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May 4, 2020 1:08 pm  #1


CFTO weak signal

It was particularly bad this weekend, but generally less reliable since switching to real channel 8. Any explanations or hopes for improvement?

 

May 4, 2020 3:23 pm  #2


Re: CFTO weak signal

Perhaps running lower maybe they are working on repack of other channels in the CN Tower. tvguy usually chimes in and gives his great info on the situations.

 

May 4, 2020 3:30 pm  #3


Re: CFTO weak signal

They are hit and miss in Whitby and I have a clear shot at the CN tower from the roof.  50-60 kms tops, that said, I know they were on reduced power for a while.  Also, there is VHF and UHF for OTA.  My antenna is not both and for the life of me I can't remember what CFTO broadcasts on, but it sucks!!  Even the lowered powered Buffalo stations come in just fine and they are repacking if not already completed!

 

May 4, 2020 4:49 pm  #4


Re: CFTO weak signal

CFTO is VHF, formerly on RF 9 / Virtual 9, and since last year, they have been on RF 8 / Virtual 9.

I have the same problem with hit and miss reception of CFTO in Burlington. I have a clear shot to the CN Tower, and receive the other Toronto OTA stations without issue... except CFTO...

In fact, this past Friday / Saturday I was receiving CBS 5 from Syracuse N.Y., WPBS from Watertown N.Y. and most of the Rochester N.Y. UHF stations....

I have a couple of antennas with dipoles, but CFTO is hit and miss...

 

January 10, 2021 7:06 am  #5


Re: CFTO weak signal

I live in east Mississauga, near Etobicoke border.
I have a Channel Master 4221 antenna with an amp.
Over the last year CTV (CFTO 9) is getting more problematic.
I spoke to CFTO and they tell me they broadcast at 4,200 watts, as per licence.
That is a very very low power transmission.
If BCE trying to sabotage "free" OTA so that people are forced to pay to watch commercials?

 

January 10, 2021 10:30 am  #6


Re: CFTO weak signal

DanicaH wrote:

I live in east Mississauga, near Etobicoke border.
I have a Channel Master 4221 antenna with an amp.
Over the last year CTV (CFTO 9) is getting more problematic.
I spoke to CFTO and they tell me they broadcast at 4,200 watts, as per licence.
That is a very very low power transmission.
If BCE trying to sabotage "free" OTA so that people are forced to pay to watch commercials?

Your antenna is designed for UHF.  Since CFTO has moved to a slightly lower VHF frequency (from channel 9 to 8) the performance of your antenna will be even worse.  You may want to try a simple VHF dipole antenna.
 

 

January 10, 2021 12:46 pm  #7


Re: CFTO weak signal

DanicaH wrote:

If BCE trying to sabotage "free" OTA so that people are forced to pay to watch commercials?

OTA is a severe dinosaur. If you use IPTV to watch instead, Bell gets none of the money, unless you are using Bell internet. lol 

 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

January 10, 2021 1:27 pm  #8


Re: CFTO weak signal

Coming in for me like it always does in Peterborough. It is the only CN tower signal I can get

 

January 11, 2021 11:15 am  #9


Re: CFTO weak signal

Radiowiz wrote:

OTA is a severe dinosaur. If you use IPTV to watch instead, Bell gets none of the money, unless you are using Bell internet. lol 

Actually, OTA provides the best picture quality and therefore is not a dinosaur.
 

 

January 11, 2021 11:31 am  #10


Re: CFTO weak signal

speaking of Bell - ive now just about completely lost the CTV Two Barrie repeater CHCJ from hamilton (35).  I saw on some other discussion board that even people near it cant receive it properly.  Im in Etobicoke. 

 

January 11, 2021 11:41 am  #11


Re: CFTO weak signal

Radiowiz wrote:

DanicaH wrote:

If BCE trying to sabotage "free" OTA so that people are forced to pay to watch commercials?

OTA is a severe dinosaur. If you use IPTV to watch instead, Bell gets none of the money, unless you are using Bell internet. lol 

 

I would argue, that OTA has had a resurgence with cord cutting and digital.   I would say until the end of analog, perhaps it was heading for end of life, but the "dinosaur" is really seen a rebirth.   Sadly with the same people owning cable as over the air stations, there is for sure "less effort" being put towards OTA as it would be if the local station was owned by just a broadcaster.     Sadly with cable cutters, this is a poor move on their part, because no one who has cut their cable, is coming back because they can't get CTV.     As well, most of these IPTV services are not licensed and illegal.   They will only work until they get shut down.   

 

January 11, 2021 11:49 am  #12


Re: CFTO weak signal

There are two pretty interesting sites centering directly on cord cutting. 

The Canadian one is just OK:

Cutting the Cord in Canada 

The U.S. one features sites and suggestions that don't always work in this country, but are still worth a read, especially for those with VPNs.

Cord Cutters News

Both offer suggestions for those thinking of getting rid of cable and satellite once and for all.

 

January 11, 2021 11:23 pm  #13


Re: CFTO weak signal

I think the real issue with CFTO in Toronto is that they broadcast at only 4,200 watts.
and apparently decreasing
 

 

January 12, 2021 10:59 am  #14


Re: CFTO weak signal

andysradio wrote:

Coming in for me like it always does in Peterborough. It is the only CN tower signal I can get

Are you sure you're not receiving the CFTO repeater from Bobcaygeon?

Last edited by Tim Brown 2016 (January 12, 2021 11:16 am)

 

January 12, 2021 11:07 am  #15


Re: CFTO weak signal

DanicaH wrote:

I think the real issue with CFTO in Toronto is that they broadcast at only 4,200 watts.
and apparently decreasing
 

The FCC database show's the repacked CFTO licensed to operate at 13.8 kW.

My theory has always been that TV stations owned by Bell Media and to a lesser extent, Rogers, have no real incentive to maintain a good OTA signal. After all, every crippled OTA signal potentially brings in more Fibe TV or cable customers. Put another way, there's a negative business case for OTA because it's actually eroding their BDU business.

 

January 12, 2021 11:22 am  #16


Re: CFTO weak signal

With so many GTA OTA viewers having reception problems with CFTO, I can imagine Western New York viewers will only see the signal if tropo conditions are good. WBXZ ch 56 in Buffalo is listed at 15K and that signal is hit and mostly miss in the Toronto area.

 

January 12, 2021 11:29 am  #17


Re: CFTO weak signal

I've never been able to receive even a hint of a signal from Channel 56. Not once in all these years and I've tried in good tropo conditions. Good for you if you can!

If I'm lucky the stations on 67 show up, usually during the summer, about five times a year. If there was one signal I'd like to pull in more than any other, it would be this one. The subcarriers - with a few exceptions - are great. Wish we could get Decades here, but alas, it's not to be. At least not in this decade!

 

January 12, 2021 11:54 am  #18


Re: CFTO weak signal

RadioActive wrote:

I've never been able to receive even a hint of a signal from Channel 56. Not once in all these years and I've tried in good tropo conditions. Good for you if you can!

If I'm lucky the stations on 67 show up, usually during the summer, about five times a year. If there was one signal I'd like to pull in more than any other, it would be this one. The subcarriers - with a few exceptions - are great. Wish we could get Decades here, but alas, it's not to be. At least not in this decade!

Sorry. I got my channels mixed up. WBBZ ch 67 [26.9K] I had seen occasionally at my parent's home in Oakville. WBXZ at 15K, never. At 13K, I suppose CFTO is gone to Western New York viewers forever.                                    Just out of curiosity, I have often wondered if any of the Toronto tv signals were ever available in Rochester under tropo conditions. I am sure Mr. Fybush would know.                    

 

January 12, 2021 12:20 pm  #19


Re: CFTO weak signal

Tim Brown 2016 wrote:

The FCC database show's the repacked CFTO licensed to operate at 13.8 kW.

My theory has always been that TV stations owned by Bell Media and to a lesser extent, Rogers, have no real incentive to maintain a good OTA signal. After all, every crippled OTA signal potentially brings in more Fibe TV or cable customers. Put another way, there's a negative business case for OTA because it's actually eroding their BDU business.

I think you're spot on.  OTA does erode the BDU business and the BDUs are trying find any angle they can to get people back in.

I remember in the 90s, it was around 93% BDU usage in Canada.  Apparently, as of 2018, that's down to 71%.  That number apparently only includes cable and satellite.  Broadcasters still haven't found a robust way to monetize their online offerings.

Keep in mind that the original intent of BDUs was to provide a clean television signal without having to fool around with antennas.  I remember back in 1970 when we moved to one of the newer suburban neighborhoods in Kitchener cable was in place and the price was $5/month or $50/year.  Then again, you only got 6 or 7 channels -- that's all there were.

Remember when there was a push to provide free "basic cable" satellite service to anyone?  I don't know whatever happened to them but didn't they effectively get squashed by Bell/Rogers et al?

I used to enjoy satellite hacking back in the day.  At one point, my backyard dish farm pointed to 6 satellites.  It was fun.  As crypto technology improved I stopped doing that but kept my Bell satellite subscription because the hardware was already in place.  As I got older, I got more annoyed by signal dropouts during storms and having to brush snow off the dish.  I thought about OTA but then the thought of going up on the roof or worse, paying someone to do it, didn't impress me.  When we moved in 2018, we abandoned the dish idea even though there was a dish properly mounted on the side of the new house.  Although I'm no fan of Roger's, I have to admit the service has been rock solid.

 

 

January 12, 2021 1:45 pm  #20


Re: CFTO weak signal

If OTA eventually is a demise, what will be the point of the CN Tower..... besides tourism. 

 

January 12, 2021 2:22 pm  #21


Re: CFTO weak signal

markow202 wrote:

If OTA eventually is a demise, what will be the point of the CN Tower..... besides tourism. 

Well, there's still FM, but with some of the construction projects proposed for the city, the CN Tower's cost/height advantage may diminish in the next 10 years.

The news about Rogers Centre before the holiday break may be a sign of things to come for buildings like the CN Tower. We need only look as far as NYC for some indications of what the next generation of observation experiences are like.

 

January 12, 2021 3:11 pm  #22


Re: CFTO weak signal

CFTO has even fallen off my channel selection options on OTA when scanning up and down lately.  Pointless.

 

January 12, 2021 5:26 pm  #23


Re: CFTO weak signal

I havent seen a change in the signal on my end.  However I lost CHCJ!!  

 

January 13, 2021 1:39 pm  #24


Re: CFTO weak signal

mace wrote:

                                  Just out of curiosity, I have often wondered if any of the Toronto tv signals were ever available in Rochester under tropo conditions. I am sure Mr. Fybush would know.                    

The VHF signals didn't ever really come in here, thanks to the stronger WTVH Syracuse on 5 and the locals on 8 and 10 blocking out CFTO on 9.

On good days, back in the analog era, I could sometimes see the CN Tower UHF signals even with an indoor antenna. 41 always seemed to be the strongest once it went on the air. For a few years in the early 80s, the cable company here picked up 25 and 47 over the air and the signals were usually pretty clean. (47 I understand - it was a local Italian guy who leased the space on the cable system and sold local ad spots to reach the large local Italian community. I have no idea why the cable company thought there were Francophones here who wanted to see 25. We also had CJOH for a few years, thanks to the channel 6 relay in Deseronto showing up on cable.)

I don't usually get any of the Toronto signals over here on the southeast side of Rochester, especially where I live now in the shadow of Pinnacle Hill. But I have friends who live closer to the lakeshore on the west side who get good reception on outdoor antennas, yes, even of CFTO.

One important note: you can't directly compare power levels between VHF signals (CFTO, WBBZ) and UHF signals. It takes more power to get the same coverage at UHF. The FCC generally allows 1000 kW as the maximum power for UHF DTV, but VHF DTV is limited to 10 kW, though some VHF stations have been allowed higher power levels in order to match the coverage of the largest UHFs in their markets. 
 

 

January 13, 2021 2:09 pm  #25


Re: CFTO weak signal

fybush wrote:

mace wrote:

                                  Just out of curiosity, I have often wondered if any of the Toronto tv signals were ever available in Rochester under tropo conditions. I am sure Mr. Fybush would know.                    

The VHF signals didn't ever really come in here, thanks to the stronger WTVH Syracuse on 5 and the locals on 8 and 10 blocking out CFTO on 9.

On good days, back in the analog era, I could sometimes see the CN Tower UHF signals even with an indoor antenna. 41 always seemed to be the strongest once it went on the air. For a few years in the early 80s, the cable company here picked up 25 and 47 over the air and the signals were usually pretty clean. (47 I understand - it was a local Italian guy who leased the space on the cable system and sold local ad spots to reach the large local Italian community. I have no idea why the cable company thought there were Francophones here who wanted to see 25. We also had CJOH for a few years, thanks to the channel 6 relay in Deseronto showing up on cable.)

I don't usually get any of the Toronto signals over here on the southeast side of Rochester, especially where I live now in the shadow of Pinnacle Hill. But I have friends who live closer to the lakeshore on the west side who get good reception on outdoor antennas, yes, even of CFTO.

One important note: you can't directly compare power levels between VHF signals (CFTO, WBBZ) and UHF signals. It takes more power to get the same coverage at UHF. The FCC generally allows 1000 kW as the maximum power for UHF DTV, but VHF DTV is limited to 10 kW, though some VHF stations have been allowed higher power levels in order to match the coverage of the largest UHFs in their markets. 
 

Impressive, then again the lake helps alot.  I heard back in the analog era that CITY TV which was the highest antenna (on the last piece with all the signatures) was directional more-so to the north.   

 

January 13, 2021 2:54 pm  #26


Re: CFTO weak signal

markow202 wrote:

I heard back in the analog era that CITY TV which was the highest antenna (on the last piece with all the signatures) was directional more-so to the north.   

Correct.

The CITY-TV antenna occupied the highest position on the CN Tower and it was directional (nothing over the lake).  That antenna was decommissioned with the repack.  CITY-DT now shares an antenna with CIII-DT and CFMT-DT, which is located in the second highest aperture.

 

January 13, 2021 3:04 pm  #27


Re: CFTO weak signal

No change to CFTO signal strength in mid-town Toronto.  I only wish it was weaker, because I would like to watch WBBZ Springville on RF Ch. 7 VHF.  I haven't been able to attenuate Ch. 8 sufficiently to receive WBBZ.   Will try again in the spring, when I have safer roof-top access.

 

January 13, 2021 3:19 pm  #28


Re: CFTO weak signal

In Phase wrote:

markow202 wrote:

I heard back in the analog era that CITY TV which was the highest antenna (on the last piece with all the signatures) was directional more-so to the north.   

Correct.

The CITY-TV antenna occupied the highest position on the CN Tower and it was directional (nothing over the lake).  That antenna was decommissioned with the repack.  CITY-DT now shares an antenna with CIII-DT and CFMT-DT, which is located in the second highest aperture.

Isn't CJMT also on that antenna?

Also, is the aperture that previously housed CITY-TV being reserved for ATSC 3.0?

 

January 13, 2021 6:06 pm  #29


Re: CFTO weak signal

Tim Brown 2016 wrote:

In Phase wrote:

markow202 wrote:

I heard back in the analog era that CITY TV which was the highest antenna (on the last piece with all the signatures) was directional more-so to the north.   

Correct.

The CITY-TV antenna occupied the highest position on the CN Tower and it was directional (nothing over the lake).  That antenna was decommissioned with the repack.  CITY-DT now shares an antenna with CIII-DT and CFMT-DT, which is located in the second highest aperture.

Isn't CJMT also on that antenna?

Also, is the aperture that previously housed CITY-TV being reserved for ATSC 3.0?

I checked that not long ago but the height listings of antennas and I dont think its being used at all anymore.  
 

 

January 13, 2021 7:14 pm  #30


Re: CFTO weak signal

Tim Brown 2016 wrote:

Isn't CJMT also on that antenna?

   Yes, I believe you are correct Tim

Tim Brown 2016 wrote:

Also, is the aperture that previously housed CITY-TV being reserved for ATSC 3.0?

I doubt if that antenna will ever be used again.  It was designed for the upper UHF band (originally on channel 79) and of course, that band has been reassigned.  It also only has a single feedline, unlike all the other antenna systems.  The outside diameter of the radome up there is very small (about 5 feet) and the space between the radome and the interior spine does not provide any means to physically access the antenna panels.

As for ATSC3.0, any future services could probably be added one, or more, of the other CN Tower antennas.