SOCK  Newsletter April, 2008

(Answers below)

1. Most industrialized have picked a firm date for the transition to digital TV.  Which two OECD countries have decided to let the marketplace decide?

 a) Australia
 b) Canada
 c) Mexico
 d) United States
 e) Luxemburg
  f) South Korea

2.  Which statement is false regarding U.S. conversion to digital TV?

  a) Only cable viewers will require special converters for their old TVs.
  b) After February, 2009, only viewers with special converters will receive over-the-air TV.
  c) The cost of purchase of converters will be almost entirely offset by government subsidies.
  d) Digital TV is more efficient because six channels can fit into the bandwidth that one formerly occupied.



Kamloops will become the test site for digital television technology.  It’s a new way of broadcasting TV that involves something called digital multiplexing. This system allows for the broadcast of six channels over one transmitter.

The Canadian Media Guild is preparing a feasibility study that will be the first step in the pilot program.  They consider Kamloops the perfect place to conduct the project because Kamloops was the first city in Canada to loose CBC TV over the air.

If implemented, the new multi-channel transmitter would solve a number of problems.

1) It would restore CBC TV which was lost two years ago.

2) It would make broadcast TV in Kamloops viable. Without it,  TV in Kamloops is not economical since the over-the-air market represents only about 10 per cent of the viewing audience.

3) It would allow our local broadcaster, CFJC, to keep a privileged location on cable.  Lower channel designation is only enjoyed by CFJC because it is an over-the-air broadcaster.  Without that designation, CFJC would be lost in a sea of cable channels and its viability as a local broadcaster would be in doubt.

4) It would improve competition in the TV reception market. Now, cable and satellite companies are increasing their share of viewers. A free cluster of over-the air digital channels would give viewers another choice.

5) It would provide a businesses in Kamloops continued advertising access to the local viewing audience.  If local broadcasting stops, advertising and programming would likely be controlled from Vancouver.

6) It would guarantee local news and emergency broadcasting.

Not everyone wants more TV channels, especially British Columbians.  We watch fewer hours of TV compared with the rest of Canada.  Fewer channels would satisfy many viewers’ needs.  Some of the channels that could be included in the six-channel cluster could be: CBC, CTV, CFJC, APTN, Radio Canada (French), and Newsworld.



Answers to Quiz

Question 1, choices b (Canada) and e (Luxemburg),   according to the parliamentary committee reviewing the mandate of the CBC.   Most countries have selected a fixed date for the implementation of digital TV because it provides an orderly transition of standards for both broadcasting and TV reception .

Question 2, choice a.  Cable and satellite will continue to provide analog TV signals because they operate closed systems (not free broadcasts).  As old TV sets wear out and consumers replace them with digital TVs, analog signals will disappear completely.



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Vice President: Hugh Jordan Email Hugh
Secretary Treasurer/ Editor: David Charbonneau Email David

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