Free TV Canada

How do I take advantage of OTA?

If you already have a modern TV (one with an ATSC tuner), all you require is an antenna.

If you have an older TV, you WILL need a Digital to Analogue converter like the Channel Master CM-7000.

(Given how inexpensive modern HD TV’s are, you may want to put the $125.00 ((Approximately what a CM-7000 costs)) into upgrading your TV)

Before you can determine which antenna will meet your needs, you need to determine what signals are out there, and how far away the transmitters are. Once you determine what signals are available to you, you can decide which TV transmitters you want to try and receive signals from. Which in turn will determine which type of antenna and installation is needed to receive those signals.

So how do I do that?

You can “Check for free TV at your address” at an excellent web resource

Or by all means check out for the Canadian Government website.

Below is a TVFOOL signal analysis report for the TV signals available in Ottawa  using City Hall as an example location.  The report below includes analogue signals as well as digital. When you generate a report for yourself, don’t bother with analogue signals.

Over half of the TV signals should be available with a good quality VHF/UHF indoor antenna. There is a common misconception that all digital signals are in the UHF band. This is NOT true ! In the signal strength graph at the bottom of the diagram below, there ARE several digital TV broadcasts in the VHF Lo band and several in the VHF Hi band ! So if you were a resident of Ottawa and purchase a UHF only antenna, you will miss out on FREE programming ! An Antenna such as the TERK FDTV2A would be a good choice for someone in the suburbs of Ottawa. If you live downtown though, “multi-path” may prove troublesome. An antenna such as the TERK HDTVS is designed to perform well in a “multi-path” environment. Roof top, attic, or balcony mounting should yield acceptable results.

You can type in your address and Canadian postal code (select your province at the bottom of the State/Province pull down menu, and find out what TV stations are within reception range).  This will generate a report like the one above.

The reports can tell you the range and bearing of the TV transmitters from where you live.

The green colour in the chart indicates that a good quality VHF/UHF indoor antenna should allow reception.

The yellow colour code indicates that an antenna with higher gain than a set top antenna be mounted in an attic to achieve desired results.

Red indicates a large rooftop antenna is required to receive the weak signals from distant transmitters.

The grey colour code indicates that a large high gain antenna, likely mounted on a tower with an amplifier is required to receive signals more than 100 km away (60 miles)

So is there life after I CUT THE CABLE or DITCH THE DISH?