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Breaking News: Senate votes to delay DTV transition four months

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by JDubbs413, Jan 26, 2009.

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  1. PersistenceOfVision

    PersistenceOfVision Cool Member

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    Jun 5, 2008
    Why can't there be a transition period?

    Why a "hard" switch over?

    1. Fully fund the DTV box coupon program.
    2. Switch off all analog transmissions every other week for 2 months
    3. Replace the analog transmissions with detailed instructions/pictures etc. to
    assist people with the change over (on the "off" weeks)
    4. At the end of the 2 month transition period kill all the analog transmissions

    I realize that there will still be some that don't take the time to change, but heck make them miss some of their shows every other week as some sort of motivation to do something.....
     
  2. Sander

    Sander Godfather

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    A converter box is needed if you get signals over the air to an analog TV. However, this will not solve the problem for those with analog antennas in even reasonably close-in suburbs.

    Digital TV antennas are needed. These are often very directional in nature, and must have clear line-of-sight. In 1996, before DirecTV offered local stations here in the Marietta, GA (Atlanta suburb), I opted to get a digital antenna for OTA to my DirecTV HD converter box. The antenna was often only able to receive DTV signals from one or maybe two local stations. I would have needed to get an antenna rotator to even attempt to receive the DTV signals from all of the Atlanta stations, rotating the antenna each time I wanted to switch stations. As it was, the antenna and installation ran over $200. I never did get to see the '96 Olympics in HD on NBC - HD.

    So in addition to the converter, many will need a costly new DTV antenna and antenna rotator, plus installation. For those with small portable TV's? Forget it.

    At least I had the option of using an analog antenna to receive SD local signals. But with the national switch-over, even this would not be a viable option.

    For most, today, the only real option is to get cable or satellite. An expensive option for many, in today's stressed economy. This is a complex problem and will not be solved by blaming mythical "dumbbells" from Chicago.
     
  3. HIPAR

    HIPAR Icon

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    Depending upon the number of stations who decide to switch early, the upcoming legislation might, in effect, create a phased transition. The problem being that won't happen in the major markets remaining analog until the final second.

    --- CHAS
     
  4. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    The mention of freed spectrum and extension of deadlines is for the replacement services. The new wireless services will not be penalized for not having their networks up (especially because an analog or pre-transition digital station may be in their way).

    ANY TV station, regardless of channel, may disable their analog within the rules set by the FCC. At the moment the rule is 30 day notice to the FCC and viewers - and all stations should be already doing notifications as part of the planned transition. If a station chooses NOT to disable analog they will need to pull their ads (as soon as it is legal to do so).

    Stations can't stay on the air beyond February 17th until this bill becomes law (except nightlight emergency only service). Only a lack of cooperation from an interfering analog station would prevent digital conversion and NOTHING would prevent analog shut off. (A station can disable analog and stay on a pre-transition channel, if needed.)

    It appears the ball is entirely in the station's court as to when analog dies. Of course, that could change when Acting FCC Chairman Copps actually has a law in front of him.
     
  5. loudo

    loudo Well-Known Member

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    Central Maine
    Not in all cases. I am using a 25 year old Radio Shack UHF/VHF antenna and getting all possible digital/HD stations on it. I get all the stations on my HR20 boxes and on 2 of my HDTVs that have digital tuners. Some of the stations come in with the digital tuner, hooked to that antenna, that I can't get with an analog tuner hooked to it.
     
  6. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    Youngsville NC
    How about go reading the bill itself - The only language I saw substituted "June 12, 2009" for "Febuary 17,2009".

    IOW - stations are free to shutdown early.

    From Sec 4 -
    SEC. 4. IMPLEMENTATION.

    (a) Permissive Early Termination Under Existing Requirements- Nothing in this Act is intended to prevent a licensee of a television broadcast station from terminating the broadcasting of such station's analog television signal (and continuing to broadcast exclusively in the digital television service) prior to the date established by law under section 3002(b) of the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 for termination of all licenses for full-power television stations in the analog television service (as amended by section 2 of this Act) so long as such prior termination is conducted in accordance with the Federal Communications Commission's requirements in effect on the date of enactment of this Act, including the flexible procedures established in the Matter of Third Periodic Review of the Commission's Rules and Policies Affecting the Conversion to Digital Television (FCC 07-228, MB Docket No. 07-91, released December 31, 2007).


    You wanted chaos - you got chaos....
     
  7. HIPAR

    HIPAR Icon

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    I think this backwards. It's more like a lack of cooperation from an analog station to accept interference from a transitioning station that can block a transition. Analog stations have priority on their channel until the new date.

    --- CHAS
     
  8. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Sam, I'm pretty sure you are mistaken about the current law of which this extends. The extension reads:
    Going back to the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 only discusses the required date by which all must be transitioned.

    And a quick read of the FCC "Matter of Third Periodic Review of the Commission's Rules and Policies Affecting the Conversion to Digital Television" indicates stations can terminate analog at anytime after meeting the notification rules. (And as James Long points out, every station has met those rules for February 18.) :)

    Unfortunately, this extension also extends the current rules favoring analog stations from interference rather than reversing the preferential treatment. Bummer.

    Perhaps next week we'll start a poll on the over/under of how many stations actually terminate their analog on February 18. :)

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  9. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Nov 15, 2005
    There ain't no such animals as "Digital TV antennas". They are just TV antennas that happen to work very well with both analog and digital signals. :)

    Now, some people might need a new antenna before the signals go full strength and others might need a new antenna afterward but only if they have the wrong frequency range (ie VHF only).

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  10. bobukcat

    bobukcat Hall Of Fame

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    Really? I can show you 20 highway signs within a short drive with absolutely no mention of a KM, it's all in Miles and MPH. I also work for a large Engineering/Manufacturing company based in the US and no one talks grams or centimeters, it's all ounces or inches. Our counterparts and suppliers in the the rest of world constantly voice the challenges they face because of this disconnect and I have friends who moved over from France that still stuggle with grocery shopping, following recipes etc.

    I only bring this up because unless a hard date is set and held to these are the kinds of things that happen, it drags on and on, and on.....
     
  11. aa9vi

    aa9vi Godfather

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    kinda, sort-of ... Some channels are increasing their ERP, some changing channels. Some stations can't increase power or go to a clearer RF channel until the analog stations shut off. (case in point for Chicago, the 3rd DMA, WBBM is on a horrible RF digital channel 3 and reception will be better once they move to 12, but they can't do that until WISN-12 Milwaukee analog signs off) Some stations are leasing transmitters for their temporary digital channels. The cost of running 2 simulataneous analog and digital transmitters is expensive. Also, tower climbing crews have schedules. I read somewhere that the PBS stations are going to have to scrounge up another $22M to cover this last minute change in plan. THAT is why this is a dumb decision.
     
  12. Kansas Zephyr

    Kansas Zephyr Hall Of Fame

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    +1

    I can't believe that this close to the end of full-power analog, that some still think there are "digital antennas".

    An antenna, is an antenna, it will "capture" any RF energy that strikes it, within its designed bandwidth. It matters not if the signal has analog or digital information.

    The reason some needed higher gain antennas was because of the initial lower power of the first temporary DTV signals. Others needed to add UHF or VHF since the some of the new channels were in a band they didn't use previously.

    Assuming you had a usable TV signal via antenna with analog...

    Since the majority of VHF high stations will move back to their "old" analog assignment after the analog cut-off, that same antenna will work just fine for DTV.

    If your DTV "legacy" analog and digital signal are both UHF, then again your current antenna should work.

    If you have a VHF or UHF only antenna, and the DTV signal will be in a different band, you might need a new antenna. Keep in mind some UHF antennas can also receive VHF Hi (7-13), too. Not with a lot of gain, however.
     
  13. Jon J

    Jon J Grouch Extrordinaire

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    Their chief engineer told me the digital transmitter on 56 is costing $10,000 a month in electricity cost.
     
  14. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

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    Stuart,

    It's also important to note that any channel can broadcast both digital and analog at the same time. So the people that HAVE TO HAVE digital can do so. Only the stations that want to support analog until June have to do so.
     
  15. loudo

    loudo Well-Known Member

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    Central Maine
    The bottom line, whether we want to see it extended or not, we will have to listen to all of those switch over ads for another 4 months. The only thing that will change is the date. They have been on for so long I have them all memorized by now and was looking forward to not having to listen to them any more after Feb. :nono2:
     
  16. koji68

    koji68 Icon

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    Jun 21, 2004
    Oh well... Thank God then!
     
  17. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Michiana
    At the moment analog and digital protect each other and there is nothing in S.328 that specifically prefers analog broadcasters. What I was trying to say was: If an analog station decides not to get out of the way of a digital station the digital station conversion is being interfered with. We basically agree ... the digital station will have to wait ... we're just saying it different.
     
  18. jacksonm30354

    jacksonm30354 Icon

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    Atlanta
    Back then, the stations probably were on low power and temporary towers.
    From a vantage point in Marietta now, you should not have to rotate the antenna at all as all the towers should all be in the direction of downtown Atlanta.

    I have a $20 Zenith Silver Sensor antenna in my basement in Hapeville and can get all of the Atlanta locals even WGTV which is broadcasting from Stone Mountain. Both WXIA (11/10) and WGTV (8/12) analog and digital signals are on VHF. The only station I can't get is 14 (ION) who's tower is in Catersville I think.

    What folks may need is a UHF antenna vs. a VHF antenna. As Atlanta has an analog mix of VHF and UHF and digital will also be a mix, the same antenna should work today. I believe all the stations in Atlanta are full power and will not change digital dial positions.

    I also set up my sister's in Columbus, GA. It will be a little trickier here - the NBC (38/35) and FOX (54/49) are about 10 miles away, CBS (3/15), ABC (9/47) are about 20 miles away. From her vantage point all 4 towers are pretty much the same direction. Using Silver Sensor here too, she's gets all of the big 4 flawlessly. It is a VAST improvement over any analog reception at this location. Now when the switch occurs, 9's digital ch 47 will become CW66's digital channel (they'll give up the current digital 31). 9's digital channel will move to ch 11. So it could pose an antenna issue for those with only UHF antennas. However, since I don't have issue with WXIA's digital on VHF with the silver sensor, it should still be ok.
     
  19. tkrandall

    tkrandall Hall Of Fame

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    I have no idea what you mean by "digital antenna". I live near Marietta but further out to the NW of Kennesaw Mountain and my line of site to the Atlanta stations is obscured by the mountain. I suspect my signal environment is much worse than yours. I have fairly weak signal and multipath, but have a single 4228 antenna mounted on my roof and a 7777 pre-amp. There is about a 10-12 degree angle between for all the stations except WGTV which comes from atop stone mountain. But I get their analog/8 sginal decently. I get all the Atlanta digital stations (except very low power WGTV/12) fine on my Samsung DLP's tuner, and my Zenith converter box. The only ATSC receiver I have that has any problems is the one included inside my HR20-700. It only get about half of them reliably with it. The 4228 does pretty well, as it picks up the high VHF channels OK. I am anxiously awaiting the power up of WGTV digital on 8 to see what I get. Hope I don't have to wait until June.
     
  20. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    The thing is... we've actually been in a 2-year+ transition period already... so most arguments that say "another couple of months and all will be well" don't make sense when 2 years or more wasn't enough for some people.

    Whatever the problem is, there's no real reason to assume an extension at this point will help significantly.
     
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