Canada Begins HDTV Broadcasts reported CBC to begin HDTV Broadcasts March 5. The Digital Home Canada article doesn't mention over-the-air broadcast channels and the CBC web site does not mention CBC's HDTV broadcasts anywhere I could find. Private broadcaster CITY-TV recently announced it was transmitting HDTV over channel 53 in the Toronto area.

According to the CDBS files dated Feb. 27, 2005, the CBC has DTV channel 64 (CBLT) in Toronto and channels 64 (CBFT) and 61 (CBMT) in Montreal.

What impact will the CITY and CBC DTV operations have on U.S. TV stations? Based on the Letter of Understanding between the FCC and Industry Canada related to the use of the 54-72 MHz, 76-88 MHz, 174-216 MHz and 470-806 MHz bands for the digital television broadcasting service along the common border, the only CBC station affected is CBMT in Montreal, which has a comment that the ERP has to be equal to or less than that of channel 62. No call letters or location was specified for channel 62. The entry for CITY-TV says "-10 dB to Batavia NY after transition, Batavia -3 dB to Toronto. This is confusing as WPXJ-DT in on channel 53 now, but can't remain on that channel after the transition. On FCC Form 382, WPXJ-DT elected to elect its final DTV in round two of the FCC channel elections.

With many Canadian DTV stations operating above channel 51, interference concerns with new users of the out-of-core spectrum is still being resolved. In an Oct. 22, 2004 letter to Senator Ernest Hollings concerning interference to 700 MHz public safety channels, FCC Chairman Michael Powell said the FCC was working with Canada to "realign" vacant Canadian DTV and analog channels that posed potential interference to public safety operations in Washington state. The letter notes that Canada moved vacant DTV channel 68 in Victoria, BC to channel 43, as well as reassigning analog channel 68 in Vancouver, BC to analog channel 41 and reassigned Victoria BC analog channel 66 to analog channel 46.

As the DTV transition in Canada has started much later than the transition in the U.S. and is likely to finish much later as well, this is likely to have an impact on many users of TV broadcast channels, whether broadcast or new services even after the U.S. DTV transition ends.