[Micheal Geist has recently expressed legitimate concerns about the advent of digital TV and the impact that this will have on those with older TVs who currently don’t subscribe to cable TV or satellite service. I believe that, in fact, digital TV will have the opposite effect and be of much greater benefit for those who cant afford such services as now they will be able to receive high quality HDTV ( in many cases higher quality than over cable or satellite). Digital TV will allow many of us (especially in Canada and the US) to sever the cable and get rid of our outrageously expensive cable TV and/or satellite service. Most cable and satellite companies charge extra to receive HD Channels over their system.
Digital TV is much better quality than traditional analog TV – there is no ghosting, fuzzy pictures, etc. Just perfect high quality images. Most us of switched to cable TV years ago because of the reception problems with analog TV. Most TVs purchased in the last 2 years are digital TV ready. If you have an older TV then you may need to purchase a digital to analog converter box for about $75. Digital TV is also capable of carrying multiple TV channels, so now we will be receive many specialty channels over the air as well. Most Canadians who live within 50-100 KM of US border will also be able to pick up most US digital TV.
Digital TV antennas are much smaller than the old Yaggi’s we had on our roofs in the 60s and can be installed in attics or other suitable locations.
Over the air HDTV combined with the fact that many TV shows and movies are available over the Internet, means the need to subscribe cable TV or satellite service is less and less compelling. While Michael Geist is correct that geo- blocking is largely a business issue, when business practices are used to block consumer choice and preference I think something is fundamentally wrong. Once governments start to regulate geo-blocking we should have even a much greater choice of TV in the near future.
Now if only we could do something about the expensive, low speed Internet we get from the current duopoly in North America.
For more information on how to sever your cable and get HDTV over the air please see
Over the Air Digital TV forum