Free-to-air analogue TV ends on July 31 in Revelstoke.

So long rabbit ears – hello free satellite?

The few holdouts who watch CBC TV via bunny ears will bid farewell to Peter Mansbridge, Coronation Street and Don Cherry on July 31.

The few holdouts who watch CBC TV via bunny ears will bid farewell to Peter Mansbridge, Coronation Street and Don Cherry on July 31. For those of you born after 1980, bunny ears are the twin car antennae protruding from the back of your grandpa’s TV set. Peter Mansbridge is the host of … oh, never mind.

The CBC is ending its free analogue broadcast to Revelstoke and many rural markets across B.C. and Canada on that date.

A CBC spokesperson told the Times Review only two per cent of viewers use the old technology and it was too costly to justify. The impending cancellation has been known for some time and was hastened by recent budget cuts to the CBC by the Harper Conservative government.

A lesser-known fact is a government regulator has ordered digital television provider Shaw Direct to provide a remedy for free-to-air users. We’ll spare you all the unnecessary details on how regulatory bodies arrived at this decision. Here are the key details: Shaw Direct has a one-off, $15-million fund and will install a free satellite receiver at the home of displaced analog users in rural who qualify for the program.

Once installed, you’ll receive eight free digital satellite channels. They are CBC Vancouver, CBC Yellowknife, CBC French language, CTV Vancouver, City TV Vancouver, CTV2 Vancouver Island, Global TV BC and CHEK Victoria.

Too good to be true? The Times Review called the hotline and confirmed the Revelstoke postal code is eligible.

There are restrictions. You have to have been an analogue user. You or your household can’t have had cable or satellite at your address in the past 90 days. And there are some technical requirements for your TV.

The program is first-come, first-served until the $15 million runs out, and the final deadline is November 30, 2012.

To apply for the program, call 1-888-782-7602.

 

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