A listener recently posted a question on Facebook.
“I have been asking my wife and I, what’s the best way to get a good signal in our living room?” asked one person.
“What do you think?” asked another.
“If I have to drive a lot, and my wife has a problem with noise, and she’s on the phone with someone, I can’t afford to turn the TV off, I have a problem hearing,” one person replied.
“And then there’s the sound of a car driving past in my driveway, and I can hear it from my front yard,” another person added.
“In my opinion, the best option is for a family to be in the room together,” one listener replied.
The answer, according to the questioners, was “not much.”
“It’s probably not worth the effort,” one woman commented.
“But it’s probably worth trying.”
A recent study found that one out of three households in Canada don’t have enough radio and TV to go with the rest of their home.
And according to a new survey, more than a third of Canadians have difficulty getting a good reception from their TV or radio.
In a new report by CBC News, a majority of respondents — 67 per cent — said they’d rather be in their own living room, rather than having their television or radio turned off.
The survey found that in the past two years, the number of Canadians who would prefer to hear TV or phone signals on their own has grown by almost 50 per cent.
That’s partly because Canadians are moving away from the home in which they grew up, according a survey of Canadian adults conducted by the Angus Reid Institute.
That means that a growing number of people are living in homes that are more remote, with a higher proportion living in cities than rural or suburban areas.
“The reason we’re living in remote communities is because they’re more connected to the internet and are less connected to each other,” said Michael LeBlanc, an analyst at the Angus Murray Institute.
“People who are living alone and not living in a neighbourhood have less ability to receive a signal.
And people living alone tend to be more disconnected to the rest and less connected with the outside world.”
The survey also found that those living in rural areas were more likely to be connected to TV and radio signals, compared to those living on the coasts.
And those living closer to urban centres were more connected, but not as much.
“It looks like the rural areas are not getting the benefits of a higher-quality signal,” said LeBlan.
“They’re not getting that benefit from having a home that’s close to an internet connection, where people can go online and connect to each others’ homes, or to the whole country.”
That’s why, the Angus report found, the majority of Canadians would rather be home alone.
“You would think the answer would be ‘home with family’ because that’s the way people live,” said James O’Connor, a senior research associate at the Institute.
But many Canadians are more concerned about privacy than they are about privacy.
“This is an area where people are very confused,” said O’Sullivan.
“Because the answer to privacy is ‘we want to know what you’re doing and who you’re communicating with.’
So, that’s really the first thing that people say.”
One of the biggest obstacles to getting good reception is that most Canadians don’t know what kind of TV or audio equipment they have, and the signals they do have aren’t reliable.
“For the vast majority of people, they don’t even know what equipment they own,” said Peter Kallman, a professor of public policy at the University of Calgary.
“That means that they have no way to protect their privacy.”
In the case of TV, Kallmans study found Canadians living in urban centres have a significantly higher chance of getting a bad signal than those living elsewhere.
“There is a lot of variation, but the overall pattern is that people in urban areas are much more likely than those in rural communities to have a poor signal,” he said.
The problem is particularly apparent when it comes to digital TV.
Kallaman said he was surprised to learn that only two out of five Canadians in his study lived in a city.
“Even the cities have very low coverage,” he noted.
“So, you’re going to have an extremely high rate of interference.
And so, people don’t actually know how much is really being transmitted.”
And that’s when the problem comes.
The Angus survey also asked Canadians how they would like their radio and television signals to be received, with one respondent suggesting that the most important signal should be the one with the highest volume, followed by the one that is closest to them.
The majority of those polled said that the second signal should only be heard if there’s no other sound.
But Kalleman said that’s not the case.