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Thread: Cord Cutters

  1. #1
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    Cord Cutters

    I have noticed online how popular cord cutting has become in both Canada and the USA . I personally cut the cord recently and use OTA antenna for locals in true HD . Your picture is compressed through cable boxes and not true HD . Also use Apple Tv and stream Netflix , NHL and WSJ Live as well as YOUTUBE all on my big screen plasma . I aslo used Majicjack Plus and got rid of my landline for 29.95 yr. :) You can save a lot of money by using alternative methods to get your entertainment online.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelnikel View Post
    I personally cut the cord recently and use OTA antenna for locals in true HD . Your picture is compressed through cable boxes and not true HD . .
    Not all cable providers do this, Shaw has made upgrades that don't compress HD signals.

    Source:

    http://www.globalnews.ca/major+netwo...293/story.html


    Customers of Shaw Communications are about to notice a big boost in service. The Shaw network is undergoing major upgrades and that’s made the launch of Shaw EXO possible.

    With EXO, subscribers will have access to improved HD television signals, a greater selection of on-demand titles in full 1080p high-definition, and internet speeds of up to 250 megabits per second.

    Shaw Cable subscribers will be the first to notice the changes: access to more than 1,200 HD on-demand movies as well as the top 20 shows on Global Television and other Canadian networks 24 hours after they air.

    Some content will also be available for streaming online, on-demand.

    Existing customers won’t have to do anything to get the improved service, as long as they are already receiving HD broadcasts by cable. Customers of Shaw Direct satellite will see the upgrades in about a year when a new satellite is launched capable of delivering the services.

    But TV is just the beginning. As EXO is an upgrade to Shaw’s entire network, new and existing customers will soon enjoy much faster internet connection speeds and the ability to get WiFi service across wider areas.

    “SHAW EXO is a promise that we will continue to innovate, lead and provide the latest in technology and entertainment offerings to customers,” said Peter Bissonnette, President, Shaw Communications Inc. “With Shaw EXO, the power of our network allows us to continue delivering the products and services that our customers are looking for.”

    The company notes that TV programs are also delivered at a higher bit rate, which means Shaw's signal is not compressed like it is with other cable providers. That translates into better picture quality for viewers.

    TV viewers will need to have a 1080p (full HD) capable television and connect via an HDMI cable in order to receive the full benefit of the improved signal. An HD-ready television is not enough.

    Shaw EXO On Demand is a new interface that provides access to the entire on-demand library for all Shaw EXO TV customers to stream select content online or on their televisions.

    Customers who have Shaw Gateway already have access to the full on-demand library on their televisions through the Gateway hardware. However, those who have HD or digital hardware, will be able to access the library online.

    Existing Shaw internet customers in select markets in western Canada will have access – at no extra charge – to Shaw EXO WiFi, that will allow them to connect to the internet in public locations such as malls, parks and public transportation areas. Shaw is planning to expand this limited trial to hundreds of new Shaw EXO WiFi locations over the next several months.

    The company plans to eventually expand WiFi service across the country.


    Read it on Global News: Global News | Major network upgrades boost service as Shaw EXO launches
    Last edited by TVViewer; 03-14-2012 at 01:07 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVViewer View Post
    Not all cable providers do this, Shaw has made upgrades that don't compress HD signals.

    Source:

    The company notes that TV programs are also delivered at a higher bit rate, which means Shaw's signal is not compressed like it is with other cable providers. That translates into better picture quality for viewers.

    http://www.globalnews.ca/major+netwo...293/story.html
    I'd be interested in knowing what this actually means. TVViewer's interpretation is technically wrong because their signals, like virtually all digital signals (including OTA), are compressed (usually MPEG-2 or 4).

    Rogers used to pass through broadcasters signals without recompressing them, but I don't think they do that anymore. Is that what Shaw means by "not compressed like it is with other cable providers"?

  4. #4
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    Thats what they are telling you!

    The cable companies will say and tell you anything right now to keep customers . They are losing customers daily due to their high prices and lack of customer choices . Don't be fooled by any of their press releases . OTA is definitely a better picture than they can ever offer and its free ! When I went to leave Rogers they offered me 50% off my cable and I declined . They will no longer control what I watch and when I watch it . I can get most of their content free and with Netflix and OTA locals I don't need them anymore. They also bumped up my internet service speed and bandwidth and gave 30% off or I was switching providers. So bargain and use your heads when dealing with multi-million dollar corporations .


    Quote Originally Posted by TVViewer View Post
    Not all cable providers do this, Shaw has made upgrades that don't compress HD signals.

    Source:

    http://www.globalnews.ca/major+netwo...293/story.html
    Last edited by steelnikel; 03-18-2012 at 05:30 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsFan View Post
    I'd be interested in knowing what this actually means. TVViewer's interpretation is technically wrong because their signals, like virtually all digital signals (including OTA), are compressed (usually MPEG-2 or 4).
    ATSC (OTA): The HD signals are compressed to MPEG-2. One or multiple feeds share up to 19.4 Mbit/s of data, encapsulated to 8VSB and sent to the transmitting antenna.
    Infos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATSC_standards

    Cable: A local HD signal can either come from the OTA signal or a fiber provided by the broadcaster. Rogers, Shaw, Vidéotron and Cogeco also use MPEG-2, add one or two other HD feeds which share up to 38.8 Mbit/s, encapsulate to QAM-256 and sent to the distribution network.

    In the case of Vidéotron, they have setup antennas down in LaColle, near the Canada/US border, which captures the OTA signals from Burlington (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and the two PBS), then takes the main signal as is (flushes the secondary feed), pair it with another US station and feeds it to QAM-256 to their customers. So when comparing bitrates, it's exactly the same.

    Locally, either they receive an uncompressed version (50 Mbit/s in 1080p) and they perform compression themselves, or either the broadcaster sends them an already compressed version. The cable provider can then choose to use the full 19.4 Mbps for a station, or fit 3 HD channels into one QAM, compressing each station to a maximum of 12.9 Mbit/s. I know Rogers compresses all specialties to 3 HD channels per QAM to save bandwidth. I dunno about local stations.

    Bhell satellite modifies every feed to 720p at a low bitrate to spare bandwidth but smooths the image so you won't notice compression artifacts.

    Bhell Fibe changes all MPEG-2 feeds to MPEG-4 compression, but they now compresses more so they can fit 3 HD feeds + 1 SD feed + 7 Mbps of internet data into one 25 Mbps line.

    Conclusion: not all service providers compress the hell out of all OTA stations. If/when Canadian OTA stations will start providing digital sub-channels, maybe the best bitrate will be found on cable... unless the cable provider compresses the hell out of it already?
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelnikel View Post
    I can get most of their content free and with Netflix and OTA locals
    Until Bell becomes powerful enough to buy three quarters of the CRTC board and has Netflix ejected out of the country under the disguise of "repatriating" Canadian viewers.


    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    ATSC (OTA): The HD signals are compressed to MPEG-2. One or multiple feeds share up to 19.4 Mbit/s of data, encapsulated to 8VSB and sent to the transmitting antenna.
    Infos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATSC_standards

    Cable: A local HD signal can either come from the OTA signal or a fiber provided by the broadcaster. Rogers, Shaw, Vidéotron and Cogeco also use MPEG-2, add one or two other HD feeds which share up to 38.8 Mbit/s, encapsulate to QAM-256 and sent to the distribution network.
    Most cable providers haven't starting using QAM-256 for cable transmissions; Rogers for example only uses it to transmit radio and music channels as well as on screen-graphics for its VOD services. Most cable providers are in long term contracts with equipment providers such as Cisco to use their encoding/decoding systems.

    Fun fact: Digital OTA transmits at ~37 Mbit/s but only leaves room for 19 Mbit/s for video,audio and PSIP, the rest is for error correction.

    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    In the case of Vidéotron, they have setup antennas down in LaColle, near the Canada/US border, which captures the OTA signals from Burlington (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and the two PBS), then takes the main signal as is (flushes the secondary feed), pair it with another US station and feeds it to QAM-256 to their customers. So when comparing bitrates, it's exactly the same.
    Cable and Satellite providers don't use OTA in the same manner to connect to stations as the end user who uses bunny ears to pick of channels via OTA. Most Cable ans Satellite providers pick up their channels via C-Band (aka The Big Ugly Dish) or fiber in metropolitan areas.


    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    Bell Fibe changes all MPEG-2 feeds to MPEG-4 compression, but they now compresses more so they can fit 3 HD feeds + 1 SD feed + 7 Mbps of internet data into one 25 Mbps line.
    This may explain why some people complain about the video quality being poor, when you up convert or down convert a lossy compressed file your prone to data loss, resulting in a poorer image.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    In the case of Vidéotron, they have setup antennas down in LaColle, near the Canada/US border, which captures the OTA signals from Burlington (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and the two PBS)
    Don't they use the Plattsburgh stations anymore?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    Most cable providers haven't starting using QAM-256 for cable transmissions;
    Huh? Vidéotron uses QAM-256 since their implementation in 1999. What does Rogers use then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    Cable and Satellite providers don't use OTA in the same manner to connect to stations as the end user who uses bunny ears to pick of channels via OTA. Most Cable ans Satellite providers pick up their channels via C-Band (aka The Big Ugly Dish) or fiber in metropolitan areas.
    I guess Rogers picks Buffalo station by fiber due to their proximity from the border, Shaw may also pick Detroit stations by fiber.

    But Bhell may take Boston US channels via satellite, Shaw take Seattle US channels via satellite, and I know for a fact that Burlington stations are picked OTA as we customers experienced reception problems whenever there was a transmission problem at the Mount Mansfield.

    Quote Originally Posted by SportsFan View Post
    Don't they use the Plattsburgh stations anymore?
    Burlington (Vermont) and Plattsburgh (NY state) is the same market. Just a river to cross. Actually, Fox-44, ABC-22, CBS-3 and PBS-33 are based in Burlington while NBC-5 and PBS-57 are based in Plattsburgh.
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelnikel View Post
    I aslo used Majicjack Plus and got rid of my landline for 29.95 yr. :) You can save a lot of money by using alternative methods to get your entertainment online.
    In addition to MagicJack there's also free voip services like FreePhoneLine.ca and Dell Voice (yes...that Dell).

    In addition another tip to cut the cord is that TV on DVD for premium programming can be much cheaper in R2 from Amazon.co.uk. Not always but sometimes stuff is a fraction of the price and it's pretty easy to get a multi-region machine or make a machine multi-region with most value priced brands and even Philips.
    Last edited by NakedGord; 03-19-2012 at 08:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    Until Bell becomes powerful enough to buy three quarters of the CRTC board and has Netflix ejected out of the country under the disguise of "repatriating" Canadian viewers.
    That's going to be tough. Netflix is a foreign company that has made deals with other foreign companies (Paramount). They may be able to take back the .ca domain name since that's controlled by the CIRA but aside from that they seem to operating outside the authority of Canadian law.

    Besides if they made Netflix illegal I'm sure that'd garner displeasure from US media companies being told they can't deal with who they choose to sell their content too as well as media coverage when US news channels head over to Windsor to interview the local Wal-Mart manger as he pulls Blu-Ray players from the shelves because they've been made "illegal" in Canada.
    Last edited by NakedGord; 03-19-2012 at 08:26 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    Burlington (Vermont) and Plattsburgh (NY state) is the same market. Just a river to cross.
    More than a river, Lake Champlain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NakedGord View Post
    Besides if they made Netflix illegal I'm sure that'd garner displeasure from US media companies being told they can't deal with who they choose to sell their content too as well as media coverage when US news channels head over to Windsor to interview the local Wal-Mart manger as he pulls Blu-Ray players from the shelves because they've been made "illegal" in Canada.
    I doubt that Netflix will leave Canada anytime soon, or that the CRTC will in fact kick out Netflix, but no doubt that domestic media business and unions are fighting to get them thrown out. It was more of a subtle joke on Bell; in their CRTC filing over extending CKVR transmitter in Southern Ontario, they stated one of their reason for doing so was to "repatriate" Canadian advertising revenue, no doubt they'll try and use the same line over and over to some degree on every CRTC filing.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

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    Canadian Households cutting Cable

    Somewhere in the ballpark of 100,000 Canadian households are estimated to have cut the cord in the past year, choosing to drop their expensive TV package in favour of free over-the-air signals or the growing collections of streaming content online.A similar number is projected to follow suit in 2012! I guess they are fed up with the current ways they are being ripped off. You need pay as you go and not pay for 50 -200 channels to get ten that you actually watch. The current marketing model will have to change if they are to maintain profits for their shareholders and give out multi-million dollar bonuses to Ceo's ,all paid by gouging their customers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelnikel View Post
    Somewhere in the ballpark of 100,000 Canadian households are estimated to have cut the cord in the past year, choosing to drop their expensive TV package in favour of free over-the-air signals or the growing collections of streaming content online.A similar number is projected to follow suit in 2012! I guess they are fed up with the current ways they are being ripped off. You need pay as you go and not pay for 50 -200 channels to get ten that you actually watch. The current marketing model will have to change if they are to maintain profits for their shareholders and give out multi-million dollar bonuses to Ceo's ,all paid by gouging their customers.

    A lot of these cord cutters are people who use their iPhone/iPad and services such as Netflix that no longer need traditional BDU service, but this is why your seeing vertical integration happening. Companies such as Bell, Rogers and Shaw are attepting to control all access points of media viewing, its why they want exclusive content for mobile devices and have put data caps on both their customers and wholesalers who are forced to use their one-mile line. So if you want to want to watch a CTV program on your iPad, you have to have service from Bell, if you want to use Netflix, then you have to pay Bell or Rogers, even if you use a wholesale provider.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Bell, Rogers or Shaw would start blocking out U.S. OTA transmissions in major markets. In theory its possible, but practically its been difficult, both cost and logistics. But the way both Shaw, Rogers and lately Bell has been spending money, and if people continue start "cord cutting" then it could be a worth while investment on their part.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised if Bell, Rogers or Shaw would start blocking out U.S. OTA transmissions in major markets. In theory its possible, but practically its been difficult, both cost and logistics.
    I'd be surprised. It would be illegal.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised if Bell, Rogers or Shaw would start blocking out U.S. OTA transmissions in major markets. In theory its possible, but practically its been difficult, both cost and logistics. But the way both Shaw, Rogers and lately Bell has been spending money, and if people continue start "cord cutting" then it could be a worth while investment on their part.
    Do you mean removing the US stations from Rogers/Shaw/Bell's lineup or actually blocking the OTA transmissions from reaching Canada? The latter, as CDN Viewer has mentioned, would be illegal. It would be extremely difficult to jam an OTA signal and make sure the signal is only blocked in Canada, especially in markets such as Windsor where the American city is adjacent to the Canadian one. Even with highly directional transmitters (such as the one used by CHWI), there would still be spillage into the US. There would be no way this would fly under the current US-Canada MOU between the FCC and IC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    Huh? Vidéotron uses QAM-256 since their implementation in 1999. What does Rogers use then?
    Rogers uses a proprietary format for its cable boxes (aka vendor lock-in). At this time they still transmit analog if you use the built-in tuner on your TV. They do transmit digital radio channels (Galexie & local radio) on digital QAM, as well as some loading grapics for its VOD service. But all of them are in the high channels with no labels. So for a example the "Welcome to Rogers On-Demand" loading graphic is on channel 122.77, and CBC Radio One is on 144.13

    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    I guess Rogers picks Buffalo station by fiber due to their proximity from the border, Shaw may also pick Detroit stations by fiber.
    All of them will connect via Fiber or C-Band dishes for coverage. Anyone can access the FTA C-Band coverage, that's if your willing to have the dishes installed

    Typical TV Station C-Band Transmitter



    Typical at home C-Band Receiver Dish





    They are great in rural areas that can't be served by a traditional BDU or OTA transmitter. Although you can still use them in urban or urban areas(and some still do), there not as popular.

    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    But Bhell may take Boston US channels via satellite, Shaw take Seattle US channels via satellite, and I know for a fact that Burlington stations are picked OTA as we customers experienced reception problems whenever there was a transmission problem at the Mount Mansfield.
    Depending on the setup, some broadcasters will use a mix of C-Band and K or Ku Band to transmit their signal or just K/Ku band. The Ku band are used for DTH Satellite services such as Bell and Shaw, as well as satellite unlink for live on-location for news reports. They're smaller than the C-Band dishes and thus fit in smaller locations.

    In the U.S. C-Band is (or was at a time) reserved for main network O&O stations while smaller affiliates will uplink to the C-Band for programming and retransmit to providers via K/Ku band or fiber. The downside of the K/Ku are rain effect; clouded conditions, rain or atmospheric conditions can cause problems with the signl and lose connection.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsFan View Post
    I'd be surprised. It would be illegal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emarsee View Post
    The latter, as CDN Viewer has mentioned, would be illegal. It would be extremely difficult to jam an OTA signal and make sure the signal is only blocked in Canada, especially in markets such as Windsor where the American city is adjacent to the Canadian one. Even with highly directional transmitters (such as the one used by CHWI), there would still be spillage into the US. There would be no way this would fly under the current US-Canada MOU between the FCC and IC.

    It's possible to block the signal only in Canada, I didn't say it was easy, I only said it was possible, not practical. It would require a mixture of low and high power transmitters in different locations. Some areas will never be block, such as Windsor, but why it was never practical was the requirement of new transmitter site and the fact that transmitters themselves are eyesores no one wants to live near.

    In theory, you can have a small like umbrella effect with a jammer transmitter in place. Your TV, especially newer TV's will pick up the stronger signal near it instead of picking up distance signals.

    Again, let me stress the fact that practically impossible, not theoretically impossible. It would be a very complex system to setup and pointless to setup if you didn't have a reason.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    It's possible to block the signal only in Canada, I didn't say it was easy, I only said it was possible, not practical.
    It would also be a huge black eye for Canada to the Americans and the world.

    Outside of countries like North Korea or Iran does any country jam the radio/tv signals of a neighbouring democratic nation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NakedGord View Post
    It would also be a huge black eye for Canada to the Americans and the world.

    Outside of countries like North Korea or Iran does any country jam the radio/tv signals of a neighbouring democratic nation?
    In the western world, we call it Geofiltering. ;)
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

 

 

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