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  1. #1
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    Analog cable question

    A question to throw out there to everyone: So I've noticed that a couple cable companies like Rogers and Shaw have placed a number of likely low rated channels like TVA, SRC, CPAC, Legislature channels, etc, in the 100 range on analog cable. So, my question is, does this some how free up bandwidth in any way and if not, why are cable companies doing this? Because, if it doesn't free up bandwidth, what is the point of doing it?

    Anybody have a clue as to why they are doing this?

  2. #2
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    If I check Rogers lineup for Toronto and Ottawa from their website, channels 95-96-97 are used for channels they don't like or want but are forced to distribute. Those positions are, in frequency order, placed between channel 6 and 14 which would otherwise be used for analog FM reception. Due to the strong power of FM signals, they are not recommended for digital cable distribution unless the network is shielded and RG-6 or RG-11 cable is being used into the customer's home. So I guess these positions does serve a purpose that would otherwise be wasted.

    Still, canadian specialty categories have changed since september 1st, meaning that a good portion of specialties in analog mode are no longer required to be distributed that way. Expect cable companies to gradually remove analog specialties to free up bandwidth.
    We had a good run: 2006 to 2020. Thanks for the informations and debates.

  3. #3
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    Not sure I know what you mean. Rogers in Toronto has BBC Kids, NBA TV Canada, and Leafs TV on channels 95, 96, and 97. All are cat 2 channels not required to carry and they are on the digital dial.

    On channels 101 - 105 on Rogers in Toronto, they have TVA, RDI, TV5, CPAC, and Ontario Legislature Channel. All of these channels are on the analog dial (digital as well of course). These channels were moved a couple years ago to this location from I believe somewhere in the 60s range. What I'm getting at here is why would they move these channels above the 100 placement on analog cable? Because unless it frees up bandwidth or there's some other technical reason, why do it because it just seems as though it makes it more difficult for consumers. For example, I'm sure many people out there, if they don't have digital, they never go up that far or even know that they could go up that far and I think for some of the older TVs at least, it's kind of a hassle to get up in the 100s, it's not just like you click the 'channel up' button and it moves from 99 to 100, some of the older TVs, you have to click the "100+" button and then hit "0 + 1" to get to channel 101, etc. So, from my POV, it's a hassle for consumers, if you're a consumer that doesn't know about this it makes it seem as though you're kinda getting fewer channels, and this may even hurt the channels because it's possible fewer people will tune in because they may not know about it. So, it's kinda odd why the BDUs do it.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal
    Due to the strong power of FM signals, they are not recommended for digital cable distribution unless the network is shielded and RG-6 or RG-11 cable is being used into the customer's home. So I guess these positions does serve a purpose that would otherwise be wasted.
    They are still being used by Cable FM for some carriers. Shielding may be a problem for using the spectrum on the FM band, but with digital it's all or nothing. There really shouldn't be a problem with the signals unless the customer splits their signals several times and somehow allowing interference to occur Channel 97 has been reallocated for other purposes on Shaw (formerly allocated to FM), so it is possible to use the FM band. I have more problems with the Shaw's FM channels leaking onto CHEK than with the actual OTA FM band.

    Quote Originally Posted by musimax View Post
    Not sure I know what you mean. Rogers in Toronto has BBC Kids, NBA TV Canada, and Leafs TV on channels 95, 96, and 97. All are cat 2 channels not required to carry and they are on the digital dial.
    Those are just the virtual channels that Rogers has assigned. Think of DTV, where the PSIP remaps a channel broadcasting on physical channel 20 to 2.1. The viewer won't really notice much of a difference and the physical channel are hidden. I doubt that channels 95, 96 or 97 are actually being used by Rogers.

    In a 500+ channel world, channel numbers mean diddlysquat. A channel in analog takes up bandwidth, regardless of its channel number and is highly inefficient. 6 MHz of spectrum is used for one channel, whereas with QAM they could fit 20 SD channels or 3-5 HD channel into 6 MHz.

    Analog cable is being phased out in Canada. I'm not sure of what Rogers is doing, but Shaw is planning to keep only basic cable in analog, which will occur within the next 12 months. This allows Shaw to add more HD channels and increase their internet speeds to 250 Mbps. I would expect Rogers to remove the analog specialties, but I wouldn't be holding my breath on them increasing their internet speeds soon.
    Last edited by Emarsee; 09-14-2011 at 08:53 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emarsee View Post
    ... I would expect Rogers to remove the analog specialties, but I wouldn't be holding my breath on them increasing their internet speeds soon.
    Recently Rogers made some minor changes to their analog cable line-up in Toronto, but I haven't heard anything yet to indicate they will be greatly decreasing or eliminating analog cable any time soon.

    From what I can see, two French language channels, RDI and TV5, appear to have been removed from analog service along with the analog duplication of WNED PBS Buffalo that had existed since the SunTV OTA signal was shut off. Analog channels are now 2 through 59, with six on higher numbers. A few changed position, with several now confusingly having analog channel numbers different from their digital line-up position. PBS stayed on the analog Ch. 15 vacated by SunTV. Treehouse and CTV News were given a lower analog position (19 and 21), while two shopping channels (59,95), E! (70), Vision(96), APTN (129), and TVA (130) were moved to higher analog numbers. CPAC stayed at 97.
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 06-04-2012 at 12:12 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donovan's Monkey View Post
    Recently Rogers made some minor changes to their analog cable line-up in Toronto, but I haven't heard anything yet to indicate they will be greatly decreasing or eliminating analog cable any time soon.

    Its been stated in other forums that Rogers is in the process to remove analog from the cable system. Customers who only get Rogers cable via built-in tuner have been given letters telling them that analog channels will be slowly removed and they should get a free digital converter or a digital cable box.

    Unknown if Rogers is going to use QAM-256 to the fullest or its just going to look exactly like the analog service did
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  7. #7
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    I guess they aren't doing anything to notify people they know already have one or more digital boxes. But if they were sending out letters to warn people, it seems strange that they would make such a minor change as dropping only 2 analog channels when they probably could have dropped many more in one move.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donovan's Monkey View Post
    I guess they aren't doing anything to notify people they know already have one or more digital boxes. But if they were sending out letters to warn people, it seems strange that they would make such a minor change as dropping only 2 analog channels when they probably could have dropped many more in one move.
    But doing some digging it looks like Rogers is still skipping out on a pure QAM64/256 that new digital built-in tuners support.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  9. #9
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    Digital Converter means receiving more or less channels?

    My TV converter only goes up to channel 125 and Rogers moved APTN to channel 129. Rogers said they would provide a digital converter. Does anyone know if the digital converter will allow me to receive channel 129 (APTN) on my TV, since it only goes up to 125 currently?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avonregal View Post
    My TV converter only goes up to channel 125 and Rogers moved APTN to channel 129. Rogers said they would provide a digital converter. Does anyone know if the digital converter will allow me to receive channel 129 (APTN) on my TV, since it only goes up to 125 currently?
    If you have a high definition television set, tune in to CATV 129. Otherwise, you'll need the digital converter but you'll need to tune in to channel 70 or 295, as part of the digital basic service.

    But it's still a mystery why someone would really want to buy a piece of hardware just to get one useless channel such as APTN...
    We had a good run: 2006 to 2020. Thanks for the informations and debates.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avonregal View Post
    My TV converter only goes up to channel 125 and Rogers moved APTN to channel 129. Rogers said they would provide a digital converter. Does anyone know if the digital converter will allow me to receive channel 129 (APTN) on my TV, since it only goes up to 125 currently?

    The digital convert will just convert the encrypted digital signal back to analog for use in a TV with a built-in cable tuner. The lineup will be the same once you switch over.

    Although newer TV's have a standardized digital tuner since 2006, Rogers has opted to continue with a vendor-lock in system, the digital converter is just a stander digital box but without the on-screen guide or digital picture.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    Although newer TV's have a standardized digital tuner since 2006, Rogers has opted to continue with a vendor-lock in system, the digital converter is just a stander digital box but without the on-screen guide or digital picture.
    They are very bare bone. I'm surprised the BDU's didn't at least include the option to provide stuff like PPV as an additional revenue stream.

    For myself it's just another reason why cable has become more trouble than it's worth. At least with OTA I can use whatever hardware I want (or none aside from the internal tuner on the TV).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NakedGord View Post
    They are very bare bone. I'm surprised the BDU's didn't at least include the option to provide stuff like PPV as an additional revenue stream.
    I doubt it was a option BDU's had. The DTH50 box that Rogers wants analog customers to get only converters gives nothing but the basics. PPV and IPG menus require a operating system.

    It isn't really clear why Rogers and other cable co's are pushing for a digital converter instead of using digital built-in tuners to deliver basic cable services. However one theory is that cable co's collect viewer metrics from the cable boxes and are transmitted back to head office where they can sell (striped of personal data) to advertisers and other groups like BBM.



    Quote Originally Posted by NakedGord View Post
    For myself it's just another reason why cable has become more trouble than it's worth. At least with OTA I can use whatever hardware I want (or none aside from the internal tuner on the TV).
    Count yourself lucky. Not a lot of people can setup antennas to pick up stations, whereat they live too far away or in an apartment or condo that doesn't permit outdoor antennas.

    However OTA broadcasts are sooner or later going to end up like the Dodo bird, as mobile expands and digital radio (where its' DAB+ or IBOC) launches will require new spectrum and with only 2% viewers via OTA and frequencies that can pass through walls with no problems, they would no doubt push off TV stations.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  14. #14
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    In an interview from March, David Purdy of Rogers said that it is only analog Tier 3 channels that are now gradually being removed from Rogers analog cable service, while analog basic, Tier 1, and Tier 2 will remain available on analog cable "for the next several years". The article states that there are 13-16 channels on Tier 3, but I don't know which channels these are. Apparently Rogers has been informing their remaining analog-only customers that the number of analog channels will again soon be reduced by two, with BET and MTV(Cda) being eliminated starting on November 19 (although I'm not sure if this may differ by region). They call the DTA50 they are offering a Digital Adapter. It receives the digital cable signals, but it provides ONLY the channels that are/were available on analog cable, and puts them onto an analog Channel 3 or 4 coaxial cable output, with no other outputs such as A/V, S-Vid, etc. When was the last time televisions were manufactured with only a coaxial cable connection and no other input -- maybe 30 years ago?
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 01-13-2013 at 09:50 AM.

  15. #15
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    I no longer receive Peachtree (ch 47) anymore. I am wondering how long it will take Rogers to delete all of "Tier 3 channels" and what those "Tier 3 channels" are?

    Does anyone know when or which channels will be deleted next.

  16. #16
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    It's often different in some areas, but The Score was supposed to be dumped (it hasn't been) along with Peachtree. Not sure the reason for the delay (unless it's because of the recent transfer of ownership), but TCM (Turner) might be dumped in February.

    If I were making the changes, I would also dump AMC (55) in February, followed by Family (51) and OLN (58) in March.

    For April, I would dump Space (50) and BNN (57).

    For May, I would dump Comedy (44) and Teletoon (45) ... although if these are considered Tier 2 channels, Rogers won't dump them ... even though I would.

    For June, I would say goodbye to TVtropolis (54) ... even though it's partly owned by Rogers.

    I assume those changes to the analog lineup would be enough to satisfy any required bandwidth issues for the next 2 years ... if not, C'est la vie.
    Warning: I'm not playing with a full deck.

  17. #17
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    By the way, that cartt link from post #14 requires a membership, so here's the link that doesn't require one:

    http://www.cartt.ca/news/FullStory.cfm?NewsNo=13378

    EDIT: Nope, that link also doesn't work; you need to do a google search to read it.
    Warning: I'm not playing with a full deck.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avonregal View Post
    ... what those "Tier 3 channels" are?..
    Apparently it was the analog channels 43-58 that Rogers called MeTV in the 1990s.

    The ones left there now would be OLN 58, BNN 57, Food 56, AMC 55, TV-Tropolis 54, TheScore 53, Family 51, Space 50, TCM 48, HGTV 46, Teletoon 45, Comedy 44, and History 43.
    I'm going to take a wild guess that if Rogers has their purchase of TheScore approved as expected in the next few weeks, they would probably keep it available to as many viewers as possible (under its new Sportsnet name).
    Last edited by Donovan's Monkey; 01-31-2013 at 02:47 PM.

  19. #19
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    It looks like Teletoon (45) and TCM (48) have been removed from Rogers analog service in Toronto.

  20. #20
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    Yes, as well as Food Network (56). Time for a hunger strike.
    Warning: I'm not playing with a full deck.

 

 

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