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Guest Message by DevFuse

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The End of HDTV Broadcasting?


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80 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   cousinofjah

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 06:05 PM

NY Times article: The Buried Treasure in Your TV Dial
http://www.nytimes.c...levision&st=cse
Basically on the same topic


I don't get this part

Say there are 10 million households that still get their television over the air, including those that can’t afford cable or satellite and some that generally just don’t care for what’s on TV. (Yes, there are people who don’t like “American Idol.”) But about 99 percent of these households have cable running near their homes, and virtually all the others, in rural areas, could be reached by satellite services. The F.C.C. could require cable and satellite providers to offer a low-cost service that carries only local channels, and to give vouchers for connecting to that service to any households that haven’t subscribed to cable or satellite for, say, two years.

doesn't that a) put the burden on satellite providers to provide tons more local channels to cover these rural areas?
Myopic Direc Lo Def Warrior (D12-300 x3, R16-300 x1)

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#27 OFFLINE   leww37334

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 10:20 PM

They will have to pry my antenna from my cold dead fingers. (sorry, couldn't resist)
“Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.” - Ayn Rand

#28 OFFLINE   Glen_D

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 05:36 AM

I am sure the satellite companies will be upset about this since they have spent a considerable amount of money on spot beams and ground infrastructure to satisfy FCC mandates for more LIL. Directv and Dish should not spend another nickel on LIL expansion until the FCC can make up its mind.

Rural areas should be pretty much covered by satellite, I would think, since they are in some city's DMA. What I'm wondering about are all the multi-cast channels. There are probably a dozen or so in my market that are not offered by either satellite provider (or U-verse, for that matter). Would the Feds also subsidize the ifrastructure necessary for the satellite providers to add all these additional channels if OTA goes away? Would auctioning off the spectum currently used for OTA bring in way more $$$ than this would cost? Or would the multi-cast services go away?

#29 OFFLINE   leww37334

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 04:42 PM

If OTA is no longer necessary, then, why (less than six months ago) did Congress pump millions of dollars into the digital conversion in order to make sure people could still use OTA?

(because they are idiots is not an acceptable answer).
“Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.” - Ayn Rand

#30 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 08:43 AM

If OTA is no longer necessary, then, why (less than six months ago) did Congress pump millions of dollars into the digital conversion in order to make sure people could still use OTA?

(because they are idiots is not an acceptable answer).

The problem is that many readers are reading the article with blinders on, fixating on what they feel is the outrageous nature of the extreme scenario, and refusing to acknowledge the conditionals that are evident throughout the article. Go back and read the article again, this time focusing on the words below:

Or, as an interim step, we could reduce the number of channels available in a community from 49 to, say, 5. ...



#31 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 09:29 AM

doesn't that a) put the burden on satellite providers to provide tons more local channels to cover these rural areas?

DISH is missing 31 SD DMAs out of 210 and around 81 DMAs in HD, but the HD coverage is decidedly partial and subchannels are razor thin.

Going to MPEG4 on everything would probably be a good first step.

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#32 OFFLINE   cousinofjah

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 05:40 PM

DISH is missing 31 SD DMAs out of 210 and around 81 DMAs in HD, but the HD coverage is decidedly partial and subchannels are razor thin.

Going to MPEG4 on everything would probably be a good first step.

which means equipment changes for almost everyone, no?
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#33 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 08:29 AM

which means equipment changes for almost everyone, no?

It means changes for those who haven't changed themselves over the period of time that it would take to go away from the broadcast model.

The change to all MPEG4 has already started for both satellite companies.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#34 OFFLINE   dpd146

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:57 PM

Comcast in taking their cable content to the internet.


But don't watch too much or they will shut your service down for going over the bandwidth cap. :nono2:

#35 OFFLINE   Scott in FL

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 08:09 AM

I wasn't paying much attention to this topic until I read this in last month's Broadcast Engineering: http://broadcastengi...0210/index.html

#36 OFFLINE   Dave

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 01:16 PM

You can not do away with broadcast over the air TV. For one not every living being in the USA has cable/DSL or even a computer. You would have to have all cable and DSL operators supply to every neighbor hood in the country, no matter how remote or distant for the head end high speed internet. As we all know this will never happen. If you are one of five or six houses 30 miles outside the range for the high speed DSL connection or there is no cable, they are not going to string new cable or put a sub end connection out there just for the 5. And as we all know HughesNet or any satelitte internet provider just does not cut it. There speeds have been known to drop below dialup speeds more than above them. So still no high speed internet for the few. Where as a good or even a cheap Antenna can pick up the stations for the locals at the ranges and farther away. So are we also going to have the Government require are providers to make sure they string the lines out to any and all possible customers? Are we going to require our Government to provide every and any house hold in the country with a computer capable of receiving high speed internet? Think about the problems before you jump on this band wagon doing away with OTA towers and transmitters. Should we really give up TV towers for CellPhones? I think not.

#37 OFFLINE   FogCutter

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 01:36 PM

You can not do away with broadcast over the air TV. . . Should we really give up TV towers for CellPhones? I think not.


Dave,

Once OTA becomes a money loser, the stations will drop away on their own whether the government grabs the bandwidth or not.

The British were in sad situation a few years ago. They had changed broadcast formats and years later were supporting both formats nationally at great expense. At one point only 2-3,000 TVs were on the old format were still in use.

Someone realized that it would be far cheaper for the government to buy new sets than to continue two broadcast formats. Don't know if they ever did it or not.

So as long as OTA stays profitable I'm all for it.

#38 OFFLINE   Dave

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 04:40 PM

Yes but we all know about the DTV coupon fiascal. Do we really want the govenment to pick and choose your compter or TV set? This would be the greatest govenment mess of all time ever. If people can not afford the new TV or to even buy a computer now without service to there house, how is the govenment going to save them? I am all for new technology and for the corps and companies to make a profit. But the government does not do anything or produce anything to help the corps to do this. Yes WiFI is great. But who is going to pay for all the towers and infrastructure? The TV stations now don't want to upgrade unless forced to. They will fight tooth and nail to not put up the towers around the country for the Wi Fi signals to go out.

#39 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 05:16 PM

So what are you suggesting? A return of the Luddites? :-?

#40 OFFLINE   FogCutter

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 09:01 AM

In the case of HDTV, the government was the moving force behind the transition in the US. The private market fought it tooth and nail. This arose in the early 1990s when it looked like Japan (who already had HD) was going to rule the world. Of course it took years and years and years, but it has finally happened.

But I really don't believe society has a duty to supply infrastructure and support to citizens with archaic receivers. People need to get with the program or watch static.

Remember dial phones -- it cost the phone companies millions to support pulse dialing for years after it stopped making sense. It still might be going on. The rational was that some wretched old poor person might not have the $5 to buy a touch tone phone or the savvy to plug it in, and the companies were not given the option to pass out replacements for gawd knows what reason. Crazy.

#41 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 11:57 AM

I believe you're seriously mistaken: The private sector did indeed push for HDTV. The CES specifically was very vocal in their insistence that the move to digital go forward.

While I respect your desire to have society "supply infrastructure and support to citizens with archaic receivers", there is no such duty on society. I suggest that if you wish to consider it a duty, you take it onto yourself and others of like mind, and as many of us do with regard to other things we feel strongly about, donate your time and finances to address that need, through private efforts.

#42 OFFLINE   FogCutter

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 06:05 PM

I believe you're seriously mistaken: The private sector did indeed push for HDTV. The CES specifically was very vocal in their insistence that the move to digital go forward.


http://en.wikipedia...._Alliance_(HDTV)

Sorry about resorting to wikipedia, but this sums it up pretty well. The TV broadcasters at the time wanted nothing to do with it. The Feds wanted to establish a US HDTV standard that the Japanese did not own. HDTV from Japan at that time was still analog and no universal digital HD standard existed.

To make it stick, the Feds set up rules to pull the plug on standard OTA, which has happened at long last.

Much of the private sector were against HDTV and without the Feds it would not have happened. The broadcasters and networks were against it, the set makers and hardware people were for it, but not if there wasn't a drop dead date for OTA. In fact, the Feds pumped millions into display and broadcast technologies for this, DLP being one of the most notable results.

No, I have to say that the government did OK by giving us HDTV, and it wouldn't have happened for a very long time without them.

#43 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 11:06 AM

The TV broadcasters at the time wanted nothing to do with it.

That's not what you claimed before. Of course the broadcasters didn't want it. It represented a door opening that would inevitably lead to additional costs for them.

What you claimed before was, "The private market fought it tooth and nail." As I said, that not true. The private market wanted HDTV. Big time.

#44 OFFLINE   FogCutter

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 11:23 AM

That's not what you claimed before. Of course the broadcasters didn't want it. It represented a door opening that would inevitably lead to additional costs for them.

What you claimed before was, "The private market fought it tooth and nail." As I said, that not true. The private market wanted HDTV. Big time.


Sorry, that is what I meant, and I thought it was what I said fairly clearly.
My bad.

And at the time there was a tremendous amount of effort to kill HDTV before it started -- tooth and nail -- well, that's a matter of perception.

If the government hadn't pushed it through rules and legislation it would not have happened.

The private market didn't want it badly enough to make the investment, but the government did so as not to cede yet another market to the Japanese.

Only late in the process after the lobbying failed did everyone come on board.
I think that's what you're seeing.

The private market may have wanted HDTV 'big time', but they were doing nothing to make it happen, and fought the government when the regulations were imposed.

Interpret history however you need to.

And why are you so cranky?

#45 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:49 PM

If the government hadn't pushed it through rules and legislation it would not have happened.

Considering that the broadcast spectrum is a national resource, it would of course have to require government legislation to make the kinds of changes to support a transition to digital. You're not saying anything that is as remarkable as you're trying to make it sound.

Again, the private market wanted HD. You're simply wrong about that.

And why are you so cranky?

It's not crankiness. It's lack of patience for distortion.

#46 OFFLINE   FogCutter

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 05:13 PM

Considering that the broadcast spectrum is a national resource, it would of course have to require government legislation to make the kinds of changes to support a transition to digital. You're not saying anything that is as remarkable as you're trying to make it sound.

Again, the private market wanted HD. You're simply wrong about that.

It's not crankiness. It's lack of patience for distortion.


No, it's crankiness. I know it when I see it.

The march to HDTV was nearly derailed several times by the station owners and networks. From their perspective, they were going to spend billions and not add a single viewer.

But the Feds held fast. The final end of SD OTA was pushed back at bit, but without the heavy hand of the government, we would still be on NTSC OTA.

One of the big beefs from the broadcasters was that the only HD TVs were coming from Japan, were 36" diag or smaller, and cost $10-15K. Who the heck would buy something like that?

So the FCC sponsored a competition for new display technologies, handing out $10M grants. Texas Instruments submitted a request for money to develop a new display tech that used near microscopic moving mirrors.

The FCC called them and said that they should only submit serious entries. TI said that they were serious, the grant went through, and now we have DLP displays.

I remember following HDTV with great interest, waiting for someone to kill it, but the Feds held the tiller firm and eventually it happened.

Of all the players, the station owners yelled the loudest. They had the shallowest pockets and were expected to make massive equipment outlays at a time when there were no viewers due to lack of sets and no content because nobody was filming in HD.

OK, lest you feel more offended let me change 'tooth and nail' to 'significant protests and impediments to implementation'.

Sure, I wanted HDTV badly and anyone who had been to CES in the early 90s who had seen it wanted it too, but there was no market driven groundswell that brought it about, as I'm interpreting your comments to mean. Nope, just wasn't there. Only muuccchhh later, and even that was very slow at first.

If there had been massive demand, people could have gray marketed Japanese HD gear at least a decade before we had HD. That also didn't happen.

Read about 'Japan, Inc.' and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (I believe) that inspired the Feds to push industry into HDTV while offering funding and regulatory guidance.

Really interesting.

Ok, you aren't cranky, but I'm not distorting.

What were we arguing about anyway? Nothing important I'm sure.

#47 OFFLINE   Skyboss

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 05:19 PM

Here's a matter of concern for all of us who receive HD broadcasts over the air. While it may not be a primary concern to people who receive their TV via cable or satellite, it may impact at least some of the programming they receive.
http://www.hdtvmagaz...roadcasting.php


Right now its too soon, but 10-15 years from now I can see it the way broadband is going. Could even see an end to Cable TV and Satellite as we know it. Just hook up a big bandwidth pipe to the house and let her rip....

Excellent point. Local stations could still exist as internet sites.

Clearly such a move would rattle the economics of the networks, but the benefit to society would be considerable.

Nice idea -- I like it.


The locals are good for one thing: Local news - which I never watch. Sports can go fully pay per view. Everything else could be a national feed and I wouldn't know the difference as all of that programing is on the DVR. Maybe someone like Apple will start selling channel/network packages that give you access to the programing and said channels that you can just set to download to your DVR and watch later.

Edited by Skyboss, 23 March 2010 - 05:32 PM.


#48 OFFLINE   brant

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 06:15 PM

No, it's crankiness. I know it when I see it.

The march to HDTV was nearly derailed several times by the station owners and networks. From their perspective, they were going to spend billions and not add a single viewer.

But the Feds held fast. The final end of SD OTA was pushed back at bit, but without the heavy hand of the government, we would still be on NTSC OTA. . . . . .



Of all the players, the station owners yelled the loudest. They had the shallowest pockets and were expected to make massive equipment outlays at a time when there were no viewers due to lack of sets and no content because nobody was filming in HD. . . . . . .


To be clear, there is no requirement for HDTV that I've seen; the requirement was only to transmit a digital signal to free up spectrum so the gov't could auction it for other purposes.

No one made the station owners purchase HD cameras and equipment. I still get several OTA channels that broadcast standard definition content, but its over the ATSC standards.

I have a 480p tube TV in a weekend house that has an ATSC tuner built-in.

Its not as if the gov't "saved the day" to bring us high def television.

#49 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:53 AM

No, it's crankiness. I know it when I see it.

Just like I know myopic revisionism when I see it?

The march to HDTV was nearly derailed several times by the station owners and networks.

You've said that already. Pretty much every other business in the industry welcomed the digital transition. You keep trying to get people to think that the general sentiment was against HD, when the reality is the exact opposite of what you are claiming.

Ok, you aren't cranky, but I'm not distorting.

Yes, you're distorting. No I'm not cranky. How much do you want the thread to be about those things instead of being about HDTV?

What were we arguing about anyway? Nothing important I'm sure.

I don't know what the heck you were talking about, but the rest of us were talking about reasonable proposals to reallocate limited portions of the spectrum to more productive uses that better serve the needs of more citizens -- we were talking about progress.

#50 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 04:09 AM

The locals are good for one thing: Local news - which I never watch. Sports can go fully pay per view. Everything else could be a national feed and I wouldn't know the difference as all of that programing is on the DVR. .

This is a really good point. A lot of folks looking at broadcasting and objecting to, really, any changes anyone suggests whatsoever, talk about watching the Super Bowl, and watching Grey's Anatomy, as if they were entitlements instead of services offered for a price paid (in the case of OTA broadcast television, the price paid is the value of the viewers' attention and consideration of sponsor's commercial messages -- I know that comes as a really big shock to some people). The entitlement mentality does tend to obscure the reality of the issue for these folks. It drives them to see fairness as unfairness; to see progress as something (that was never actually theirs) being taken away from them.

Access to news is an entitlement, and news can be provided from as few as two or three channels in each market (and generally is only provided by that many channels, today). Beyond that, what should govern where we get our entertainment (including live sports) from, and how, and how much we have to pay for them, is the marketplace, not some proprietary notion that OTA broadcast channels should be providing some measure of these discretionary diversions.




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