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Distants/Locals with Dish under SHVERA for Returning Customer

Discussion in 'Legislative and Regulatory Issues' started by 31Media, Apr 2, 2005.

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  1. Apr 2, 2005 #1 of 31
    31Media

    31Media Mentor

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    Long time no see DBSTalk forum - it has to've been at least a good yea and a half (september 2003, so)

    All of the following is related to Dish Network.

    Anyway, I've got a question: I know SHVERA changed the distant requirements - I currently sit at the Fringe end of the Nashville DMA. One county west and I'd be in Bowling Green DMA, one county east Lexington DMA. Distance from Nashville is 83.9 miles straight-line, and due to the terrain here - I'm in basically the start of the hilly/mountainous area of Kentucky - the OTA signal is quite poor anyway. Even with that, we're not physically permitted by building codes to have an OTA antenna - we're barely going to be allowed satellite in the building I'm at.

    My question is, factoring everything I've told you, plus considering the new SHVERA I'm still confused over - is there a way I'll be able to receive BOTH locals and distants. When we were in our previous residence in 2003 with E*, We could have and HAD both, but now, well, I just don't know. Due to this area being completely meterology unstable [Tornadoes in January, then snowstorms in late March, then all crap breaking loose throughout April/May, we HAVE to know about local weather, but the local radio - well- for an example, they were saying there was a 20% chance of rain at the same time the NWS was issuing us a Flash Flood Warning]we HAVE to have something for LOCAL weather....at the same time, the local stations are complete junk otherwise, meaning for all non-weather considerations, Distants, preferably coastal, are wanted

    So, any thoughts?

    BTW: Good to see the forum now on VB3
     
  2. Apr 2, 2005 #2 of 31
    TNGTony

    TNGTony Hall Of Fame

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    The SHVREA settled the question pretty well for you. A returning customer is treated exactly as a new customer when it comes to locals and distant nets. The SHVREA does NOT allow distant nets in areas locals are available via satellite for new or returning subscribers, period. There are exceptions for those that already had both before the the law was passed. But even these people if they cancel their subscription for a nanosecond, cannot get distants back unless they qualify under the new rules.

    New and returning subscribers can only get distant nets if they live outside the grade B signal area of each network (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) *A N D* they live in an area that does not get local networks via their satellite service. So qualifications differ for DirecTV and Dish since they serve some different local markets.

    As to the "no OTA antenna" restriction, that is ILLEGAL now. The FCC has passed a regulation voiding these restictions for OTA antennas and satellite dishes up to 39.36 inches (1 meter). Click on the EKB logo on this page and look at the FAQ section.

    See ya
    Tony
     
  3. Apr 2, 2005 #3 of 31
    31Media

    31Media Mentor

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    Jul 22, 2003
    Well, since that's obviously a no-go, on to plan B:

    Would a waiver be effective in getting, say, Distant CBS and ABC [Local NBC is THE must-keep, Fox is irrelevant]

    I admit, I haven't followed this legislation at all.
     
  4. Apr 3, 2005 #4 of 31
    TNGTony

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    Just to make sure I was clear:

    If Dish offeres locals to your area, no amount of waivers, edicts, benedictions, letters of aproval or executive orders will do anything with respect for you getting distant networks any more. If you can get locals via your satellite system, you CANNOT get distant network channels any more under any Satellite Home Viewers Act (SHVA, SHVIA, SHVREA). Another reminder, only ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are considered networks in this legislation.

    --------------------------------------what follows is separate and distict from the preceding paragraph
    -----------------------

    If you live in an area where locals are NOT offered your satellite company, then waivers are valid IF the waivers are obtained by the satellite company or if you live outside the grad B signal area of the network!

    ---------------------------------the next paragraph does no affect anything in the previous paragraphs--------------

    The "Superstations" (KTLA, WWOR, KWGN, WPIX and WSBK) are covered under a different section and they MAY be available in your area. So distant WB and UPN may be available to you.

    -------------------This next statement does not affect any other statement in this post--------------

    These rules are in place to prevent satellite companies from selling programming outside areas where the owners of the programs want the programming sold. In other words, this only applies to networks that refuse to sell their network programming to the satellite companies. Case in point, CBS HD from NYC and LA is available to distant subscribers that live outside the grade B signal area of any CBS affiliate NOT owned by CBS, and inside the CBS owned tv station market as long as there is not another CBS station (like Baltimore spilling into Washington DC and Colorado Springs going into Denver).
    PBS xd is available nationwide as long as you cannot get a local PBS affiliate via satellite.
    Pax, Telemundo, Telefutura, Univision, Azteca America are all avialable via satellite nation wide.

    Take each paragraph separately and you may be able to follow. Each paragraph is a distinct "rule" and there is no gray area among them. One does not affect the other.

    See ya
    Tony
     
  5. Apr 3, 2005 #5 of 31
    31Media

    31Media Mentor

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    I'm clear abgout everything up to the last paragraph: A Question, for clarity (My brain is completely shot at this point in the week):

    Can I still get CBS HD - I already explained signal strength. My CBS affiliate is NOT Owned and Operated. Or am I just especially confused tonight?
     
  6. Apr 3, 2005 #6 of 31
    juan ellitinez

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    You can still get a "rv" exemption for distance networks
     
  7. Apr 3, 2005 #7 of 31
    TNGTony

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    If you live in a non-O&O CBS market (your local CBS is not owned by CBS/Viacomm), you can get the CBS HD affiliate if you are outside the grade B signal area of any CBS station.

    Juan, thanks for the reminder of the RV exemption. But remember that if you have an RV exemtion you CANNOT get locals, just the 4 networks.

    See ya
    Tony
     
  8. Apr 3, 2005 #8 of 31
    juan ellitinez

    juan ellitinez Icon/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I thought you could get locals and distant network feeds too Please explain
     
  9. Apr 3, 2005 #9 of 31
    SimpleSimon

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    I think TNGTony meant "CANNOT get non-network, 'true' locals".
     
  10. waltinvt

    waltinvt Godfather

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    You're correct Tony but I think this is the rub and source of confusion for many - the fact that distant digital networks(which on DBS are the HD feeds) are treated differently than analog per the Dec '04 SHVERA. To compound this, "E" and "D" don't appear to interpert the new law correctly or even the same.

    I don't completely understand it either but as I see it, for all intents and purposes, analog DNS are gone for all "D" & "E" customers that get LILs except for some "grandfathering" situations; but the minute you drop them (switch subs, etc), even they're gone.

    The HD DNS however come under the "digital" wording in the new SHVERA but are currently qualified using the old wording of SHIVA (which is still in effect).

    In other words, the old "grade B signal" criteria origionally used to qualify for analog DNS is now used for digital DNS until the FCC comes up with a more accurate "digital white area" model to determine who is "unserved".

    What this appears to mean is if you're in an area that can not get a grade B signal, even though you probably can't get analog DNS, you may be able to get HD DNS.

    The FCC (through replies to consumers) has stated that whether you get analog LILs from your sat provider has nothing to do with whether you can qualify for digital DNS (which includes HD). They in fact have "scolded" "D" for citing the new law as a reason some subs can't get their HD nets.

    Technically, you can and should request you sat provider apply for waivers (and if denied, signal tests) for the purpose of getting the HD nets. Of course in "E"s case this only means CBS HD but for "D", its all 4.

    Some affiliates are actually providing "HD only" waivers or letters of "no objection" which basically allow you to get the imported HD signal until such time as the sat provider offers the local in digital or their OTA digital reaches your location.
     
  11. Greg Bimson

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    As part of the rulemaking procedure, you do realize that if a subscriber can get locals from the provider, you can no longer get a signal test? It was part of the FCC rulemaking proceeding last week.
     
  12. derwin0

    derwin0 Icon

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    Jan 31, 2005
    Even with the new laws, you can still request waivers from your network affiliates.
    Both Fox and CBS recently granted me wavers for my house in Georgia. My address is at the south end of the Atlanta DMA. Both affiliates for each network in Atlanta & Macon granted me the waivers. I also was allowed to get CBS-HD per the waver, due to the distance from Atlanta.

    So yes, you can still get the distants if you get LiL. You just have to get permission from your DMA affiliate.

    note. I only requested the west coast feed of each network, so that may have helped with getting the waivers at first.

    An above poster was correct that if the DMA affiliate says no, you can no longer use a signal test to force a waiver if LiL is available. So you're at the mercy of the affiliate. A signal test will only help with an neighboring DMA affiliate if you fall into their supposed coverage.
     
  13. waltinvt

    waltinvt Godfather

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    Feb 9, 2004
    Greg,
    Yea, I did see that and I understand that analog DNS is basically gone when you have Lils so the signal test is a moot point anyway. However according to some FCC responses to letters and emails, they've said that whether a DBS provider offers locals has no bearing on if you qualify for digital DNS and that the rules laid out in the '99 SHIVA still apply. I'm paraphrasing because I can't find the actual threads that had those FCC responses. The were on the AVS forum and involved some guys from Walnut Creek Ca. who were able to get waivers for "D"s HD DNS.

    The point I was making is that even though for all intents and purposes analog DNS is a dead horse, the FCC seems to be taking the position that digital DNS is a separate issue and should not be lumped in with analog eligibility except for the methods used to qualify.

    Just speculation but this would seem to fit with recent talk about a hard date for the transition and trying to push affiliates into action. This provides a way to get the ball rolling before they come up with a defined "digital white area".

    WaltinVt
     
  14. waltinvt

    waltinvt Godfather

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    Feb 9, 2004
    Greg,
    I think these links will connect to the AVS threads I referred to above if I didn't manage to mess it up.

    Thread link:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=503242

    2 FCC responses within the above thread:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?postid=5159451#post5159451

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?postid=5223290#post5223290

    The second one is especially interresting. This seems to indicate that the FCC is leaning in the direction of letting DBS offer HD nets where the locals are not providing them.

    Pure speculation on my part: The reason "D" has made it difficult to qualify for the 4 HD DNS and "E" hasn't even bothered to try is that it's not cost effective for them. But rather than be honest about it they're blaming Congress and the FCC.

    Personally, I think there's a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on right now regarding HD and as usual, the consumer is getting shafted.

    WaltinVt
     
  15. Greg Bimson

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    Correct. Except that there is an action the FCC must take to determine the availability of distant digital network feeds. Even the first post you provided stated, to the effect, that a subscriber can get digital distant network feeds if:

    1) the subscriber lives in an analog white area, or
    2) the subscriber has waivers.

    A signal test will not be done in markets where local channels are available.

    From other posts on other boards, it appears DirecTV is starting to address the first point. It appears DirecTV is going to restart the waiver process for those that want access to digital network feeds only.
     
  16. waltinvt

    waltinvt Godfather

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    Maybe this is where I'm not getting, so bear with me.

    The FCC has stated in the first response I listed: "Congress's decision is that the only satellite subscribers who can get distant DTV are those who have a waiver from the local station for distant signals or those who are predicted to be "unserved." (my emphasis)


    They also refer to their own "Fact Sheet": http://www.fcc.gov/mb/shva/shviafac.html which defines "unserved" and lays out the procedures for waivers and signal tests in the event the waivers are denied.

    It seems clear to me that the FCC is taking the issue of digital DNS, separating it from analog DNS but still currently pointing back to the old analog qualifying procedures for rules about qualifying for digital DNS.

    If this is correct, then the same old rules we used to have for analog DNS, although possibly no longer in affect for analog, ARE still in effect for digital DNS and therefore (per the FCC fact sheet) sat providers must apply for waivers for digital DNS if you ask them. Further, if a waiver is denied, you can request a signal test (see Fact Sheet paragraphs 11 thru 14).

    The only real tie in to analog is if you can receive a grade "B" signal for analog, you don't qualify for digital. And even that goes away when the FCC defines the "digital white area".
     
  17. TNGTony

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    Juan,

    One of the main changes with the SHVREA is new or returning customers living in an area where locals are available cannot subscribe to distant networks. No waivers exceptions. No grade B exceptions. no exceptions for new subscribers or returning subscribers. There are different levels of eligibility for those that had both locals and distants before the SHVREA went into effect. E.G. I have tow distant networks and locals now, but I've had them since 1997. If I cancelled service at 12 noon and tried to reinstate 12:01pm today, I could NOT get distant networks back PERIOD.

    This applies to analog channels only. The rules for Digital channels are different. But since Dish does not offer the DT channels, it is a moot (not mute) point right now.

    And before some one points out that Dish has CBS HD, this channel is available nationwide via CONTRACT with CBS. The SHVREA does not apply. The SHVREA and its two predecessors specifically target conditions where satellite companies can take and resell signals WITHOUT the consent of the station or copyright owners.

    See ya
    Tony
     
  18. Redrhino

    Redrhino Cool Member

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    My question, which has been discussed, but not completely, over in satelliteguys.us, is about whether one should request waivers now or not.

    Currently I live in a white zone and receive both DNS and LiL. When moving to this address8 months ago, the E* CSN offered me DNS. I didn't know that I would have this option. I do like the programming, though.

    I've not yet received the card indicating I need to choose, but as we saw in another post here recently, this doesn't mean that I won't be forced into choosing should I talk to a CSR. There is also no information on the dishnetwork site that says I will be required to choose. My service address is also in a region which, while in a LiL DMA, has NO signal whatsoever from any network. (This region has historically been serviced by cable and more recently satellite.)

    So, my quandry, now that we are fast approaching various deadlines ... is should I
    • Request a waiver, possibly alerting E* to the fact that I probably should be forced into choosing between DNS and LiL
    • Not request a waiver and just "hope for the best"
    ?

    Note this is the SF Bay area DMA, so perhaps they are more or less likely to grant waivers ... I dunno.

    Ugh!

    Redrhino

    edited to correct formatting and add link to satelliteguys.us discussion
     
  19. Greg Bimson

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    And you are absolutely correct. However, the SHVERA directed the FCC to adjust some of the rules.

    From a post at DBSTalk the week of 28 March, the FCC released their rulemaking regarding these three subjects:

    1) carriage election of "significantly-viewed" stations. Stations can choose must-carry or retransmission consent in any significantly-viewed community, on a per community basis.

    2) a satellite company wishing to start local channel service in a given market must send a letter to each station no later than 60 days prior to the start date.

    3) (and this is the most important one) because a subscriber that is offered analog local channels is no longer "eligible" for analog distant network service, signal-strength tests are no longer an option for subscribers that are able to get a local market package of channels.

    Point 3 means that if you are able to get analog local channels, you cannot request a signal-test.

    Which means a subscriber that wants digital distant networks can only qualify if:

    1) they are "unserved" by analog local channel broadcasts (a true white-area), or
    2) they get a "waiver" from the local channel for digital broadcasts.

    Signal testing won't be done anymore where local channels are available to the customer.
     
  20. Jerry 42

    Jerry 42 Legend/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    May I ask - if any one knows -

    In testing for OTA Analog and / or Digital local signals does it matter if you can get a signal with and antenna amp but can not get a signal without an antenna amp? My my case I can not get OTA analog channels at all but some times can get digital channels (if the wind is right etc.) Dish offers Analog locals but not Digitals locals.

    Therefore, if I understand this currectly I could request Digital DNS from Dish. That's really a question not a fact.
     
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