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Canada: Antennas Selling Briskly in Toronto

Americans may be witnessing their twice-delayed final transition deadline looming only a few weeks away, but Canada has until August 2011 to make its major crossover to the digital side. Still, some CE retailers like Karim Sunderani in Mississauga, Canada, say he’s selling about 1,000 antennas a month these days.

Inside his shop (albeit with a standard $55 outdoor antenna), Sunderani easily demonstrates for customers how well he can pick up more than a dozen HD channels, according to the Toronto Star. The retailer says a lot of Canadians apparently are still unaware that even when all Canadian broadcasters make the DTV switch in a couple of years, viewers will still be able to intercept signals terrestrially “just like in the old days,” he said.

The newspaper reports that a lot of other CE outlets in the greater Toronto region also are reporting brisk antennas sales. Some retailers say the ailing economy in North America also is prompting more consumers than usual to at least start up their HD viewing using the over-the-air approach in order to on save cable or satellite fees.

The quality of the HD images doesn’t hurt, either, they say, since OTA HD does not suffer from over-compression.

Many TV households in the Toronto market technically should be able to pull in between 15 to 18 stations with outdoor antennas (and some dwellings with only indoor, of course)—via towers in Toronto, Hamilton (Ontario) and Buffalo. Along with the CBC, the reachable channels also include some affiliates of U.S. networks ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS, according to the Star.

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