easy to receive. 57.3 from the east, 18.4 from the south. 57.3 is up and running, 18-4 should be up shortly.
Meanwhile "our" CBC still has ZERO of it tax subsidized programs/stations on substations.Instead selling it to cable TV. Even more pitiful, the CBC is the only primary station that I have ever received that is not broadcasting in 1080p.
My script for OTACanada's Super Contours was removed this year as it used an older version of google map that was no longer supported. Super Contours is a widget I wrote that shows all the 36dbu service contours of local television stations that overlap your current position. It should indicate the minimum number of local television stations that you should be expected to receive with an indoor antenna and worst case a roof mounted one (excluding local obstructions).
I have revisited the code and now have my contour map KMLs working with the latest version of Google maps. The new widget can be run here:
In my investigation, I have also discovered that my super contours are not currently working in my IOS app as the FCC has recently changed the way individual station contour maps are accessed. I will do an update shortly to rectify this.
Recently due to my new tower setup, I am getting more and more fringe stations from Watertown. A bonus to this is the addition of 3 new substations.
I finally got around to cleaning up the wire panel in my basement of the house. It holds all the cables from the 4 antennas on my DMX tower. I should have taken a before picture as the wires were quite an impressive mess. In the picture below, the antennas that are top to bottom are in the cabinet from left to right. You can see the three HDhomerun units (one dual input white, 2 black mounted on wall), the 4 different preamp injectors and 4 quality splitters. Make sure any 2 way splitters you use are actually marked as 3.5db loss. I use pct/channel master splitters if possible. I also put the Winegard and the DB8e on a low loss A/B switch. DB8e for normal use, the Winegard for when the DX stations kick in at night.
I still need to tweak the DB8e position as it previously received WWNY 18.1/18.2 24/7 . It is occasionally off at the moment. I may line up both bays and point it between Plattsburg & South Colton, so it is 16 degrees off both. If that doesn't work I will simply aim it directly at South Colton. WCFE is not that important and regardless it is picked up by the 4 bay pointed at Plattsburgh. It will require another climb. Maybe next weekend.
edit: This is the advice from Antennas Direct themselves - "I would point between the two channels, then move the individual elements slowly away from each other widening the pick up path until they both come in."
The 4 antennas are working very well and picking up a lot of interesting stations. For a while I was getting WWTI (21-ABC) every night after 9PM. We'll see how regular it becomes.
Lots of tropospheric activity tonight. Getting bounces from everywhere. Since 11pm I have picked up 51+ stations, the furthest from Rochester at 308km. ION (56.1/15) is from Syracuse. Looking forward to getting tuners on all 4 antennas. I even briefly received (between scans) a test id from 35.2/28.2 MeTV, a station I hope to receive more regularly. The results in the image below are from my hourly reception scans.
EDIT: In the end it was 54 stations with the furthest being WTEN Albany at 331 km.
Realized my original design was really over the top and unnecessary. Really you can pick up CTV-13 with a coat hanger so I ditched my VHF antenna. In addition I omitted the unnecessary second rotor. I also shortened the top mast and put my strongest pipe in place of the previous long lightweight one. On the top mast I put two good antennas, the CYD-1430 at 46 ft, and the Winegard HD8800 at 43 ft. I then face mounted my regular day in day out use antenna (the DB8e) on the tower at about 37ft. One bay is aimed at Watertown, one bay at Plattsburg. This is about a 60 degree beam width. That antenna should not work as well as it does. Finally for fun, I put a four bay clone at 39ft. aimed between Montreal and Plattsburgh. Before raising, I tested all antennas and preamps. Interestingly even while lying on the ground it received most local stations.
Face mounting the DB8e on the DMX is very very easy and looks way cool. Note the DMX is a 40' tower on a one foot hinge addition and a 7ft mast (5'8"above tower peak). First night I am getting ABC and all the Watertown stations but it looks like a unusually good reception night. I will have to wait for some long term results. In the pictures you can see my old chimney mast still up.
46ft - CYD-1430 on a RCA TVPRAMP1R preamp pointed towards Watertown (on rotor)
43ft - Winegard HD8800 on a Kitztech KT-200 preamp pointed towards Watertown (on rotor)
39ft - 4 Bay Clone on a CPA-19 preamp pointed towards Mount Mansfield Vermont
37ft - DB8e on a Channel Master 7777 (dual input one) pointed towards Watertown and Plattsburg.
Configured the tower. Started winching it up and hit some leaves. Trimed the leaves and winched it up and hit some more. After triming again this time with my 36 foot ladder, I started it up again. Got up about 60 degrees hit some branches that were not going away. Was very late, so I lowered it down, and realized I needed some design changes!