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· Guest
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If 85% of the people in the country have digital TVs or set top boxes, then the analog signal is dropped. Requiring digital tuners, in sets, accelerates that process. It may be an insidious plot, everyone has a digital tuner, the analog spectrum is turned off. Is it time to make major investments in antennas?:(
 

· Godfather
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IIRC the timetable the FCC has set only says 85% of television homes have to have digital tuners. They don't apparently factor in whether or not those tuners can actually receive a digital broadcast. There are many areas that suffer from signal quality problems that are so severe that NTSC (analog) reception is virtually impossible, let alone ATSC (digital). Currently digital is more challenging to receive than analog for a number of reasons, not the least of which being underpowered transmitters. There is also the fact that many people are willing to put up with a less than perfect signal if there is something on that weak channel that they really want to watch. Digital isn't as forgiving. Either there is sufficient signal to produce a perfect picture or there is nothing at all. Then when the picture disappears you have know intuitive way to know which way to turn the antenna to bring it back. With analog you can see the picture get better or worse.
 

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It's not an insidious plot. It is the major reason to go digital and turn off the analog signals. Why? because an analog signal takes 6 times more spectrum than a single HDTV signal.

It's no secret that the plan is to auction off the other 80 perent of TV frequencies to provide billions of dollars to the US Treasury.
 

· Arcane Movie Trivia King
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it's stupid-i set up a fellow who lived in a high rise on the other side of downtown dallas from the OTA towers in our area and OTA reception was just crap-got one channel that was close to clear...understand, even tho dallas is the 8th largest city, it is proimarily suburbia-you can walk around the perimeter of dopwntown dallas in half a day at a fair brisk...
 

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Interesting that with a big antenna I can recieve Dallas stations 100+ miles away in Wichita Falls. While I can receive almost all the analog stations, I am too far out to hold a lock on the digital ones (main problem is frequency reuse, analog stations still on some of the Dallas Digital station's frequencies around me).

I talked to some of the Dallas station's engineers, it appears that many of the stations are not up to full effective power yet. They were waiting on new towers, transmitters, etc. One group predicted with their new tower in place by the end of the year they would triple their effective radiated power (cannot remember which stations were in this group, co-owned). With these upgrades, one might be able to get HDTV over the air in rural areas. Note I said rural, they still have problems with urban reception because of multiplath issues in 8VSB. New chipsets show promising progress on the multipath issuer, maybe making rabbit ears possible some day...
 

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The post by dlsnyder really says it all. Digital is no friend of anyone who is any distance from the transmitter based on my locals. I find some days the antenna has to be in a certain spot and you get a good signal. The next day I get only a weak signal message and the signal is in a little different spot, but with no clue in which direction. If they are going to improve the signal strength, that might work, but you really have to want to be on the cutting edge to put up with the current system.
 

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An advantage digital will have over analog is that broadcasters could put up repeaters which will deliver the same picture quality as the original signal. Another advantage is that "unserved areas" will be more easily defined and less subjective -either a location wlii be able to "lock" or not. No more defining snowy video as an adequate Grade B reception. So the onus will be on the local broadcaster to improve the outlying signals.

The current system of mixing digital with analog synals on adjacent or nearby channels is the worst of all worlds. Once analog broacdcasts are purged form the UHF band, digital singal levels can increase.

However, I have held for a long time that the best way to deliver Digital TV is to emaulate cellular systems. Deliver the signal through low-power digital repeaters rather than by a multi-megawatt transmitter via a large tower which no one wants in their neighborhood.
 

· New Texan
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Originally posted by RichW
However, I have held for a long time that the best way to deliver Digital TV is to emaulate cellular systems. Deliver the signal through low-power digital repeaters rather than by a multi-megawatt transmitter via a large tower which no one wants in their neighborhood.
:ewww: This is exactly something that the ladies from Northpoint are proposing, using the same spectrum as DBS, and get the spectrum for fee.
 

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The difference with the Northpoint proposal is that it is not being done in spectrum allocated for "free" broadcasting. I am a bit concerned about Northpoint as to intereference with DBS. But since I'm out in the sticks, they probably won't ever effect me anyway.
 
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