Canada’s national television network, Global, is now broadcasting in HD in the Metropolitan Toronto and Golden Horseshoe areas of Ontario on their Hamilton (CHCH) and Toronto (CIII) affiliates. Global is Canada’s last major nationwide network to start broadcasting in HD. It was facing a June 2008 hard deadline imposed by the CRTC to begin broadcasting. It had missed previous CRTC-imposed deadlines.
Global (CHCH on 11-1 and CIII on 41-1) follows CTV (CFTO on 9-1), CBC (CBLT on 5-1), CityTV (on 57-1), SunTV (on 66-1), Omni1 (CFMT), Omni2 (CJMT) and CRC (CBC French) all of which had been broadcasting in HD for some time. TV Ontario is not yet broadcasting in HD.
Depending on their southern exposure, Torontonians can also expect to receive ABC (WKBW on 7-1), CBS (WIVB on 4-1), NBC (WGRZ on 2-1), Fox (WUTV on 29-1), PBS (WNED on 43-1), Think Bright (on 43-3), CW (WNLO on 23-1), RTN (retro TV on 7-2) and other U.S. networks broadcasting in HD from up-state New York.
All these channels are available free to anyone in Metro Toronto that has an inexpensive UHF antenna and an HDTV or other settop box with an ATSC tuner (a.k.a. HDTV tuner). Many HDTVs have ATSC tuners built in as do TiVo HD and TiVo Series 3 units.
TiVo HD and TiVo Series 3 owners in the Greater Toronto area can use their TiVo’s to tune and record from most, or all, of these HD stations so long as they enter zip-code 14174 (from Youngstown New York) when setting up their TiVos. This minor work-around is needed because TiVo’s guide data provider, Tribune, does not yet provide HD broadcast info using Canadian postal codes. There is also one outstanding problem using TiVos to record from CBC – which I document here). (For more info on using TiVo HD and Series 3 units in Canada, click here)
A complete list of Global programming can be viewed here. A short list of Global programming includes: 24, Big Brother, Bones, Family Guy, Heroes, House, King of the Hill, My Name is Earl, New Amsterdam, The Office, Saturday Night Live, Shark, The Simpsons, Survivor and Young and Restless.
These HD broadcasts were already available from the originating U.S. networks to the lucky Torontonians and the Golden Horseshoe with a clear southern exposure. Now that they are broadcast locally (off the CN Tower), these shows should be easily receivable by anyone with an HD tuner in Metro Toronto.