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Official DTV Transition Discussion


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187 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   tcusta00

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 10:45 AM

I did read a recent blog that the coverage area of the DTV signals is much less than that of the analog signal even after going to a higher power transmitter.


Oh right, blogs, the wikipedias of the news media world - full of indisputable facts, right? :rolleyes:

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#42 OFFLINE   cadet502

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:00 AM

I've been to the coupon site and ordered my coupons. I was checking out the FAQ that Stuart put up and went to the www.dtv.gov site. Holy Blinking Moving Crap Batman. Is that one of the worst web sites I've ever seen or what? These are the people who are going to make sure the transition runs smoothly? Not if everyone goes into apoplexy from trying to navigate that website. Crimeny!

#43 OFFLINE   tcusta00

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:12 AM

I agree, that's a pretty poorly designed site. The colors are hard to look at and the animation takes 15 seconds to run its course. It looks like the developer wanted to show off his Flash programming "skills". :lol:

#44 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:21 AM

Oh right, blogs, the wikipedias of the news media world - full of indisputable facts, right? :rolleyes:



He seems to think that THIS is a blog. My guess is that he thinks all web sites are blogs.
I never cared for all the signatures that insult posters with other points of view.

#45 OFFLINE   tcusta00

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:33 AM

He seems to think that THIS is a blog. My guess is that he thinks all web sites are blogs.


Oh yeah, I do remember reading that in one of the other blogs he started on this wiki-ma-jigger. :D

#46 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:38 AM

I won't be ;).


actually if no stations in your area are returning to their old analog position ora third psoition (or will have done so already) you don't have to.
I never cared for all the signatures that insult posters with other points of view.

#47 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:41 AM

I'll be willing to lose a few real dollars. Come on, put your money, where your mouth is. Say $100?

Probably because the digital signal is currently on UHF. If they return to VHF after the cut-off, that issue may be solved.

What did people do when UHF was introduced? They either had to buy a tuner, or get a new TV. That was before SS, but I'm sure there were widows then, too. But, I guess our society now considers TV a necessity, instead of a luxury.



well it wan't before sdsocial security but I agree with your point.
I never cared for all the signatures that insult posters with other points of view.

#48 OFFLINE   samhevener

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 03:54 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.

I'll be willing to lose a few real dollars. Come on, put your money, where your mouth is. Say $100?

Probably because the digital signal is currently on UHF. If they return to VHF after the cut-off, that issue may be solved.

What did people do when UHF was introduced? They either had to buy a tuner, or get a new TV. That was before SS, but I'm sure there were widows then, too. But, I guess our society now considers TV a necessity, instead of a luxury.



#49 OFFLINE   jacksonm30354

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:39 AM

I think broadcasters need to be more open about what their final channel assignment will be after analog shutdown. There's a number of stations now on UHF that will go to a VHF channel which could effect a decision on what antenna to purchase. Maybe sites like Antennaweb.org should note that when people are researching what to get.

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.


I bet the majority of people wouldn't know where they were located on that radar map.

#50 OFFLINE   jacksonm30354

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:48 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.


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.

#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.

#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...

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#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.




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