HDTV TO YOUR HOME
HD programming is accessible in most areas of
Canada from satellite and cable services, and in certain areas, from over-the-air
broadcasts. The options for receiving HDTV include the following and not all of them may
be available in your area.
1. Over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts, which are
now available in Toronto and soon will be in Montreal and Vancouver, will become more
prevalent over time. The big advantage with OTA HD is that it is free. You will need an
HDTV set that has a HD tuner built-in or a set-top box tuner. This tuner will enable the
set to receive and decode HD broadcasts, using an antenna. Its important to note
that the digital specialty channels with HD programming do not broadcast over-the-air, and
are only available from cable and satellite. Your new HD set should still be able to
receive analogue broadcasts with its regular analogue built-in tuner.
2. Most of the cable companies can now provide
digital cable services, which deliver SD level picture quality with even the analogue
programs being converted to SD. You need a digital set-top box for this and proper
connectivity to your HD set. However to receive and display HD programming channels of
digital cable, you will need a special HD set-top box or an HD Cable Ready television,
which can decode and deliver the HD programming available in all its glory. Digital and HD
set-top boxes are typically available for rent or purchase. The Cable Ready television is
soon coming into the market and requires a CableCard supplied by the cable company to
enable reception. The Cable Ready HD television will also receive OTA channels when they
become available in your area.
3. The two satellite companies in Canada
transmit all of their programs digitally in SD or HD form. To receive HD satellite
programming you will need a satellite dish and the High Definition set-top box which
decode the HD programming for display. These STBs are offered for sale or rent by
the satellite companies.
To find out more about what HD programming
services are available, and how to get them, follow the links by clicking on the logos
below. If your local cable company is not listed here, contact them to ask if HDTV
services may be available in your area.
The future is exciting for pre-recorded
entertainment as well. Although current DVDs arent available in an HD format, there
are plans to introduce this in the near future. Still most DVDs include supplemental
information, and offer both 4:3 and the letterboxed 16:9 aspect ratios on playback. Many
DVD players will reproduce the program in the progressive format with associated
5.1digital audio, and when viewed on HD with progressive scan, the results approach HDTV
quality. Additionally, many HD televisions will also display computer files and the output
of digital cameras and camcorders with excellent image quality.
Your purchase of an HD television opens the
door to a new level of entertainment in your home. Canadian program makers, broadcasters
and distributors are moving rapidly to deliver the HD services and programs you want.