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The FCC is forcing you to buy digital TV tuners that may not even work!?

1526 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Mike123abc
In August, the Federal Communications Commission mandated that television manufacturers, beginning in 2004, include digital tuners in new TV sets. By 2007, every TV set larger than 13 inches must include the device, which today costs upward of $500 and is used to receive digital TV signals over the air. As consumers replace about 250 million sets in U.S. households, they'll shell out more than $12 billion for the technology even if the cost falls by 90 percent.

Most consumers are asking, is it worth it? But perhaps the better question is, do the tuners even work? Last month, a New York Times review of digital TV technology noted offhandedly that a digital TV receiver placed in a skyscraper succeeded in pulling in just three of New York's nine digital stations. The Times' informal results echo more scientific findings. Testing under a range of conditions in 1999, Sinclair Broadcasting found that TV sets in just 11 of 31 locations in Philadelphia could successfully tune in using the over-the-air DTV standard selected by the FCC. Sinclair-joined by several other broadcasters-has repeatedly asked the commission for the option to use the European DTV standard. Stations and viewers could choose which system they liked best.

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There is a pretty informative thread in the other forum. As for competing standards well i don't think that will help anyone.

And after 9/11 I would assume that digital reception in NY is tricky.
Once again the Europeans prove that they have the seeming ability to "pick winners" when it comes to transmission standards (looks at his GSM phone that will work in almost every country on earth except Japan)

I wouldn't be suprised if we see something like more and more televisions being sold without tuners as "monitors" like they are in countrys with a per-tuner tax (UK for example)

I don't need NTSC tuners in my gear, I just use the S-Video, and I'm sure I'm not alone.
This is what we get when our government chooses a "standard" different than the standard for the rest of the world :(
At the '94 NAB convention IIRC the Europeans showed off COFDM, and it was given the "bums' rush". I wondered then if that was a mistake.

Over a year ago, Motorola & NXTwave were trumpeting equalization chipsets that were going to fix-what-ails 8VSB. It's been too quiet too long.

It's not looking good for DTV.. But the gubermint won't let DTV fail: too much invested, money & hubris. And they smell big bucks in auctioning spectrum..

I like MrAkais' approach. Just add a D*/E* receiver and I'm good for the long haul..

You need to sell bumper stickers that say that! :lol:
TDMA is not a government standard. It was picked by US companies (ATT) and was rolled out here before GSM was picked by the EU. CDMA was picked by Sprint, and GSM was picked by a few other companies in the US.

COFDM was looked at by the FCC, but it was decided that it did not offer enough improvement (and had some problems of its own) to replace 8VSB. 8VSB delivered a higher bit rate in 6MHZ.

Here is a link to Canadian research comparing the two systems:


COFDM does better with multipathing, but it was viewed that the multipathing problem could be overcome with advances in the decoder chips used for 8VSB.
Originally posted by Zac
Therefore, the FCC cares more about the interests of the military than about the people of our country!
Well duh... Its always been that way. Military always gets first choice. GPS, Cell Phones, and the rest were all military only first... Give it time my man and you will get yours... :D
As an aside, my Ericsson T68mc happily runs on 900/1800/1900 Mhz GSM networks, so it's not that big a problem.

If you want to look the other way around, you can't use 802.11 or bluetooth in several european contries becase 2.4gig is a military frequency in those countries.

Makes me glad to work on the internet where IP is IP all over the world :)
The same thing also happened with Cloased Caption Decoders. This is nothing new.

I see no problem with this and welcome it as it will lead to more acceptability by the public at large.
The development of HDTV started more than 10 years ago. Then the Japanese had an analog system and the Americans had a digital system. The Europeans were no where to be found then. There was a big victory just to end up digital.

Also, I consider the military use of the spectrum more important than whether my cell phone will work in Finland.
The military doesn't disclose a lot of information, and perhaps rightfully so. There are bigger things to worry about then which frequency bands are used for what...
Multiband/multiformat phones are coming out now. My phone does TDMA and GSM both in the US and in Europe. I went to Europe earlier this year and my calls followed me over there without me having to do anything more than turn on the phone.

It is not a problem with the technology, only the fact that they charge way to much for this (99 cents a minute for roaming across europe). Hopefully some competition will lower this eventually.
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