Your Guide to Digital TV in Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba

(Updated May 20, 2012 with more realistic coverage maps and updated information on KNRR’s directional antenna.)

As Winnipeg’s TV stations prepare to shut off their remaining analog transmitters for good, there have been many visitors landing on this blog seeking information about digital TV. Thus, I’ve decided to put together this guide meant to help those who are getting ready for the digital switchover.

You’ll notice that the maps below are colour-coded.

Orange zone — Deep Indoor strength: Very strong signal. Should be fairly easy to receive in most homes and offices if you’re using the right antenna (i.e., a larger VHF antenna for CTV, KNRR and Citytv, and a smaller UHF antenna for the others). Signal might be less reliable in areas where people generally don’t spend much time watching TV anyway, such as elevators and parkades, or in areas with a lot of electrical and mechanical interference on the VHF channels. (Signal strength: 90+ dBu at 95% of locations, 99% of the time)

Magenta zone — Residential Indoor strength: Strong signal. Generally strong enough to penetrate the interior of most homes. Reception should be good for CBC, SRC, Global and Joy TV, all of which operate on UHF; VHF stations CTV, KNRR and Citytv might require the use of a good-quality VHF antenna with the rods lowered to horizontal and at a right angle to the transmitter. On the VHF channels, it’s best to have the antenna as far away as possible from refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens and other appliances that might cause interference.  (Signal strength: 80-89 dBu at 95% of locations, 99% of the time)

Light Blue zone — The “Maybe Zone”: Use an outdoor or attic antenna pointed toward the transmitter for best results.  Or, if you’re using a hand-held device, try going outside. Indoor reception might be good in signal-friendly areas, such as rural and low-density suburban areas, or on the transmitter side of a high-rise. Indoor reception will likely be more difficult in inner-city areas and in the depths of the urban jungle. (Signal strength: 70-79 dBu at 95% of locations, 99% of the time)

Dark Blue zone — Rooftop Antenna Recommended: This signal generally won’t be received well inside a building unless you’re in a low-density suburban or rural area and near a window facing the transmitter. UHF channels might still come in reasonably well if using a hand-held device outside of the urban jungle. A rooftop antenna pointed toward the transmitter should offer more favourable results.  (Signal strength: 60-69 dBu at 95% of locations, 99% of the time)

Grey zone — No Indoor, Hit-and-Miss Outdoor: The signal will be quite weak in these areas. Don’t count on any indoor reception, or even on getting good results with an outdoor antenna in the heart of the city. You might get good reception, though, using a rooftop antenna in low-density suburban and rural areas.  (Signal strength: 50-59 dBu at 95% of locations, 99% of the time)

CBC Winnipeg (official call letters: CBWT) abandoned its long-time home on a tower located near Starbuck, Man. and relocated to a transmitter located at Portage and Main in downtown Winnipeg. Since the lower channels are vulnerable to interference — which causes mild static or squigly lines to appear on analog signals, but which can seriously mess up digital signals — CBC moved up to Channel 27  on the UHF band, but will still show up on receivers as virtual channel 6.1. Reception remains good in Winnipeg.

CBWFT 3.1 coverage area

CBWFT (SRC) Channel 3.1 coverage area (©, Google Maps)

SRC, the French language equivalent of the CBC, also spent most of its life on the low end of the VHF dial since going on the air in 1960 as CBWFT on Channel 6, then switching to Channel 3 a few years later. Like its English-language sister station, Manitoba’s only French-language TV station now operates from high above Portage and Main at Channel 51 (virtual channel 3.1) on the UHF band. Indoor reception remains strong in Winnipeg, but varies elsewhere. Reception is reported to be quite good throughout Winnipeg.

CKY 7.1 coverage area

CKY (CTV) Channel 7.1 coverage area (Copyright, Google Maps)

CTV Winnipeg (a.k.a., CKY-TV) has not moved to the UHF band, opting to stay on its longtime Channel 7 VHF frequency. This could have both advantages and risks for the station. The advantages lie in the fact that over-the-air viewers do not have to invest in new UHF antennas in order to continue receiving the station. But as noted in the comments section, many viewers are having difficulty picking up CTV due to interference and the transmitter’s distance from the city.

Some VHF digital stations also fear being at a disadvantage as new handheld and mobile Digital TV devices come on the market in the near future. CTV Winnipeg still has the option of applying for a UHF channel, however. Reception should be better in the southern half of Winnipeg than the northern half.

CKND (Global) Channel 9.1 coverage area

CKND (Global) Channel 9.1 coverage area (©, Google Maps)

Global Winnipeg (a.k.a., CKND) was the first Winnipeg TV station to make the transition to digital in 2010. Like the CBC, Global’s digital signal originates from Portage and Main at Channel 40 on the UHF band (Virtual Channel 9.1). Reception has been reported to be very good in Winnipeg.

CHMI (Citytv) Channel 13.1 coverage area

CHMI (Citytv) Channel 13.1 coverage area (©, Google Maps)

Like CTV, CityTV (formerly known as 13 MTN, and later the A-Channel) is taking its chances on the VHF band, remaining on the Channel 13 frequency it has called home since going on the air in October, 1986. They’re running at only 8,000 watts, versus 24,000 watts for CTV, so their signal is hit-and-miss throughout Winnipeg.

CIIT (Joytv) Channel 35.1 coverage area

CIIT (Joytv) Channel 35.1 coverage area (©, Google Maps)

Joy TV is to Winnipeg television what CKJS is to Winnipeg radio — it’s there, but most people are only vaguely aware of its existence. It’s really just a specialty channel that can be received without a cable or satellite subscription. But, if you’re a fan of Joy TV’s religious programming and reruns of The Waltons and The Rockford Files, you’ll be happy to know that this station, which began broadcasting in 2006, is still on Channel 35. Indoor reception is definitely better in the south end of the city than the northern half.

KNRR (Fox) Channel 12.1 coverage area

KNRR (Fox) Channel 12.1 coverage area (©, Google Maps)

Poor old KNRR never had much luck. It was imminently about to go on the air in 1982 when something went wrong, causing the station’s launch date to be pushed back to 1986. In the interim, Canadian broadcasting regulations had changed in such a way as to effectively block KNRR from getting a slot on Winnipeg’s cable systems.
Thus, trying to pick up the then-independent KNRR’s diet of Star Trek and movies became something of a sport for Winnipeggers in 1986, who then only had seven English-language channels to watch on cable TV unless they subscribed to pay TV — which even then brought the total number of choices to no more than a dozen channels.

After missing the U.S. digital switchover deadline and being forced off the air for four months, KNRR began offering the first digital signal to extend more than a few miles north of the Canadian border in October 2009. But KNRR’s signal is too weak to be received with any reliability in Winnipeg — one local Digital TV enthusiast recommends a 40-foot mast in your backyard for best results. (This might not be so popular with your neighbours, though.)

If you live in Morden, Winkler, Morris or Altona, your luck should be considerably better, particularly with a VHF antenna pointed toward Pembina.

Note that to receive digital TV over the air, you will need either a newer TV set that is capable of receiving ATSC signals or a special converter box — not necessarily the same kind of box provided by your cable company — hooked up to your traditional TV set.

* – Images source: Communications Research Centre/Google Maps.

Technical assumptions all based on F(95,99) at 9 metres above ground.

About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

188 Responses to Your Guide to Digital TV in Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba

  1. Thanks for this post. I recently (last month) got into TV DXing, and this is a great starting point.

  2. Reed Solomon says:

    man you went all out. nice and succinct.

  3. samir says:

    This is a nice contribution, I am a TV engineer, and a satellite DX.
    I am interrested in communication with pepole working in this field.

  4. Liv says:

    Good stuff, more people need to know. Amazingly, in the year 2011, we are going back to the 60’s in how we use technology.

    I was able to capture one HDTV signal with an antenna. I was wondering if there were HDTV specific antenna’s that were more sensitve. GE had a 6 ft device that was marketed as being able to pickup signals at a distance of 60 miles.

    Samir or TVFS, do you know which products one should use to catch most local broadcasts and a few emanating from the States. I so really want to get rid of Shaw ( 500 channels and nothing is on ).

    next up, Internet sharing for the neighborhood and something to bounce off local cell towers.

  5. theviewfromseven says:

    @ Liv: Thanks!

    Unfortunately, there are no U.S. stations other than KNRR with enough power or a tall enough tower to put a signal into Winnipeg.

    WDAZ/8 is the only other station that has the tower and power to push a signal into southern Manitoba, albeit just barely. People in the Morden, Winkler, Altona and Emerson areas will have the best chances of getting a signal with a rooftop antenna. I’ve heard reports for years that sometimes WDAZ’s signal strays as far north as Winnipeg under ideal conditions, but not normally.

    The other stations all seem to have coverage areas that, at best, just graze the border — even Prairie Public, which has traditionally earned a lot of its revenue from Manitoba but never established an over-the-air presence even when they had the chance.

    Given that they’re all struggling to make money, I guess it’s all about keeping the transmitter electricity bill down to a minimum until the economy improves or more mobile devices come on the market.

  6. theviewfromseven says:

    BTW, here’s some discussion from ’09 about antennas for picking up both VHF and UHF: and

    The transition here in Winnipeg is going to be a real gong show. About seven percent of Winnipeggers have no cable or satellite, of whom a good number will probably think their TV is on the fritz on Sept. 1. Based on what has happened in the States, the rest will say that they’re having no problem getting CBC/SRC and Global on UHF, but that they need to position their VHF rabbit ears very carefully to pick up CTV and that they can’t watch low-powered CityTV and run their microwave ovens at the same time.

    (I’m not kidding: there are reports from the States that Ch. 7-13 VHF digital stations are getting jammed by lawnmowers, microwave ovens, thunderstorms, etc.)

  7. John says:

    Winkler and Morden have been enjoying KNRR for a while now. Almost every house has a large roof top antenna and some people were enjoying several US stations until the digital switch. With the digital transition, more people will be switching to satellite or MTS digital TV, however the MTS option isn’t as easy for the older population as valley cable was and there is room for a better system.

    It would be a great option if the Canadian providers had satellite signals that were unencrypted in the same way the most US channels are on C-band. Due to their lack of support for Southern MB, I don’t even watch them anymore.

  8. Bjp says:

    the digital converter sees channels on the scan, although only 12 and 40 match your numbers, but considered none of them as active. MEnu shows on TV but no action yet. Kleefeld area near St Pierre

  9. theviewfromseven says:

    Only KNRR/12 and Global/40 are on the air in digital right now.

    The others will be switching to digital sometime between now and Aug. 31. Some might wait until the Aug. 31 deadline.

  10. Alex says:

    Any reason why they are waiting until the 31st? Any chance of them coming on the air earlier?

  11. Reed Solomon says:

    Very slim to none. If they were going to they already would have — Global is already available for example. None of them have shown much inclination as such. IMHO aside from Global all the rest have had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age – CBC included as the worst offender of the lot.

  12. theviewfromseven says:

    I’m not sure — the reason probably varies from station to station. There is no regulatory/legal reason stopping them from shutting down their analog transmitters prior to Aug. 31 and going all-digital, as Global’s Regina station did last week. (Maybe they were using Regina as a test market?)

  13. Barbara Zailo says:

    I live in the SE corner of Manitoba (Piney area). Do you know what is going to happen to channel 29 (CBC)? I have heard that CBC has received a one year reprieve on switching to digital in some areas but I was wondering if we will eventually lose the signal we now get because they will not switch.

  14. theviewfromseven says:

    I’ll do a search tonight and see if I can find anything. As far as I know, Piney is one of the (many) rural repeaters that will be able to stay on in analog after Aug. 31.

  15. theviewfromseven says:

    I searched Industry Canada’s Spectrum Direct database for information on the CBC Piney transmitter. It looks as though they’ve been assigned a frequency and power (Channel 23, 41.8 dBw/15,000 watts). There is some info missing, though, so it sounds like nothing is really finalized yet.

    If they operate on Channel 23 at 15 kW from their current tower, their coverage area should look something like this:
    CBC Piney expected digital coverage area

    Colour coding:

    Red (bullseye) – Cheap indoor UHF antenna should do just fine

    Magenta/Purple – Indoor reception might be okay if there isn’t much ground clutter between you and the transmitter; otherwise, a rooftop UHF antenna might be a good idea

    Blue – Poor indoor reception. Rooftop UHF antenna recommended.

    Grey – Poor rooftop and no indoor reception. Will need to put up a tower and install amplifiers to get satisfactory reception.

  16. Up at grand beach we currently only get global tv on digital. My cabin is up on a hill right on the lake. I think we once received City Tv. What I would like to know is if there are any ways to boost the signal? I have a silver box that we plug the cable into and the from that it goes to the tv. The box is plugged into the power. We have a 100km roof top antenna/ about 6 feet long.

  17. theviewfromseven says:

    @ Justin: It looks like you’re just on the outer edge of the Winnipeg stations’ reception areas (and about 110 kilometres from Citytv’s Elie tower), so getting a good signal from Winnipeg will always be a challenge. B. Walzer’s post on picking up KNRR’s weak signal in Winnipeg might be helpful, though.

    Being up on a hill is a good place to be, though. You’ll have better reception than your downhill neighbours will.

  18. I live in East Kildonan and can only get Global (great!) and JoyTV on digital over the air. CKY and CityTV are fully MIA. What is written here explains why – I thought I was doing something wrong, but no…. it’s where I live.

  19. gardengrover says:

    Glad you’re tracking this issue. I live in Winnipeg in the area near Route 90 and Inkster (Garden Grove) and I can only get Global and Joy TV. I bought the converter box and a new indoor antenna that is supposed to pick up UHF and VHF. When I scan for channels I can get a “bad” signal from channel 7, but nothing I do improves it. I really want CTV. I even phoned the station yesterday and they said I was the only person that has called about this. I’m thinking many other people aren’t picking up the signal either, but meanwhile CTV thinks everything is fine. There is nothing coming in for CityTV, which is also too bad. I’m going to call the CRTC “hotline” to see what they say about this. It’s pretty annoying that these stations have been running commercials for months saying that all we’d need is the new converter box and everything would be fine, when it isn’t. It sucks. I don’t even watch tv much so I’m not getting cable, but it would have been nice to keep the stations with the shows I actually do like. Ah well!

  20. theviewfromseven says:

    Being on VHF is definitely the problem here.

    TV stations measure their signal strength in dBus, and anything over 80 dBu at 30 feet above ground should be a pretty robust signal. By that standard, receiving CTV shouldn’t be a problem anywhere in the southern two-thirds of the city. Yet, anytime I do a scan, the tuner recognizes that there’s some kind of signal there and tries to lock on to it, but then times out and moves on.

    Unfortunately, VHF gets interference from all sides. Even a microwave oven can screw up a VHF signal. So can computers, air conditioners, fridges, fluorescent lights and thunderstorms. UHF gets less interference.

    For CTV and Citytv, it was undoubtedly cheaper to stay on VHF, at least in the short term. But once digital tuners become standard in everything from laptops to iPhones, they’ll find that staying on channels 7 and 13 was no bargain.

  21. Scott says:

    First off thanks for your insightful and enlightening comments. The subject of OTA digital TV is, to say the least confusing if one relies on the Internet for information. As soon as I think I’ve got a handle on something I’m confused about, the next web site I visit invariable cuts the legs out from under me. I appreciate your comments as they deal with the issue on a local level. Pre-September 1 our old loop antenna had picked up Global at 100% Post conversion it didn’t grab anything more so I went antenna shopping yesterday. I bought a pair of powered GE antennas at Canadian Tire. The store at Polo Park seems to be getting rid of a bunch of their OTA stuff and has put much of it on sale. I went today for something else and noticed there are only rabbit ears left for antennas. Perhaps other Canadian Tires are having the same clearance if anyone is interested. It may be worth a look around as the antennas I bought were somewhere in the area of 85% off of the regular prices of $70 and $45. The 1st antenna (indoor only) managed to grab the 4 locals but only global was watchable. I mounted the second on a flag pole on the second story deck on the west side of the house. I figure its about 40 feet off the ground as it clears the roof of our 2 and 3/4 story house in the West End of Winnipeg (Portage at Maryland) by about 4 or 5 feet. I can now receive Global, Joy and City at or near 100% strength. Still No watchable signal from CTV. Funny that. Almost as if they don’t really care if they provide a strong enough signal for us OTA dinosaurs. Too bad as I liked some of their programming. Thanks again, Scott

  22. gardengrover says:

    I called the CTV engineering department today and after asking many questions the guy told me they are fixing a problem right now and that they are not at full power. It seemed like he wasn’t supposed to say anything, but he did anyway. So, he’s supposed to call me back with an update when it is fixed! Maybe we’ll get CTV afterall!

  23. Techhead says:

    In South River Heights. Using a basic Terk antenna (non powered), both Global and CIIT (Joy TV) come in strong at an average of 80%. To get CTV, I have to move the antenna to 5 feet about the floor, and then it’s a max signal of 57%. Just monkeying around, so I’m not about to mount the antenna just for CTV.

  24. Zac says:

    Using a set of rabbit ears I picked up at Circuit City for $15. I live in Elmwood between Roch and Brazier. I can only pick up Global, but it’s PERFECT HD. Nothing else at all. My reception was always bad here, so even the old signals barely registered. Had high hopes… very disappointed. – Zac

  25. j says:

    I live in North Kildonan and have only been able to get Global in perfect HD…. no signal drops. As for any of the other channels, the tv hasn’t been able to lock on to any useable signal. I wrote a complaint to both City tv and CTV.

  26. mark says:

    “It’s pretty annoying that these stations have been running commercials for months saying that all we’d need is the new converter box and everything would be fine, when it isn’t. It sucks. I don’t even watch tv much so I’m not getting cable, but it would have been nice to keep the stations with the shows I actually do like. ”

    This is the way I feel as well

    we formerly got, ctv global mtn, and joy.

    we now only get ctv reliably, with the converter box.

    we are between Oakbank and Beausejour.

    is this is what they planned? well done.

    I am not getting satellite tv. this mess confirms that decision.

  27. mark says:

    forgot to mention, thanks for the site.

  28. theviewfromseven says:

    Thanks for the update — I’m looking forward to picking up CTV (finally) after the power increase.

  29. theviewfromseven says:

    Thank you, and thanks to everyone for the updates from around the region. Keep ’em coming. 🙂

  30. john says:

    Thanks for this site. I’ve been looking all over the net for info and to have this presented this way with the maps and info is a huge help. Great for Winnipeggers trying to figure this out.

    I’m in Wolseley and can get Global and Joy with just a little ring antenna in the window.
    I can bring in City if I set my rabbit ears just a certain way in the other room, and the same goes for CTV but in a different room still.
    CTV seems to be the most difficult to receive for me (and many others I see), but if there signal is in fact not at full power yet, maybe this will improve.

    I am using a Zinwell ZAT-970A tuner which seemed to be the best I could find locally. I bought it at The Source.
    I would have preferred the Channelmaster 7000 as it is supposed to have a really good tuner in it (and a S video output) but I couldn’t find one locally.

    Any thoughts on tuners and what difference the might make.

  31. Jeff says:

    I live in the polo park area using a digiwave 2104 uhf antenna(non amplified) facing east. All 4 local channels (at this point) come in clear. Global at 100%, City at 40%,Ctv at 80%,Ciit at 75%. Im impressed that i get ctv so strongely being that im using a uhf antenna facing the wrong direction. There have been some variations in signal strength but these have stabilized.

  32. did get CTV down in Emerson on the 1st pointing my antenna to the south for Grand forks. now, gone, but if I point to wpg get 4 bars . South we get fox 12, abc devils lake and sub cw and weather. On good nights we get bounce and get this , NBC and CBS from Valley city. PBS sometimes too. Hope to find Joy today.

  33. Ronald says:

    In Marchand (20 mins southeast of Steinbach) I get CTV easily, +90% at all times no matter which direction I point my rooftop Winegard HD8200U antenna (no amp or pole). CityTV comes in clearly (60%) when I point the antenna at Portage or Winnipeg. I have never been able to lock on the digital KNRR, CKND or JoyTV even though TVFool says I should be able to with my deep fringe antenna. I will be ordering a pre-amp to eliminate line losses in my home. If I’m unable to lock a signal with CKND (or CBC when they go digital) I’ll be forced to install a 50ft tower/pole or go to satellite TV. I received all these channels crystal clear before the digital conversion with a much smaller antenna.

    I have some experience with electrical interference in VHF as well. My office uses 4 new fluorescent lights that disable reception of CBC channel 6. Some research showed that the ballasts need to be changed from generic Chinese manufactured units to more expensive GE units. My cheap microwave does not interfere with RF signals even when directly in front of my aerial antenna.

    I’m also at the fringe of cell phone coverage, so I’m probably going to install a Wilson amp to solve that issue while I’m at it. For your information, I currently use satellite based internet that is reliable, but expensive and can’t download HD video for more than 15 minutes due to bandwidth throttling.

  34. theviewfromseven says:

    Big improvement noted from CTV here in Winnipeg, too. It’s a fairly directional signal — it only comes in if the antenna is roughly the right length and pointed in the right direction — but when it comes in, it comes in well.

  35. Jared Mitchell says:

    I live in Osborne Village on the third floor of an apartment, facing North across the Assiniboine I have a set of vhf uvf rabbit ears and receive only Global, as of the second. Wtf! Haven’t been home recently to rescan, but I’m mighty disappointed.

  36. In East Kildonan, I did a re-scan with my antenna in several different positions and still could not find CTV (or CityTV for that matter). Global is still pristine and coming in strong, pretty much however I have my antenna.

  37. Johnny says:

    I live in the St. James area, specifically near Moray and Ness. Just scanned today for the first time and discovered I n

  38. Alex says:

    I built my own simple antenna with coat hangers. On the main floor, only Global was consistent, but joytv sometimes came in. I moved the antenna to the third floor using Bell Expressvu’s former cable (Bye bye Bell’s crappy customer service) and I now get all 4 channels consistently. Waiting for CBC. I live in Elmwood.

  39. GT Kane says:

    I live in Poplar Point, about 25 kms east of Portage la Prairie, and I’ve got analog CBC still, and PERFECT CTV, Global, and CITY. JOY comes in when it is clear. I’ll tell you how I did it!
    I live in a bungalow, surrounded by tall trees. I have a rooftop antenna(the typical one from the ’70’s) mounted about 2 feet above the roof. I picked up a Phillips flat panel antenna and line amp from Princess auto for $19.99, and mounted that on a mast about 5 feet above the old antenna. Wth a cable splitter, I tied both into one line.
    In the house, I split the line between a new lcd TV in the living room, and an Access TV converter box in the bedroom.
    Awesome picture! I could not get a decent CTV signal before, and global was spotty at best.

  40. Arlene says:

    I’m from the Maples and have Global prior to Aug. 31. I re-scanned after the deadline and JoyTV, CityTV and CTV showed up nice and clear…. and then it went away all of a sudden.

    I’ve been re-scanning but only Global seems to appear everytime. Not quite sure what’s wrong.

  41. mark says:

    between oakbank and beausejour, now down to one reliable channel. ctv

  42. A says:

    I’m in Oakbank…we get CTV consistently…usually joytv and city too…but have yet to see a glimmer of hope with Global….uggg….I have no interest in going to cable or satellite…but i do miss Global…any suggestions?? Or is this the way it will be always? I use an indoor antenna in the garage attic.

  43. SfIsHeR says:

    I have tried many different antennas (and returning them shortly after) I get Global loud and clear, JoyTV comes in great, no CTV or CityTV (not expecting to get it as they are extremely underpowered) but I really want CTV to come in loud and clear. The best I have done so far is with a basic set of rabbit ears occasionally I can get CTV at 25%. I tried a couple of different amplified antennas including a flat antenna that was supposed to give superb reception, but CTV is still MIA, this is extremely disappointing……

  44. Kevin says:

    I’m located in Lockport and getting 5 digital stations. As of Sept. 11. I’m receiving CKY (CTV 7-1)@92%, CKND-HD (Global 9-1)@88%, KNRR (12-1)@52%, CHMI (13-1)@92% and CIIT-DT (JoyTV 35-1)@94%. I’m using my old roof antenna which has been up for 18 yrs, an inline antenna booster and a 3 yr. old plasma TV with the built in digital decoder. I did have the American stations 8-1, 8-2, and 8-3 on Aug 31st but nothing since then. I’ll have to check later in the day to see if I still have KNRR (signal gets weaker during the day) I do Bell installs/dish re-points as a sideline and I may add the roof antenna to my services as well for anyone who just wants to watch FREE TV.

  45. Kevin says:

    As of 10 AM I lost KNRR. Signal strenght is only 22%

  46. craig says:

    I’m located in St.Vital where I get all four digital channels (ctv, global, citytv, joytv) and both analog cbc eng/fre as of Sept 12th. I made a single bay coat hanger antenna on a scrap of door jam, screwed down a UHF/VHF signal combiner/balun adapter onto it and ran the VHF line to a basic rabbit ear antenna. I mounted both antennae in the attic, drilled down into the master bedroom wall cavity and ran some RG6 from the combiner into a ratshack 10db signal amp. I then split the signal to the BR lcd and ran some more RG6 down a floor to the family room lcd. I could only get a ctv signal once I added the vhf rabbit ears. Come on cbc, get your act together. Winnipeg is a major city and you’ve know for years about the Sept 1st transition.

  47. Allan says:

    We’re three miles west of Miami, Manitoba on the first step of the Pembina Escarpment. We have an unobstructed view to the north, south and east with a large VHF antenna on top of a three story house. We have three digital TVs. They all receive channels 3 and 6 (analog) 7.1, 12.1 and 13.1 Sometimes we get channels 9.1 and 35.1. (Before the switch to digital we had a great picture on channels 6, 7, 9 and 13 — channel 3 was fuzzy.) One night I received channels 9.1 through to I think 9.5. I’m not sure what networks they belonged to. Looks like I’ll have to get a UHF antenna to get channels 9.1, 35.1 reliably and 6.1 when it comes on. I read on another site that OTA (over the air) HD pictures are superior to those offered on cable and satellite. We’re impressed with what we’ve seen so far. We have strong signals for the channels we are getting according to the signal metre on our new TV.

  48. Jason says:

    Bought this antenna from Tip Top and can get all DTV channels just off Wall St. North of Portage Ave.

  49. homer says:

    live 60 miles north use to get global as our best channel now nothing!

  50. LC says:

    Seems to me this conversion isn’t going smoothly. At the very least the CRTC should have mandated that the signal strength be as strong as analog and coverage to be not less than what was experienced by users.

    So much for digital.

  51. theviewfromseven says:

    I heard that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission used the needs of isolated farm houses, not those of urban viewers, as the baseline when they set the minimum/maximum power requirements for digital TV stations. The CRTC went along with the same assumptions. Needless to say, the typical city dweller does not have or want a 30-foot tower in his yard with a high-gain antenna on top and perhaps an amplifier as well.

    Nor do city dwellers have a nice, flat, unobstructed terrain between themselves and the transmitter.

    If they had used the typical city dweller as the baseline, they would have insisted on much higher power. CTV and Citytv will need to up their power from 24,000 watts and 8,300 watts respectively to something closer to 250,000 watts just to replicate Global and Joy TV’s signal quality — or move to UHF.

    Even a second-hand 5,000-watt UHF transmitter on top of a high-rise or hooked up to a cheap 50-metre tower in an industrial park would vastly improve their urban reception.

    As for KNRR, they couldn’t put a decent indoor signal into Winnipeg on channel 12 at any power from their current tower and location. At the very minimum, they’d have to add an extra 150 metres to their existing tower and run at maximum power on a UHF channel, but that would cost more money than the legendarily frugal Red River Broadcast Co. likely has or can justify spending on the station.

  52. Justin says:

    At Lester beach just passed grand beach I’ve added a c7777 pre amp and have the antenna 7feet of the top of the cabin. We now het globle at 90 to 100% and joy tv at 80 to 100%. hopping that when CBC gets there tower up that it will come in as well. But so far no ctv or mtn.

  53. Anjum says:

    Thanks for nice info on OTA in Winnipeg, otherwise its so difficult to get any answer from those TV channels, who are supposed to give us these info. But I think all these TV channels are owned by Cable or satellite providers so they want us to spend our money on subscription. I have a digital portable TV with a collapsible shortwave radio like antenna. I used to get nothing viewable before conversion. I live in south of Winnipeg. After conversion Global (40 UHF) and Joy (35 UHF) are strong and crystal clear. To get CTV (7 VHF) I have to extent the antenna full length and move to one specific direction and have keep my hand near to get proper picture and if someone moves around in the room then picture comes and goes. Therefore practically difficult to watch. To get City (13 VHF) I have to extend the antenna to its full length and move it to one specific direction and to lift up the TV 6 ft above the floor, obviously not practical to watch TV. I wonder why these CTV and City did not move to UHF 46 and 32.

    I am surprise how irresponsibly CBC had handled the change. They knew it since 2009 that change is coming in August 2011 and they could not install antenna in time and still in limbo. On News they inform public that it has been delayed and what that means for you, nothing! What that mean, I have been waiting for a month and at the last minute there is nothing. I am disappointed with their attitude. We should all complain to CRTC about this!

  54. john says:

    I see CBC is not digital yet. Does anyone know when they are switching? I understood it was supposed to be at the end of September.

  55. Craig says:

    CBC Winnipeg OTA digital television transition has been delayed again due to unavailability of structural steel materials needed for upgrading their tower as per their website statement.

    In other unrelated news, my dog ate my homework. Wait a second, I don’t even have a dog or homework.

    CBC management: OCTOBER 9TH is the Winnipeg Jets 2011 Season opener!!! This should be your DEADLINE at the latest. The future has arrived, so get into it. Analog tv is DEAD. Don’t disappoint thousands of rabid Jets fans. GO JETS GO!!!

  56. john says:

    Thanks Craig.

    They say on their site that the DTV should be up ” in a few weeks or so ” . . . seriously ?
    Is someone on holidays over their ?
    All the other stations were up on time and Global was about 8 months ahead of the others.
    I agree it would be nice to watch the October 9th Jets game with a digital signal but it doesn’t look promising.


  57. Anjum says:

    Very unprofessional CBC !!!!

  58. Thanks to all who’ve posted. Finally, after spending days trying, with an “Electronic Master” 5001 powered VHF/UHF antenna, from Tip Top in Wpg, on the 2nd storey roof and 5 ft mast, and a cheap converter from Future Shop, we’re getting channel 7, 13 and Global. The tipper to getting Global, after getting a sore thumb with the “up-down” buttons, was to punch in 40 via the remote.

    TVTED, between Wpg perimeter and Lockport

    PS Somehow, in my various attempts, I was getting “2.5 Men” for a while, and then never again. Would anyone know how that happened?

    PSPS I may have posted this two or three times. Sorry. Just trying to get my e-mail adress typed correctly.

  59. ROSA says:


    I am not more than 40 miles from KNRR’s tower off of HWY59 south of Saint Malo. I was pulling in the signal in April with a rooftop antenna and CM pre-amp. However, I haven’t been able to get a blip of a signal from KNRR since then. CTV is now coming in loud and clear.

  60. Bill says:

    I am above Morden on the escarpment.I built a homemade version of the Big Bertha antenna plans I found on the net.
    I pick up KNRR CH12 at about 54% with a 10db booster.
    Also I get ch 7,and 13. Ch 9 pops in now and then in the early mornings. This antenna is pointed at the best signal strength from Pembina ND.
    I f I point it straight south, I have picked up as many as 16 channels. Some HDTV channels some duplicates, 7,12,13 — and a bunch from Minnesota. Which is very odd to me because there is really nothing south of me. My compass beaing angle to give you and example puts Wahalla directly between me and Grand Forks. Which I get no string signal from.
    I am about 320 feet at the top of my mast above Morden Mb., and about 620 feet above Wpg.
    For most my signal strengths range from 46% to 81%, but not on all channels.
    I wish they would all boost their transmission strength to at least 1200 watts. That may make a lot of people happy, including the advertisers.

  61. Bill says:

    If I could place a picture of what I built I would.
    Basically it looks like , —

    — six sets of HORIZONTAL bunny ears stacked vertically, with a wire reflector grid in behind.Total dimensions are 2feet wide x 6 feet high, not that good looking on the roof, but then, neither am I.(NO KIDDING).
    Thx for this forum. Good place to help one another.

  62. Ian Wheeler says:

    I am using some standard rabbit ears. I have Global and joytv coming in perfectly, but I have never picked up CTV and Citi. I live in RIver Heights. I was looking forward to the switch because all these channels have the basics of what I need. I’m looking forward to CBC being available in the near future. I assume that I should be able to pick it up.

  63. theviewfromseven says:

    CBC should be good, once they get on the air. Like Global, they’ll be operating on UHF from Portage and Main at a similar amount of power.

    I also live in the River Heights area, and have had occasional luck picking up Citytv (having a west-facing window helps), though its signal is vastly inferior to Global and CIIT.

    CTV’s signal is there — the “scan” feature picks up something on Channel 7 — but it rarely locks on to the signal, as if it’s a “dirty” signal or something (which, being at the low end of the AM…. er, I mean VHF-Hi band, it probably is!)

  64. sohail says:

    The way things are moving with CBC, I think they won’t be digital end of this month. I saying this because every day I go by the building where they are putting their transmitter and I don’t see any activity since these past weeks. I am surprise there is no one to take notice of their cold feet in this matter!

  65. RICK KOWALCHUK says:


  66. Allan says:

    It’s my understanding that folks who can’t receive local stations over the air now can get a free dish and receiver from Shaw. It only provides the local stations and it won’t be in HD I don’t think. Here’s what it says on the Shaw website:

    “If you haven’t been a cable or satellite customer in the last 90 days and live in or near one of the cities listed below, you may be eligible for our Local Television Satellite Solution (LTSS) program*. This program will allow you to continue receiving the same or similar Canadian over-the-air channels you’ve always enjoyed courtesy of Shaw Direct. Please call one of our service representatives before November 30, 2011 at 1.888.782.7602 to see if you qualify.”

    My friend, who is an amateur radio operator, advised me to install a Channel Master 2018C HD UHF, VHF antenna, which I did. We’re located west of Miami on top of the first step of the escarpment. We also added a pre-amp. We are getting channels 7.1, 9.1, 13.1 and 35.1 steady. Channel 12.1 comes and goes. It’s usually there during the day but disappears at night. I think re-aiming the antenna slightly to the south might solve the problem.
    Channel 6, which is still analog, is snowy. It was clear as a bell with my old VHF antenna.

    My friend says the problem with higher gain antennas is they are more directional. One can deal with that by installing a rotor.

  67. Scott says:

    I live in the West Kildonan area had no problems with Global but to receive CTV and CityTV I had to move the VHF antenna to the 2nd floor and go thru a 15db amp. It now comes in most of the time but breaks up sometimes.

  68. Moe says:

    St.Claude mb
    After bying a uhf antenna on a 30 ft poll all i get is channel 13,all the rest is gone !!!
    Thanks whoever is responsible !!!!!!!!!!–# @ & % * $

  69. theviewfromseven says:

    This might sound strange, but I found out by accident last night that Citytv reception improves significantly with the antenna on the floor, of all places. Go figure.

  70. Claude says:

    As CBC and Radio-Canada are accountable to Canadians, we need to engage our local MP who has the ability to demand results from CBC. The change has been planned for years and there are no excuse not to be ready.

  71. Brian Hydesmith says:

    I sort of thought maybe CBC Winnipeg would make their much delayed OTA DTV debut on November 1st. Still no mention of the actual launch date on their web site. Does anyone know an engineer or someone at CBC who can give the straight goods on this?

    Also, I was thinking that some TV techie person could offer consults on getting all the channels for city customers once CBC gets back on track.

  72. Harve says:

    Nice job. 9 miles south west of Portage I get CTV 7.1 at about 70% and 13.1 at 100%.
    No luck with Global. May try a UHF antenna.


  73. The Wizard of Oz (Mike P.) says:

    Cool page. The graphics really help visualise what is available. I am quite surprised there aren’t any “repeater” stations for those outside the viewing area.

    I’m in the South East end of the city within summer time walking distance of the mint. As of a couple of weeks ago I was able to pull in all the Canadian digital stations. Both the CBC stations were there but had lots of snow. KNRR is just not coming in at all. I suspect the reason is I am using a badly aimed VHF antenna in the attic.

    Anyhow, I’m thinking of building one of those coat hanger antennas just to see if the claims some of the Americans who use them make are true. Since the cost is less than $10.00 it’s probably worth it to satisfy my curiosity. I found three different plans and a couple of suggestions for improvements. The one suggestion I may try is to double the number of elements (4/side to 8/side) for higher gain. What do people think about the results (assuming you’ve tried them already)? Is there any particular plan which works better than the others?

    I was talking with a member of the Seniors Ham Radio Club on Friday to get his opinion. He said he was mostly into VHF and not UHF but there were some common sense things to consider. UHF is more line of sight than VHF. It also has a shorter range. The amount of power for each station has been reduced from what it was before. Also, I shouldn’t believe everything I read on the internet. 😉 I found a reference to the potential range of the coat hanger antennas. The unmodified plans are for “fringe” areas and the suggestion to double the elements will increase the gain to that of “deep fringe” areas. Apparently this same reference claims (for UHF) “fringe” areas are up to 60 miles and “deep fringe” areas are up to 100 miles. My friend disagrees. Since the horizon is 24km away (line of sight at ground level), I wonder if it would be worth the time to build the higher gain antenna? Still for the cost of some screws and washers…

    Does anyone have some additional suggestions?

    P.S. Sorry about the fake e-mail address. I’m paranoid about privacy. 😉

  74. Bill says:

    I made the little coat hanger one. Don’t waste your time unless you are sitting on top of a tramission tower. It did work don’t get me wrong, but I am out on the fringe and it did not do that well for me. What it did do was give me the exact directions of where the towers were by reading signal strength. What I built was a version of the “BIG BERTHA” antenna you can find on the net. It works well for me, with the addition of a booster.If you want some photos let me know here and we can work out how to get them to you.(I live about 70 + miles sw of Wpg.Mb as the crow flies.–Bill

  75. The Wizard of Oz (Mike P.) says:

    I just did a search for the “Big Bertha” antenna. Google gave me eight pages of results. Eliminating all but radio references gave me three categories. Well, two if you eliminate Ham Radio. Most of the references refer to ganging two DB8 (the coat hanger) antennas and including a “chicken wire” reflector. Two or three talked about substituting two Gray-Hoverman antennas for the DB8s. Last night after posting here I looked at some examples of ganging multiple antennas. Apparently the reflector really helps a lot, but going for more than two antennas in the “gang” does not produce much difference. Is the “Big Bertha” one of those two or am I completely off the mark?

    BTW, there were a couple more tips I found last night. The first was to use a spacer of non-conductive plastic to separate the actual metal from the wood. I don’t know if this makes any sense other than because wood can absorb water… Another is the choice of metal makes no difference. One guy in Florida made a DB8 out of old steel strapping. Then there was the idea splitters can be used in reverse to combine signals. One person said they tried changing the size of elements in the DB8 going from 10 inches to 7 inches (half an inch at a time) and noticed no difference in signal strength. Finally, grounding an outdoor antenna is important. All things to consider…

    With more information comes more questions… Since a splitter can be used to combine signals from antennas, would it be a problem if I were to add in the old VHF antenna I currently have in the attic? The other has to do with a Youtube video where someone somewhat to the North of where I am claims to pull in Minnesota stations better than North Dakota ones. This is somewhat odd since they are farther away…

  76. theviewfromseven says:


    KNRR is a real challenge to pick up in Winnipeg now. At 4,440 watts, they’re by far the lowest-powered of the stations that broadcast into southern Manitoba. For comparison, their analog signal used to be 316,000 watts.

    My guess is that the station is only still on the air because it has some paper value (as a tax write-off? as collateral?) which would be lost if the Red River Broadcast Corp. surrendered the licence and dismantled the tower.

  77. Bill says:

    Is this what you found ?

    My version was built along the B-Bertha line out of scrap stucco wire and old antenna parts. I used abs pipe etc for the frame.
    It ended up with six sets of rabbit ears on it. If you picture the rabbit ears in the horizintal position. Not a wizzard at this just put in to play what I had. I am begining to think if you stood on your roof with your arms up and a cable plugged into yourself somewhere you will pick up a signal.
    I get KNRR at about 58 s/strength and am pointed to the SE. Odd I know.
    If I point due south I get or have gotton as many as 17 stations wth poor s/s.
    Again odd, as there is really nothing to the south of me in the States.
    Spacers I am sure or insulationg the wires etc is important.
    Also to make sure everything is cut to length.
    Ganging I do not think would help me any.One is oly going to get so much out on the fringe. My antenna ended up 2 ft w x 6 ft h, and the booster adds to the grab.
    I never eleiminated all the connectors between the antenna and TV. So if I ran a single full cable to eleiminate all the joiners (or pieces of cable) I have my reception would be better.
    Still I am getting s/s at 55+ and up to 68. Until I have a problem I will not replace the cable until next year.
    It’s been fun to build and did not take much of my time. It works as good as anything anybody around me has bought that I know of and paid out good money for basically the same thing.
    My advice to anyone, if you like to toy around and build things, have at it. It will no doubt work to some degree.
    If you want pics, email me at

    Subject title your email — antenna soI do not miss it

  78. The Wizard of Oz (Mike P.) says:

    @Bill (I guess that’s how the youngsters do it)

    That was one of the plans I found. That’s the one with the two DB8 antennas ganged into one.

    The other one I found used two Gray-Hoverman antennas. This site I found when looking for a picture, refers to it as a DBGH.

    In certain areas people are raving about their SBGH. Presumably the DBGH would be better. Still, comparing the two designs I wonder which would be better to start with. I’ll probably build both when I work up some ambition and time.

  79. john says:

    I noticed, since I last checked last night, that CBC still isn’t on the air (digitally).
    I had read that they were to be up by Nov. 30th, but still no signal.
    I can’t say I’m surprised but it is disappointing that they can’t seen to get their act together.
    I never could get very good reception from them with an analogue signal and after Sept 1st I just didn’t bother with them and figured I could wait a month. Well now we’re into December and I wouldn’t mind watching a Jets game, but still nothing.
    Does anyone have any news about what’s going on over there ?
    Maybe a new pretend switchover date just to keep people like me appeased ?

  80. Reed Solomon says:

    CBC Manitoba posted a tweet on twitter the other day saying hopefully some time this week. I’m not getting my hopes up, but it’d be nice.

  81. john says:

    Thanks Reed.
    Maybe it’ll be up by Christmas.

  82. David says:

    CBC and Radio-Canada’s new DTV transmitters in Winnipeg will begin broadcasting on December 7, 2011.

  83. christopher says:

    As usual CBC is postponing digital service,they should have been doing business like global,they were ready way before august deadline.CBC analogue signals are worst in Winnipeg and since I do not subscribe to cable because I’m on welfare I’m losing out on prime viewing .So we may be looking at next year in spring time.,because the high winds .Bullshit there is always high winds at that height.

  84. john says:

    Re: CBC
    You’d think they would have tested it before formally announcing that they going to turn it on, but their latest ” notice ” implies that they haven’t even installed it yet.
    What a truly incompetent bunch of people. If they cared at all about their viewership they would have had this done months ago. I hope they get fined by the CRTC.

    CBC: Can’t Broadcast Crap !

  85. Reed Solomon says:

    For the record both 27 and 51 had a digital signal working today around 4:20. It was unfortunately little mosque on the prairie, so not the best programming, but it was working. They powered it down about 10 minutes into wheel of fortune.. 4:40. I guess they have a few things to do still, but as of right now, they do have the tower up and were able to transmit both CBC English and French signals.. so it could be back up at any moment.

  86. Anjum says:

    Lol ! its like a child who do not wants to do home work and keep on inventing excesses one after another. Good job CBC!

  87. Reed Solomon says:

    As of this post I’m picking up CBC and SRC again on 27 and 51 respectively.

  88. Anjum says:

    @Reed Solomon
    as of 10.00 pm central Dec 07, Were you able to pick up CBC digital? After reading your post I tried @ 10.00 pm Dec 07 and today @ 9.00 am Dec 08 there is nothing. Thanks for up to date info. I haven’t able to see digital signal from CBC yet.

  89. theviewfromseven says:

    I tried scanning for their signals between 10 and 11 p.m. last night, but detected nothing — not even the usual “pause” I get with 7.1 and 13.1

  90. reed solomon says:

    CBC took it back down again. They say it should be back up and running on Friday.

  91. Anjum says:

    @Reed Solomon – thanks again for up to date info.
    Following notice on CBC site;


    CBC and Radio-Canada’s new DTV transmitters in Winnipeg will begin broadcasting during the morning of December 9, 2011. ”

    I hope this is final. No high winds on Friday morning!

  92. reed solomon says:

    Well the tower is up and was working yesterday so high winds are irrelevant at this point in the process. I don’t anticipate any more delays but of course the way cbc has continued to bungle this whole situation you can never say never. Really they just have to check they did everything copacetic and power it up.

  93. Kevin says:

    Just re-scan, CBC is up and running on channel 6-1

  94. Reed Solomon says:

    BTW seems CBC and CBWFT both seem to be working right now, so hopefully its for good this time.

  95. probnot says:

    I can tune in both CBC and SRC with the capture card on my pc, but when I try to tune to 27 or 51 on my TV, it still re-directs me to ch 6 analog.

    For some reason it seems choppy/laggy on my pc (although all the other stations seem fine). I’m hoping it’s just a bug they’ll have fixed for tomorrow.

  96. Khan says:

    When I scanned my TV catch CBC English @ 27-3 and picture is good but @ 51 it pause for few seconds and then move on. So only CBC English since 2.30 pm. I live in south pembina near perimeter.

  97. Khan says:

    Both CBC Channel are coming fine but they are on 27-3 and 51-3 on my TV. Are these on sub channel 3. Rest like Global, CTV, Joy and CtiTV are on 9-1, 7.1, 35-1and 13-1 are on sub channel 1. Is it just my TV or everyone having the same?

  98. probnot says:

    After some fiddling I now get CBC, SRC and Global flawlessly – but that’s it. If I take my rabbit ears out on the balcony and get them just right I tune in CTV (with artifacting) and JoyTV.

    I’m in an apartment in St.Vital where I’m surrounding by 11 stories of concrete on all sides except North.

  99. theviewfromseven says:

    I was just reading a critique of the how the U.S. Federal Communications Commission allowed broadcasters to use far too little power for their digital signals. This article suggests that digital TV stations should use the same standards that cellular systems use for their digital signals.

    I punched in the new numbers for each of the stations serving Winnipeg and southern Manitoba. Sure enough, Global gets a gold star for good planning and CBC gets a commendation for at least planning for a signal strong enough to get into all the nooks and crannies, like basement suites in Osborne Village, if not for a timely sign-on. CTV and Citytv fall way short of cellular standards, and KNRR has little hope of acceptable indoor reception anywhere north of Morris. Joy TV and SRC fall somewhere in between.

    Red = Meets recommended minimum for reliable indoor cellular/Digital TV reception with minimal effort.

    Blue = Meets recommended minimum for reliable outdoor cellular/Digital TV reception; reliable indoor reception might require some “fiddling around”.

    Grey = Meets threshold for passable outdoor cellular/Digital TV reception; acceptable indoor reception will be very difficult.

    KNRR Channel 12.1

    CTV Winnipeg Channel 7.1

    Global Winnipeg Channel 9.1/40.1

    Joy TV Winnipeg Channel 35.1

    Citytv Winnipeg Channel 13.1

    CBC Winnipeg Channel 27.1/6.1

    SRC Winnipeg Channel 51.1/3.1

  100. news8000 says:

    Over decades as a family we have never subscribed to cable or sattelite, relying only on rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna to watch CBC, CKND and CKY TV local broadcasts. It has met our needs, and having more time spent with the tv off is probably a good thing.

    We have spent $85.00 for a digital converter and raised our old VHF rooftop antenna, and can now only receive CKY digital TV. CBC TV and Global TV cannot be detected likely because they use UHF channels 27 and 40 and require a different antenna. So in a few days CBC TV, our last analog TV channel, will go off the air for us.

    I’m considering spending $200 or more for a new UHF/VHF fringe antenna and signal amplifier but this does not even guarantee we’ll pick up digital CBC or Global at our distance, though we’ve always had analog reception near Hadashville. And CKY , which is all we get now, isn’t and hasn’t been our favorite channel, the CBC.

    I’m confident many television watchers like us choose not to pay, or cannot afford, $40.00+ a month for dozens of extra channels we don’t need. We rely on local tv for entertainment and locally relevant news programming. Many will lose over the air TV completely and cannot afford digital converters, and possibly amplifiers, antennas and cabling if in the fringe reception area. This will mostly affect many of those who can least afford the digital solution, and their access to relevant television news, sports, information, entertainment, and education from the CBC and other TV channels, will end.

    To compound the problem rural internet connections struggle to provide the bandwidth required for streaming content, for example if I wanted to watch on my computer Hockey Night in Canada as the Jets play. And most content is not available online. So goodbye to The National, Hockey Night in Canada, Manitoba News, and some of the best tv series out there.

    I’m curious how many other Manitobans are losing TV access including CBC TV as a result of this digital conversion. I’m especially sad (and somewhat annoyed) to be saying goodbye to CBC TV. You’ve been a mainstay, and thanks.

  101. The Wizard of Oz (Mike P.) says:

    @news8000 (Dec. 13)

    As of tonight (around the Mint – S.E. Winnipeg) we are able to get all the Winnipeg stations with an old VHF antenna except CBC (English). Night time is better than day time.

    I’ve been reading about some home made antennas and they look to be darn promising. For a prototype I’ve decided on a SBGH. That should be more than adequate for those in the grey area on the signal map. Someone in the States is selling it for $60.00. If it works I may ramp things up a tad and go with a DBGH (essentially two SBGHs combined with a splitter). According to tvfool there are a number of stations just beyond the line of sight. According to some of the ratings I’ve seen, if there is any kind of signal from these stations, this antenna will detect it. You may want to give it a try yourself. You’ll still need the converter box (or a new HD TV). It’s a whole lot less expensive than the $200 for a commercial antenna.

    FYI, I have found a couple of sources for materials. I’m now looking to see where I can find them as cheap as possible for the prototype. Sure it’s going to look terrible but at least I’ll know if it works. 😉

  102. news8000 says:

    Mike P. said:
    “we are able to get all the Winnipeg stations with an old VHF antenna except CBC (English).”

    Are you getting CKND 40.1 with the VHF antenna?

  103. Our state TV station (please don’t call the CBC public TV) the CBC has gone digital as of 12:00am on December 14th. I just heard a brief comment on the CBC yesterday about it going digital. Such a short notice is highly irresponsible from the CBC. Can you imagine all the seniors on fixed incomes living in Gimili or Arborg for example who can not receive anymore TV. They will have to subscribe to satellite or cable which is not cheap.

  104. JSH says:

    News8000 have you tried aiming your antenna north to pick cbwt channel 4 from lac du bonnet. The signal is strong where you live.

  105. Bill says:

    Not until the public stands up and petitions the poor transmission strength wil anything be done.
    {{{Can you imagine all the seniors on fixed incomes living in Gimili or Arborg for example who can not receive anymore TV. They will have to subscribe to satellite or cable which is not cheap.}}}
    Not just in these areas.
    It is boiling down to the same thing in Canada or if you wish, the worlds next banana republic, the rich get richer, and the poor get left behind.

  106. David says:

    I’ve been reading this blog for some time now. It has been interesting to see how folks have worked at getting digital TV.

    I live south east of Kleefeld and use three antennas for digital TV. These are: two Channel 2 – 13 VHF antennas and a UHF antenna. The VHF antennas are 1980’s vintage Radio Shack deep fringe 17 element V-log periodic arrays. The UHF antenna is an original design 8-bay Channel Master CM-4228.

    The VHF antennas are mounted on a single mast at 25 and 30 feet above ground. The antenna at 25 feet is aimed at Pembina, ND. The upper antenna is aimed at Elie. These two antennas are joined together through a Winegard CC-7870 2-way antenna coupler. The antenna coupler feeds into a Blonder Tongue Skyliner III preamplifier. (The antennas are separated by 5 feet to reduce their interference with each other).

    The UHF antenna is aimed at Portage and Main in Winnipeg. This antenna is mounted on a separate tower also 30 feet above ground. This antenna feeds into an Antennas Direct PA-16 UHF preamplifier.

    The VHF and UHF antennas have separate coax cables. The UHF cable has two GE 9 dB inline amplifiers installed at the end of a 100 foot coax cable to make up for cable losses. The coax cables are merged together close to the TV using an Antennas Direct UHF / VHF Antenna Combiner.

    At the moment, I typically get the following signal strengths;

    3.1 (UHF 51) CBWFT: 40 – 50

    6.1 (UHF 27) CBWT: 75 – 100

    7.1 CKY: 90 – 100

    9.1 (UHF 40) CKND: 40 – 75

    12.1 KNRR: 40 – 75

    13.1 CHMI: 90 – 100

    35.1 CIIT: 100

    The only problem that comes up occasionally is signal breakup on 12.1. This is due to interference from 13.1 when its signal is strong and 12.1 is weak. Most of the time, this isn’t a problem. I had to cut down some trees that were close to the UHF antenna and this has improved signal strengths on this antenna. Some careful aiming of the UHF antenna was also needed to reliably get CKND’s signal.

    It will be interesting to see how this setup works in spring when the leaves come out. I expect the UHF signals to drop but hopefully still be strong enough to give me a solid picture.

  107. bwalzer says:

    Here are my reception results here in the West End of Winnipeg:

    Channel Strength Quality

    7 90% 100%
    13 87% 100%
    27 86% 100%
    35 80% 94%
    40 94% 80%-100%
    51 63% 75%

    Here is a perhaps excessively detailed account of the perhaps excessively complex antenna that produced these results:

  108. The Wizard of Oz (Mike P.) says:

    @news8000 (Dec. 14)

    Sorry for the delay. Yes. CKND comes in fairly well. My cheap Walmart TV doesn’t give signal strength but for a rough ordering of what I am getting/could get for quality I’d have to guess this as close as I can get.

    51.3 5/5
    7.1 4/5
    13.1 4/5
    40.1 3/5
    35.1 3/5
    27.3 Absent
    12.1 Absent
    8.1 Absent – I was talking with someone in Princess Auto who said he got this one a couple of times.

    BTW, I said I was going to build a DBGH. I ran into a couple of construction issues (all the wood I have is too short and a jig is a REALLY good idea for bending the wires but I have the same problem there). In the mean time I’m going with the coat hanger antenna posted on the make magazine/TV website. I’m taking a break right now and will get back to it in a couple of minutes (bad back and a lot of standing don’t mix). I’ll check back in a couple of days. If anybody is interested in reading a comparison, let me know…

  109. The Wizard of Oz (Mike P.) says:

    Replying to myself…

    The coat hanger antenna works. In some ways it works better than that large VHF antenna I have connected. It brings in a different set of five stations. It can get 9 (40), 13, 27 (with great difficulty), 35, and 51. CBC (French) is the strongest of all of them. Here are some useful notes:

    – It works better on the ground floor than in the basement (two channels there).
    – It is somewhat directional. If aimed the wrong way the channels drop from five to two.
    – Some of the UHF stations come in better than with the VHF antenna.
    – Channel 7 is completely lost.

    I also tried rabbit-ears.
    – Two channels.

    Also a hunk of junk I threw together for getting UHF in Toronto.
    – Two channels but not as clear.

    My assessment:
    – It was worth the build to satisfy my curiosity.
    – The antenna does work as is for most local UHF stations and Channel 13.
    – The build is quick and simple.
    – Since I did not build a base for it I was not able to put it up very high since a 2×4 is not exactly stable by itself.
    – Indoor usage is fine.
    – I suspect the wire mesh in the stucco is causing some signal loss.
    – Place it up high (attic is a good idea).
    – Total cost (most are recycled parts I had before) was a couple of bucks for some wire.
    – In MY situation the big VHF antenna is fine apart from CBC (English).
    – In certain situations the two antennas are roughly comparable.

    What I can do later:
    – Build the base.
    – Plug in an amplifier.
    – Build a reflector.
    – Try it outdoors.
    – Connect a second one or a VHF antenna.

    Build/No build?
    – Build only if you want something quick and have nothing better to do for an evening. 😉

  110. Dennis says:

    I came across this site while researching the local television satellite solution (LTSS) that several relatives have gotten installed as a free t.v. service from shaw. (With apparent good results)
    I live south of Grunthal (45 min south of Wpg.) & have had good results with a cheap antenna that I bought on the net. Its built by lava (model HD-2605.) I believe the company was antennadeals.(Ive also seen them on ebay.)I recieve the following chanels:
    All chanels come in clear. (although the antenna has a rotor & you usually have to rotate it slightly to get 12.1)
    The antenna is intended to be rooftop But it looks like it wouldn’t handle to many Mb storms so i have it inside on the 2nd story.Maybe 20′ off the ground
    IF anyone is interested in the free t.v from shaw, I’d encourage you to call 1-888-554 7827. my brother in Balmoral had this installed and several family members including myself are in the process right now to get set up. Shaw will send you a reciever. When that arives then you call them & they will install the dish all at no cost & no monthly bills.shaws contract that they emailed me promises the following channels;
    If it sounds to good to be true. Just research “local television satellite solution”

  111. news8000 says:

    The local television satellite solution (LTSS) is working for us! Just had the dish installed and get all the local Winnipeg stations as advertised. Distance to the OTA transmitters for us is near 100km so the distance limit of 80km mentioned on other web sites (mostly antenna discussion groups) does not seem to be a factor in my case, although our old vhf antenna WAS able to capture the local stations before the digital conversion. So no more digging up home-made antenna designs like the DBGH to pick up the deep fringe digital OTA signals. Get onboard before Shaw runs out of designated funds for the LTSS program.

  112. news8000 says:

    And thanks to Mike P. and Dennis for suggesting contacting Shaw in their comments on this site.

  113. Mike says:

    In the Whiteshell and get CTV strong, sometimes Global and City, no CBC digital. I like that CTV shows program info, good for the OTA dvr with TV guide channel. If you’re in SE manitoba point the antenna at Roseau MN. Broadcast tower with all Grand Forks and Fargo stations and PBS MN with pgm info.

  114. Rene says:

    I recently connected an indoor Phillips digital antenna with amplified vhf/uhf signal as a backup for my Bell satellite system. Shortly after that my remote controls would no longer work on the Bell 3100 receiver. I finally disconnected and unplugged the antenna and rebbooted the receiver and the satellite system now works OK. The antenna causes interference regardless of where it is situated in the house. Anyone else run into this??

  115. Allan Dawson says:

    I have Shaw’s free satellite service to back up my antenna. The Shaw program provides the local channels, plus a couple more. It works well, although the picture quality is not HD and nowhere as good as the over the air picture. I haven’t experienced any problems having both the antenna and dish hooked to my fairly new digital TV. Both have their own inputs. I was told I can run my TV using the satellite remote only, but being new to satellite and not very adept with electronics, I use the satellite remote when operating the satellite and the remote that came with the TV when viewing over the air. Could how you’re using the remote be the source of the problem?
    Fortunately I’m able to get most channels over the air so seldom switch to satellite.

  116. Rene says:

    I have disconnected and unplugged the antenna and the remote seemed to be working normally for a while. After a while the problem returned on a sporatic occurance. The remotes and receiver have been tested at another location so we know they are not the cause. The TV is a 3 year old Sharp LCD 42 inch that I recently acquired. The issue may now be some of the settings/options on the TV that are causing the receiver not to respond to the remotes. I’m in the process of elimination that hopefully will resolve the conflict. At some point I hope to reintroduce the antenna after I can localize the problem.

  117. Harve says:

    I can not help with your remote control problems. Does anyone else have a problem with
    poor picture quality via satellite? Compared to over the air antennae it is blotchy at best.
    Free as it may be it cannot compare with the OTA HD.

  118. The Wizard of Oz (Mike P.) says:

    On a different computer today…

    A couple of days ago I completed and tested Rev 0 of the SBGH antenna. Essentially it was some wire from Home Depot and coat hangers screwed to some wood. Check out on June 6’th for a picture (a shameless plug – but at least the picture is on the net).

    I tested it outdoors (at ground level) in two different parts of Winnipeg. Namely St. James and Windsor Park. The antenna worked very well. In St. James. all the Winnipeg stations (including the VHF ones) came in very clear. In Windsor Park I had trouble picking up Channel 13 but I was able to get it by holding the antenna a little higher. Having forgotten the remote when I went to St. James I was unable to look for the American stations. In Windsor Park I was surrounded on all but the North Side by stucco buildings so the American stations would have been a lost cause anyhow. Indoors (in the basement) I was able to pick up three stations. One station better than the coat hanger antenna. The thing to remember is the SBGH is a directional antenna and has to be aimed properly.

    Normally I would leave it there. However one of the people watching the demonstration in St. James asked me to make another for a lady friend living downtown who can’t afford Shaw or MTS. I figured I’d ask some friends at a metal shop to help out with the next build. Since this is for someone else (after I test it myself) it would be a good idea to use better construction techniques and a newer set of plans to see if there would be any significant difference. I’m already impressed with the results and cost of what was built so far. Anything more would be amazing. In the end I suspect all we’ll see is the stations in the Winnipeg area.

    The next set of questions for the readers here relates to getting a little more out of the antenna for the next build… Even if there is no improvement I’d still like to know the answers so I can impress people. 😉

    1) Has anybody used better construction techniques and what were the results?
    2) Has anybody in Winnipeg built a DBGH and is it a significant improvement over an SBGH?
    3) Assuming there is going to be a major improvement in the next build, other than the Winnipeg stations and KNRR, what other stations are close by (eg. Brandon and towns to the North)?
    4) The fellows lady friend has an Eastern exposure on an upper floor… What Minnesota stations are people to the East of Winnipeg picking up?
    5) If I get the build done early I can also test it at the Morden Airport at their Friday barbecues this summer. What stations are people getting there (channel numbers, network, call signs, and country)?
    6) How about TV tuner cards for computers (specifically Mac and Linux compatible)?

  119. Lloyd Jamieson says:

    We are summer residents at Falcon Lake Manitoba. Just arrived and were surprised to discover CBC still Analog. Reception still marginal this year. We have an old analog rooftop antenna, CBC is the only channel we can get, or ever got. Can you advise us what kind of antenna we should invest in and are we likely to pick up anything else, from the States maybe. thanks. Lloyd

  120. theviewfromseven says:

    I’m guessing you’re picking up CBC’s analog signal on either channel 4 (the Lac du Bonnet relay) or channel 8 (the Kenora relay). Those are expected to go off the air entirely at the end of July. By international agreement, analog TV is supposed to be phased out worldwide by mid-2015, and CBC can’t afford to upgrade its rural transmitters to digital by then. So, they’re turning off the transmitters this summer and hauling them off to the dump.

    After the end of July, there will likely be no reliable over-the-air TV coverage of the Falcon Lake area, forcing those who haven’t already done so to buy a satellite dish.

  121. Kevin says:

    Some areas are so remote or just out of range that getting signal is either impossible or very limited. Hooking up satellite is an expensive alternative, especially for summer cottages. One bonus is, if you’re already a satellite subscriber in the city, or wherever, you can put up a dish and either buy another receiver or transport an existing one back and forth to the cottage. Bell allows up to 6 receivers per account but, will only service the primary location. If you ask them that you would like one at your cottage, they will only do it if you set up a 2nd account. Now this is where I come in, if you’re an existing Bell subscriber and you would like to set up a dish at your summer cottage, I can do it. I can also do the HD antenna as well, but it’s very hit and miss depending on location. If interested send me an e-mail at

  122. canyda says:

    Found this on a Google search. I’m an Albertan with a family cabin at Grand Beach. Looking for updated info on whether it is worth us buying a digital antenna for our cabin’s old CRT TV. How many channels would we get up there from Winnipeg?

  123. Justin says:

    @canyda. At Lester beach just passed grand beach I’ve added a c7777 pre amp and have the antenna (with a 100 mile reach i believe) 7feet of the top of the cabin. We now get globle at 90 to 100% and joy tv at 90 to 100%, CBC 90%, city tv is not bad sometimes it’s great and other times it comes and goes. Ctv is ether in or nothing at all not sure why but I know they need to boots the signal.

  124. John says:

    I am located in Hazelridge, Mb. I have a digital converter with an older bent up analog antenna mounted on a 15 ft. pole. I am recieving CBC, CTV, Global, City TV, and Joy 11 crystal clear, every channel.

  125. Philip Stiff says:

    I live in the Garden City area of Winnipeg (just a few streets over from the northern edge of the city) and am able to pickup all channels using an RCA-ANT751 antenna + pre-amp attached to the roof of my garage. I’ve noticed that lots of folks are having an issue with CKY (7-1) and CHMI (13-1) on the north side of the city. I couldn’t get them either with only an indoor antenna. You basically need an outdoor antenna to get them reliably.

  126. greg says:

    just tried digital as I cancelled my cable.,in Charleswood using an indoor antenna I get all local channels very clearly.The big question-I am looking at an outdoor antenna from RCA that claims a 100 mile range>I would use a pre-amp and mount approx. 15 feet off the ground.Antenna is $85 at menards,btw.Any chance of receiving american tv?Or am I just wasting time and $…..

  127. bwalzer says:


    The only American station you could hope to get reliably would be KNRR on channel 12. I am in the West End. I had a high gain antenna with a good preamp at 25 feet. I used to get it about half the time. I have now given up. You might have a bit better luck from Charleswood as you are a bit further south.

    BTW, there are still some high gain channel 12 antennas around from the old days. They are the ones with 10 elements (+-2) that are all about the same length.

  128. Harve says:

    Just my opinion but chances of reliable reception from Charleswood seems remote. I am less
    than 60 miles from Wpg (west of Portage) and it is hit and miss.

  129. Harve says:

    Reading my previous post the hit and miss refers to CTV. CBC and CKND come in with skip
    on cloudy days and sometimes at night. I have used both an old beat up antenna with at least
    10 elements and also a motorized hd antenna on a 25′ tower. Could be a tree issue but leaves
    are pretty much done here.

    Of course City booms in at a quality of 95 or better.

  130. theviewfromseven says:

    KNRR is a tough catch anywhere in Winnipeg, as the city is just on the outer edge of what the CBC and some researchers consider the lowest limits for rooftop antenna reception without special equipment — 41-42 dBu for the Channel 7-13 band.

    Charleswood looks like a better place than most parts of the city to try to pick up KNRR. But even there, you’ll probably need the kind of prominent antenna that farmers way out in the country used to pick up TV signals before satellite TV came to the rescue. The only places in Winnipeg where KNRR exceeds the recommended minimums for rooftop antenna reception are south Charleswood, Whyte Ridge, Fort Garry south of Bishop Grandin, St. Norbert, Fort Richmond and South St. Vital. (I’m not sure what effect CHMI on neighbouring Channel 13 has on KNRR, but it probably helps that they’re running at fairly low power.)

    KNRR in Winnipeg

  131. Royliveshere says:

    What’s up with CBC and SRC transmissions? As of 3 months ago the over the air digital signal for the video is cutting out for 1-3 seconds periodically, especially frequent on commercials. I have talked with others who are receiving a poor over the air signal. So far, we have all readjusted the antennas direction, height, rescanned signal, manually input the signal and tried substituting the digital tvs. All other channels (7,9,13,35) are coming in crystal clear. My location is North Kildonan in the City of Winnipeg. I’ve called CBC to report the problem 2 weeks ago, but no correction so far. Anyone else with the same problem? Prior to this, I was receiving all stations clearly.

  132. soh anj says:

    Yes Royliveshere I have the same problem. I was thinking that it is something wrong in my TV. But after reading your post I realize that its CBC transmission at fault. I have this freezing problem over a month. Every 5 second picture freezes but sound continue.

  133. bwalzer says:

    The signal strength of CBC (english) has increased a lot lately. My signal strength here 3 km west of the transmitter increased from 86% to 100%. It *should* be “pinning the meter” here according my TV Fool report (-20dBm). I now wonder if CBC was initially running at a much lower power than they stated in their licence application and have recently resolved the problem.

    If I was living near downtown the first thing I would do would be to eliminate or at least de-power any (pre)-amplifier in the system. A signal level this high could cause receiver overload even with an unamplified outdoor antenna pointed at the transmitter, using an amplifier is just looking for trouble. Note that such overload can degrade channels other than the one CBC is on (27). The digital TV standard used in North America (ATSC) is based on amplitude modulation and is fairly sensitive to signal overload.

  134. Allan Dawson says:

    I’m 70 miles away, just west of Miami. My CBC reception varies with the weather and the TV I’m watching in my house. I have three and one cuts out more than the others. It’s probably because the signal strength has been reduced by the splitter. Weather is a big factor. When there is thick cloud or an inversion sometimes none of my TVs receive CBC. The most reliable stations here are CTV and City. When I can’t get an over-the-air signal I flip over to my Shaw satellite. Shaw installed it free of charge last year as part of its program to replace over-the-air service people lost with the switch to digital. There’s no subscription charge either, but I only get the local channels, with a couple of others (KNOW, CTV AB2 and Shaw weather) thrown in. Unlike the over-the-air service, the satellite picture is not HD and it’s noticeably inferior. I’m watching less TV because there are fewer programs worth watching. So I spend more time reading more and listening to CBC Radio and podcasts.

  135. John says:

    I have never noticed any freezing on CBC but do experience 2 other problems.
    First of all the sound and the picture don’t line up. It’s been like this since day 1. The audio is broadcast about half a second before the corresponding video. It’s bearable during a slow moving drama, but otherwise it’s very annoying.
    The other thing is that on windy days the picture cuts in and out. My antenna is inside and although there are large trees in my area, the wind wouldn’t affect the path between my antenna and Portage and Main. Plus this happens in summer or winter, with leaves or no leaves. Global is also affected in the same way and is slightly worse. This leads me to believe that the transmitters are affected by the wind. Perhaps they need better bracing ?
    I live in Wolseley so I’m quite close. I have a home made antenna in the wall of my porch as well as a set of rabbit ears (for CITY TV) sitting on a table inside the porch. I don’t use an amplifier as my TV is about 10 feet away. I have never had an interruption of CTV, and only rarely have on CITY and JOY, but it’s hardly worth mentioning.
    Any thoughts ?

  136. Royliveshere says:

    Problem has been corrected.
    Thanks CBC.

  137. Phil says:

    Yeah I notice it’s been fixed too. CBWT-DT Winnipeg is coming is great now over antenna. Same with the French Station, CBWFT-DT. It was freezing before even though I was getting 100% signal strength from the Garden City area. Now it works fine. They must have fixed something.

  138. soh anj says:

    Since CBC fixed the freezing problem all channels i.e. CBC ENGLISH , CBC FRENCH, GLOBAL, and JOY are coming crystal clear with my rabbit ear antenna. I live in south Winnipeg at Pembina hwy and perimeter . The only channels missing are CTV & CITY TV. I wish they should also move to UHF or at least have a transmitter with in city limits. Or they can use Global or CBC transmitter sub channels by renting from them.

  139. David Stewart says:

    It’s interesting to read about the problems some have had wth signal breakup on CBC. I had problems with signal loss during the digital change-over. Global was most affected as they have the weakest signal here. I fixed my problem with a chainsaw: I removed three trees that were blocking my UHF antenna. UHF is easily affected by trees and buildings.

    The February 2013 edition of Popular Communications has a DIY article describing an omnidirectional DTV antenna with gain. For those in Winnipeg this could be a good choice.

    My own antenna system is described above in my entry for Dec. 18, 2011.

  140. Austin says:

    Hi all;

    I’m in the process of cutting the cable in Selkirk. We enjoy online programming enough that we decided to cut. But I’d still like to get CBC and some hockey! ;))

    Suggestions would be much appreciated regarding best set up. I’ve been checking out some rooftop sets to attach to my old satellite dish mount. Important to get something that I can remote adjust?… Dont wanna have to climb the roof during Coachs Corner!

    Excellent thread here by the way… a lot of great info.



  141. bwalzer says:


    Selkirk is one of the better places for OTA TV after the digital transition. All the transmitters are more or less in the same direction. As a result, no adjustment would be required after installation. The VHF channels are a bit weak there (7{CKY}, 13{CITYTV}) though. If you really just want CBC then pretty much any UHF antenna mounted on the roof will do. The Tip Top Electronics (the only local store I have found that sells reasonable outdoor TV antennas) web site shows the Channel Master CM2016 which would work nicely on your satellite J-pole. This antenna *might* pick up channels 7 and 13 as well.

    If you want to get all the channels solid all the time then something like a Channel Master CM2020 would pretty much for sure work (also found at Tip Top). With a larger antenna like the CM2020 you would probably want to consider something a bit stronger than the satellite mount.

    Added: It turns out that the Source sells these antennas as well but they don’t seem to actually stock them all that much in Manitoba.

  142. Austin says:

    Awesome…. glad to hear I’m on the track. As it happened I was just on the tip top site last night checking out the channel master 2016.

    I’ll look into this and I’ll be sure to put an entry on here to let y’all know how it goes.!


  143. Rob says:

    Using a RCA CANT711 Amplified Indoor/Outdoor antenna mounted on a 3rd floor balcony on the western edge of Winnipeg near School Road. Perfect signal on all channels. Too bad they won’t add more on their sub channels like Global did with 9-2 to broadcast SD.

  144. Jeff says:

    CM2016 will be fine for cbc/global on uhf, but for ctv/city it will be difficult without an amplifier. Tiptop also stocks the CM2020 which has better vhf gain.

  145. Tawnya says:

    I seem to have only about 69 percent reception, and live right in Winnipeg. Could the hydro field close by be causing my problem? Any suggestions on how to improve the reception? I am in an apartment and have to use an indoor antenna; right now it is in the window with tinfoil wrapped around it lol

  146. theviewfromseven says:

    It looks like CKND/Global will be the first digital station in western Manitoba. But unlike many other stations, they’ve filed an application with the CRTC saying that they don’t want their assigned UHF channel 44 slot, preferring to use VHF channel 9 instead.

    If approved, existing unused channel 9 allotments at Melita and Dauphin would be deleted and replaced with a new channel 9 allotment at Minnedosa for CKND-DT-2’s use. Any future use of the vacant Winnipeg channel 9 allotment, formerly used by CKND-TV for analog, would have to avoid co-channel interference with the Minnedosa signal.

    Shaw Television claims that it cannot replicate CKND-2’s channel 2 VHF analog coverage area using UHF, and thus wants to use a higher VHF channel instead.

    As is normally the case with digital TV on VHF, indoor reception is probably not going to be satisfactory at all. (See complaints above concerning CKY/7, KNRR/12 and CHMI/13.)

    Technical details:

  147. David says:

    Has anyone noticed a drop in CKND’s signal strength on UHF 40? Since the switch to digital I’ve been receiving CKND at signal strengths of 40 – 75 on my Sharp TV. Now the signal is down to 0 to 30. Daytime reception is very poor with a great deal of signal breakup.

    CBWFT, CBW and JOY-TV signal strengths are all good; they are what I’ve normally seen.

    The only thing I’ve noticed is that CKND has added a 480i subchannel on 9.002. Is it possible that this subchannel has the effect of reducing the signal level on 9.001?

  148. anjum says:

    In fact channel 40 (Global), channel 35 and channel 55 $ 26 (CBC Eng & French) i.e. all UHF are the ones I can easily watch even with my rabbit ear antenna. And I live right at the perimeter south. Since the conversion from analog to digital I haven’t able to watch VHF channel 7 and 13. No CTV nor City TV. I am surprised why CTV and City TV are reluctant to use UHF and deliver good quality picture to public. Or may be they do not want to loose revenue from cable or satellite user. Because they all belong to one or another cable providers.

  149. No Signal says:

    Where does the CRTC stand on this issue of signal strength. IF you are going to make a change , the change should be as good or better. If it is not, then someone should answer for it or , get rid of the technology and go back to what was working till you fix it.

    Its unacceptable that a service is worse than before – Not everyone requires HDTV.

  150. MK says:

    My parents live by Hazelridge MB between Oakbank and Beausejour (25 miles from winnipeg). They have a Channel Master (CM-3671) long range VHF/UHF antenna. By all accounts, they should have no problems receiving the digital channels because they are well within the 160km stated range of the antenna. It is pointed directly towards winnipeg.

    They have a Samsung LCD TV. It has a very simple signal strength meter built-in.

    On a good day, they can receive channel 3.1 (CBC french), 6.1 (CBC english), 7.1 (CTV), 9.1 (Global), 9.2 (Global), 13.1 (City), and 35.1 (JoyTV).

    Despite the JoyTV transmitter being further away, this channel always comes in crystal clear (even in the worst weather) while Global drops signal almost every single day.

    On most days, every channel is good except Global which is the WORST offender. The channel always drops out, and sometimes cannot be tuned back in until days later. This is a problem, because my parents favour Global programming and shows.

    Also, CBC 3.1 and CBC 6.1 have the highest signal level (from the TV signal meter) but there is a LOT of digital break up and pixellation in the video while the audio is perfect.

    Can anyone else in the Hazelridge area share their digital TV experiences?

    What could be the problem with low signal on Global 9.1/9.2 and the terrible pixellation on CBC channels 3 and 6?

    Thanks for your reply.

  151. john says:

    Hi MK,
    I live in Winnipeg and have problems with Global and CBC too. For me, it’s when the wind blows. They both break up consistently. My antenna is indoors so I suspect the transmitters may be affected by the wind. Summer or winter doesn’t matter, same thing. All the other stations are ok. Maybe the wind is an issue for your parents too. Good luck.

  152. AL says:

    I live in Oakbank…and you story sounds very familiar! We can get channel 9.1 for weeks, and then, it will not come in for days. If we play with the position of the antenna, I might be able to pick it up again. I’ve come to terms with not relying on Global!! We also get City tv (13.1) most days (more often then Global). When ever I miss something good on Global, I’ll just hook my laptop to my tv and stream to watch my global tv shows. Not a solution to your parent’s problem, but at least you know it’s not their antenna!

  153. bwalzer says:


    So the channels (the real channels, not the fake ones) you are having trouble with are 27,40 and 51. The TV Fool report for the town of Hazelridge is here:

    Click on “All channels” in the “pending” section to show all the channels. The problem channels are all in the exact same direction. They are also all in the UHF band.

    Perhaps the antenna is in a bad spot? Can it be moved (perhaps just on a broom handle or whatever) a bit up or down, left or right (higher is usually better)?

    Is there a lot of cable? Perhaps a preamplifier at the antenna might help. Cable loses a lot more signal on the UHF channels than on the others.

    I note that the antenna used here is of a type suited to the environment before the digital transition. Has it been out in the weather a long time? Do you need to redo the connections with new grease? Has the cable had a chance to get water in it?

    Is there interference? You might try unplugging everything but the TV to check for this.

  154. winnipeg305 says:

    So, has anyone in Winnipeg been able to consistently receive US stations? If so, with what and how? I’m currently using a surprisingly decent cheap antenna, an RCA CANT711 but I know there’s better. My antenna is at about 50 feet and I have no problem with local stations. I occasionally receive PBS 16-1, 2, 3, and 4 and more regularly receive KNRR 12.1, usually in the morning. I’m thinking of investing in better antenna and want to know if it’s worth it.

    Thanks in advance.

  155. theviewfromseven says:

    For receiving more than KNRR, even a better antenna won’t be of much help. Reliable reception is largely limited to the line-of-sight from a station’s transmitting antenna, and KNRR is the only U.S. station with a line of sight to Winnipeg.

    The next closest stations have their towers about 200-250 kilometres from Winnipeg; too far to be received reliably with any antenna. These stations sometimes reach Winnipeg when atmospheric conditions are just right, but not regularly.

    Here are links to the service area maps for the closest U.S. network affiliates:

    8 WDAZ (ABC) Devils Lake-Grand Forks

    10 KBRR (Fox) Thief River Falls-Grand Forks

    12 KNRR (Fox) Pembina

    16 KCGE (PBS) Crookston-Grand Forks

    25 KMDE (PBS) Devils Lake

    38 KXJB (CBS) Valley City-Fargo

    44 KVLY (NBC) Fargo

    Another good resource for looking up coverage areas or what might be available: TV Fool

  156. winnipeg305 says:

    Thanks for all of that. I really appreciate it.
    I get that there’s the curvature of the earth to consider. So what if I was at 140 feet? Does that change things? TV Fool seems to think so.

  157. winnipeg305 says:

    At the very least, would a better antenna receive KNRR consistently?

  158. theviewfromseven says:

    No problem.

    Add a zero to that, and now you’re talking! 🙂

    A better antenna might help with KNRR. No guarantees, though.

  159. winnipeg305 says:

    Okay. Thanks TVFS. Much thanks.

  160. David Stewart says:

    KNRR is the only US station I receive reliably. I live on a line between Steinbach and Grunthal and I have ‘vintage’ Radio Shack channel 2 to 13 aimed at Pembina ND. I also use a pre-amp on that antenna. You’re probably getting KNRR now because of some temperature inversions. I’m getting some distant VHF scanner signals for the same reason. You might consider an outdoor antenna like the Antennacraft Y10713 120″ Cut-to-Band HDTV Antenna carried by Radio Shack.
    This is the antenna I was looking at for my application if anything happened to my vintage… like a turkey landing on it. I had a shortwave antenna torn down by a turkey flying into it.

  161. winnipeg305 says:

    I guess that’s The Source now right? I’ll see if they’re still carrying that. Any dea of the cost?

  162. bwalzer says:


    The Source doesn’t carry Antennacraft antennas. You would have to head across the border to an actual Radio Shack. You could order the Y10713 off the web. There are still a fair number of high gain channel 12 antennas on roofs and attics in Winnipeg. You might be able to score one simply for asking…

  163. winnipeg305 says:

    Okay. Anyone want to donate one? I’ll post results here for those interested.

  164. For those in Winnipeg and possibly other Dollarama locations they have a $3 RCA HDTV antenna. Works fine here in south St. B. CBCF, CBC, CTV, GLOBAL HD/SD and JoyTV.

  165. winnipeg305 says:

    Joy TV is now Hope television and it is completely useless. At least when they had 60 Minutes, Supernatural and a few other shows there was a reason to occasionally go see what was on. Now it’s religious TV all the time, 24 hours a day. Would even the most dogmatic amongst us want that? What a waste.

  166. winnipeg305 says:

    Hope Television – Even God wouldn’t mind the odd National Geographic special every now and then you know?

  167. theviewfromseven says:

    In case anyone is interested, I took advantage of the CRTC’s “Let’s Talk TV” consultations to raise the issue of poor VHF digital TV reception by submitting the following comments:

  168. Tim says:

    Live near Grunthal.

    My record was 24 channels dxing in the morning. I get all winnipeg channels. 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 35. Channel 8 is usually on from 7 to 9 am and most evenings. If channel 8 comes in at full bars ….. then my tv scan hestates on 10, 15, 16, and 44.

    I built my own antenna using a match transformer, copper wire and pvc pipe. This feeds into a plastic box containing a channel master amp. This is key. Amplifier should be right next to the antenna.

    Typically, this is on a mast about 25ft high. For fun last summer I ran this up our 80ft silo. No difference in pulling in dx from Fargo and Detroit lakes or pulling in channel 8 during the day.But every channel from wpg was at 100 percent.

    Fringe antennas only work if all transmitters are in one spot. Otherwise a rotator is needed. Get ready to spend time on your roof. I have a 13ft monster periodic I got for free. It picks up only what it is pointing at.

    Fyi I got the same amount of channels using homemade rabbit ears and the amp as I did with the free 13ft monster that probably cost them nearly 300 bucks.

    So….. I joined them together. Point the 13ft south and my homemade west northwest to get elie and wpg. No dropout except major storms.

  169. FRIDAY says:

    I just joined the party. Moved to downtown Winnipeg a few blocks away from a Portage & Main and bought a cheapo Philips indoor antenna. I expected to get CBC and Global, and that would be a-ok. Global is perfect, CBC has a crisp picture and excellent sound but freezes and skips. Same goes for RDI. Hope is a mess. Any possibility of fixing this? Thanks gang!

  170. bwalzer says:


    If you are downtown you should be having no problems with signal strength for CBC and Global. I used to be able to get them OK with just a paper clip, in the basement, in the West End.

    Some TVs are not compatible with the signal that CBC broadcasts and will have video that “skips”. The sounds tends to be OK. I have a friend with a two Samsung TV’s. The older one skips on CBC, the newer one does not. Upgrading the firmware did not help. The friend gets a good signal through MythTV using the older TV. The MythTV box uses a HDHomerun as a tuner.

    This problem has been reported in other parts of the country. I suppose one fix would be to trade TVs with someone who does not do OTA.

  171. bwalzer says:


    Thanks for taking the time to do the submission on VHF equivalent coverage. I remember that during the digital transition, that the calculated noise margin for analog and digital signals for CKY(7) on TV Fool was more or less the same. OTOH, the noise margin for CHMI(13) showed up as 6 dB less. I suspect that TV Fool was using the FCC contour, but the big drop might imply that the CRTC wasn’t really insisting on equivalent coverage.

  172. Philip Stiff says:


    I have 3 HDTV’s plugged into my outdoor antenna and YES i have the same problem as you on ONE of my TVs; a Panasonic 32LCD. Both my Sony and my LG TV are fine and pickup CBC and CBC French fine. Even on my Panasonic it says in the info that it’s getting 98% signal strength, but i get constant freezing every few seconds. I think the CBC is simply broadcasting something in their signal which is slightly out-of-spec and that’s why certain TVs don’t seem to like it.

  173. FRIDAY says:

    Thanks guys! I have a Samsung. It was handed down. I believe it’s a plasma 50″ or so. Likely a few years old, probably more. I lent away my Samsung 32″ LCD just recently so won’t be able to compare. Oh well.

    I did play around with the antenna and am able to get Hope just fine after all. It’ll be good to watch for Hinn and Popoff. Those two guys amaze me.

  174. FRIDAY says:

    UPDATE: just checked the back of the TV. It’s this one:

    Manufactured in October 2011

  175. Violeta says:

    I have been getting excellent over the air digital tv reception on cbc, ctv, global, joy on my Samsung Smart tv since 2011. Since the end of November 2013, the over the air digital tv reception on cbc has been freezing up. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced the same problem?

  176. winnipeg305 says:

    They’re all working fine for me still.

  177. Matthew says:

    @Violeta – Same exact thing has been happening on my Samsung. This is the first forum that I have seen others having the same issue. Emailed CBC about it but haven’t received a response. If anyone ever finds a solution. I’d love to hear it.

    Note: On my RCA, TV picture is fine but voices are way off.

  178. john says:

    I don’t get any cutting in or out, but my audio does not line up with the video on CBC either.
    The video lags by about 1 second. It’s like that 95% of the time. Been doing it since day one.

  179. Violeta says:

    @Matthew: I contacted CBC about the freezing up. The CBC technician thought that the digital transmission is bouncing off something ( e.g. tall building, etc.). I live in Charleswood near Assiniboine Park, so I don’t know if something they started building at the Zoo is the problem or not. What part of town do you live in?

    The CBC technician suggested turning the roof antenna, but that won’t be happening until spring.

    My audio and video is working just fine on all of the stations, with the exception of the picture issue on CBC.

  180. Violeta says:

    I was going thru the channels on my Samsung tv today and the picture on CBC is perfect again
    without changing a thing on my end of things???

  181. Matthew says:

    @Violeta – Thank you for the heads up. I had a good feeling it was all good here as well soon as I saw your post . I turned on my Samsung and sure enough. Crystal clear! Also on my RCA the audio is now perfect as well. Matches their mouths.

    As for your previous post I live just outside the east perimeter. So on the opposite side of where the broadcasting antennae is located compared to you. Didn’t really seem to me it would be our issue. So if you ever have a chance to talk to a CBC technician, tell them Thank you. Even though they might not admit it. They must have done something and all that matters to me is I’m glad it’s working. Hopefully for good and not just temporary. 🙂

    Also Thank you! You probably got them to at least look into it.

    Take Care!

  182. bwalzer says:

    I asked my friend with the 2 Samsung TVs, one not working on CBC, the other working on CBC if things had recently changed. They had. The TV that didn’t used to work on either the English or French signal is now working.

    This change in combination with Violeta’s report suggests to me that the problem wasn’t due to “the digital transmission is bouncing off something”.

  183. Violeta says:

    I emailed the technician at CBC and asked him what changed yesterday. His response was the following ” even though all the test equipment indicated everything was fine, pulled the plug on a key component of the transmitter then plugged it back in to allow it to re-boot much like with computers. The key component is 90% computer like circuitry.”
    It appears like they figured out the problem, after getting a number of complaints about the reception.

  184. theviewfromseven says:

    A little trick I tried yesterday that, so far, has improved CKY 7.1 reception:

    a.) Take an old analog scanner radio with the squelch set just above the minimum, and find a relatively weak but audible signal in the 137-174 MHz band — just below CKY-DT’s frequency.

    b.) Wave it over any surfaces on which you might be able to place the antenna. Look for spots where the signal you found is coming in relatively well. Place the antenna in one of these “hotspots”.

    It was quite interesting to observe how small some of these “hotspots” were, illustrating the importance of exact antenna placement for reception of VHF signals. A weaker signal that was coming in decently at one spot would be squelched out just a foot or two away.

  185. Robert says:

    Do you have any experience with the Channelmaster CM2020 7-69 antenna ? Do you know if it favours certain channels over others ?

  186. Sohail says:

    Hi, anyone know why Global changed its channel from 40 to 19. Also CBC planing to do something with its Winnipeg transmitter channel 27. Anyone know what is going on.

  187. theviewfromseven says:

    The digital repack is happening, requiring stations above 600 MHz to move to lower frequencies. The 600 MHz band will soon be used for other wireless services.

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