There are a total of 6 TV stations broadcasting in the Calgary area. Most of us get them from a cable, satellite, or phone provider like Telus, Shaw, or Bell but you can pick up the stations off of the air. As of August 2012 all TV stations in Canada were required by the CRTC to broadcast in High definition, and to stop broadcasting in the old analog format.
So, what do you need to pick up these stations off the air for free? Well you need a special antenna to pick them up and the old rabbit ears won't do the trick. You can pick up an antenna at The Source here among other places. Some of the antennas are for roof top mounting and others will be indoor and sit wherever you can get a clear signal. If you are on the top of a hill you will have a better chance of getting a signal and saving on those cable bills. Also your TV has to have a tuner that is capable of receiving the HD signal so if you have a newer HDTV you should be in good shape.
Here are the stations and their channel numbers
- Global TV on channel 41
- CTV on channel 29
- CBC on channel 21
- City TV on channel 49
- CTS on channel 32
- Omni on channel 38
I should also mention that these signals are line of sight, meaning that if there is a big hill or building in between you and the transmitter, you probably won't be able to get HDTV over the air. Most of the transmitter towers are in the far northwest near Cougar ridge and Springbank which are some of the highest points in the city.
Another thing is that the picture you get from off the air HDTV is way better than the compressed crap you get from the cable, phone, or satellite providers. So it is definitely worth a try, and you will save some money.