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Toronto/Are you able to watch most local TV stations from Buffalo New York in Toronto if you do not have cable or Satellite?


QUESTION: Are you able to watch most local TV stations from Buffalo New York in Toronto if you do not have cable or Satellite?

ANSWER: Hi. Your question is an interesting one, given the monopoly the cable and satellite companies have.

With a good antenna (or in some cases, simple wires have done the job), you can certainly pull in a bunch of stations from the CN Tower and other sources in Buffalo, and rarely, even Rochester. What makes the difference in your location in relation to your line-of-sight of a source, like the CN Tower. IN Toronto, if you're up on a hill, you'll get lots of channels. If you live in a valley, like Hog's Hollow, you'll probably end up with maybe two or three.

Apparently, because a lot of channels are HD, the quality is as good or better than cable. Weather may also play a part in how good your reception is.

What you won't get are channels that are specifically cable-generated, like CNN, most sports channels, theme-specific channels (like Discovery, History, Food, Showcase, HBO, etc..).

There is an excellent article written in the Toronto Star nine months ago, and it goes into this topic in more detail:

Now, I know lots of people who have given up their TVs and cable connection totally, watching programs on their computers or other devices via the Internet. Certainly with Netflix and other sites, there's lots of selection, and why pay twice when being online solves that problem?

Canadian media (TV, radio, etc.) is controlled by the CRTC, a body the oversees all content and regulates everything from cell phones to radio to TV. The major companies in Canada are Rogers and Bell, along with Shaw and a few others. These companies have a geographical lock on internet and cable services and satellite content. As rates continue to rise, more and more people are tempted to "cut the wire" and look for Old School ways of getting their media. Certainly, if you can get TV channels as easily as picking up AM and FM radio signals, then you stand to save a lot of money. But, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Hope this has answered your question.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Can you give me a list of TV stations from the United States only that you not have cable or Satellite? Can you receive Buffalo TV if you have cable TV.

Hi again,

The link below leadsd to a page that has all TV stations in the Buffalo/Toronto area listed that are available OTA (over the air), and explains it far better than I could ever put it into an email:

As to receiving Buffalo stations via cable, well, even basic cable will get you almost every station. Depending on the cable package you add to your program, the list can be upped to hundreds. Stations from Buffalo, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, the list can go on, and it's basically what you're willing to pay for. For $20/month, you can even pull in Japan TV in real time.



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Paul Caplin


I can answer most questions about Toronto, its history, culture, lifestyle and it's ongoing developing ethnicity. I'm also able to answer questions on the Province of Ontario in general, the history of "Upper Canada", its settlers and communities, and the importance of this province to Canada. I also am an expert on the history of some of the pro sports teams in the Toronto area, and can answer questions on the football Argonauts, hockey Maple Leafs and baseball Blue Jays. I can also answer questions pretaining to Canadian Visual Art, the Group of Seven, and what makes Canadian art so different from anything else in the world.


Born and raised in Toronto, there probably isn't a side street I haven't walked, a restaurant I haven't been in, a neighbourhood I haven't toured or a streetcar I haven't taken. I've seen communities come and go, buildings built and torn down, to be replaced by others, and seen the growth of Toronto that has become the incredible ethnic mix that it is today, more than any other city in the world.

Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, Bachelor of Education from University of Toronto, Associateship of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Retired music, art, Canadian history and drama teacher at the secondary school level for 35 years (31 in the same school).

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