Red Deer-area TV watchers who use antennas or rabbit ears to pick up Global, CTV, CBC and CityTV won’t be affected by an impending shift to digital signals.
The reason has to do with the way signals reach our area. For instance, CTV Edmonton’s main transmitter broadcasts in a circle that reaches about as far south as Morningside just south of Ponoka. To reach viewers in Red Deer, a repeater or re-transmitter is used that will not be affected by the changeover to digital service beginning Sept. 1.
CBC Edmonton is also broadcast into local homes thanks to a re-transmitter and that analog signal will continue.
“There is no need for you to do anything in anticipation of the switch in order to continue receiving CBC Television,” says the broadcaster on its website.
Spokespeople for CTV, Global and CityTV also confirmed that their analog signals will still be available in this area.
The digital switch-over was ordered by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and follows the lead of other most other industrialized countries such as the U.S., which made the switch in 2009.
Going to digital frees up frequencies or airwaves because digital signals use less space than their analog versions. That leaves more space for other communications devices. Another benefit is that digital sound and picture is better.
The CRTC established a number of criteria when deciding who had to make the switch. They include national, provincial and territorial capital cities, areas with a population over 300,000 and other areas where there is more than one local television station broadcasting over-the-air signals.
In Alberta, Calgary, Edmonton, Lloydminster and Lethbridge were mandated to go to digital. In those areas, viewers using rabbit ears or an outside antenna will need a TV with a built-in digital tuner or a digital converter box.
Those who receive signals by cable, satellite or another TV service are not affected.