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Pony up the money for DTV and convertors.

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posted on Nov, 13 2004 @ 09:31 PM
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I had read about this before on a site which escapes my mind right now, but I did find a couple of references about this tonight. Apparently the plans are in the works to revamp television communications to digital by Dec. 31, 2006 or until 85% of households in a viewing area are capable of viewing digital broadcasts - then the analog signal is gone forever. The plus is better signal quality with a higher bandwidth enabling more information and features to be broadcast. The downside is we will all have to either buy a digital television or an digital to analog convertor.

Here are a couple of references:

Duluth News Tribune

and

DTV.gov


quote:

The digital transition could mean trips to the local home-electronics superstore for many Americans who have yet to purchase digital-friendly TVs. When the digital transition takes place, owners of analog sets will find their TVs useless without digital-to-analog signal converters. Such converters go for $120 or more, and although HDTV prices have fallen, a low-end model still costs upward of $1,000.




posted on Nov, 13 2004 @ 11:08 PM
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Heh, the Duluth News Tribune...I read that almost every day. Anyway, many people already have digital to analog recivers (Digital Cable, Satelite). And this has been known for a while that the FCC wants to empty out the analog spectrum and move everything to digital.


jhh

posted on Nov, 13 2004 @ 11:08 PM
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You will only have to buy them if you want your local broadcast channels and are without cable or satellite. But the next 3 years will certainly be mess. Their are a handful of different hdtv standards being used, I believe fox is using the "clearest." Plus the edtv widescreens currently being sold.

If you have a satellite that is hd capable, and have local channels, you should be sitting fine because all that will be needed is a $300 hd monitor and a $99 hd receiver. As far as cable, it is up to the company to decide when to switch and how to go about it.

[edit on 13-11-2004 by jhh]



posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 12:29 AM
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Sarcasimo
Anyway, many people already have digital to analog recivers (Digital Cable, Satelite).


I dont think you know what that is. They dont even sell them yet. Its for after 2006 when analog is gone forever, but the people with an older tv who dont have the money to buy a digital tv can just but the far cheaper set top box which takes the crisp clear digital image and downgrades it into analog so your tv can view it.

I'v being waiting for this switch a while now, analog has far out lived its self, FINALLY NO MORE SNOW OR SHADOWS!


I'v had an HDTV for a year now, i bought one before I knew no cable companies in my area had HD broadcast.


But know there finally getting some, in fact tommorrow (the 15th) I will get my digital cable installed, and I will also getting a 2 month free HD thing, so if I like the offered channels then i'll keep it, the sad thing is theirs only 9 HD channels.
and as for when they say digital package its not all digital, in fact i'd say around 65% will still be analog, but i'm sure this will be alot different for the people who live in New York or some other big city.

Also, on a side note, people have to realize that your not only getting picture quality that puts dvd's to shame, but you also get 5.1 surround sound (only of course if you own 5 speakers and a sub), which I do, so thats why I hope that dont move the 2006 deadline back any.



posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 08:29 AM
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I have cable now that provides digital, but you do need the special box, i.e-higher cable bill. Also, most houses have more than one television. Think of the other hardware you will need to get every set in the house, including little Johnny's to recieve the digital signal.

Of course, the picture/sound will be better, but overall the content of what I am watching is way more important than how good it looks. I would rather recieve one good analog broadcast than 60 some odd channels of digital shopping channels and scrolling/crawling text telling me absolutely nothing. Unless you have a new DTV, the quality aspects will be hard to notice.

I think the reasons given for opening up the analog spectrum for other uses is bogus as well. Why do we have to sacrifice something that is mostly public airwaves for governmental use? Why don't they take their existing com bands and make them digital and upgrade their stuff? I just hate how they use a step in technology to try to force people to spend more money. How would you feel if they re-engineered the internet so that say only computers with a 2gig processor could utilize it? Of course it might be faster, but we are all forced to spend more money or do without. I guess I would call it technology extortion.



posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 10:22 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about your analog TVs not working in 2 years. The deadline for analog to go dark is either December 2006 or when 85% of all households have digital-capable TVs. Being that many Americans have no interest in spending the money to buy new TVs or converters, the 85% rule could allow broadcasters to keep their analog or over-the-air (OTA) bandwith for many years.

You would think that there would be a huge public awareness effort going on if many television sets in the U.S. are going to stop working in two years, but oddly (or not so oddly) enough, there isn't much said in the media about it.. umm, wait, would that be the same media that is responsible for relinquishing their OTA licenses in two years? I don't think that it is a big mystery why many people are unaware of the fact that they will need to buy a new TV.

I think that it is safe to say that marketing is not the FCC's strong suit... but perhaps this is by design. To promote DTV, they have put up a website. Great. But it isn't a stretch to say that the people who aren't going to know or care about digital TV probably aren't going to have a computer or even know to look up DTV info. If you think about it from another perspective, the broadcasters just need to prevent slightly more than 15% of the population from buying digital televisions to keep both of their licenses. Think about senior citizens or low-income families--if they aren't aware of the fact that there is a possibility that their OTA-only tv might not work in a couple of years, when faced with the decision to spend more on a TV that supports digital signals compared to a less-expensive model, they will probably opt to save money. Considering that about 15% of the population are older than 65 and add that to the 35 to 40% of American families making less than $30k per year (using 2000 census data), somewhere in there is the more than 15% of Americans that will allow broadcasters to keep dual licenses and hog OTA and digital bandwidth.

I think that the broadcasters forget that they are the beneficiaries of what Senator John McCain called the equivalent of the largest land grant of all time. In 1996, the federal government granted broadcasters the right to use digital bandwidth--free of charge--as long as they promised to relinquish their OTA licenses in 10 years. Billions of dollars of public property was given to these cable and media companies.

Most Americans don't realize that broadcasters are there to service us--their usage of the billions of dollars of free bandwidth real estate comes with the mandate is to "serve the public interest." This means that the public--meaning, we the people--own the airwaves, like our national forests and monuments. However, broadcasters are loosely held to this mandate and the FCC, which has the sole purpose of ensuring that broadcasters are serving the public interest, are inconsistent in holding them accountable.

It is in the public interest for broadcasters to carry digital signals. It not only improves broadcast quality and allows for more programming and services to be carried, but also allows emergency broadcasts to be more effectively delivered.

The fact that broadcasters have dragged their feet over the past 8 years regarding upgrading programming and are just now starting to roll-out better services (at higher fees, I might add), can hardly be viewed as serving the public interest. The FCC, which is supposed to represent the public interest, has been inconsistent and because of their rulings, I question whether or not they are influenced by political motives or influenced by certain lobbies. The fact that they have not pursued firms that have gouged customers by charging more for digital converters and services is a crime because that goes against the spirit of the 1996 Telecommunications Act that granted the bandwidth in the first place.


www.benton.org...
broadcastengineering.com...



posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 03:46 PM
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Nicely said, lmgnyc! In simpler words, I think you are trying to say that the beneficiaries (us) are the last ones to really benefit from all this.



posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 04:15 PM
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I heard about a month ago that the FCC pushed the date back from 2006 to 2009. Don't worry folks, Alalog will be here to stay for several more years. I'm sure the 2009 date will be pushed back even more.



posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 08:23 PM
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Originally posted by compwiz32190
I heard about a month ago that the FCC pushed the date back from 2006 to 2009. Don't worry folks, Alalog will be here to stay for several more years. I'm sure the 2009 date will be pushed back even more.


I dont think they have or should do that.

still at 2006

The time they set years ago at Dec. 31, 2006, should not be changed or have an extension. Why do cheap bastard consumers always want to just stick with what they got, its people like them who continue to slow the technology revolution down.

Analog Tv hasn't changed since it was invented, Everything else in todays world is digital, so why not the box we stare at for hours be digital as well?

ooooo, I hope this is the future.



posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 08:30 PM
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Hey Im all for HDTV. The sooner the better. Better picture quality, digital sound, higher resolutions and color representation *DROOL*



posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 03:52 PM
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It is nice that so many people are for digital tv, but I have to disagree. There are many, many people that cannot afford digital tv's (even if the price does go down within the next few years) Digital converter boxes are also expensive (the cheapest I have seen so far is a Sylvania brand at Walmart for a little over $200).

Is there really anything that wonderful on TV right now? I don't believe there is. The only TV I own is a 13" Sharp from 1989 and basic cable. (Of course, I am forced to pay for the 1/2 of the junk channels that I never watch) I don't need any more than this, so why should we be forced to upgrade, waste electricity with all these converter boxes going, and fill landfills with still usable and working tv's? Is this all to boost profits of Best Buy and Comcast? I don't see anything so great about digital TV.



posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 04:24 PM
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Thats the way I feel. I have enough $$ that, yes, I could buy a DTV,. But this is like being forced into doing something I neither have the need or desire to do. I am more than happy with my average TV and basic cable.



posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by compwiz32190
It is nice that so many people are for digital tv, but I have to disagree. There are many, many people that cannot afford digital tv's (even if the price does go down within the next few years) Digital converter boxes are also expensive (the cheapest I have seen so far is a Sylvania brand at Walmart for a little over $200).

Is there really anything that wonderful on TV right now? I don't believe there is. The only TV I own is a 13" Sharp from 1989 and basic cable. (Of course, I am forced to pay for the 1/2 of the junk channels that I never watch) I don't need any more than this, so why should we be forced to upgrade, waste electricity with all these converter boxes going, and fill landfills with still usable and working tv's? Is this all to boost profits of Best Buy and Comcast? I don't see anything so great about digital TV.



It is all about the promise of DTV. Although DTV will allow a much broader spectrum of broadcasts and reception will be much clearer and better in many respects (watching sports in HDTV is truly an out of body experience), the true benefit will be in interactivity.

Because of the wider broadcast band, cable providers will be able to receive and store additional signals from customers, allowing for customized programming. When the full benefit of digital programming is realized, this will allow cable providers to put tons of programming "online" which customers can access through their remote controls.

Other enhancements will be to allow customers to change camera angles of the programs they are watching, or to download additional information about the program that they are watching in a split screen (ie: watching the Food Network & having the recipe in another window) Interactive educational programming/classrooms are also planned (ex.: allow children to watch a program and respond to questions using their remote control.) Interactive Home Shopping Networks (ugh) will be available. Upgrades to the emergency broadcast networks will allow specific broadcasts to very specific areas.

Of course, cable companies are poised to make tons of money off of these enhancements and you are right that not everyone can afford them. The spirit of the 1996 Telecommunications Act that granted digital bandwidth to broadcasters was done so with the intention that they would "serve the public interest", not gouge customers. The FCC needs to step up and make sure that cable companies are acting in a reasonable manner--and they haven't. I can see charging for some premium services, but the initial purchase of a digital TV should be subsidized for families that can't afford it because it will eventually be mandatory. Also, cable companies should provide the digital cable boxes at no additional cost--I have heard of some firms charging to switch out the analog box.

As of yet, most of the proposals for digital TV bandwidth are only proposals. For audio- and videophiles, spending extra money to experience "Survivor: Vanuatu" and the 6 other programs currently in HDTV and 5.1 audio is a natural inclination (I myself am in this category.) But for normal people who aren't unduly obsessed with electronic equipment, there is little to entice people to throw away their perfectly good analog TVs and upgrade. The cable companies are dragging their feet on rolling out all the wonderful things that they promised to serve the public with when they were granted hundreds of billions of dollars of public airwaves... and then the FCC and broadcasters act stupified when no one wants to pay more for a digital-capable TV to watch the same old junk.



posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 05:58 PM
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Not sure if you non brits are aware, probably are to some extent, but we have taken a big step towards fully 'digitally transmitted' television. I say digitally transmitted as when it reaches us, our sky digital boxes decode the signal and actually output an analogue signal (which can be sent up to little Jimmy or Timmy’s room as easily as before). This replaced our old analogue sky many years ago and is actually very good. I personally do not have 5.1 sound however a different box can be purchased I believe.
Multiple camera angles during sport has little use in my opinion whilst watching football as Joe Bloggs at home can’t compete with the network producer at finding the best camera for every moment. Whilst watching sports such as golf however, following your favourite player does kick ass.
Although this is a subscription service, ‘freeview’ boxes can be bought for as little as £40, which pick up digital transmissions of all terrestrial channels plus a few others. These have no subscription (on top of the uk television licence of course) so I think you'll agree are very good value!
Anyways my point is digital transmission does not mean everyone must buy a digital TV (as has been pointed out in prev’ posts) and more importantly does not mean the ‘peasants’ or even worse 'students' like myself wont be able to watch TV any more, it’s beneficial for everyone.



posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by Procrastinator
Anyways my point is digital transmission does not mean everyone must buy a digital TV (as has been pointed out in prev’ posts) and more importantly does not mean the ‘peasants’ or even worse 'students' like myself wont be able to watch TV any more, it’s beneficial for everyone.


The plan in the U.S. is for analog signals to go dark in December 2006 or when 85% of U.S. households have purchased digital-ready TVs. At that point, the government will take back the analog licenses from all broadcasters and use the bandwidth for something else--perhaps government programming.

See www.dtv.gov...

EDIT: This means that if you have an analog set, you will have to either buy a new TV or an analog-to-digital converter to use it. You will have to subscribe to cable as your antenna will stop working.


[edit on 15-11-2004 by lmgnyc]



posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 06:22 PM
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I can't speak for you lot over there (struggle to speak for myself...) however if that deadline was reached over here, which I’m sure it will be sometime, I can't see a big problem.
As I said ALL it takes to pick up all the digital 'terrestrial' channels here is a £40 box, it’s just a basic DTA converter with stacks of extra benefits. The people who don’t have it over here just need that kick up the backside, its well below half the yearly license fee. I may be missing something but I don’t see a landfill full of obsolete televisions or even that big a deal. It makes sense.



posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 07:32 PM
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It may be expensive now but once people start buying them they will come down in price and become very affordable for everyone. It's just a matter of time.



posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 07:44 PM
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I have digital TV in my house one down stairs and one in my room my box cost me £50 the down stairs was more at £90 but does the same job its all free view TV stations. So I get around 30 channels for free includeing radio stations the ones you pay for the box has to have a card slot and to get the outher stations its a £20 sign up fee then a further £7 a month to get the channels. I just have the free ones there are some good shows on etc worth the cash I say



posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 10:09 PM
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I'm not big on typing a freakin essay, so, like they say "A picture is worth a thousand words".
I just took these pics with my sont digital 4mp camera, but still, you cant expect them to be exactly what you see, in other words, the pics dont do justice. But you can still tell a big difference, like the widness of the HD, and look at smaller things to compare (like the numbers on the field).

Analog


High Definition


My setup



posted on Nov, 16 2004 @ 12:05 PM
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I'm just wondering what percentage on the US is using antennas only, because that's the only people that will be forced to upgrade to a set top box. Nothing will change for cable & sat subscribers.

I still don't have an HDTV screen yet, but I've had the set top box for more than 5 years & all my local stations have been broadcasting Digital & HD signals for a few years now. Even on my standard TV where my signal is downconverted to Svideo the HD picture smokes the analog.



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