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· Hall Of Fame
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The consumer-electronics industry is bracing for possible action by the Federal Communications Commission next month on mandating the inclusion of off-air digital-TV tuners in nearly all new TV sets.

FCC sources said Monday that the digital-TV-tuner issue might come up at the agency's Aug. 8 public meeting but stressed that no decision had been made........(more)
 

· DBSTalk E* Spot Beam Guru
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Well about time! This should have been done years ago and the FCC better force DTV tuners in new TVs. How does anyone expect DTV to go foward if the TVs don't have tuners so one can watch the station. As it was with UHF, manufactures aren't going to put in digital tuners unless they are forced to.
 

· Native American Potentate
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What accomodatsons other than the tuner are required? Any idea bout cost?
 

· Hall Of Fame
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Originally posted by Geronimo
What accomodatsons other than the tuner are required? Any idea bout cost?
It happens every time. The industry balked about seat belts in cars, catalytic converters and air bags. Each time, they claimed that it would bankrupt the industry. Well, it has not. Eventually the costs are absorbed and the "new" products cost less. In 1973 a new 5000 btu window unit air conditioner cost $220 in 1973 dollars and had a 5.3 SEER. Today, a 9.7 SEER 5000btu window air conditioner costs $118 at Lowe's.

Who says, "They can't do it?"
 

· Native American Potentate
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Chill Mike

I never said they cannot do it or took any particular side. I just asked what mods are necessary and what it might do to price.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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Doesn't that open another can of worms of which Digital formats the tuner will handle? That's where it looks like to me the place the FCC should have stepped in at the beginning.
 

· God Bless America!
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No markh, there is only one digital format that's official in the United States of America - ATSC. There are 18 forms of ATSC, all of which would have to be decoded by any tuner.
 

· Godfather
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There is one small benefit to the delay that should not be overlooked. DTV tuner technology has improved a great deal in the last 4 years which will result in much less frustration for the average user. If the new "Casper" technology is as good as they say it could make DTV reception nearly as robust as NTSC.

And as with the window A/C unit example above they are also alot cheaper now. :)
 

· Hall Of Fame
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What is the point in having a digital tuner in analog tv sets if they are going to have to be convernted back to analog again? For the same reason as the Directv/Dish network satellite receivers which convert the digital back to analog? DirecTv/Dish use a different type of digital than what is required, is that right?

Is this digital signal supposed to be able to be received a lot better resulting in a better reception if used even if it is converted back to analog?
 

· Hall Of Fame/Supporter
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I htink what it means is that TV broadcasters can be assured of an audience after abandoning their old analog signals, regardless of whehter consumers embrace HDTV or not.

Bryan is correct here. Manufacturers were "forced" to include FM tuners in radios and UHF tuners in TVs in times past. This provided the need baseline of consumers for FM radio and UHF TV. Likewise a similar action mandating digital tuners will speed the conversion to DTV.
 

· Hall Of Fame/Supporter
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The FCC has no authority to impose copyright protection. Again, the purpose of the mandate is to provide a baseline for the migration of TV signals away from the inefficient analog broadcasts to that of DTV - which saves spectrum. Without a mandate, the migration would be much slower
 

· Godfather
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I have done just that. From what I have seen it looks like the biggest issues facing wide consumer acceptance are CATV compatibility and ease of finding a signal if using an antenna. The cable industry has settled on a different standard for delivering digital signals than that which is used by broadcasters. An integrated digital tuner that will be accepted by consumers will need to detect both equally well and switch seamlessly between them as needed.

While it may be true that HDTV will never be accepted by the masses, digital transmission must be in order to acheive more efficient use of broadcast spectrum. It wouldn't surprise me to find in a very short time from now that HDTV programs will be pay only and delivered via cable or DBS. I suspect in such an environment local broadcasters will more often use their digital channels for multicasting or value-added digital information services. HDTV on the broadcast airwaves could be very short lived, except maybe on PBS, because there is no extra revenue in it. That is, unless the government steps in and mandates a certain amount of HDTV programming each day like they are doing in Australia.
 

· Damn you woman!
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Don't think for a minute congress won't try and put some kind of copy protection on these sets. Look at their history with technology. They don't understand it so they listen to the media industry about what to do.
 

· Hall Of Fame/Supporter
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James, you may be right about Congress... unless there is a grassroots protest over such actions.

However, my point is that Powell is wrong if he thinks the FCC has the authority to impose coyright protection in "tuners". This goes beyond the authority of the FCC and most FCC staffers know that. A unilateral ruling by the FCC would not stand up in a court test.

But yes, a Congressioanl mandat is another matter. Consumers must hang tough and hammer Congress to not give in to media interests.
 
G

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The reason you have to put digital tuners in sets is because this is a Govt mandated complete switchover of OTA tv. This isnt a case of simply letting the market decide. If you did that you'd have to run the analog side of things indefinitely (since theres so many people that'd never otherwise buy in) and if you were going to do that, the last thing you'd have done is have stations begin transmitting in digital in the first place.

As far as copy protection and tuners go, uh, they dont really have alot ot do with each other. The first thing you have to be able to do is simply tune the channels. What happens *after* that is up for copy protection. In other words, think of all the sets out there, particularly the smaller ones that dont have any video outputs to begin with, only inputs. Obviously theres no copy protection issue there because you can, or could, in the case of a digital tuner, view the signal.. and nothing more.

As far as actually implementing copy protection on devices that do have digital video outputs, thats another matter. Tv's with digital tuners (or STB's with them) can still have the usual old outputs (s-video composite whatever) just as always. But they'll also have a firewire output to send to digital VCR's that does have copy protection (copy never <heaven forbid>, copy once, copy always etc) built in for taping considerations of the supposedly primo content.

Point being a person can rant and rave about whether we even needed to switch to digital OTA anyway and thus the need to now incorporate tuners.... and/or they can rant and rave about copy protection of certain digital content but the 2 issues arent really one in the same.
 

· New Texan
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11,467 Posts
It's about time that DTV tuners get mandated into new TVs. I've been very hesitant about getting a new TV (and have a RCA at the moment) because of the standards.

I know that someone will correct me on this, but there are 18 different broadcast standards on the ATSC. One of these standards is 480i, which is the exact same picture sent digitally verses analog.

One of the things that I've noticed is that, by transitioning to the DTV standard, they are moving the TV stations to the UHF spectrum, and frees of the VHF portions used by channels 2-4, 5-6, and 7-13 for other uses.
 
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