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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got this E-mail from one of my locals this morning:

Mr. Benson:

I am in receipt of both your email and voicemail directed to our Chief Engineer (Ron Schmidt) regarding your desire to receive network affiliate signals in high definition from DirecTV.

First, under current federal regulations, your eligibility to receive any distant network service from DirecTV - HD or otherwise - is determined by your ability (or inability) to receive local network affiliate analog signals over the air. There is as of yet no special set of criteria regarding HD signals.

Second, by law it has always been the responsibility of the satellite carrier to determine your eligibility for their distant network service. If, in fact, DirecTV has been to your house and determined that you are legally eligible under the criteria set by the FCC to receive distant network programming, then you do not need a waiver from WHBF-TV to receive it.

Finally, our records indicate that only one waiver request has been submitted on your behalf. It was submitted roughly 10 days ago and, before today, WHBF-TV had made no determination whatsoever on that request.

In the end, based on the information you provided via email, and the predictive signal and mapping information available to us through our association with DecisionMark, we have opted to grant your request for a waiver. It was acted upon this morning and sent electronically back to DirecTV. You can follow up with them at your convenience.

Thanks for your patience on this matter and good luck.

J.D. Walls
Dir. Broadcast Operations
WHBF-TV
231 18th Street
Rock Island, IL 61201
309-786-5441 ext 206
[email protected]

If I am reading this right, D* can grant you distant locals in HD if their installer states that an OTA signal is unattainable. Am I correct in my interpretation? I have been awaiting this reply for about a month and the station states D* had the ability to decide all along. I am more confused than ever. Why did D* submit a waiver request if they could have made the decision?
 

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Legend
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tommyb said:
I got this E-mail from one of my locals this morning:

Mr. Benson:

I am in receipt of both your email and voicemail directed to our Chief Engineer (Ron Schmidt) regarding your desire to receive network affiliate signals in high definition from DirecTV.

First, under current federal regulations, your eligibility to receive any distant network service from DirecTV - HD or otherwise - is determined by your ability (or inability) to receive local network affiliate analog signals over the air. There is as of yet no special set of criteria regarding HD signals.

Second, by law it has always been the responsibility of the satellite carrier to determine your eligibility for their distant network service. If, in fact, DirecTV has been to your house and determined that you are legally eligible under the criteria set by the FCC to receive distant network programming, then you do not need a waiver from WHBF-TV to receive it.

Finally, our records indicate that only one waiver request has been submitted on your behalf. It was submitted roughly 10 days ago and, before today, WHBF-TV had made no determination whatsoever on that request.

In the end, based on the information you provided via email, and the predictive signal and mapping information available to us through our association with DecisionMark, we have opted to grant your request for a waiver. It was acted upon this morning and sent electronically back to DirecTV. You can follow up with them at your convenience.

Thanks for your patience on this matter and good luck.

J.D. Walls
Dir. Broadcast Operations
WHBF-TV
231 18th Street
Rock Island, IL 61201
309-786-5441 ext 206
[email protected]

If I am reading this right, D* can grant you distant locals in HD if their installer states that an OTA signal is unattainable. Am I correct in my interpretation? I have been awaiting this reply for about a month and the station states D* had the ability to decide all along. I am more confused than ever. Why did D* submit a waiver request if they could have made the decision?
It is totally up to your local network provider. They are just bumping the waiver approval back to D* so they can set you up with the DN feed. If they had said no, you would be S* out of luck.
 

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tommyb said:
...
If I am reading this right, D* can grant you distant locals in HD if their installer states that an OTA signal is unattainable. Am I correct in my interpretation? I have been awaiting this reply for about a month and the station states D* had the ability to decide all along. I am more confused than ever. Why did D* submit a waiver request if they could have made the decision?
Because not all local stations interpret the ruling this way. So DirecTV errs on the side of legal caution and requires the local station to grant the waiver. It's a crazy mess.
 

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I think it is probably a case of CYA...

Being that there are no hard fast rules and regulations for the Digital Signals yet... DirecTV took the least risky route, and making the Affiliates approve or deny the waivers.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hadji said:
It is totally up to your local network provider. They are just bumping the waiver approval back to D* so they can set you up with the DN feed. If they had said no, you would be S* out of luck.
"Second, by law it has always been the responsibility of the satellite carrier to determine your eligibility for their distant network service. If, in fact, DirecTV has been to your house and determined that you are legally eligible under the criteria set by the FCC to receive distant network programming, then you do not need a waiver from WHBF-TV to receive it."

That states that it is up to D*, no waiver needed from them.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hadji said:
It is totally up to your local network provider. They are just bumping the waiver approval back to D* so they can set you up with the DN feed. If they had said no, you would be S* out of luck.
Earl Bonovich said:
I think it is probably a case of CYA...

Being that there are no hard fast rules and regulations for the Digital Signals yet... DirecTV took the least risky route, and making the Affiliates approve or deny the waivers.
You are probably right Earl!
 

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tommyb said:
"Second, by law it has always been the responsibility of the satellite carrier to determine your eligibility for their distant network service. If, in fact, DirecTV has been to your house and determined that you are legally eligible under the criteria set by the FCC to receive distant network programming, then you do not need a waiver from WHBF-TV to receive it."

That states that it is up to D*, no waiver needed from them.
Something is not right there.
One of my Best Friends, works for the CBS Affiliate in St. Louis..
He states the opposite.... it is the networks decision to grant the waivers.
 

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The Local Stations alway have the right to grant a waiver which basically means that they (the Local Station) are waiving their right to retain you as a viewer even though you are located within the bounds of their viewing area. Without the waiver, you would have to go through a testing process to get activated. The stations are basically putting it on DirecTV to test your signal quality to make a determination whether or not you are eligible. DirecTV appears to have simply chosen to not take up the cost of signal testing and is ONLY relying on the waiver process even though there are other remedies under the law. As Earl stated, they are erring on the side of caution.

The penalties to DirecTV can be very steep. The monetary penalties to you as a customer are non-existent, but you are beholden to DirecTV. DirecTV used to not care so much, but I believe that pressure from the "Local Station" lobby has resulted in the current state of affairs. It is possible that if you paid for the testing yourself or if you became a very squeaky wheel for DirecTV that you you could have a true field test to get DNS. However, I wouldn't count on that solution as being viable for more than a handful of people who happen to luck out in both the process AND the test results.

Bottom line, waivers are the only solution. Some Stations grant them, some don't.
 

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It's got to be the station's right. Blanket waivers were given for network owned and operated stations, not for affiliated stations, because the network IS the station owner. The affiliates own the rights to the programming in their areas. DirecTV only provides network programming when a local station owner grants a waiver or there is no local station in the area. Such areas are pretty well defined. http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=1200072 explains the rules and http://directvdnseligibility.decisionmark.com/app/AddressForm.aspx can help determine eligibility.
 
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