End of an era at the CBC

If you don't have cable, you may have noticed that you lost CBC at the end of last month.

Dear Editor

You may have heard in recent times that the CBC plans to end over-the-air television service in the smaller communities across Canada.  CBC brass believes that most Canadians are hooked up either to cable or satellite TV, and that few people are receiving CBC television broadcasts using a standard roof top antenna or rabbit ears.

This service is, I suppose, a victim of budget cutbacks, and digital technology moving forwards.

In Golden, the CBC maintains a tower overlooking the town, and sends out its television broadcast over Channel 13; it also sends out CBC Radio 1 from this site and will continue to do so.

People in town, and within range of town in the rural area were able to pick up this signal free of charge.

CAATS, the rural television rebroadcasting society, picked up this signal at our Moberly tower site, and beamed it into the Blaeberry on channel 6.

As of July 31, the plug has been pulled on this service in small communities all over Canada.  Consequently, residents of Donald, Moberly, the Blaeberry and Hospital Creek, as well as the Campbell Road area no longer receive CBC TV signal.

Years ago, because Channel 13 could not reach Parson, CAATS established a separate service, drawing CBC television from a satellite, just as it does with Global,  CTV, and Knowledge Network.

Residents of Parson are not affected by this change, and will continue to see CBC TV;  parts of Nicholson are in the shadow of the benchlands where the Channel 13 tower sits, so CAATS transmits CBC on Channel 3 and therefore Nicholson residents will also continue to receive that signal.

Much air-time (pardon the pun) has been devoted over the past few years to digital television.

This changeover was made mandatory in the USA; but it has been a slower and voluntary switch of technology in Canada.

This fall, CAATS will bring CBC television to the Donald/Moberly/Blaeberry area via a digital signal.

Yes, Virginia, you will  be able to see Hockey Night in Canada!

What does the homeowner need for this conversion?

Nothing…if you own a television that is newer than 10 years (i.e. a flat-screen, digital-ready television).

Your current rooftop antenna will pick up the signal, just as it does today.

Those folks with old tube-type televisions can purchase a “black box” converter for $50-70, although for 3 or 4 times that much, a new digital-ready television can be had.

For now, CTV, Global, and Knowledge will remain analogue throughout the entire rural area.  In time, the Parson signal will also go digital.

One benefit of digital transmission is the increased bandwidth which can allow up to four different programs (channels) to be broadcast from one transmission.

Perhaps this means including TSN sports, a News Channel, or more radio….all this to be determined at a future date.

On a different note (pun fully intentional), listeners of CBC Radio2 have been experiencing annoying drop-outs on 104.7fm in Golden and particularly on 96.7fm in Parson.

These problems originate with a satellite linkup in Vancouver.

CBC technicians have been working on it.

Possible equipment failure of our transmitter in Parson is currently being investigated; thank you for your patience…we are working on it.

Sincerely,

Ron van Vugt

Columbia Area A Television Rebroadcasting Society