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Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by James Long, Jan 1, 2018.
Well anyways, thanks for the reports. Keep them coming.
So is it DirecTV that isn't providing certain locals for certain areas? Maybe they don't want to pay retrans fees for the neighboring market channels? It's not a spot beam issue, as the neighboring DMA is NYC, which should be CONUS.
I wouldn't require DBS to carry channels, just allow them to carry the same channels as cable does if they aren't already, like THIRTEEN out of NYC here in CT.
So then you just end up with massive back-catalog running re-runs all the time to an ever smaller audience.
I'm not sure if you're referring to the massive genre drift here, but genre drift is totally out of control. What happened to The History Channel? Discovery? The Learning Channel? They're all reality TV garbage. That, and most of the shows made for cable these days are poorly made in the first place. They are often MTV edited, with fast, close-in edits and weird camera angles meant to control what the viewer is seeing. The narration is also terrible. Everything is "crazy" or "extreme" or "disaster is just around the corner! duh duh duh...", or they do stupid stuff like use stupid American units when discussing things in a foreign country because they assume Americans are so stupid that they can't figure out what a meter or kilometer or liter is.
I think a large cull would get a drop in prices. It doesn't however, address the outrageous costs that the content providers are charging for sub-par content and sports.
ATSC 3.0's switch to COFDM won't increase range for LOS - might reduce it slightly since it slightly increases the required signal margin. Where it will help is if you have multipath due hills/mountains/building reflecting signals since it is designed to handle that, which is how it allows single frequency networks (SFN) If you have a one edge or two edge path, which you always will beyond what 70 miles or so, I have no idea if it will help or not but it won't increase range at the maximum no matter what because that's a physics problem not a carrier problem.
What you should hope for with ATSC 3.0 is that the stations you care about will utilize the SFN capability to install secondary transmitters closer to you. That may be difficult in denser areas like the NE though as they can't interfere with stations in other DMAs using the same RF channel.
Why do you think that? The hangers on don't have original content - they show rerun or old stuff off the big channels, back catalog movies, reruns of old TV shows, etc. They add little additional cost for the network so there would be little savings if they were cut.
This goes back to the arguments where people want to be able to buy individual channels. They see 200 channels and paying $100 a month and think they should be able to pay say $1/channel and pick the 20 channels they want. But the 20 channels they want are going to be the top tier ones, they aren't going to choose 20 channels like Discovery Life, CSPAN2, and Nicktoons Jr.
1. Virtually nobody has LOS at 50-70 miles. It's all about interference, multipath, etc, etc. If you're closer, then 8VSB probably works fine now.
2. Anything that can be done to improve the robustness of the signal will help with deep fringe reception. Analog used to go a lot farther than 8VSB does today.
3. SFN would be awesome, and yes, that's a good point, although maybe the fill-in stations could be lower power, or far more directional broadcasting from the edges back into their own market?
And yet the pay tv operators are paying a few cents for this junk channel, and a few cents for that junk channel, and it all adds up, and that's how we end up with $150/mo cable or satellite bills.
Yes, paying for individual channels would completely break the current pay TV model, but it might also be a good thing, as 80-90% of current TV channels would likely fail under such a system, and the overall cost would go way down. The "value" of getting hundreds of channels would be gone, however. I don't think the industry will ever go totally a la carte, it will be smaller bundles by genre or programmer or skinny bundles with a few dozen channels of various types, like expanded basic cable used to be.
I don't know if anyone knows exactly how SFNs will be implemented - or if they will be used by anyone other than to replace the translator stations used in large DMAs or mountainous areas. It would make sense to use more of them at lower power, and potentially directionally assuming someone makes equipment designed to broadcast directionally. AFAIK no one has ever manufactured directional TV broadcast equipment before.
I've read suggestions that stations could lease space on cellular towers to fill in problematic areas like valleys or directly behind hills. That would be the best solution in my mind - and would probably be the 'carrot' necessary for public acceptance of ATSC 3.0. Otherwise I think there will be a lot of resistance as there isn't much value in the transition for the typical OTA viewer.
The biggest problem OTA has today is that people view it as unnecessarily complicated if they don't live somewhere that a simple indoor antenna can pick up all the networks. Converting to ATSC 3.0 doesn't help, and adding more subchannels, 4K or whatever isn't going to induce people further away to stick a big ugly antenna on their roof and fiddle with it to hope to bring in everything. If it becomes as simple as an indoor antenna for almost everyone, there would be an OTA renaissance. Which station owners may not want, if it gets satellite and perhaps even cable companies to allow customers to drop locals to save money and pick up them for free instead!
SFNs will get used in a few places, as they are already working to build them, but whether they see widespread use is another question entirely. SFNs are in some ways against the business model of the stations, who want retrans fees from cable and satellite. Most TV stations are inherrently somewhat directional. Look at WCBS-TV on Long Island (not WCBS-DT in NYC, it's basically a translator station to fill in LI where WFSB-DT and WCBS-DT cancel each other out), it's highly directional.
I think it will be a slow transition, for people in the know, they will switch more quickly for better VQ, but the majority of viewers probably don't notice or care, and will continue to watch 1.0 stations that are crammed two to a channel.
Some people do, but I've seen more and more outdoor antennas popping up, and that's not counting all the antennas that I can't see in someone's attic.
Yeah, that's the issue with retrans. I'm not sure where the incentives lie. Many people do live near the broadcast towers in major markets, so there is a significant OTA market with small antennas, probably the worst situation are small cities that are in another city's DMA farther away.
The problem is that when it comes to stations like PBS, the rules differ from cable or satellite. Satellite largely carries public stations like PBS affiliates based on DMA lines, used by Nielsen and the FCC.
However, on cable, PBS stations can request carriage and receive must-carry status if they are within 50 miles of the service area, regardless of DMA lines. This is why you'll see wildly different PBS situations on DirecTV and cable, and how you can receive different stations altogether, since some PBS stations are merely transmitters of more distant PBS feeds or part of statewide networks. It depends on the market whether one receives more PBS stations or less with either service.
For example, in my region, DirecTV carries the in-market PBS affiliate from Harrisburg (WITF). On Comcast cable, they carry WPSU only, the affiliate from more close by State College (part of the Altoona/Johnstown/State College DMA). The other cable provider, Nittany Media, provides WITF, WPSU and WVIA from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market, but parts of their territory is located in Snyder County (which is part of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre DMA). With DirecTV, you will only receive 1 of these channels in your area, along with whatever the local DMA is based on the county. Some cable areas in the Harrisburg DMA receive WVIA, some closer to the MD border receive MPT from Baltimore, in addition to WITF.
Directional antennas are common in broadcast. Many stations have stretched their coverage to the maximum by installing a directional antenna that protects stations they may conflict with while directing more power into areas where interference would not be caused.
I didn't realize that. I guess I shouldn't have assumed the fact all the stations around here have pretty much circular coverage (modulo terrain issues) was the case everywhere!
Here, THIRTEEN (WNET-DT) is just on cable, even though the closest that our system is to NYC is somewhere in the 60-70 mile range. Is satellite specifically prohibited from carrying out of DMA PBS stations? WEDH in Hartford slips onto satellite for all the NYC DMA because they have WEDW in Bridgeport, which is in the NYC DMA.
What a bizarre system. They should be regulated under the same rules. Further, SV locals on DirecTV are in HD, since they are the same feed everyone else is getting, versus SD on cable, since each system, at least on Comcast, only has one set of HD locals, except for PBS, which, on many systems, has two HD stations, some parts of CT get WNET, others get WGBH, which isn't even anywhere close to Groton, CT, and others may get Springfield, I'm not sure. What a confusing mess.
Satellite usually has a higher threshold to meet to carry anything out-of-market than cable does, which is unfair as well. The translators factor into that 50 mile radius, and that makes it easier to get carried. For many years, WVPT (which is based in Harrisonburg, VA) had a translator that got them cleared throughout the entire DC DMA because it was over one of the lines.
Comcast in CT does have a slew of different PBS stations, depending on the system. Some get WGBY out of Springfield, some get WNET out of New York, some get WGBH out of Boston and WSBE out of Providence, in addition to CPTV. Comcast does carry a few HD NYC locals on some systems in the Hartford/New Haven DMA. I know some have WABC HD, at the very least.
Yeah, the rules should be the same for both.
Generally, the Hartford-New Haven systems have Hartford-New Haven channels, and the New York systems (Danbury) have the New York channels. Do you know what system have WABC HD? What is really weird is that Groton has WBGH, but not WSBE (not sure if WSBE is in SD or not carried at all). I love WGBH, as they produce a lot of PBS content, and is, in many ways, the flagship station for PBS, much as the big four have their flagships in NYC.
Not that we know of. If there was, KyL416 would tell us.
This is queit
I've never understood why Satellite providers are held to, or hold themselves to, higher restrictions on out-of-DMA channels. Where my family lives, there's smack in the middle between 3 DMA's, Huntsville, AL; Chattanooga, TN; and Birmingham, AL. With a decent outdoor antenna you can pick up most of the channels from all 3 DMA's. The local cable TV providers carry the major networks from ALL 3 DMA's. With satellite, you only get the official DMA for the area: Huntsville, AL. The spotbeam for that location would actually allow a DTV subscriber in that area to easily receive all 3 of those DMA's, I'm pretty sure.
I think you should be able to receive whatever locals your dish can pick up via spotbeam, regardless of the DMA you're actually in. But I know the broadcast station owners would never go for it.
I'd say that they should just make rules that apply to cable AND satellite, and make them the same, and then let cable and satellite providers figure out what they want to provide bandwidth for, or where spotbeams fall. In my case, we would get everything from NYC, since they are CONUS, and we'd fall in their spotbeam anyway, being about 20 miles north of part of the NYC DMA (Long Island).
How do retrans fees work for SV locals? Is Comcast paying for two NBC, two CBS, etc, etc? I kind of don't think so. Or is there a discounted rate for SV locals? Or are they a freebie once they pay for the in-market station of that same network?
Talk to your congressman about changing the regulations. It's the cable companies that bought and paid for them!
I would not be surprised to find out that they were paying for any additional channels. The SV rules on cable are there to require cable companies to offer carriage in specific communities. Not to require that the channels be carried or require the stations to allow carriage without compensation.
The price is negotiable. I would not make any blanket statements about there being a discount or not. It all depends on the carrier and the station working out a price. Since most stations are operated separately I would not expect "freebee" carriage of a second affiliate.