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Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by Tom Robertson, Feb 4, 2009.
So if all stations in one market want to go digital they can't?
That's part of the whole things that already happened before today clause. Thankfully no one is required to turn back time...
Stations that want to move the digital channel to the post transition channel must file an STA. Could someone who understands the process explain how hard this is for a station and if approval is needed how long that takes. If a station was going to its previous analog channel, would this make the process easier?
Presumably that could be vetoed as being "not in the best interest" of folks who aren't ready for the transition. What isn't said is what exactly the criteria are, and I think that's by design.
Still, if most/all the stations in a market indicated they intend to transition on 2/17 as planned, how does the FCC determine who gets to? First come first served on the filings? (If so, would there be a mad rush to be the first to get your filing of intent to the FCC?) Random drawing? Rock/paper/scissors??
One also has to wonder if any station group is preparing a lawsuit if the FCC doesn't approve a shutdown on the 17th?
No, it doesn't. It prevents your CBS from suing your NBC. Your CBS could claim that your NBC was ready but was sitting on the frequency on purpose. Now NBC can simply say it's following the law.
I have the same situation with my PBS and NBC. PBS has already said they are not budging until June 12th, thus forcing NBC to stay where they are.
My FOX affiliate loves that provision. They've been having problems with their digital transmitter. Should they switch and continue to have problems, they can now switch back.
Or, I suppose, if a station has received numerous complaints on its poor digital coverage. (MPBN)
And to think, the whole purpose of this delay was to prevent confusion and disenfranchising of the general public. Imagine that!
I THINK the FCC is looking for at least one analog station in each market to stay on the air. With that in mind, the "Nightlight" stations would be ideal candidates.
Unfortunately - it looks like stations that have to move won't be able to (baring special circumstances) until the Jun 12 .
As usual the government has turned what could have been a pretty straight forward conversion to digital into complete chaos. So basically stations have 4 days to tell the FCC their plans if they want to convert on the original date. Then the FCC who can't make any decision easily are going to analyze each market within a week to tell who can't and who can't make the conversion that the stations have been planning for years.
And the best part... this will all happen again. And here's why:
The last 6 million americans that havent made the move to digital are the same 6 million procrastinators that will be in the same position they are now come Jun 12th. Hence, the almighty government will again say "we cant disenfranchise these people... blah blah" and it will be pushed to an even later date.
FCC Releases Rules For Impementing DTV Date Switch
Stations need to let the FCC know by Feb. 9 and have to air at least 120 PSA's before the switch
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/5/2009 12:08:13 PM MT
Related: The DTV Countdown - Complete Coverage of the DTV Transition
Stations that still want to pull the plug on analog by Feb. 17 have to let the FCC know ASAP, though the FCC reserves the right to deny the request depending on the degree to which it would affect viewers.
The FCC has released its rules implementing the extension of the DTV date, and they will require any station that still wants to end analog transmissions by Feb. 17 to let the FCC know by Feb. 9 and to air at least 120 PSA's informing viewers of that fact between now and Feb. 17, according to an FCC spokesperson.
But the FCC did not say all those requests would be granted.
For the people who complain they can't get the digital channel I wonder if they are in markets where the digital signal is compromised?
As noted previously, the side that pushed for this legislation promised not to ask for a further delay. Calling them liars would be a political comment and we're not going there. (Not saying you are calling them liars, that is just what going down that road leads to.)
I believe the snowball effect will give the chance of a further delay a snowball's chance in hell of being approved. That being said, I would not be surprised if an in core station with special circumstances would receive a STA to remain on in analog. That could be done under FCC authority if the analog station was considered a translator but there may be congressional action to allow such small scale (one station one market) situations.
Enough fan fiction (mine in this case) ... let's get back to what is really happening.
I love how he said seamless like the goverment wanted is not going to happen.
Not that I want this to happen, but what if every station that is ready to go digital were to shut off their DIGITAL signal on the 17th, using cost savings as the reason? "We can't afford to broadcast 2 signals, the government is forcing us to carry analog, so we're carrying analog."
Millions of people would complain about losing their HD signals. The FCC would realize that there are FAR more people prepared for digital than are not and most people WANT digital signals. They allow stations to cut off analog, and at least 96% of Americans are happy!!
OK...so it'll never happen that way.
Note to commisioner Adelstein - you wanted to avoid a wild west scenario but now that's exactly what you're creating!
Everyone in the broadcast industry knew the hard transition date was going to be a headache and an inconvenience to to some folks, but this new scheme is really going to make things worse.
If anyone doesn't know about the 17th by now, they aren't actually watching any broadcast TV of any kind and don't NEED to know.
All this is doing is exacerbating some annoying situations, namely: stations on interim low power digital signals, stations on VHF-lo who need/want to move to UHF or VHF-high, the high cost of operating two transmitters for more time, leased temporary equipment and expiring contracts, already scheduled work for upgrades to final DTV equipment... And let's not forget all this spectrum was bidded on and awarded to groups who are waiting on the shutdown so they can begin building out new wireless high speed networks. :nono:
I'm not going to go so far as to predict that you are right, but I am concerned that you might be. That was the beginning of the end for our transition to the metric system. Although I don't think that digital can be put off forever, I'm afraid that it could become a beauracratic nightmare as transition dates are changed. I really hope that we are both wrong.
It's also interesting how they would like it to be market by market, but the markets are intermingled with dependencies with neighboring markets so one market might not be able to all switch on the same date until the next market does, which might be dependent on another market, etc. Would have been much more seamless if they stuck with the original date.
The requirement for stations that want to shut down on the 17th anyway to re-file by the 9th, when it's the 5th and the bill hasn't even been signed yet, is obviously one of two things:
1) Gross incompetence -- they should be able to cross-reference their files; or,
2) An attempt to harass stations into not shutting down.