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Will Digital Switch Leave Some Behind?


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80 replies to this topic

#61 OFFLINE   johnp37

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 06:20 AM

It appears I will have to replace my DB8 (UHF) antenna because NY stations 7 and 11 in their infinite wisdom decided to switch to VHF. So those are now gone until my new VHF/UHF antenna arrives. But the good news is I still have all my locals on D*. I like to have my ota locals as a back up in those infrequent foul weather outages. Anyone else lose their locals because of this?

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#62 OFFLINE   ChrisPC

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 11:44 AM

It's been a week now and there's now no press coverage .. this is now ancient history.
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I guess you don't live in a market with VHF DTV. I have three, including one low-band on 5. All week, they've been running stories about people who can't get the signal, and sending someone out to fix it.

Of course, they usually fix it by just moving the antenna, which the viewer is usually too dumb or lazy to do. In one story, the FCC was even sending an engineer to homes and businesses to adjust their antennas.

The station keeps saying it's not their fault, it's the FCC frequency they were given. Well, who asked the FCC to keep their VHF channel? :rolleyes:

#63 OFFLINE   V'ger

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 02:45 PM

WKRC in Cincinnati went from 800KW on Ch 31 to 15.5KW on Ch 12 on June 12th. I live about 55 miles, so was in the fringe range. I have seperate UHF and VHF antennas, amps and downfeeds from a 35' tower. I had no problem getting them on UHF at almost any angle pointed towards the south. Now on VHF, I have to be within 5 degrees of directly at their tower to get them during the day (a lot easier to get them at night).

A co-worker of mine says her mom, who leaves near the GE plant (10 miles from tower) and has an outdoor antenna, can't get them.

I got the feeling the decision to go back to VHF was a bean counter issue. It takes a lot less power to run 15KW. I also heard they reused their analog VHF 12 antenna, so it is not likely optimized for the wide band DTV transmission.

Sweeps comes in July. I bet they do something about it when their previously #1 news is 3rd or 4th due to the loss of most of their OTA viewers.

For comparision, WCPO is on VHF Channel 10 at 19.4KW at about the same height as WKRC. But I can get WCPO 10x better than WKRC. And WCPO is moving their antenna up 100' on their tower in the next week. Of course, WCPO-DT has been on Ch 10 for years and has had time to iron the bugs out. In my location, I had interference from WBNS analog 10 in Columbus. When they went dark, WCPO came in strong.

Edited by V'ger, 20 June 2009 - 02:52 PM.


#64 OFFLINE   HIPAR

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 04:16 PM

Undoubtedly, a great percentage of those who can't make DTV work aren't making a big stink over it, have just thrown up their arms in surrender and called the cable company.

The Philadelphia WPVI (RF6) website displays a big red banner on its home page that's sponsored by Comcast offering an introductory offer for basic cable.

You can play your 'poor and disadvantaged' card if you wish, but the popular press and Washington politicians are declaring this DTV thing a non-event. :nono:

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#65 ONLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 04:39 PM

^^^^ Spoken by someone who clearly doesn't understand that unemployment is at it's highest level in decades with no end in sight. Ever increasing numbers of people are living at or below poverty level. Home prices in some areas have fallen 30% or more. People's savings have been wiped out. Visits to food banks are way up while government services to help them are down or being cancelled outright.

Where are people supposed to get $50/mo for cable? Or even $20/mo? What about the vast areas where cable isn't even available?

Try supporting a family of four on $20,000/yr or less (takehome/net about $14,000), then tell me how much of a 'non-event' it is when your kids can't watch TV anymore.

I'm sure from some of the set-ups I've seen discussed on this board some of you probably bring home $14,000 a WEEK, so you can't possibly understand how this is affecting the REAL America.

Edited by SayWhat?, 20 June 2009 - 04:55 PM.

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#66 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 05:28 PM

^^^^ Spoken by someone who clearly doesn't understand that unemployment is at it's highest level in decades with no end in sight. Ever increasing numbers of people are living at or below poverty level. Home prices in some areas have fallen 30% or more. People's savings have been wiped out. Visits to food banks are way up while government services to help them are down or being cancelled outright.

Where are people supposed to get $50/mo for cable? Or even $20/mo? What about the vast areas where cable isn't even available?


Umm... as I have said before... anyone in such dire straits that they cannot afford a converter box OR lifeline cable (assuming cable is available), probably has FAR more important expenses to attend to.

Agreed in tough economic times people need to make hard choices... but no one is owed TV... I completely sympathise with someone unable to afford food or medicine or clothing or heat/cooling... but I have ZERO sympathy for someone who wants cable/satellite/digital tv.

The homeless want homes... the hungry want food... the sick want medical care... people simply without TV should be thankful they don't have all those other problems.

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#67 OFFLINE   roadrunner1782

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 06:31 PM

Umm... as I have said before... anyone in such dire straits that they cannot afford a converter box OR lifeline cable (assuming cable is available), probably has FAR more important expenses to attend to.

Agreed in tough economic times people need to make hard choices... but no one is owed TV... I completely sympathise with someone unable to afford food or medicine or clothing or heat/cooling... but I have ZERO sympathy for someone who wants cable/satellite/digital tv.

The homeless want homes... the hungry want food... the sick want medical care... people simply without TV should be thankful they don't have all those other problems.


Very well said!!!

#68 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 07:18 PM

Try supporting a family of four on $20,000/yr or less (takehome/net about $14,000), then tell me how much of a 'non-event' it is when your kids can't watch TV anymore.

The three basic human needs does not include television. So, yes, it will be an event when the television goes. After about a month of whining, they will discover alternatives.
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#69 OFFLINE   HIPAR

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 07:32 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if Congress passes emergency legislation providing coupons for pay TV service. Program costs will dissolve into the trillions of other government expenditures.

--- CHAS
But I don't want to go among mad people

#70 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 08:13 PM

Let's not stray too far into political meanderings and guessing games. Thanks.

Besides "everyone" thought it was the elderly that weren't ready--and they were always the most ready group. :)

Yes, this was very smooth as a transition goes. Yes, there are some problems. (We have one station still off the air as near as I can tell.) Yes, there will be some tweaks. That's all ok. No one ever expected 100%.

A few people have better picture than they had before. A few do not--yet. And a few might not until they get a far bigger antenna or DIRECTV. :)

Cheers,
Tom

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#71 ONLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 09:43 PM

but I have ZERO sympathy for someone who wants cable/satellite/digital tv.

The homeless want homes... the hungry want food... the sick want medical care... people simply without TV should be thankful they don't have all those other problems.


What makes you think they don't have other problems?

What are they supposed to do for entertainment, stare at a blank wall? Most of them can't even afford a newspaper. Movie rentals? Not a chance. What are the kids supposed to do, go out and start robbing people? Up until a week ago, they had at least some TV to watch. Now, many of them have nothing at all. Have you ever had a houseful of small children with nothing to watch? The kids don't understand any of this, all they can do is look at Mom and wonder what happened.

When you've lived on minimum wage, working part-time jobs, you'll have a better perspective.

I just don't understand the kind of closed-minded thinking I'm seeing here.
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#72 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 10:10 PM

What makes you think they don't have other problems?

What are they supposed to do for entertainment, stare at a blank wall? Most of them can't even afford a newspaper. Movie rentals? Not a chance. What are the kids supposed to do, go out and start robbing people? Up until a week ago, they had at least some TV to watch. Now, many of them have nothing at all. Have you ever had a houseful of small children with nothing to watch? The kids don't understand any of this, all they can do is look at Mom and wonder what happened.

When you've lived on minimum wage, working part-time jobs, you'll have a better perspective.

I just don't understand the kind of closed-minded thinking I'm seeing here.


The converter boxes were almost free. (If you looked hard, you might even get it free.) So I'm more confused rather than lack of caring. (Not that I feel you were commenting about me in particular).

And I also understand people being too busy--but all in all, they can get an inexpensive fix and get TV fairly soon.

I suspect "most" of the people who don't have TV today, really don't watch much or are able to get the fix quickly. Unless there is a much larger demographic of "poor" that didn't get the nearly free boxes than I expect.

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#73 OFFLINE   Zellio

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 10:50 PM

What makes you think they don't have other problems?

What are they supposed to do for entertainment, stare at a blank wall? Most of them can't even afford a newspaper. Movie rentals? Not a chance. What are the kids supposed to do, go out and start robbing people? Up until a week ago, they had at least some TV to watch. Now, many of them have nothing at all. Have you ever had a houseful of small children with nothing to watch? The kids don't understand any of this, all they can do is look at Mom and wonder what happened.

When you've lived on minimum wage, working part-time jobs, you'll have a better perspective.

I just don't understand the kind of closed-minded thinking I'm seeing here.


Closed minded? The thinking I'm seeing from you is what got us sub-prime mortages.

Here's an idea: LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS. If that means you can't afford tv, then you can't.

You do know people before tv and internet did such things like throw football? You don't need the idiot box.

And btw, you act like no one shares this?

I grew up in a family that had a highly paid genius engineer dad. We were high middle class, half way between middle and upper. My dad decided to leave us (after beating up my mom) and we had to cancel pretty much everything.

I didn't have cable from 1990 until 2008 when I got directv hd. Hell, for 18 years all I had was a crappy analog signal that I'd be lucky if I got a picture, and it was color. When people had 486 machines in 1992 I had a 286.

In my area 20 minutes south of Atlanta, I'd get weak signals for local tv stations. I'd get MAYBE 1 or two channels, only 1 usually worth watching (tbs).

I worked my way past this. We had everything when I was young, lost everything, and I had to give up what I had. I had to work my way back up. So don't give me this crap.

And yes, guess what? When I was a late teen in the late 90's (I'm 30 btw) I was highly envious of people with nice stereo systems (Compared to my what, 90's boombox as a stereo? bleh), nice houses, nice everything.

But want to know something? You aren't owed anything. I now have a few nice hdtvs, but it wasn't because some generous stranger dropped them off!

If you honestly think losing your tv is such a big deal, try losing cable, expensive food, going to the movies, buying video games, good clothing (and having to buy used clothing). Try falling that far and then talk to me about tv.

Edited by Zellio, 20 June 2009 - 11:21 PM.


#74 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 11:35 PM

That does remind me that as a child of the 60's and 70's, there were times we didn't have a TV after parents divorced. Usually grandparents helped with a TV, but we still had times without. Or a black and white after everything had gone color in the 70s.

And we never had cable--there weren't one :)

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#75 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 11:37 PM

For much of my youth I didn't have a TV of my own. We had one small TV in the living room and I was an only child. Sometimes that TV was color, sometimes it was black & white.

For a while we lived where there was no cable... so OTA was it. Even when we moved to an area where we could get cable, I was nearly 18 before we got it for the first time.

I did have an Atari videogame (the 2600, later a 5200) and we had some of the early computers... but I also played outside most of the time as a kid... riding my bike or wandering around in the woods or playing basketball.

As an adult, I've had either cable or satellite for as far back as I can remember now... and I love me some TV! I especially love me some HD and Blu ray movies.

When I first moved into my house there was an ice storm that killed power one week. A similar thing happened a year later but it was a hurricane in the fall. No power for a week meant no TV or computer or even phone. I had water, fortunately.

People were freaking out having no TV... and I remember thinking how peaceful it was. I actually didn't mind the break from TV, even as much as I like it.

Anyone who truly can't handle being without TV (as opposed to just wishing you could watch something or missing a favorite show) doesn't really have an idea what it is to need something.

I've been fortunate enough to not go without food or shelter or have need for medical care that I couldn't afford, even when without a job... but I have known people who weren't so fortunate. I never remember those people wishing for a TV.

To be somewhat on topic... At this point I suspect most people who are "left behind" fall into two categories:

1. People for whom TV wasn't a priority, so they can live without it or are intentionally choosing not to jump aboard yet.

2. People who are in need of a great many more important things than TV.

I'll say it again, I like me some TV! But if all the TVs in the world stopped working tomorrow, I'd be fine with that too... and I'd find something else to do to entertain myself.

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#76 OFFLINE   olguy

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 07:09 AM

What makes you think they don't have other problems?

What are they supposed to do for entertainment, stare at a blank wall? Most of them can't even afford a newspaper. Movie rentals? Not a chance. What are the kids supposed to do, go out and start robbing people? Up until a week ago, they had at least some TV to watch. Now, many of them have nothing at all. Have you ever had a houseful of small children with nothing to watch? The kids don't understand any of this, all they can do is look at Mom and wonder what happened.

When you've lived on minimum wage, working part-time jobs, you'll have a better perspective.

I just don't understand the kind of closed-minded thinking I'm seeing here.

Jumpin' Jeezus. Millions and millions of us grew up without TV. And some of us were what you might call dirt poor. And I have yet to rob my first convenience store. Read a lot of public library books. Played games with the other kids in the neighborhood. Talked with my parents and sister. Loved going to my grandparents house. For the stories. They finally got a TV about the time they got an electric refrigerator in '58 or so after I joined the Navy.

My wife's family got a magic box when she was in grade school. She is addicted. I never had one in my house until we got married 51 years ago and I'm indifferent to TV. I can still go to the library. I can still talk to my neighbors. I can still talk to my sons. I can still go for walks in the park. I can still sit with my dogs. And because I am way better off than we were when I was growing up I have a number of other non-TV related amusements. But I don't need money or TV to be happy.
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#77 OFFLINE   machavez00

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 10:13 AM

That does remind me that as a child of the 60's and 70's, there were times we didn't have a TV after parents divorced. Usually grandparents helped with a TV, but we still had times without. Or a black and white after everything had gone color in the 70s.

And we never had cable--there weren't one :)


We didn't have a color TV (or a touch tone phone!)until after my father passed in 1977. It was a hand-me-down Motorola from my aunt. It was 15 years old when the tube finally went dark.

When did B&W simulcasting end, with the analog shut off?

#78 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 02:09 PM

When did B&W simulcasting end, with the analog shut off?


You know... it probably depends on how you look at it.

Technically, yes, B&W compatible broadcast ends with the digital cutover because all that is being broadcast now would be the MPEG2 encoded data which is in color (except for an old B&W show of course).

BUT... all the converter boxes out there output RF in analog for older TVs, thus B&W compatible, or composite which also is B&W friendly... so folks with B&W TVs should be just fine still.

So even with technically ending B&W-compatible broadcast, the necessity of the converter box to decode the signal results in something compatible still with older B&W TVs if you still have one around.

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#79 OFFLINE   scooper

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 03:01 PM

I HAVE connected an old 12 inch Sears B/W tv to a CECB - worked just fine....
You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...

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

#80 OFFLINE   Zellio

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 06:27 PM






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