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DirecTV going back to OTA for locals?


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#51 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:23 AM

Sounds great to me. I would not be able to use a dish mount but if I could tie in my mast to the genie and still DVR locals and maybe save a few bucks, why not? Not everyone would be able to do it but probably 80-90 percent could. That is another question, what about current equipment that is not OTA compatible? Would there be some kind of converter available?


I think your 80-90 number is way too high. Since the digital switchover, ota coverage as dropped dramatically.
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#52 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:24 AM

Would the local channels allow for this, would they allow for their guide data to be carried over D* satellites?


On what grounds?
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#53 OFFLINE   linuspbmo

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:33 AM

I think your 80-90 number is way too high. Since the digital switchover, ota coverage as dropped dramatically.

I only get one OTA channel where I live and it's retransmitted so this would not work for me. Even if they gave us the distant networks, I would lose the local news and weather which is mostly all I watch on the networks.



#54 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:33 AM

I've always wondered about that, too.  Seems kinda backasswards to me.  

 

Rich

 

 

In an ideal world, local stations would want to be carried by cable and satellite providers because it increases their reach. They used to give it away free for that reason. Later they realized that due to the way copyright law is written, they control whether/how their signal is rebroadcast. Since there's a demand for it, and they control it, they're able to charge for it. Why give something away, even something you might be willing to pay to give them, if someone is willing to pay for it?

 

It's like if you were cleaning out your attic for a garage sale and some guy driving by sees one item you were going to put on the curb as trash and offers you $50 for it on the spot. Are you going to tell him, "actually I was going to throw that away, you can have it" or will you take the $50? Or maybe you figure if he's willing to pay $50, maybe he might be willing to pay $100?

 

The local stations keep raising their rates each time around, charging whatever the market will bear. They know that if the average person puts on a channel to watch their regular show or their team and instead sees a message about the station being blacked out due to ongoing negotiations, the angry phone call they make is much more likely to be directed at their provider who they pay for service rather than at their local station whom they don't (personally) pay.


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#55 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:04 AM

On what grounds?


Not sure, thats why I asked.

#56 OFFLINE   inhd40

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:39 AM

I think your 80-90 number is way too high. Since the digital switchover, ota coverage as dropped dramatically.

Range went down for sure but with a good booster you can pull a long way.



#57 OFFLINE   trainman

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:44 PM

Would the local channels allow for this, would they allow for their guide data to be carried over D* satellites?


As long as they're submitting their guide data information to Tribune (or another provider), they can't prevent DirecTV from getting the guide data from Tribune (or another provider) and disseminating the information.
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#58 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 06:59 PM

Range went down for sure but with a good booster you can pull a long way.


Problem is that you need big antennas. No amount of amplification makes a signal appear that isn't here. And it largely needs to be directional. The further away the more likely. A little dipole on a dish ain't gonna do it. Especially or VHF. Then there is the problem of multipath for people in and near cities. Multipath in analog just made a ghost. In digital, it breaks up and knocks out the picture.

While digital gave us beautiful HD and sub channels, it made it much harder to get clean, consistent OTA.
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#59 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:01 PM

As long as they're submitting their guide data information to Tribune (or another provider), they can't prevent DirecTV from getting the guide data from Tribune (or another provider) and disseminating the information.


Not to mention that there isn't a single protest now, even from channels in dispute. Precedent set.

Heck, hey dont need to get it via satellite. The data is actually in the psip data. Not as far out calendar wise, but it is there.
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#60 OFFLINE   kenglish

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:15 AM

I've suggested that the Feds just begin a transition to all Satellite for locals. Buy back the portion of the spectrum that's used for locals, from the satellite companies, and give it to the broadcasters in place of the terrestrial frequencies.

Let the satellite companies still operate the ground and space facilities for a while, until time for new satellites and uplinks.

As we move forward, eliminate the need for two HD and two SD feeds (both DISH and DirecTV), and free up more spectrum for the satellite companies and the broadcasters. Make all new satellite boxes HD-capable.

The locals would be available to anyone in the particular DMA, for free, but would be tightly spot-beamed....maybe even scrambled, if necessary (to control out-of-market reception). make it possible for non-subscribers to purchase FTA receivers for local reception.

As things progress, let the local stations get together and build or purchase their own local POP, and uplinks. They could hire (on a national basis) the DBS companies, or someone else, to build, launch and operate the Space Segment and TT&C facilities.

 

With the local stations being the ones who send the signal, there is no need for retransmission fees. Even Cable subs could receive the terrestrial broadcasters' signals via a dish, and the Cable companies could use their bandwidth for broadband.



#61 ONLINE   damondlt

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:21 AM

Why not just go back to the East and West feeds, and if you want your own locals then use OTA. Atleast then your are still getting the Major networks.
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#62 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:04 AM

Why not just go back to the East and West feeds, and if you want your own locals then use OTA. Atleast then your are still getting the Major networks.

Current federal laws won't allow it, even though outdated and misused by broadcasters to extort money from the MSOs 

 

And the powerful NAB Washington lobby will fight tooth'in nail to keep it that way ...


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#63 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:59 AM

I'd switch OTA in a heartbeat if I didn't have to pay for my locals on DirecTV.  

 

They should go back to the way it used to be and allow you to sub to your locals for $7 a month.  If you don't need them don't pay for them...   Or was it Dish Network that would let you chose to pay for locals or not?  Can't remember.

 

The majority of DirecTV subs would at least have the OTA option and that could save a bunch of money and put the local broadcasters in their place.


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#64 OFFLINE   phodg

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:25 PM

There's no way I could get CBS Chicago without a big antenna on my roof. And I wouldn't accept distant networks as I'd lose my local news and weather. If this happened (which I think is probably unlikely), even though I've been with DirecTV for over 15 years I'd be off like a shot.



#65 OFFLINE   ACR_Ted

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 03:44 PM

I would love to see DTV go OTA for locals! I have a large antenna and I can get about 60 or so channels (all of the Phoenix and Tucson (AZ) stations). It would be nice to save a few $$ on the DTV price and would help put the greedy stations in their place. I see mention of the new OTA AM21N however does it scan? I've read that it does and/or does not. Getting the Tucson stations is important to me, but if it is limited to just your local dma I would not be interested. And if it doesn't scan that would mean no sub channels either, I think?

 

Thanks!

 

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#66 OFFLINE   KyL416

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 04:05 PM

The Tivo and the Genies scan, the others are stuck with the database that limit you to two DMAs. The database also only lists the main signals so if you're in a market like mine that has a lot of translators, you're out of luck if you can't get the main signal. Check the transponder maps thread in tips and tricks, it has a full list of stations in the database for each market.

#67 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:49 PM

I've suggested that the Feds just begin a transition to all Satellite for locals. Buy back the portion of the spectrum that's used for locals, from the satellite companies, and give it to the broadcasters in place of the terrestrial frequencies.
Let the satellite companies still operate the ground and space facilities for a while, until time for new satellites and uplinks.
As we move forward, eliminate the need for two HD and two SD feeds (both DISH and DirecTV), and free up more spectrum for the satellite companies and the broadcasters. Make all new satellite boxes HD-capable.
The locals would be available to anyone in the particular DMA, for free, but would be tightly spot-beamed....maybe even scrambled, if necessary (to control out-of-market reception). make it possible for non-subscribers to purchase FTA receivers for local reception.
As things progress, let the local stations get together and build or purchase their own local POP, and uplinks. They could hire (on a national basis) the DBS companies, or someone else, to build, launch and operate the Space Segment and TT&C facilities.

With the local stations being the ones who send the signal, there is no need for retransmission fees. Even Cable subs could receive the terrestrial broadcasters' signals via a dish, and the Cable companies could use their bandwidth for broadband.

How do you cover the local news emergency for people who don't have cable or satellite? Or don't have line of sight?

Edited by tonyd79, 20 May 2013 - 07:51 PM.

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#68 OFFLINE   ACR_Ted

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:19 PM

The Tivo and the Genies scan, the others are stuck with the database that limit you to two DMAs. The database also only lists the main signals so if you're in a market like mine that has a lot of translators, you're out of luck if you can't get the main signal. Check the transponder maps thread in tips and tricks, it has a full list of stations in the database for each market.

Thanks for the info - that leaves me out with a HR22. Oh well....using the built in database will not work for me seeing as how the sub channels would not be shown.

 

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#69 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:36 PM

I think it all depends on how the retrans contracts are written.  If they pay per sub in an area, then there is no benefit, but if it is like HBO where they only pay on the number of subs actually subscribing to the locals, then I think there is a huge benefit. 

 

But it will have to be a fully integrated solution, ie antenna in the STB, for most people.  Those who live in major cities could probably pick up most locals with a decent antenna, so if the STB handled all the setup, then it could work.

 

DirecTV could have the STB first try to get locals via OTA via the setup process.  If that works and the OTA signal is adequate, then the customers uses OTA for locals and is none the wiser, if the OTA setup portion fails, then the customer gets locals via satellite and is none the wiser.  The STB then reports back to DirecTV which method the customer is using and then only pays retrans fees on those using the satellite feed.

 

The downside I see is that OTA takes up more recording space, so DirecTV will need to increase HDD sizes.


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#70 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:23 PM

Why would the antenna be in the STB? Having it on the dish would work better since antennas always function better outside, and would typically be located at higher elevation than the STB, and could also be larger - fewer people will complain about a 2' mast with a 2-3' long 1' wide antenna extending from their dish than would complain about the same thing extending from their STB!

 

Even a full size antenna on the peak of the roof isn't adequate for some people, so OTA can never replace getting the channels delivered over satellite for everyone, but the more people who could be covered by an alternate solution, the fewer people who will threaten to leave Directv if they played hardball when negotiating with the local stations. Over time that should reduce the growth rate of their cost for local stations.


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#71 OFFLINE   mnassour

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:38 PM

The question then becomes what to do about those who can't reliably receive the "necessary" channels OTA.  The whole mess falls apart when a user can't get a channel they need so they have to go LIL to fill in the missing channel.

 

You can't very well negotiate a contract based on estimates of who is going to want or need LIL for whatever reason.

 

There is a question in my mind that the stations don't care how many "subscribers" they have as long as they see their bottom line where they want it to be.  If the station isn't getting out, they're likely to want more money per subscriber to maintain the bottom line as I think we can all agree that viewership means next to nothing in these retransmission deals.

 

Sorry I've been away from the topic so long, especially since I started it <grin>.

 

Actually, I think you CAN negotiate a contract for LIL based on the numbers of people taking the service.  Instead of a blanket fee for all subs in a market, DirecTV simply offers a certain figure PER sub.  Of course, the TV station owner doesn't have to take it!

 

This does indicate at the very least a threat on the part of DirecTV to either drop entirely (not likely) or dramatically cut back (much more likely) its use of Local into Local service.  

 

Frankly, I see is as a threat...more than anything else...to force down the cost of local retrans fees.  DirecTV has already demonstrated that it has the capability to seamlessly integrate OTA with its own guide.  I would not be surprised if it has decided that there are certain...marginal...local into local markets that could be more economically served by an OTA solution than local into local.

 

Until now, DirecTV hasn't really had any leverage on its side to try to hold down the ever-escalating retrans fees.  This is, more than anything else, its first club.  In a worst-case scenario, DirecTV transitions to OTA service one market at a time.  Yes, there will be those folks who cannot be served for whatever reason.  In some markets, those folks may have to get cable as a supplement (bad idea) or move to Dish.

 

Before now, DirecTV has been a captive of the local stations for local signals.  That...if nothing else...may be about to change.  DirecTV has made it clear that it has to get its costs in line.  This is the first shot in that battle.



#72 ONLINE   damondlt

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:48 AM

How do you cover the local news emergency for people who don't have cable or satellite? Or don't have line of sight?

Cell phone!  Works like a charm.

And I'm in a fairly poor service area where the closest major city is 25 miles.

 

I signed up for free emergency alerts from the national weather services as well as my local ABC.

With cell phones and internet ,I wouldn't miss the lack of local news.

I would be fine with East or west feeds.


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#73 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:02 AM

Cell phone!  Works like a charm.
And I'm in a fairly poor service area where the closest major city is 25 miles.
 
I signed up for free emergency alerts from the national weather services as well as my local ABC.
With cell phones and internet ,I wouldn't miss the lack of local news.
I would be fine with East or west feeds.


No, no, no. It doesn't work like a charm in emergencies. Heck, doesn't work like a charm at a football game. Cells get overtaxed. And you want to force people to get cell phones? Really good business plan.

If directv drops locals, it is suicide. This is saber rattling.
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#74 ONLINE   damondlt

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:10 AM

No, no, no. It doesn't work like a charm in emergencies. Heck, doesn't work like a charm at a football game. Cells get overtaxed. And you want to force people to get cell phones? Really good business plan.

If directv drops locals, it is suicide. This is saber rattling.

95% of the time i'm not in front of a TV during an emergency, I would say that accurate for most.

But My Cell phone is on my 99.9% of the time.

 

Its 2013 most people have several cell phones in their home.

 

Just saying if its a cost saving measure with a solid back up plan, I'm all for it!

If I was at a football game I wouldn't watching my Directv locals anyway. I've never ran in to an overtaxed Cell phone since September 11th 2001.

 

Which again was not home to watch my locals!


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#75 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:19 AM

95% of the time i'm not in front of a TV during an emergency, I would say that accurate for most.

But My Cell phone is on my 99.9% of the time.

 

Its 2013 most people have several cell phones in their home.

 

Just saying if its a cost saving measure with a solid back up plan, I'm all for it!

If I was at a football game I wouldn't watching my Directv locals anyway. I've never ran in to an overtaxed Cell phone since September 11th 2001.

 

Which again was not home to watch my locals!

Ever hear of "Dead Space" ? It's a common issue with cell phones.


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