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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm not sure if i'm in the right forum but i had a ? about February 17, 2009. This is the day the FCC will cut off analog tv broadcasts. from my understanding D* and E* are already 100% digital so nothing will happen to us, but what about those who have basic (analog) cable in there house? will they lose all signal; and the cable co will have to force them to upgrade to digital cable??

i just wanted to get this information straight because i'm trying to use this date as a selling point to get people to switch to D*. but i just wanted to know if i was saying the right information


thanks in advanced.
 

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The 2/17/2009 date only affects people who watch TV via over-the-air broadcast. They will either have to buy a converter box to receive digital signals, or buy a new TV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so nothing will happen to people using basic (analog) cable? that cant be right. ...
 

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The FCC requirement does not apply to analog cable, however because all television sets will have to have digital (but not analog) tuners, and because all over the air transmissions will have to be digital, I would expect that most cable companies will also move to totally digital transmissions. That does not mean that you will be able to use basic digital cable like you now use basic analog cable. I would expect that you will need a separate set-top box for each TV to decode the digital cable.

There are many, many situations that are not addressed by this digital conversion. Included are any places that have their own in-house video distribution where they offer some external signals/stations as well as a variety of their own "stations". Casino hotels are a good example. All of the in-house video is analog, and can remain analog IF they can still find tv sets with analog tuners.

Time will tell. Right now I don't have any idea what various cable providers are planning to do. If anyone else does, it would be interesting to know.

Carl
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok so basickly they will need a digital cable box in every room, ok thanks question answered.
 

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To clarify (I hope): since most cable companies have to demodulate the off air TV signal and remodulate it to send it down the cable, they would be able to set up a digital demodulator to receive the off air signal and the remodulate it as an analog signal for their analog TV customers (thus meaning they'd only have to replace one set of boxes at first.) However, as analog RF signals eat up way more bandwidth than digital ones, its very likely that all but the smallest cable companies in the most rural places will have upgraded to digital in/digital out by the cutoff date.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the main focus i'm trying to get at is by this date you will no be able to watch your analog (basic) channels 1-70 (etc) w/o a box. like most basic cable customers do now. is that correct???
 

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dtv757 said:
the main focus i'm trying to get at is by this date you will no be able to watch your analog (basic) channels 1-70 (etc) w/o a box. like most basic cable customers do now. is that correct???
No, that is not correct.

Dependent on what the CABLE COMPANY does..

This FCC regulation has NOTHING to do with the signal transmitted via CABLE.. Only the signal that transfered OVER THE AIR
 

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dtv757 said:
the main focus i'm trying to get at is by this date you will no be able to watch your analog (basic) channels 1-70 (etc) w/o a box. like most basic cable customers do now. is that correct???
We don't really know. It will likely vary from cable company to cable company. Some may decide to continue providing a "basic tier" of channels in analog, some may move to total digital requiring a settop box for each TV (or a CableCard-style adapter for CableCard-ready TVs).
 

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Televsion networks will no longer be transmitting in analog to cable companies or to OTA public tv's. The cable companies will be converting to all digital by 2009. Customers with analog TV's can still use the cable company converter box to watch tv, they will give you one that is compatible with your tv. If you prefer to watch tv OTA and want to use an old analog set, then you will need to buy a set top box (stb) to watch. It's possible that the FCC/Government will subsidize towards the expense of the stb box.
 

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dtv757 said:
the main focus i'm trying to get at is by this date you will no be able to watch your analog (basic) channels 1-70 (etc) w/o a box. like most basic cable customers do now. is that correct???
The FCC regulation is a 'target date'. I have worked with FCC regulated RF devices for 20 years and there are 2 things that are certain:

1) That date will be moved (as it has already)
2) There will be 'grandfather clauses' that will allow for transmission of analog signals for many years after.

By 2009 the vast majority of households will still be using analog TV sets. So if the cable companies did in fact switch to an 'All Digital' format, they would likely provide the set top boxes (perhaps for a fee) as part of the package like they did before the proliferation of 'cable-ready' TV sets. But that is highly unlikely, since there won't be much incentive to put the basic analog cable channels on the digit trunk until the install base of analog equipment deminishes.

But that's no reason not to use a good 'scare-tactic' to make a sale...
 

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Just wait till the chaos ensues when we're only 2 months away from the switch off date. There are more people using rabbit ears these days than most would think.
 

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PoitNarf said:
Just wait till the chaos ensues when we're only 2 months away from the switch off date. There are more people using rabbit ears these days than most would think.
Especially for those TVs in the kitchen or spare bedroom!
 

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You can't assume that everyone will be using a cable box if they buy a new TV. They may have a cable card in the TV. Or some of the stations may be open (Comcast here has several channels in the clear including some traditional "cable" channels.)

Isn't there some disagreement right now about downrezzing digital signals to analog or am I missing something there.
 

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The broadcasters have been lobbying Congress for laws that will prevent the cable companies from downconverting or otherwise degrading their digital signals. I'm not sure how this will play out. Could this mean a cable set top box would not be allowed to output NTSC? That's for the lawyers and politicians to work out.

What about satellite and the HDLite debate? DirectTV is evidently already degrading the digital feeds!

Will the DTV transition happen on schedule? I think the broadcasters would like to get this thing 'over with'. But, I was just at the local Wallmart and they were carrying out good old fashioned TV's like there will be no Feb 2009.

It's too soon to know.

--- CHAS
 

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What do you mean on the horizon? I have one about 25 feet behind me. :) Take a look at any Sony over $1200 and you’ll see the ‘DCR’ logo. Any TV with a cable card slot is 'Digital Cable Ready' and has a built in QAM tuner. Like Tony mentioned this can be a very cool feature.

I can hook up my the incoming cable line directly to the back of my TV, no Cable Box or Cable Card involved and get quite a few regular channels and a few HD channels. Time Warner is passing them through unencrypted. Example, Nicktoons TV, is on channel 517 with digital cable, with my TV I can hook up the cable line and tune to 102.4 and get Nicktoons. Discovery HD Theater is channel 1030 on digital cable but is 115.1 with a QAM tuner. What’s also a neat bonus is that since I live in a different market then where my cable company is from, I get my own HD locals using the cable box, but I can get HD locals from Rochester, which I’m not legally entitled to receive via cable, by using the QAM tuner.

It really is more of a problem then it’s worth, between swapping cables and loss of DVR functionality when using the TVs internal QAM, but it’s really cool to play around with and is a free bonus for the cheapskates who pay $3000 for an HDTV but don’t want to spend the extra $5 a month for the HD programming.

I really can’t wait until analog cable is gone. We have digital simulcast here, but it would be great to free up all that extra bandwidth, add another 10 HD channels, then lower the compression on the rest of the SD channels.
 

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There aren't any requirements for Cable to do anything differently after 2-17-09.....it's all up to them, and whatever their customers will tolerate.

I think it will still be a while before all analog Cable tiers are gone. Otherwise, they may have to supply free STBs to their customers (or, suffer the humiliation of D* and E*advertising, mocking them). Cable will likely, IMHO, still downconvert a single channel of each local station to analog, and offer it on the "legacy" channel, but will pass the full HD (if available) Digital channel in their Digital Cable lineup. Whether that particular channel is scrambled or in the clear is, well...., un-clear.

Mostly, though, it will be determined by local contract negotiations between the stations and the Cable company.
 
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