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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:35 PM
Original message
Senate Nears Deal To Delay Digital TV
Source: WAPO



Senate Nears Deal To Delay Digital TV
Compromise Bill Would Postpone Switch from February 17 to June 12

By Kim Hart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 24, 2009; Page D02

Key senators have reached a compromise on a bill that would delay the nation's switch to all-digital television from next month until June 12. A vote on the legislation is expected early next week.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Commerce Committee, has been working with ranking member Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), to draft legislation that also would give consumers more access to coupons for the converter boxes needed to continue receiving broadcasts.

Television broadcasters are scheduled to turn off analog signals Feb. 17. Consumers with an analog television will need a converter box to get broadcasts. People with digital televisions or cable or satellite service will not lose programming.

President Obama earlier this month urged Congress to postpone the transition due to mounting evidence that consumers are not prepared.




Read more: more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hey, can DU use some of that spectrum for a Democratic Underground TV Network? n/t
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byeya Donating Member (209 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. goodbye tv
I was looking forward to 2/17 when I could no longer receive tv; now I'll have to wait longer. Still it's unplugged and I look forward to continuing my tv-less existence.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. Come June, why should anybody believe they will really switch then
because someone will always not be ready? They've said for months and I have probably seen it thousands of times that the switch would be on 17 February 2009--that's pretty clear. Some consumers will never be prepared because, with reason, they believe the switch will not happen.
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Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. exactly, this has been the plan for 15 years, what will 3-4 months do?
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Some stats right now
nearly 20 million households have only antenna-signal TVs in their homes

and only 9 percent of these households plan to upgrade to cable:

"We're promoting the daylights out of (upgrading)," said KC McWilliams, general manager of the local Comcast cable company, which serves 90,000 households in Leon, Gadsden and Wakulla counties. "But so far, we're not seeing much of a change."



over 7 million households have not yet made provisions to connect to dtv converter boxes

and 1 million households are on the waiting list for the rebate coupons which can not be honored because the program ran out of funds


http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20090124/BREAKINGNEW...


Seems like pretty big numbers to me and a good reason to wait a bit


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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Wait a bit, then a bit after that, then a bit after that...................
Where does it end or will there ever be a real end? Probably most of those 7 million households that have not made provisions for the switch never believe that they will ever really need to do so.

I get my tv by antenna only and I applied for the coupons last October, knowing they would only be good for 90 days. What would have been the point in waiting until the last minute to order the coupons, but that is how some people are. I ended up having to spend $10 for a converter that allows me to receive more than twice as many channels as before. It would have been worth it if I had to pay the entire $50 (with no tax on it either).
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
35. You're one of the lucky ones, then.
I did the same kind of preparation, but come February 17 (or June 12), I get didley-squat unless I decide to pay for cable or satellite. Any delay means that much longer before my TV is shut off (since I have no intention of watching any of the 5 versions of "All Jesus, All the Time" that I can get with my fancy new box).

(I can get PBS, but aside from the News Hour that is not the channel I currently watch.)
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. If you get your tv with an antenna now how do you get didley-squat with digital
because I use exactly the same antennas now that I used for analog. If they're close enough, many can get their digital stations just using old fashioned rabbit ears. Check antennaweb.org and it will tell you exactly how far you are from your stations, show the direction of their signal as well as what kind of antenna you would need. If my house did not have a metal roof I would probably not need much of an antenna at all except to get the NBC station which is 60 miles north of me. I have gotten my tv free and over the air for 3 years now.
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Skink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #40
46. With the box I get nothing. I'll have to spend as much for a better anntena as the converter.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. You are being short sighted because even if you need a better antenna
you buy it once and you are done. I have been getting my tv for free and over the air for 3 years now and if I was unwilling to spend what it takes to get a box and a new antenna if I needed it, then I wasn't really interested in tv that much anyways. Even with analog I needed 2 antennas to get my stations because my NBC station is 60 miles away and in the opposite direction from the others. The exact antennas I had for analog work perfectly for digital and I get twice as many stations and a perfect picture.

Check antennaweb.org and enter your address and it will show you the stations you should receive, their direction and distance from you, and what kind of antenna is needed to receive them.
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Skink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #48
50. I'll buy the antenna. I just figure if government covers the box why not the anntena?
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. I needed to buy 2 antennas to get analog stations.
Should I have expected the government to buy them for me. Buy your new and probably better antenna and it will serve you well for as long as you live where you do now. It may be possible, but I don't see how using the same antenna you do now for analog that you get nothing with digital because all of my stations' digital signals are in the same direction as the analog ones and two of the digital signals are actually a few miles closer to me than the analog ones.
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harpboy_ak Donating Member (437 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #46
66. I built an antenna for about$12
It's not hard to build an antenna. I spent about $12 at Home Depot for 15 feet of 00 guage stranded wire for the antenna elements, ripped an old 1x10 into 1x1 sticks on which to staple the cut wire sections, added the balun from my old rabbit ears, and built the antenna which works great screwed to my living room ceiling.

My 2 local stations converting to digital are on channels 8 & 10, so i built a 5 element channel 10 yagi antenna, which gives me a better picture from the digital decoder than i ever got with the rabbit ears. each of my 2 local full power stations has multiple channels --- public TV also runs a state govt channel broadcasting legislative sessions + a music channel, and the local ABC station has a second channel running a lot of cable-type reruns.

You can design your own antenna using the element length calculator at http://users.marktwain.net/aschmitz/antennas/calcantenn... --- if you need less forward gain, reduce the number of director elements. For the driver element, you cut 2 half-length wires and wire each half to the screws on the balun, and attach coax cable between the balun and your digital tuner box. Most tuner boxes have a signal strength indicator to help you find the best direction to point the antenna. In my case, that was towards a mountain about a mile away instead of toward the station's antenna.

To find the frequency of your target station, look it up at http://www.csgnetwork.com/tvfreqtable.html --- varying the length of the director elements will widen the bandwidth of the antenna.

It's silly for them to delay this changeover. Folks should have changed by now. My local Home Depot was selling decent outside antennas for about $40.

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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #40
55. Because analog and digital are different.
Analog goes gradually to fuzz. Digital is either there and crystal clear or completely absent. Analog is comprehensible (not terribly attractive) at a much lower power than it requires to make digital there and crystal clear. I get lots of very fuzzy analog - which translates into lots of completely absent digital.
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
44. I applied for the rebate coupon more than a month ago and it still hasn't arrived.
Even if it had, there's no more money to help people who want to use the coupons. The switch-over transition isn't working very well imho and I'm guessing that has a lot more to do with the delay than procrastinating consumers.

For me, it's not an issue. We very, very rarely watch teevee - maybe 1 or 2 times/year so it's not a compelling issue for me. In fact, the only reason I applied for the coupon was to be able to get our new President's State of the Union and other important broadcasts of HIS if/when I desired.

The chimp would never have motivated me to get the converter box.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. I applied for my coupon in Oct. and they came in a week.
They because everybody gets 2 coupons, but not everybody will use both so when the remaining one expires it becomes available. I ordered my coupon in October because I didn't see the point in waiting until the last minute. Even if I had to pay the full price of $50 rather than the $10 it would be worth it to get the better pictures as well as (for me) twice as many channels. When I get my tv free and over the air, and have for 3 years, if I was unwilling to spend $50 one time to get the improvement, then I would really not be that interested in tv at all.

The switchover is about procrastinating consumers because virtually all the stations are ready and they want to cut their cost of currently having to broadcast a digital signal as well as an analog one. Besides, the old frequencies have already been reassigned to things like the fire departments and other emergency departments as well as to be used for broadband internet.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #47
70. procrastinating consumers?
The issuing of new coupons was frozen on January 5. So those people who applied five weeks before the transition are to be condemned as procrastinating consumers? Did the messages that were going out to the public emphasize in any way that they should "apply now before the supply runs out" or "limited time offer'? Even those who waited until the final month did so in reasonable reliance that they would get the coupons. Moreover, because of the difficult economic conditions, some people who didn't need coupons because they had cable or satellite may be dropping those service and choosing to go back to over the air reception until conditions improve for them. Lets say fuck you to those people too, I guess.

The old frequencies have been assigned, but no facilities have been built to use them and the proposals for a short delay in the transition will not significantly impede the roll out of those services. Indeed, there are proposals to allow some testing of these other uses even while the frequencies are still used for broadcast. Working out the interference issues won't be simple, but its not impossible. I do agree that its a hardship for some broadcasters to have to keep broadcasting in both analog and digital, but I think the needs of the public, particularly the principally elderly, minority, lower income viewers who rely on over the air television must come first, at least for a short period while their reasonable expectations are met.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #70
72. Yes, procrastinating consumers with warnings given for months about the switch
waiting until a month before it to order a coupon is procrastinating and that's why I ordered mine in October. The truth is that no matter how many times more there is a delay, there will always be some who are not ready because why should they ever believe that there will be an ultimate date for the switch? You know this as well as I do, but come June there will be those like you who are making the exact same argument for another delay that you are now and it will be put off again and again and again.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #72
73. Of course there will always be some who don't get ready
But we're talking about screwing over a lot of people who did what they were told and now are being told, too bad, we (the government) fucked up the coupon program so you lose. A short delay to straighten out that situation and to get the type of information out that should have been out months ago is not only reasonable, its the only fair thing to do. I understand that you don't have much empathy for the lower income, minority,non-English speaking people who are most affected by the fuck up in the coupon program and in the fact that it wasn't until a week or two ago that the FCC issued contracts (even though the proposed contracts were submitted to them back in the fall) for call centers to take the flood of consumer calls that everyone knows will be coming. Again, a delay will mean that at least someone will be available to answer questions when the transition occurs rather than the potential train wreck that we face now. You aren't harmed at all if the delay occurs. Why does it bother you if my 90 year old neighbor, who applied for her coupon on January 8 - five weeks befor the transition -- gets a chance to get her coupon, have someone go to the store for her (she's a shut in) and then hook it up for her?

And I'll promise to send a check for a $1000 to any charity you want if I suggest in any way that the transition should be delayed again if its extended to June.

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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #73
75. It certainly looks like the date will be extended, but if June is really, really, it this time
then I do not have too much of a problem. In the months from now until then the government should fix the program and people should get on to the switch right away and not wait until May. I wish I had a dime for all of the thousands of announcements I have seen about the switch, over and over. There have even been numerous announcements and stories about it on my local news as well as local tests where the analog signal was shut off for a minute so people could tell as well as giving local numbers to call for questions about it. If people claim they didn't know about the switch or its date I would have to say that either they do not have a tv or they do not watch it.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
45. Waiting is the reason they haven't changed.
Make the change and everyone will have made the switch within a week.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. good!
suits me just fine!!

:dem:

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marybourg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. My elderly neighbor
who bought a box, but hasn't installed it yet, just said "I wish they'd put it off until I die."
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DUgosh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
6. The digital signal is so weak
The analog stations have weakened their signal too. I hardly get any antenna TV now even with the silly digital box
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
36. Same here. I get virtually nothing.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
9. Four good reasons for delaying the DTV transition a few months
A delay won't be a panacea -- there will be problems whenever it occurs. But a delay at this point makes sense for both practical and political reasons.

One: The box problem
The converter coupon program effectively ran out of money a few weeks ago, causing delays and confusion in the ability of consumers to get the coupons and get boxes; there also are serious concerns that there will be shortages in the number of boxes available.

Two: The signal reception problem
The coverage area of digital signals does not always match the coverage area of the analog signal and viewers are finding that they need to obtain new antennas or reorient their old antennas. This bit of information wasn't adequately conveyed by the government's "education" programs and many viewers haven't understood that they can and should start using their converters now and not wait until Feb 17 so that they can determine if they need to take action to improve their reception. And given that February isn't the best time to have people climbing on roofs to adjust their antennas, a delay until Spring may actually save some lives.


Three: The call center problem
The FCC only recently awarded contracts for the staffing of call centers to answer questions about the transition. When the "early transition" occurred in Wilmington, thousands of calls were received from confused viewers. Extrapolating that to the nationwide changeover, it is expected that well over a million people will try to call the FCC on one day. Working out a viable plan for handling calls is critical. As one of the current FCC Commissioners recently noted, he was shocked to find out that the call centers currently in operation only were being staffed during regular business hours and not at all on weekends.

And Four: the political problem
The shortcomings in the transition that are occurring are largely the result of mismanagement of the transition under a repub administration. But when the transition occurs, whether its in February or June, no one is going to blame the repubs. They're going to blame those who are in power at the time, particularly if they have made no effort to fix the problems. So even if things are still screwed up in June, you have the political cover of having at least tried to do something and the argument that it would've been even worse. Also, from a political perspective, the Democrats in Congress want to go home during the President's Day recess and present themselves to their constituents and to editorial boards etc as a "can do" Congress that has already started tackling the problems facing the country as a result of bush's reign of error. They won't be able to do that if all they are doing is answering questions about how screwed up the transition is going to be the day after President's Day.

Why do you think repubs oppose extending the transition and Demcorats favor it? Because the repubs understand that it will be a political stumble for the Democrats if nothing is done to try to delay and fix (even minimally) the problems with the transition.

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. How about delaying this a few more years?
For all the reasons you so well stated, plus the fact that the working class, particularly the working poor and the poor, cannot afford the high cost of digital TVs once their aging analog TVs die and can't be replaced.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. No. The spectrum that is currently used for analog tv is desperately needed
for other services, including critical first responder and public safety services. Other parts of that spectrum have been auctioned off for use in developing advanced wireleess and broadband services. These are the types of services that Obama and his team have correctly identified as key elements of producing a turnaround in our economy -- working on our telecommunications infrastructure so that rural areas, poor schools, etc cross over to the other side of the digital divide. A long delay would be devastating. A short delay will have minimal impact.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. I though that the 10 MHz in Auction Block D for first responder and public safety failed?
The 10 MHz Block D auction originally failed to find a bidder.

Has it been auctioned off again?

Most of the rest of the other 52 MHz in the other 4 blocks for commercial use went to AT&T and Verizon.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
62. The cleared spectrum will be sold.
And Joe Citizen will receive shit.

:think:
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #62
82. AMEN! Why aren't these fancy new services free like the analog tv signals?
No, instead they are going to be used to make money for corporations.

:mad:
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
24. Then a few more years after that, then a few more years after that.....
I am both working class and working poor and I had the foresight to order my coupons in October so my converter box cost me all of $10 to get twice as many channels as I previously received with analog. This has absolutely nothing to do with having to buy a new tv. My old 19" tv that has the converter box looks as good or better than it did when I had cable. No matter how long it takes, some people will never be ready.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
33. Digital TV are no more expensive than analog TV were.`
Don't confuse digital w/ LCD flatscreen.

DTV simply have an internal ATSC tuner.

They start as low as $100-$150 for 20-24" tube DTV.

Now larger TV are only LCD now (no market for older tube TV) BUT the price for entry level 720 LCD HDTV is LESS than I paid for a 27" analog tube TV ~$350.

For those with even less means I expect pawnshops will be full of perfectly good analog tube TV for years to come, likely long enough for prices on LCD to drop to the point they completely replace tube TVs.
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mamameow Donating Member (223 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. why?
why do we have to switch to digital? just to get a better picture? who profits from this switch? i'll tell you and this comes from a friend in the fcc, the companies who will sell new t.v.s, the manufactures of the adapter box, the cable/satellite companies. what are our benefits, a better picture when you can get it. the down side, you buy a new t.v., you continue paying through the nose for cable/satellite. for older people who cares about the better picture, we don't have the money. i look at the new t.v.s in shops and cannot see any better picture on digital. i think the hype has brainwashed people into thinking the picture is better. just another program to force americans to support companies when they do not want to. when i cannot afford the satellite service it will stop, right now i cannot get local channels and will not get an adapter. f___ them!!!
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Those who benefit are mostly telecom companies.
That bandwidth will allow more kinds of wireless communications, and you can be sure that Verizon and other companies are in line for it.

It also pays to consider who has stock in those companies. Some companies want the bandwidth; others have invested in ways around it. There's one, I believe, who's offered a product and is alone in the marketplace right now; once the DTV changeover happens, a competitor is expected to use part of that bandwidth to challenge that company. The longer the first company is alone and unchallenged, the more complete its market penetration will be, and the greater the payback.

Note that those with cable and satellite don't have to buy a new tv. We have neither, and yet we didn't. Our DVD player died last year and I found a got one with a converter built in. It's what we use.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. It's foolish to claim that you do not get a better picture. That is simply not true.
Not only a better picture, but more channels. You do not need to get a new tv--how is that not clear? YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY A NEW TV!!!! With the coupon for the converter box I spent $10 to get the best picture I have ever seen on my old 19" tv and I get twice as many channels as before, including 3 PBS channels. So it's not just about a better picture. It's going to happen whether you like it or not because all of the old bandwidth has already been allocated for things like the fire departments and emergency services. If the program with the coupons had been fully funded I don't know how much easier it could have been made of people.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #25
38. I get fewer channels.
You may not understand the difference between analog and digital. Analog gradually fuzzes out, while digital is either present or absent. The power level at which digital vanishes is significantly higher than the power level at which the analog fuzz becomes indecipherable. People near broadcast towers, who get relatively decent analog broadcast, will probably have better picture and more channels. Those of us farther away - who currently have relatively poor analog broadcast - will have far fewer channels - and no longer have the option of watching poor resolution on the ones we don't receive well.

I currently receive around 10 channels analog that I consider worth watching in analog. I can receive one, consistently, and a second sporadically (depending on weather, season, etc.) with digital. I do get five versions of that one channel - but I really have no desire to watch any of the five versions of "All Jesus, All the Time."

As to how it could be made easier - they could set aside one day when they to a test broadcast in their new frequencies - at the power level at which they will be broadcasting after the transition. At least in our area, they will be playing musical frequencies on the day of the transition. Most of the VHF channels will be moving to UHF and displacing some channels that are currently there. Channel 5 broadcasts in channel 15 digital, for example. Since no one currently inhabits that channel, they are broadcasting there now. If I stand in front of the TV and hold both VHF rabbit ears I can sometimes get channel 15. Channel 3 will be moving to channel 17. Since channel 17 is currently the "All Jesus, All the Time" location, it will have to move elsewhere on February 17. Will it make a difference in whether I can get Channel 3? I don't know. Currently - not at all. In its new location - who knows. In addition, I have not been able to get a clear answer as to whether their broadcast power will increase or not. If it does, that may make a difference.

Until they do a REAL test, no one will know what they will eventually receive. If I still get nothing, I will need to crawl on my roof in the middle of winter to see if a better antenna than the one we currently have will allow us to watch TV in the one room in our house that is wired to the antenna. If that doesn't work, I get to choose between paying for TV or just not watching.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. Yes, I understand digital very well--you either have the station or you don't.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:42 PM by elocs
Most people do get more channels and I think it is clear that you need an antenna that will bring in your digital stations. You clearly get analog signals so you cannot be in the middle of the boonies where no stations can be received. Stations are broadcasting both analog and digital right now and that's why they want the switch because it is costing them to transmit both signals. All of my digital signals are coming from the exact same direction as the analog signal. Again, check antennaweb.org and input your address and it will show the stations you should receive, the direction of their digital signal, and the kind of antenna needed to receive them.

On edit, also check out this forum: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=45 for more info about digital tv and to check on what people in your area are receiving and what kind of antennas they use.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #43
49. I was reacting to your blanket comment,
"It's foolish to claim that you do not get a better picture. That is simply not true. Not only a better picture, but more channels."

There are many of us who get poor analog who will not be able to get those same channels in digital once the switchover takes place.

As to cost, not all stations are broadcasting in both. Many are only doing a partial (or no) broadcast in HD now, and a few have dropped analog altogether and are broadcasting in HD only.

No one in the forum is reporting for my specific area, and all the neighbors have had cable forever because the analog reception is so bad here.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. Then your only solution is to get a better or taller antenna and to boost the signal.
My NBC station is 60 miles from me and I have an antenna with a signal booster dedicated to just get that signal. In my area all of the full powered stations are broadcasting both analog and digital and when I use the http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=45 I can find out exactly what the situation is in my area. Where I live in WI is called the "coulee region" because there are many of these little valleys nestled between the bluffs and depending where you are you may not get any local stations at all. We do not live in a perfect world, but ultimately digital is going to serve the vast majority of the population, but not every single person and whether we like it or not it is coming.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #52
54. My point is that analog serves a larger portion
of the population, without forcing them to pay for TV. As long as the government wants to delay the switch - I'm quite happy.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #54
56. Sooner or later it will come, it really, really will and you will need to deal with it. n/t
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. At that point, I may no longer have TV
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 09:18 PM by Ms. Toad
I'm not interested in paying $40+/month for TV.

I would be interested in finding out ahead of time whether I will be able to receive the broadcasts once the musical frequencies and any broadcast power change takes place - but so far as I have been able to find out, they aren't doing a real test ahead of time. They prefer to play silly announcements and call that a test (they've done that twice, now).

Edited to add: If they delay it until June, it will at least be warmer on my roof.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. Your situation makes me a lot happier with mine,
with all of my digital signals coming from the same direction as the analog ones and in 2 cases they are actually closer. An inline antenna booster may help because I could not even get an analog signal for my NBC channel without one (the other NBC station is 65 miles to the west of me and there are bluffs that block that signal).

Again, I highly recommend antennaweb.org to check out your channels, their distance, direction, and what type of antenna is needed as well as http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=45 because there must be other people in your area with the same problems. Even if not in your area there are those elsewhere with similar problems.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #25
64. Where are you?
Because that matters, doesn't it?
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. I work daily with folks at the FCC and some of them don't know what they're talknig about
Your friend apparently fits in that category.

There are a vaiety of reasons that the decision was made to switch broadcasting from analog to digital. One of them is that the spectrum that broadcasters were using for analog is better suited for wireless communications than other spectrum, and wireless communications are the wave of the future, in case you haven't noticed. If the US is to keep up with the rest of the world in terms of its telecommunications infrastructure -- and we've not been doing so -- we need to ensure that we make the best use of the spectrum. Maybe you think it would be fine if everyone still had a black and white tv with a dial tuner and a rotary phone, but you'd represent a very small part of the population. And fortunately, in Obama, we have a president that recognizes that in a world where energy is a more scarce resource than the airwaves, wireless forms of communications that allow people to work and communicate without being tethered to a particular location -- and that allow fire,rescue, etc to reach each other in the time of crisis, is as important to our economic recovery as fixing our bridges and highways.

Does this mean that no one is going to make money off the transition? Of course not. Just as plenty of folks made money when we went from vinyl to cassette and then cassette to cd and, increasingly, from CD to downloads. Or that people won't make money repairing bridges, rebuilding highways, and doing the other things that are necessary to finally bring this country back to life economically and to offer more of our citizens more opportunities for flexible work schedules and access to information and entertainment beyond that imaginable a few decades ago.

Yeah, the idea sucks.

PS -- If its been such a great boon for the electronics industry, why did Circuit City just go belly up? And if you can remotely explain how the cable and satellite industry are profiting from this, I'd be most interested to hear it.
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Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #9
19. i'm a democrat who works in television and i oppose a
delay. The only way people and stations are going to do this, ever is if they are forced to. This change has been coming for 15 years, heavily hyped the last 2 and annoyingly so for the last 6 months. The coupon program needs to be funded and the transition needs to occur as planned.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #19
28. of course the coupon program needs to be funded.
But the fact is that the demand exceeded the supply of coupons and even if that can be fixed in the next week, its going to take time for over a million and a half coupons to be sent out, redeemed and for people to get their sets properly connected. And those most likely to be in need of additional time to get this right are the elderly and minorities, particularly those in non-English speaking homes. A short delay won't make things worse -- people who already have gotten boxes aren't going to disconnect them or throw them away. ALl it means is that there will be a bit more time for folks to get boxes and for the government to be better prepared to help folks when they run into problems --which they will. No one is suggesting anything more than a short extension that, on balance, will provide more benefits than costs.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. It has been in the works almost 2 DECADES now and has been delayed 3 times.
When do we finally say lets pull the trigger?

If we delay it 6 months how many people will still not be ready?
Should we delay it again? and again after that? and again after that?


What makes you so sure that THIS DELAY will the the delay that will work.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. A bit of history
Not sure how you calculate your three delays. Here is the actual history.

Congress initially handed off the decision as to what the transition deadline should be to the FCC in 1996, and in early 1997 the FCC (which initially proposed a fifteen year transition) decided tentatively that it might be possible to complete the transition plished in ten years. But that was just a tentative conclusion -- the FCC said at the time that it would review and reconsider the timetable every two years. Before that first review even occurred, however, as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Congress decided to ratify the December 31, 2006 deadline, but to create a major loophole in it -- namely that the transition would not occur on that date for any markets in which fewer than 85 percent of the households had the capability of receiving digital signals. That "loophole" effectively extended the deadline to a date uncertain. In late 2005/early 2006, having come to the realization that the transition might never occur under the then-applicable standard, Congress bit the bullet and mandated a "hard date" --February 17, 2009. In so doing, Congress actually moved up the deadline, rather than delay it.

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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #34
61. Thanks for that explanation. n/t
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #31
37. It won't -
but it's that much longer I get some TV. Once the switchover happens - I get virtually nothing because the broadcast strength for virtually all the channels I can currently get in analog isn't sufficient to support digital.
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harpboy_ak Donating Member (437 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #37
67. How do you know?
the broadcast strength for virtually all the channels I can currently get in analog isn't sufficient to support digital.


No, you just need to get a decent UHF, NOT VHF antenna. You keep harping on about this, but you haven't tried to do what you need to do, which is put up a decent antenna. Almost every station that will be broadcasting in digital by the February 17 deadline is already broadcasting multiple channels in digital, but you haven't really made any effort to try to receive any of them.

I'm quite happy with the 5 digital channels I'm getting from 2 local stations, when before I could only get public TV with rabbit ears. My box cost me about $15 because I missed when my local Fred Meyer was offering the same box on sale in November for the the coupon + the sales tax. Total cost for my conversion: about $30, and about 2 hours of my time.

If you can't afford to buy a new antenna, I have already posted here about where to find the information to build your own antenna for less than $20. If you can find scrap aluminum tubing for free, you can build it for nothing. It just requires a little effort, which it's obvious that you don't want to put forth. All you want to do is sit on your hands and whine.





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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #67
76. I have a decent UHF antenna - with the most powerful amplifier
available. In fact, we have two, one with a single dual purpose amplifier and one with separate amplifiers for VHF v. UHF.

In order to get the VHF and UHF stations I currently get, each time we switch from watching VHF to UHF we need to move the antenna about 3 ft, and shift the amplification to the frequency range we want to watch (and if we are moving to UHF collapse the 5' VHF antennas)in order to get the best analog signal.

Holding the VHF antenna (with the VHF amplification turned to 0 and the antennas completely collapsed) has nothing do to with not having a decent UHF antenna (with an amplifier) it just happens to be the only position I have found that allows reception of one of the four major digital channels.

I'm glad you're happy with your reception, but it is not the case that everyone who can currently get analog TV will be able to get more than a pitiful handful of digital channels.

And thanks for bothering to check out the facts (which I have posted before) before being so condescending.
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bulloney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. That deadline could have been 2099 with the warnings being given since 2008
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 04:40 PM by bulloney
and there would still be a bunch of people crying to give them more time.

Set the deadline and stick by it.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #12
29. yeah, those old people and non-english speaking folks -- what crybabies they are
Fuck em Fuck em all. That should be the Democrats mantra, shouldn't it. After all, the repubs put in place an underfunded program that did a piss poor job of educating people -- sure folks know that the transition is happening on Feb 17, but they didn't realize that the coupons would expire if they didn't use them in 90 days or that even if they've been getting an analog signal, they might not be able to get a digital signal without switching from a set of rabbit ears to a rooftop antenna or reorienting their antenna.
And those old people and non-english speakers -- the fact that they might be more intimidated than the average DU member in terms of trying to connect a new device to their TV -- well screw em. English first. Self help Fuck the needy.

That's the ticket.
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d_r Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
13. come on
please don't keep putting those stupid commercials on for 6 more months. you've got to be kidding me.
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Endangered Specie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
16. Good, I just plugged in my DTV and the signal...
sucks, the picture is either fine or it is impossible to watch, and frequently goes back and forth on all channels, even the one where I live within 2 miles of the station!

MY analog, on the other hand, is almost never perfect but is ALWAYS watchable
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Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. that is a problem
but the transmitter and the station are hardly ever at the same location so living next door to the station does not guarantee you'll have the best signal.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #21
30. and it is a problem that the government has done a piss poor job addressing
WHile the government gave the public fair warning of the transition, it did a horrible, almost non-existent job of telling people that they should start hooking their boxes sooner rather than later and that they might find, upon connecting them, that they need a better antenna (rooftop rather than rabbit ears) or a reoriented antenna. And in terms of providing call centers where people could get information -- the FCC didn't award the contracts until a few weeks ago, despite the certain knowledge, based on trials, that well over a million people are going to try to call for advice when the switch happens. Hell, the call centers haven't even been open on weekends or nights up until the last few days.

A short extension isn't going to make anything worse -- no one who has gotten a box is going to throw it away. It simply means more people will have the equipment and information that they need to cope. Will everyone be ready? No. BUt at least everyone will have been given a chance to get the equipment and information they need, which is not the case now since the coupon program has been frozen for a couple of weeks and the call centers are a royally fucked up mess.
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divineorder Donating Member (513 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #30
83. Not only that but a June
transition takes it a little further from Christmas. Some people who haven't gotten their coupons will have gotten them and gotten the money for the boxes as well. By June I suspect 90% of the people who need boxes will have gotten them and installed them. The rest will have time to upgrade before the Holiday shows and football come on.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
20. Having forced hundreds of tv stations to spend money
on the new transmitters, and having compelled them to broadcast both in digital and analog, maintaining both transmitters and powering both transmitters until 2/2009, Congress is now going to tell them, in the midst of a recession, to continue to maintain both transmitters and power them for another 4 months?

Ah, I forgot. That's not Congress's problem.
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Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. exactly
keeping the analog transmitters on for a tiny minority of people is a ridiculous expense (mandating by law) when the money from advertisers has dried up as the economy has tanked. Small stations will be hit hardest as with all things.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #20
32. "forced"? The broadcast industry played a major role in the transition plan
From MSTV, a major broadcast trade association:

MSTVs work led to the creation of a new over-the-air digital television service without using additional spectrum. Advanced digital television services would utilize spectrum already allocated to broadcast television. The new digital stations would operate on open channels that were located in between existing analog television channels. These open channels could not be used for analog service because they caused interference. However, with new, efficient spectrum saving techniques, MSTV was able to insert new digital stations onto these channels. As a result, the FCC could double the number of television stations in the existing broadcast band.

This remarkable engineering approach created the most efficient and advanced television system in the world. In fact, the plan envisioned giving spectrum back to the government after the transition to digital television was complete. The FCCs final table used less broadcast spectrum in order to free up channels 52-69 for alternate uses after the transition. In other words, the MSTV-inspired plan would give more than 100 MHz of spectrum back to the government.

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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #20
39. Until the switchover,
they are perfectly free to broadcast in whichever one they choose, so far as I know. There are certainly plenty that are broadcasting in analog only for time being - and I know of at least two that have already dropped their analog transmissions.

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. Not true.
For over a year now all stations have been required to broadcast digitally or risk losing their assigned digital spectrum = guaranteed bankruptcy.

However since most advertisers won't pay for digital broadcast (given that all metrics and majority of ad viewers are done on the analog side) they are forced (in order to keep the lights on) to broadcast by analog.

Sure they can cut off analog but doing so cuts off their revenue stream.

That situation will continue until the analog shutoff. At a time where ad revenue is down substantially the govt is planning to force stations to run two complete broadcasting systems at a high cost.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #42
53. Most of them in our area haven't been doing a
complete broadcast in digital - although since I can't get most of them currently I can't confirm what they are each doing now. For quite a while they were only broadcasting the newshour and a few prime time shows - and I know that there were HD channels when I was visiting my parents (who can get most channels) a month ago that were still doing only a partial broadcast.

I'm glad the advertisers are finally good for something - keeping my TV alive for a little while longer.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
22. This reminds me of when the local cops and firefighters switched to 800 mHz radios
in my little town of the time. Inadequate funding for small departments to get the radios themselves, horrible coverage and no way to improve it outside of additional expensive towers in a tower-averse tourist area.

...And when the 800 radios failed, they failed completely, and spectacularly. Whereas there were plenty of ways to get the old VHF ones to get around mountains and what-not at low cost.

Everyone who got federal funding for the $1,000 800 mHz radios -- the police and fire chief and a handful of other department heads -- enjoyed talking to one another, and cops in outside areas. But you better believe every single one of them relies on the $40 VHF radio, and keeps one or two charged and protocols in place to use them.

I shudder to think of the gift being offered to Dish and DirecTV with this switch... in my old town, you just barely got PBS and CBS on the rabbit ears. You better believe you won't get digital signals there.
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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
26. American Digital television is pathetic.
High Definition programs on broadcast TV does not cut it if it's just during prime time.

What about launching digital teletext or interactive tv via broadband or wifi? Britain already has digital teletext? What can't we? There's nothing in the ATSC standard's that say "teletext impossible".

Why offer real sub-channels other than weather radars, infomercials, and bowdlerized movies? They promise they'll use the subchannels for broadcasting local programs, childrens television, real programing. But now they can't saying "We don't know how to program them".

Well, there's one solution to this farce:

1. Delay the changeover to 2011.
2. Start building relays and transmitters in difficult reception areas so that people would not have to getting cable or satellite to get digital television. Make the local broadcasters pay for them with a 0.5% on their yearly revenue.
3. Revoke all commercial broadcasting licenses, and force them to reapply for them on the condition that they prove how they'll service the public interest with real public service obligations. (That goes the same for broadcast radio) Possibly extend regulation to commercial cable channels.
4. Start the process for licensing a digital teletext provider for all broadcast networks.
5. Give analog viewers a reason to switchover, force broadcasters to produce and transmit all programs in 16x9 or in their OAR wherever possible.
6. Do a phase out instead of a nationwide cutover instead of a all-national changeover.

The commercial broadcasters had their chance to serve the public interest, if they refuse to do it, let someone else do it for them.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #26
41. Interesting what you say....more detailed in explaining the pitfalls.
thanks.
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
59. What a joke
People who are not ready now will not be ready in June. Switch this old shit off already.
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
60. KILL YOUR TV....and.... READ MORE BOOKS!
:think:
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
63. I'm hearing only one person per apartment building qualifies for a coupon
If that's accurate, it's really discriminatory.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
65. We could use just one more rec here. There's a lot of potentially useful info
in this thread, helpful links etc. Thanks for those.
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:14 AM
Response to Original message
68. The problem for alot of people is not necessarily the switch to
digital but the racket the cable providers have created to benefit from the switch. Such as, moving what used to be considered basic tv programming (C-Span - PEG and broadcasting) to higher tiers. Now, I'm hearing even fewer channels will be available using basic cable and the only reason? More money for them and higher bills for us. It sucks.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #68
69. the reason cable operators are moving channels is to reclaim bandwidth
There are a number of reasons that cable operators are migrating channels from analog to digital, but if it was solely to drive people to higher priced digital tiers, they wouldn't be moving CSPAN and PEG channels, they'd be moving ESPN and CNN. THey're moving the lowest rated programming because doing so frees up bandwidth that they need to provide higher speed internet service, more voice service, and more high definition video service. Indeed, the FCC, in its infinite lack of wisdom, is requiring most cable operators, after Feb 17, to carry local stations that broadcast in HD twice -- once in HD and once in a "downconverted" analog form. The only exception -- if the operator is "all digital". THe FCC also adopted a policy of allowing cable operator to use lower cost digital boxes in their systems only if the operator agreed to go all digital by Feb 17. In other words, it was the FCC that linked the Feb 17 broadcast digital transition deadline to the movement of cable services from analog to digital. Finally, DirecTV and Dish have been "all digital" from the outset. Cable is moving in that direction because in order to be able to offer the same amount of service as the satellite competition, they need to reclaim bandwidth by using more digital and less analog, and eventually, all digital.
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #69
71. Ok, so, the FCC is behind it. It sounds like eventually there will be no
distinction of cable services, so pay now, for say, directv, or pay later?
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #71
74. Its a combination of regulation and consumer demand
Consumers want faster internet; they want more wireless services; they want more movies on demand, more high definition content. Its nothing new. When there were only three stations, people wanted four. WHen there were 50, people wanted 100. How do I know they want them? Because if no one wanted them, no one would watch them and they'd go out of business. That does actually happen on occasion.
As the success of netflix, youtube, and other services indicates, the public has a seemingly insatiable appetite for video programming. And frankly, compared to the cost of going out to the movies these days, cable and satellite and interet services are pretty good bargains.

In order to meet this demand, it takes bandwidth. And analog is a bandwidth hog. So there is an incentive from the consumer demand to make the switch. The FCC adopted policies in connection with the broadcast digital transition that just happened to push the cable transition to digital along at the same time.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #68
77. Use the most powerful vote you have.
I finally dropped cable.

Realized I get most of my news online now including streaming video.
Colbert has entire episodes online.

I get HD OTA connected to an HD Tivo to record all the network stuff.

The money I save from cable lets me use netflix for more movies than I could ever want.

If 20-30 million people on basic cable drop it because it is no longer a value...
the cable companies will wake up.

They listen to the almighty dollar.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #77
78. This discussion has caused me to think about doing just that
We pay about $17 a month for a basic cable package, I make do with three PBS stations for replacing the stuff I liked to watch on A&E, Discovery, Learning, and History channels. Now, that's not a lot of money, but it does add up to over $200 a year. If they don't get an increase!

I won't miss the shopping and Jaysus channels I get now, and the Spanish language ones are unintelligible to me, so I won't miss them either. Time to investigate a digital antenna, but only if they're really going to make the switch.

Say what you want to about delaying this, but you have to admit it was goofy to plan the original date for the middle of a sweeps month!
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #78
81. Remember despite the deceptive marketing there is no such thing as a digital antenna
Regular antenna (most digital stations are UHF so UHF optimized antennas work the best) + digital converter.

http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx

Click the "Find an Antenna" button.
Enter your complete address (otherwise it only shows general data for your zipcode).

On final map select "show DIGITAL only" (since analog will be shutting off Feb 17).

Now you have the stations, frequency, band (UHF vs VHF), range, and direction.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #81
84. Thanks, excellent website
I appreciate one that sticks to facts, rather than just being a shill to sell something.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 06:48 AM
Response to Original message
79. Waste of fucking time and money...
We all have know about this switch to D-Tv for over 2 years..
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
80. I'm an audiophile from way back and did a considerable amount of research on DTV
Before I got my boxes, one of which went to my brother for a "just in case" his DirecTV went out or he couldn't afford it.

I have a Terk antenna that works pretty well in my not particularly good reception area, but this Winegard unit seems to be, if not the very best, then one of the best UHF antennas around.

http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-SS-2000-Squareshooter-UH...


61 of 61 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performance in poor conditions ..., November 22, 2007
By Archimedes Tritium - See all my reviews
After a lifetime of living in various areas all having poor TV reception, I'm used to barely visible images, heavy ghosting, snow, and poor colors.

Flipping through cable channels at hotels never turned up anything sufficiently interesting to pay a subscription for. But, with the transition to digital coming, I picked up a digital tuner (EyeTV 250+) for my computer (as the cheapest entry point) and plugged-in to the apartment's antenna to see what was available.

Only one digital channel was received, but it was so clear, I researched antennas further and eventually got the Winegard SS2000.

Although only 10 miles from antennas broadcasting from the top of a mountain in Los Angeles, I'm about 150 feet below a line of sight blocked by foothill terrain that is topped by another 50 feet of trees. The apartment has a multi-element UHF/VHF antenna about 80 feet off the ground that provides only marginal results on VHF. In fact, antennaweb.org predicted reception of ZERO digital channels at my location.

So the SS2000 was to be an experiment only; expectations were low, considering the elaborate external VHF/UHF pro antenna system at 80 feet of elevation only got one digital station.

I wired up the SS2000, plugged it in and got 42 digital channels with it just propped up in a chair, 2 feet off the ground inside my apartment. The first station I looked at was broadcasting a football game in 1080i & Dolby; seeing individual blades of grass on the field with accurate colors and no artifacts was memorable!

Got a tripod for the antenna (USAT from DVBhardware) and placed it outdoors on my patio, upping the count to a total of 54 stations (28 are keepers).

So it works, and works very well. I also got the SS3000 "indoor" antenna for comparison, but find the SS2000 to be superior, whether used indoors or outdoors. This may be because the SS3000 is a bit ungainly and difficult to orient considering it's long "wingspan". The SS2000 square isn't a visual work of art for the indoors, but it's not bad either, and could well be hung inside on a wall. It is light-weight.


More at the link...
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