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Official DTV Transition Discussion


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187 replies to this topic

#51 OFFLINE   jacksonm30354

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:54 AM

There a a few quirks for OTA-only folks....the rescans mentions for stations changing assignments, but also some stations have their digital and analog signals on different towers. So might need so re-aiming.

I know in Columbus, GA only one station will be going back to it's analog channel - WTVM - TV-9/DT-47. But the CW station (WLGA - TV66) will move from DT 31 to DT 47 and from a location ~15 miles NW of the city to ~15 miles SE of the city.

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#52 OFFLINE   jacksonm30354

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:02 AM

One other thing. I think some stations may have missed an improved marketing opportunity with the transition. UHF stations have always had a negative stigma. When a market has some of the big 4 on VHF and some on UHF, alot of people will look down apon the product produced by the UHF station. NBC8 or CBS 4 flows off the tongue a bit better than NBC38 or CBS46.

Since the PSIP would allow a station to basically identify itself as any channel number they want, these UHF stations should have pushed to be allowed to rebrand themselves with an unused 2-13 ch number in the market.

#53 OFFLINE   Upstream

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:43 AM

Sam is right that this is very different than introduction of UHF. And even if most home (>50%) have cable/sat, this change will still affect a significant number of homes which rely on OTA broadcasts, either completely or partially.

But Sam is wrong when he says the changeover will be delayed. Delaying won't fix any of the conversion problems. Only cancelling the conversion would solve the problems, and that won't happen.

#54 OFFLINE   cadet502

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 06:08 AM

....
Something eles that needs to be address is the availability of low cost battery operated set with ATSC tuners. A number of people have sets like this in their emergency kits to allow them to keep track of news and weather, those sets will be useless after 2/2009. I found one battery/ATSC set at Radio Shack but it was almost $200.


Good point. Even a converter is not going to be much help in that case, I'm sure all the converters need power. Hopefully within 10 months someone will come out with a reasonably priced portable. (have to remember to put that on the Christmas list)

I'm also considering a usb tuner for the laptop, although the batteries in a laptop won't last as long as one might need, the tuners can be had for under $50. And just to be safe, I think I'll run the antenna cable to the corner of the basement we use for storms.

#55 OFFLINE   scooper

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 08:50 AM

You can find a portable digital TV at Radio Shack for about $200 - don't expect much performance out of it unless you use an external antenna. It has integrated NiMH batteries that should be good for about 100-120 minutes.

Edit - my plans - I have a 12V drycell Jumper for a car, and some 12v-120VAC inverters. Use this to power my CECB and a TV and the antenna preamp. Works fine.
You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

#56 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 10:39 AM

I was around when UHF was introduced. You are missing the point I have been trying to make the past two months. UHF was introduced but the EXISTING VHF stations we were watching DID NOT go off the air. One did not have to install a converter to continue watching TV. To this date (50+ years later) you can still receive those VHF stations on your TV and NO need to have a UHF converter or UHF TV. This is different, the DTV tuners have only been mandatory in TVs sold from 2007 on. The EXISTING stations are going off the air too soon. It's a MAJOR change the American public will not accept. If I bet any amount of money on the delayed shutdown it would be like stealing your money. Lets keep it at a beer.


Sam -- I'm older than you, and I have vivid memories of the FM radio spectrum changeover, when my father had to buy a converter to continue to receive FM broadcasts. There were NO coupons given out to assist people who had invested in radios that had FM tuners. If you wanted to receive FM broadcasts, you bought a converter or replaced your radio. Period. This is a better comparison to the digital transition than the introduction of UHF TV. As with the digital transition, it affected a relatively small part of the general population. Granted, commercial FM broadcasting was relatively new and not in widespread use. However, as is the case with DTV vs. analog TV, it was a significant improvement over the existing (AM) broadcasting. Fast forward to today, and FM is by far the most widely listened to radio broadcast medium.

The American public WILL accept the changeover. Get over it. If you are concerned about a widow who depends upon OTA television and will require an outdoor antenna in order to receive it, help her. If she's a member of the AARP and reads her monthly newsletter, she'll be aware of the transition. If she watches TV, she'll be aware as well, because she will be bombarded with PSA's (Public Service Announcements) about the transition. Rather than being a naysayer, become a messenger. Get the word out to your neighbors, fellow mall walkers and church members. They will thank you.

As an aside, I receive digital TV both OTA and via cable. My outdoor antenna is UHF only, so I don't receive one of the regional PBS stations OTA. However, I receive all seven TV networks with that antenna. Two TV receivers in my home have ATSC tuners. The others do not. However, I do have an ATSC tuner I bought on clearance at Radio Shack a few years ago, and it does a great job, having standard RCA outputs, S-video, component and HDMI outputs as well as digital and analog audio outputs.

Te coupon program, in my opinion, is generous in offering two coupons per household. More than two would be overkill. It's not designed to convert every TV in a household that has, say, 5 or 6 TV's (one in the living room, one in the kitchen, one in mom and dad's bedroom and one in each kid's room). Rather, it provides the ability to continue to receive television broadcasts on a few sets in the home. If you have more than two TV's, in all likelihood you can afford to buy additional converter boxes at the $50 price.

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#57 OFFLINE   samhevener

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:13 AM

Most of America won't even know it happened. Most people have cable or satellite so nothing will change for them.

The sky is not falling.

You think so? Wait until they have to disconnect because that will be the first thing they can do without when they have their jobs cut back. The coming recession will cause many to disconnect from cable and satellite. A new expense just at the time they don't need it. They will be without coupons because they were told they don't need them.

#58 OFFLINE   samhevener

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:29 AM

Good point Charlie. The transition to the new 88-108 mhz FM band from the old 42-47 mhz FM band did make the older FM sets unusable without an adapter. But FM broadcast just started in 1940-1941. Very few FM stations were on the air then ( you could count them on your fingers) and very few FM radios were sold in 1940-1941. The War Production Board in Feb 1942 forbid the manufacture of any entertainment electronic equipment for civilians until after the war. Those few FM sets sold in 1940-1941 did need an adapter to work after the 42 Mhz band was shut down about 1946-47. This is a HUGE change compared to then.

Sam -- I'm older than you, and I have vivid memories of the FM radio spectrum changeover, when my father had to buy a converter to continue to receive FM broadcasts. There were NO coupons given out to assist people who had invested in radios that had FM tuners. If you wanted to receive FM broadcasts, you bought a converter or replaced your radio. Period. This is a better comparison to the digital transition than the introduction of UHF TV. As with the digital transition, it affected a relatively small part of the general population. Granted, commercial FM broadcasting was relatively new and not in widespread use. However, as is the case with DTV vs. analog TV, it was a significant improvement over the existing (AM) broadcasting. Fast forward to today, and FM is by far the most widely listened to radio broadcast medium.

The American public WILL accept the changeover. Get over it. If you are concerned about a widow who depends upon OTA television and will require an outdoor antenna in order to receive it, help her. If she's a member of the AARP and reads her monthly newsletter, she'll be aware of the transition. If she watches TV, she'll be aware as well, because she will be bombarded with PSA's (Public Service Announcements) about the transition. Rather than being a naysayer, become a messenger. Get the word out to your neighbors, fellow mall walkers and church members. They will thank you.

As an aside, I receive digital TV both OTA and via cable. My outdoor antenna is UHF only, so I don't receive one of the regional PBS stations OTA. However, I receive all seven TV networks with that antenna. Two TV receivers in my home have ATSC tuners. The others do not. However, I do have an ATSC tuner I bought on clearance at Radio Shack a few years ago, and it does a great job, having standard RCA outputs, S-video, component and HDMI outputs as well as digital and analog audio outputs.

Te coupon program, in my opinion, is generous in offering two coupons per household. More than two would be overkill. It's not designed to convert every TV in a household that has, say, 5 or 6 TV's (one in the living room, one in the kitchen, one in mom and dad's bedroom and one in each kid's room). Rather, it provides the ability to continue to receive television broadcasts on a few sets in the home. If you have more than two TV's, in all likelihood you can afford to buy additional converter boxes at the $50 price.



#59 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:39 AM

The way PSIP works is that your television scans for signals. It finds a signal between 698-704 MHz (commonly known as channel 52). Your television reads the PSIP information from the signal, and your TV learns a lot of things, including there are 4 broadcast streams on the signal, and they are called 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4. Your TV stores this information.

(In some cases, your TV doesn't scan for the signals, so you need to enter this information, or your TV downloads it from another source.)


Later on, when you tell your TV that you want to watch the broadcast stream called 5.1, your TV has already learned that 5.1 is broadcast on the signal between 698-704 MHz (commonly known as channel 52).

Now, after Feb 2009, the television station may move its signal from 698-704 MHz (commonly known as channel 52) to 530-536 MHz (commonly known as channel 24).

When you tell your TV that you want to watch 5.1, it will go to 698-704 MHz(commonly known as channel 52) and it won't find 5.1 there, since it has moved to 530-536 MHz (commonly known as channel 24).

So you need to do a rescan, and your TV will then find the signal at 530-536 MHz (commonly known as channel 24) with the PSIP information saying this is where 5.1 is located.


Is this how our D* IRDs do this too, or is the PSIP info already provided by D* or Tribune via the data stream? I am thinking the 2nd option since we can't scan for channels on the IRD's ATSC tuner.

I would also guess this is setup at the point when we go into the local channel setup and enter a zip code(s) and it searches for DT channels within that zip code?

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#60 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:43 AM

This is just going to continue until feb 2009 or perhaps longer. Mr. Hevener seems to have made up his mind that there will be problems and others are equally convniced that the transition will be reasonaby painless.
I never cared for all the signatures that insult posters with other points of view.

#61 OFFLINE   JmC

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:48 AM

I stumbled upon this comparison of CECBs.

http://en.wikipedia....n_of_CECB_units
Jim

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#62 OFFLINE   tcusta00

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:56 AM

On Feb 17, 2009 the plan will be changed greatly from the original. I'm going to sign out of these blogs now but I will be back in six months or so.


It's become an endless circular argument since there's no real proof one way or the other that the date will be pushed back, canceled or otherwise. I think we need to table the argument of whether the date will be changed - it's been discussed ad nauseum and it's all speculation on both sides. We've all spoken our peace and our positions are on the record for all to see. If the date gets pushed back we'll all be eating our feet and if not Sam will have his day in the sun. I don't think there's anything constructive left to say about the date changing or not anymore.

:rolleyes:

#63 ONLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:59 AM

I was around when UHF was introduced. You are missing the point I have been trying to make the past two months. UHF was introduced but the EXISTING VHF stations we were watching DID NOT go off the air. One did not have to install a converter to continue watching TV. To this date (50+ years later) you can still receive those VHF stations on your TV and NO need to have a UHF converter or UHF TV. This is different, the DTV tuners have only been mandatory in TVs sold from 2007 on. The EXISTING stations are going off the air too soon. It's a MAJOR change the American public will not accept. If I bet any amount of money on the delayed shutdown it would be like stealing your money. Lets keep it at a beer.

Well...don't forget UHF tuners were mandatory in all new TVs too... :)

Also care must be taken regarding the statement, " DTV tuners have only been mandatory in TVs sold from 2007".

All TVs 36" or larger had to have digital tuners after July 1, 2005 (with 50% July 1, 2004)
All TVs 25" and larger had to have digital tuners after March 1, 2006 (which had been pushed up from July 1, 2006, btw.)
All devices with tuners had to include digital tuners after March 1, 2007 (also pushed up from July 1.)

This phase-in plan has not been nearly as short as you imply. And seems like a very nice balance: the higher cost TVs could afford to include higher cost tuners; as manufacturing of tuners became less expensive, the smaller TVs could afford to have tuners put in as well.

Cheers,
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#64 ONLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 12:04 PM

I stumbled upon this comparison of CECBs.

http://en.wikipedia....n_of_CECB_units


Good find, Jim. Thanks,
Tom

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#65 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 12:38 PM

It's become an endless circular argument since there's no real proof one way or the other that the date will be pushed back, canceled or otherwise. I think we need to table the argument of whether the date will be changed - it's been discussed ad nauseum and it's all speculation on both sides. We've all spoken our peace and our positions are on the record for all to see. If the date gets pushed back we'll all be eating our feet and if not Sam will have his day in the sun. I don't think there's anything constructive left to say about the date changing or not anymore.



:rolleyes:


Agreed
I never cared for all the signatures that insult posters with other points of view.

#66 OFFLINE   cadet502

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 02:23 PM

Coupon Status Found
Your coupons have been mailed. You should receive them within two to three weeks if you haven’t already.


Two to three weeks??? Pony express?:lol:

#67 OFFLINE   Kansas Zephyr

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 03:02 PM

I was around when UHF was introduced. You are missing the point I have been trying to make the past two months. UHF was introduced but the EXISTING VHF stations we were watching DID NOT go off the air. One did not have to install a converter to continue watching TV. To this date (50+ years later) you can still receive those VHF stations on your TV and NO need to have a UHF converter or UHF TV. This is different, the DTV tuners have only been mandatory in TVs sold from 2007 on. The EXISTING stations are going off the air too soon. It's a MAJOR change the American public will not accept. If I bet any amount of money on the delayed shutdown it would be like stealing your money. Lets keep it at a beer.

No, let's make it $500. A beer isn't worth the effort.

Or, stop tossing out "I'm willing to bet" lightly.

What happened to "see you in six months"? ;)

#68 OFFLINE   samhevener

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 04:31 AM

Tom and some of the others are correct. We are just going around and around on this thing. Too many people are too serious in the thread, no sense of humor. It's suppose to be fun, not a "shouting match". To answer your question on why I came back before six months is that 80% of the seniors I talk to in our senior groups have NO IDEA what is suppose to happen to the existing analog TV stations. Some think I am crazy when I tell them about the "shutdown". Many others could care less and will do nothing because they they are 100% sure the stations that have been on the air for 50+ years wouldn't dare go off the air and leave the viewers without any TV service. Congress responds to the over 60 group more than any other age group because of their very high voting record. I will get serious and change my bet from a beer to one DTV adapter coupon (unless it's against the law to bet them).

No, let's make it $500. A beer isn't worth the effort.

Or, stop tossing out "I'm willing to bet" lightly.

What happened to "see you in six months"? ;)



#69 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 09:35 AM

Sam: If the seniors you talk to are ignorant of the digital transitionn, teach them. If you are really serious about this, print up some info sheets, explaining what the digital transition will mean to them, along with info regarding web sites and telephone numbers from which they can get more info. If they are in the AARP, tell them to read the article about the digital transition in the current issue of the AARP Newsletter. Call or write to your local newspaper, radio and TV stations and urge them to get the message out.

By the very fact that you participate in this and other threads regarding the digital transition, you show that you are better informed than many members of the general public. Don't complain -- teach.

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#70 OFFLINE   tcusta00

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 09:38 AM

and again, the PSAs about the topic will increase as the time gets closer. We're still 11 months out and the boxes just hit the shelves a few weeks ago.

#71 ONLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 09:43 AM

Tom and some of the others are correct. We are just going around and around on this thing. Too many people are too serious in the thread, no sense of humor. It's suppose to be fun, not a "shouting match". To answer your question on why I came back before six months is that 80% of the seniors I talk to in our senior groups have NO IDEA what is suppose to happen to the existing analog TV stations. Some think I am crazy when I tell them about the "shutdown". Many others could care less and will do nothing because they they are 100% sure the stations that have been on the air for 50+ years wouldn't dare go off the air and leave the viewers without any TV service. Congress responds to the over 60 group more than any other age group because of their very high voting record. I will get serious and change my bet from a beer to one DTV adapter coupon (unless it's against the law to bet them).


:) Smilies, man, smilies! :) Humor in short, printed form context is so hard to discern without them. :)

Doug Brott will be giving a lecture series on the proper care and feeding of smilies. Stay tuned to your local DBStalk.com forums for more information. :lol:

(Just kidding, I think Doug will be teaching the graduate level class...)

Cheers and :)'s,
Tom

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#72 OFFLINE   Kansas Zephyr

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 12:42 PM

I will get serious and change my bet from a beer to one DTV adapter coupon (unless it's against the law to bet them).

Many others could care less and will do nothing because they they are 100% sure the stations that have been on the air for 50+ years wouldn't dare go off the air and leave the viewers without any TV service.

I'll let you off the hook, if you wish. The coupons are non-transferable. (I'm sure you knew that)

But, if you want to bet $40 (the value of a coupon), I'm still up for it. :)

Those stations are NOT going off the air. They have been (most >90%, not ALL, I know) providing dual analog/digital broadcasts. They are only going to stop full-power analog.

Even without the coupon program, $40 will (Echostar's D to A price), for a analog TV's lifetime, allow it to receive OTA digital broadcasts. That's a very small, one-time cost, in today's world.
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#73 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:52 PM

I love "forum bets" ... until the participants exchange mailing addresses and/or Paypal info, it's just a bunch of words! :P

#74 OFFLINE   Kansas Zephyr

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 09:02 PM

I love "forum bets" ... until the participants exchange mailing addresses and/or Paypal info, it's just a bunch of words! :P

If the bet is ever accepted, that will happen!
5 LNB Slimline & SWM-16
SWM1 2 HR20s & HR21 via SWS-4 "green label" 4-way splitter w/power pass one leg for PI - SWM2 2 HR20s & HR21 after SWS-4 "green label" 4-way splitter
2 HR20-700 Wireless network for DoD
HR20-700 eSATA Vantec NexStar CX w/ 2TB WD20EVDS
HR21-100/AM21 Wireless network for DoD
HR21-100/AM21
With diplexed OTA via an "out" on one SWS-4 4-way splitter, using a Winegard YA 1713 - Channel Master 4228 - Channel Master 7777 in the attic.
Yes, my market has HD LiLs...and I'm still not giving up OTA! No rain-fade, and all sub-channels 24/7/365.
Also, with diplexed Cox Internet on one leg, downstream of a SWS-4 4-way splitter, using a SWS-2 2-way splitter, as a combiner.
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In boxes HR10-250, HDVR2 & (2) D10-300

#75 OFFLINE   samhevener

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 04:19 AM

Thanks a million Tom. :) Your reply gets to the point.

:) Smilies, man, smilies! :) Humor in short, printed form context is so hard to discern without them. :)

Doug Brott will be giving a lecture series on the proper care and feeding of smilies. Stay tuned to your local DBStalk.com forums for more information. :lol:

(Just kidding, I think Doug will be teaching the graduate level class...)

Cheers and :)'s,
Tom






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