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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:50 AM
Original message
Poll question: Change in TV to High Definition unless Congress stops it ---
Should Congress Stop this from taking effect in roughly two weeks -?

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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Idealism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. Are you sure about that?
I wasn't aware that the 'digital conversion' was to make televisions require HD capacity, I think you may have read wrong.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. OK .. . maybe I am . . . what do you think the change is about . . . ???
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Idealism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Basically, from what I read
If you have rabbit ears to get TV channels, they won't work after conversion takes place unless you buy a digital converter box. The government is handing out coupons to make the converter box cheaper than it would be normally. This has nothing to do with HDTV, it is just upgrading the waves that get broadcast to digital, which may allow clearer reception and picture (depending on your television set).
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Well, Comcast moves programming out based on moving to HDTV . . .
I think we need clarification of this from Congress ---

Years ago, legislators were clear --- this will be about having to buy new TV's ...

pay new charges . . . add on converters ---

and new profits for cable and those selling TV's . . .

Why don't we all have a more definite idea of what is actually going on ???

And why not postpone these changes until we do get a better idea???
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. Wrong.
You don't need to buy a new TV.

You don't need a converter unless you use an antenna.

We have a very precise idea what's going on.

It's very clear.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #17
35. Sorry, but C-span advised me of that based on their moving the Senate . . .
out of basic and into higher tier service ---

Got that -- ?

I can't any longer get C-span's coverage of the Senate via my TV/cable because

Comcast moved it to a higher tier in order to broadcast it in HD . . .!!!

Now, I would suggest that those here who are so anxious to have HDTV for what

purpose I've no idea cause there's only garbage coming out of the tube . . .

but try to think of what the end purpose is and how little interest it may be to

others -- plus the inconvenience.

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LSdemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:17 AM
Response to Reply #7
18. What channels Comcast moves around its packages has NOTHING to do with the digital conversion
If you watch tv through basic cable, i.e. no converter box/digital-cable set top box, then you will be unaffected by the conversion to digital TV.

Now Comcast taking advantage of the digital conversion to take away channels from basic cable and putting them on higher priced "digital" cable packages is an entirely different issue than the DTV transition, which has NO effect on cable or satellite companies.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #18
36. Read the message above -- and let me suggest to those
who think they know what's going on -- and who think it's an urgent benefit they

need -- to try to listen to others.

Now BS on your crap about cable/Comcast -- they've moved programming out of basic

and into higher tier in order to broadcast it in HD --

Whether Comcast just wants to screw subscribers --- what's new? -- or whether

they fail to understand what's going on - who cares?

The point is that's what C-span told me about the move.

And what Comcast said about the move --

And, why would I care if I have the Senate in HDTV or not?

For what's on TV, all you need is a love of garbage . . .

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polmaven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #36
41. That is all true, but ..
it has nothing to do with the upcoming change to DTV. That is not going to do a thing to bring those stations back.

Comcast has decided to screw their custmers, and to basically mislead them. Cancelling the DTV move will do nothing to change that.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #41
58. GOP wants this . . .Dems are trying to postpone . . .
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polmaven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #58
109. It doesn't MATTER!!!!!
It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the HDTV moves made by the cable companies. They would have made those moves anyway. Postponing or even CANCELING the move to digital will not bring back the stations to the lower tiers.

It doesn't MATTER!
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #109
163. We should have a basic understanding with cable companies that
C-span coverage of USHR and Senate are to be supplied with every cable subscription

no matter what tier.

That's first --

Rather, however, anytime an analog program is moved out of basic, it frees up

bandwith for two HD channels --- !!!

That's second ---

more profit for cable companies at expense of subscribers.

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polmaven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #163
195. Yes, that's right...mostly
but it has nothing at all to do with the analog to digital transition.

It is greed of the cable companies...because they can...no other reason.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #195
203. Cable companies are hiding behind the digital transition . . .
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #36
53. So you can see John Cornyn's neck waddle.
C'mon, who doesn't want to see that?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #53
57. The only way I'd like to see that Halliburton/KBR GOP-privatizer....
would be in an orange jumpsuit behind bars.
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LSdemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #36
135. Any channels Comcast is moving out of basic cable, Comcast is doing for it's own reasons
Let me make it clear, basic cable is completely unaffected by the DTV transition. When the DTV transition takes place, basic cable will NOT shut down.

The DTV transition only affects over-the-air broadcast networks, i.e. your local ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. stations.

Comcast, and other cable companies, have their own reasons for removing channels from basic cable. So why is Comcast moving channels out of basic cable? Channels on basic cable take up 4 times as much bandwidth as "digital cable" only channels, and therefore they can more quickly add HDTV channels that help bring in/retain their high end customers who have been switching to satellite and other services that can generally add HDTV channels at a higher rate.
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surrealAmerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
145. That was Comcast's decision, not congress's.
The cable TV industry is notoriously under-regulated. The digital TV conversion is not about HDTV, it's about fitting more channels in less bandwidth.
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shintao Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
22. The Box is Free
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 02:42 AM by shintao
I understand there is a gov. list to get one of these boxes almost free. :) I suppose a lot of people will get them when they don't need them, just to see whats inside. Watch YouTube for that I suppose.

GO HERE FOR almost FREE GOV. COUPON: https://www.dtv2009.gov /


This Application is to apply for a $40 Coupon which can be used towards the purchase of a TV converter box.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #22
37. Wake up . .. Who wants a "box ". . . .??
Who wants to have to deal with cable company or cable guy --

or a converter?

Or extra monthly payments -- ???

We know about the coupons -- as I've said before, who in the hell cares if Senate

is on HDTV or not?

What are you watching that you require HDTV . . . ?

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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. Are you not reading the thread?
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 06:41 PM by tammywammy
You only need the box if you're not hooked up to cable or satellite.

There are coupons towards buying the box.

If you have cable, you don't need to do anything.

This has NOTHING to do with HD. This is a switch from analog signal to a digital signal. The television stations have been prepping for this for years.

And Comcast moving C-Span has nothing to do with this either. They did it so people would subscribe to a higher package. I have Time Warner Cable and still get multiple C-Span channels. Oh, and neither of my tvs are HD.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #39
49. Yeah, yeah, you probably just want to watch torture in HD.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:04 PM by Warren DeMontague
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. Wait a min
There are nekkid ladies if I get HD??


Must...go...to...BestBuy.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. Two words. Blu-ray porn.


Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #39
59. C-span is universal and supposed to be in basic ....
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:27 PM by defendandprotect
Yes, it does benefit corporations when public doesn't know what's going on --

and this gave them an excuse.

Who benefits from this -- ? Few.

Who is inconvenienced by this --? Many.

What benefits for you?



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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #59
107. Then complain to Comcast or switch to another provider
Comcast moving C-span has nothing to do with the switch to digital.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #107
172. Gee . . . who would have ever thought of doing that --- !!!???
We have all certainly done that --- surprise!!!

However, getting thru to Comcast is a job in itself--!!!

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GCP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #37
159. Are you insane?
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 03:16 PM by GCP
Do you even know what you're talking about?

THE CONVERTER BOX IS SO AN ANALOG TV CAN STILL RECEIVE TV SERVICE OVER AN ANTENNA. CABLE AND SATELLITE CUSTOMERS ARE NOT AFFECTED AT ALL BY THE CONVERSION. ONLY THOSE PEOPLE WHO GET THEIR TV OVER RABBIT EARS OR A HOUSE ANTENNA.

READ THE DAMN POSTS FROM PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT.


:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
3. This is the digital conversion. Lots of people have it confused.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. OK . . . why does this have to take place now . . . and what will it cost you . ..
in money and inconvenience?

Has your cable company moved any programming out of your basic and into HDTV?

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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
120. My cable company is always screwing with the cable lineup...
it still has nothing to do with the analog-to-digital conversion. A conversion which is, honestly, the best thing to happen to broadcast technology in decades. We're finally changing over to a more-efficient technology which makes better use of the public's airwaves and only about 20 years behind the technology curve. We should have done this in the late 1980s when it first became an option, not now. Do you understand how crappy and outdated of a technology analog broadcast is?

I don't see some conspiracy to f%^k you in the wallet in the digital conversion. Comcast is most certainly trying to screw you because that's Comcast's monopolistic business model...something that is not connected to the conversion, except in so far as it gives Comcast an excuse to be Comcastic.

This has been planned for years and the people were given months and years to prepare for it. I have no sympathy for anybody who didn't prepare for it and whose TV is going to cease to work. By and large, that too is a good thing. Maybe people will read more.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #120
173. It does have a great deal to do with maximizing profits . ..
at the expense and inconvenience of subscribeers . . .

HDTV is involved in this way . . .

when cable companies began moving out programming in basic and moved it to a higher tier

they were then freeing up bandwidth which permitted them to add TWO HD channels in its

place.

Too many here are also missing the importance of educational or informational channels

run by C-span which provides coverage of the USHR and Senate.

But, it's typical -- the bright shining light of a new toy replaces any thought of what

may benefit the nation.

Haven't heard much here either about consumer rights vs cable companies --- the ever

increasing costs of cable while service/programming drops -- and while we continue in

most areas with a monopoly situation re cable companies.

Amazing how many here are concerned with HDTV at $$$$ but have a feeling that it would be

rare to see this enthusiasm for understanding Global Warming!!!


As the lady said . . .

"Americans are really smart about really stupid things" ---
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #173
191. What you don't get.......and apparently never will...
....is that the digital conversion and what tier your cable company chooses to broadcast CSPAN or any other channel on are two entirely separate issues. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. And neither one has anything to do with HD programming. Most, if not all, HD channels are also available in at least one of the non-HD packages. If you don't own an HD television and/or don't choose to pay extra to get HD reception, you can still get the same channels without it, though not necessarily in the most basic packages.

And by the way, CSPAN doesn't even broadcast in HD (though they do shoot the occasional special, such as the one about Washington DC, in HD) so you don't have to subscribe to an HD package to get it and, more to the point of your never-ending rantings, YOU CAN'T GET IT IN HD even if you wanted to. Comcast apparently just moved it to one of their higher-tier packages. You may not like it, but it's their service and they get to decide what their channel lineups and tier levels are. You, on the other hand, get to decide if they're offering what you need/want at a price you're willing to pay.

Instead of whining endlessly about something your obviously do not understand, why not check out switching over to DishNetwork? They offer both CSPAN and CSPAN-2 (the Senate channel) in even their most basic package and it will almost certainly be less expensive then Comcast.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
5. "high definition" has nothing to do with the change from analog to digital broadcast signals.
But if your poll were re-worded to address the coming conversion to digital broadcast, I would vote for the switch-over to be postponed.

sw
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. OK . .. now we're getting somewhere ... Let's talk mainly about postponing .. .
because as far as I can say it's at the least inconvenient for consumers and

will represent some cost for most.

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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:08 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. It will not cost anything for most folks,
as almost nobody relies on over-the-air broadcasting anymore. Most folks have cable or satellite and will be completely unaffected.
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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #13
24. 6.5 million households is "almost nobody" ?
:eyes:

so, how does a postponement of digital affect you?

dp


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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. details
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #27
38. Right . . . GOP wants this and Dems trying to postpone...that should tell DU'ers something!!!
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. This legislation started under Clinton. n/t
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #43
60. And 60 years of Welfare guarantees ended under Clinton . . . . !!!
How many homeless do we have???
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #13
42. Try to listen . . . EVEN WITH CABLE ....
you have inconvenience and if you need a converter, then you have to deal

with cable company, cable guy and extra monthly payments.

Do you want to enrich cable companies even further?

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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #42
48. Try to listen... HDTV and the switch to digital broadcasting are TWO ENTIRELY SEPARATE THINGS.
Okay, maybe you're mad about HD channels, but that isn't what the switch over is about.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #48
62. This will inconvenience many people . . . why not postpone it?
How does it benefit you?
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #62
64. It benefits us by freeing up bandwidth
that will be put to better use and by giving us better television picture quality.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #64
81. Right . . . corporations will benefit from more bandwith to exploit . . .
You're concerned with "better TV picture quality" -- to watch what?

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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #81
117. Have you seen some of the programming on DiscoveryHD, for example?
It's incredible. Not everything on television is garbage by a long shot.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #117
165. And what is the programming . . . ? Tell us . . .please. . .
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mentalsolstice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #42
147. If you have cable you don't need a converter.
When are you going to listen! The people who are affected by this switch do not have cable or sat, and on the deadline date will have nothing unless they've bought a converter box and adjusted their antenna. Aside from the converter box there is nothing else to purchase and no subscriptions, they'll simply get ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, just like they always have. The reason for delaying the change is not everyone has acquired the converter, and adjusted their antenna (which would be dangerous in the winter). And the fed gov't ran out of discount coupons for acquiring the converter.

I'm sorry you have crappy cable company, but you need to complain to them for raising there prices...at least maybe they can get it through your thick head that you'll still get your basic lineup.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #9
34. Yes, now we're getting somewhere... i.e.
your OP is opining on a subject about which you don't understand.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #34
44. Excuse me . . . but . . .
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 06:43 PM by defendandprotect
is there any chance you don't get it?

GOP wants this --- it benefits corporations not consumers ---

Yes, there are a number of TV nuts who want HDTV to watch tattooing and wrestling

I guess --- or torture, maybe.

But why would I care if the Senate comes in via C-span in HD or not?

What I do care is that it is removed for that reason by Comcast from basic lineup!!!

Wake up!!!

details
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gFQTV ...


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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. Try to get this through your head;
the change-over to digital has nothing to do with HDTV. That's a separate issue.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. Don't even bother, with this one.
Facts? Who needs 'em!

I especially like the implication that, if you have any interest at all in HDTV programming (which, again, as you noted, has nothing to do with congress or the switch-over to digital broadcasting) ...yes, you must want that HD signal so you can enjoy wrestling or-- get this-- torture.



Seriously. Don't bother.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #47
52. Yeah, I pay extra for the premium package
with The Torture Channel and I never miss Extreme Interrogations on Discovery. :evilgrin:
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #46
63. People with old TV sets . . .
Senate Republicans last week blocked Democratic efforts to push back the Feb. 17 deadline for the analog shutoff. The Democrats cited mounting concerns that too many Americans who rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air broadcast signals won't be ready.

These people have to have converter boxes, pay more monthly or buy a new TV.



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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #63
66. So we get them the converter boxes.
No big deal.

Most folks have cable or satellite like you, so it'll be fine.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #66
89. Most people will sign up for cable . . .
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #89
200. Their choice. What's it to ya?
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Skink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
6. The new anntena is going to cost as much as the government subsidy for the box.
However if the picture is better than what can I say. Right now with the box I get nothing and they are supposedly broadcasting a low digital stream already.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Do you have cable? Did you have reception with cable?
Do you want to have a converter?

Is this convenient for you?

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bigbrother05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. It only affects over-the-air broadcast (i.e. antenna)
If you are using cable, they will make whatever adjustments are necessary to keep sending you the signal. The changeover was passed several years ago and has already been delayed at least once. This is a DIGITAL conversion. HD is a subset of digital, uses more bandwidth to send the added data required to produce the sharper pictures.

Got a box months ago, just in case of a cable outage during the elections. With the $40 coupon, spent an additional $20 for my box at Best Buy to get a slightly better model. Tried it out, doesn't work with cable, only the free direct broadcast signals from local sources.

BTW - There are some exemptions for remote areas and low power/community type operations.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
28. Who wants a box ... ? Or more monthly payments . . . ???
Or having to call the cable guy???

The objective -- the reason for this -- is to get to HDTV . . .

How many Americans have TV's that will pick up the signal . . . ?

Few, as far as I can see?

PLUS, cable companies have been moving basic programming into higher tiers . . .

for HDTV reception . . . that's their explanation.

So -- rethink what this is all about.

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S n o w b a l l Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #28
76. I see you're not understanding this...
HDTV has NOTHING to do with the digital transition. Viewing in high definition has nothing to do with the upcoming digital transition. Do you understand that? The digital transition from analog was to free up the airwaves for radio transmission from first responders, etc.

Believe me, the stations didn't ask for this to make more money. They've had to spend millions of dollars for the transition. If you have cable, you have nothing to worry about. If you are getting broadcast signals from rabbit ears, you will need a converter box. You've had several months to request a government coupon for a free converter box.

All tv stations and cable companies have been required by the government to broadcast this change to people several times a day. There is only 5% of the US that is not ready for the change. The delay on this is unnecessary and will cost broadcast companies millions for a 6 month period for those 5% that were too stupid or lazy to make sure they were ready.

The bill comes up next week for the delay. In this economy, we can't afford to get broadcast companies to invest any more in this. I work for one and we are hanging on by a thread.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #76
90. In this economy, why are we worrying about crap like this?
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #90
118. It's been in the works for 15 freakin' years! nt
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #118
162. Right ... and for every analog channel moved to a higher tier . . .
it frees up more bandwidth for the cable companies to replace with HD channels --!!!

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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #162
166. Sigh
I think you're being purposely obtuse.

This has NOTHING to do with cable or satellite.

The switch to digital only effects people that are using rabbit ears and receiving over the air broadcasts. If you have an analog tv then you need the converter box. IF YOU HAVE CABLE YOU DON'T NEED TO DO ANYTHING.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #166
179. And enables cable companies to make more money . . .
again . . . for every analog program moved out over last two years

it increased bandwidth for cable companies who were able to open TWO HD

channels for every program moved out.

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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #28
138. Are you being deliberately obtuse?
Having rabbit ears has nothing to do with cable. This is strictly for people that don't have cable or satellite. Do you understand what analog means and what digital means. Neither has anything at all to do with HDTV. The D in HDTV does not mean digital. Only people that receive their signal over the air will be affected. ONLY those people and no one I repeat NO ONE ] that has cable will be affected in the slightest. No higher monthly costs. People that get their TV from their rabbit ears do not pay any monthly costs.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. You're panicking with zero understanding.
You clearly don't have a clue what the change is, and yet you're demanding it be postponed.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #15
29. Why are you so in favor of this change? What does it do for you?
I'm demanding?

No -- many cable subscribers and many Congress people are suggesting it be postponed!!

Me, too -

It was a scam when it began and it remains so --
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rcrush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:19 AM
Response to Reply #10
19. You only need a converter if you get tv with rabbit ears.
If you have cable already then you dont need to do a damn thing. Calm down please.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #19
70. Or . . . sign up for cable . . .
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #70
139. NO NO and NO again
It has ZERO to do with cable...
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. A digital conversion box will work with standard rabbit ears.
Right now I get almost all the digital broadcasts using a Radio Shack amplified rabbit ear antenna.

Once the conversion happens stations are supposed to be able to boost their digital signals making them easier to receive.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
105. What new antenna? A $19 double bowtie from RatShack would work
An ideal one can be had for about $40 from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EHUE7I
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #105
188. Totally depends on your location.
A double bowtie in some locations may be all you need. In others, only an extreme fringe highly directional antenna mounted outdoors high up will work, and even then in some parts of the USA you're just better off going direct to satellite.

Even if you're in a strong signal area your building might have an effect... the apartment I lived in at one point was so well shielded we had no choice but cable for TV.

Mark.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #188
194. True. But something like that would probably cover the 80/20 rule
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #194
198. A RatShack Bowtie I can guarantee:
will give 80% of the population at least 20% of their channels.

Your Amazon linked antenna is far better than those bowties (cos it's designed for outdoor use but still better than a bowtie if used indoors), but not very effective if your channel is on VHF.

My experience is that most people in the USA who rely on over the air TV have substandard antennas, and I will include myself in that population. The US transmission network is also not designed for easy reception of all channels since not all broadcasters for a given viewing area share the same transmission site. Take Greensboro: CBS, Fox, CW's and MyTV's analog facilities are south of Greensboro, NBC, PBS and ABC's facilities are located north of Winston-Salem. Ion are located NE of Greensboro and TBN were between Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Conversely in the UK there's an extensive translator network that ensures that 99.7% of the population can get all available analog over the air TV with a reasonable outdoor antenna from one transmitter site, and the digital switchover mandate is to ensure that 99.7% of the population can get a digital over the air signal after switchover.

Mark.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #198
208. Good point about physical locations of transmitters.
Those old rotary dial rotator devices are going to be somewhat popular again.

As for the RatShack bowtie, that $17 wonder pulled in even low-power signals for me with it in an attic and being 19.8 miles from the transmitters. I picked up WHAS-DT when the morning they first started broadcasting. I called them up and was given the cell # of the engineer on-site at the tower. They were only pushing 19 kW (in fact, I think they still are). He was shocked as hell that I was getting a signal.
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
187. There is NO SUCH THING as a HDTV antenna!
However, I find in general most people who watch over-the-air TV in the USA have totally substandard aerial set ups. Coupled with the fact that broadcasters in general hate to share transmission sites and facilities, and that the USA wants to use UHF *AND* VHF then to reliably receive over the air TV in a lot of places requires large outdoor antennas coupled with mechanical rotation devices. However they're not cheap, and if you're in an apartment or shared housing it's difficult or impossible to get an antenna installed. So a lot of people rely on indoor antennas, and/or put up with pictures that are less than optimal.

Bottom line is this: if the analog channel you're watching now is coming in nice and clear, you're extremely likely to get it in digital; I'd be surprised if you didn't. There is a further curveball to this: some channels that are now on VHF will go to UHF, some won't. Some are broadcasting on temporary channels. Some are broadcasting at lower power (though most actually are on full power, believe it or not).

My situation:

In East Greensboro on analog, I got all in-area signals to some varying degree of success, some in very good quality, some watchable, some not. I was supplemented with some out of area signals, some of them watchable. Now with the digital box I get all but one of my in-area signals and with careful positioning of the antenna I can get them all good with little or no artifacts or blocking. The one in-area signal I can't get is substituted by good reception of an out-of-area signal (unctv/pbs)

I did not need to buy a new antenna until the cat knocked it off the TV and it smashed.

Mark.
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
11. If you haven't already got a discount coupon, you may be out of luck:
DTV Coupon Program Out of Money

If you haven't ordered a coupon for a converter box to prepare for next month's switch to digital television, you may have trouble getting one before the Feb. 17 deadline.

Today the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is running the coupon program, said it is nearing the program's $1.34 billion funding limit. That means people trying to order coupons will be placed on a waiting list until more funds become available. Here's a story with more details.

Each $40 coupon expires after 90 days. Unredeemed coupons are redistributed to other households that need them. But by the time those coupons become available, millions of analog TVs may already be dark. Coupon orders have been at record highs over the past week.

If you have an analog TV that is not hooked up to cable or satellite service, you will need a converter box in order to keep watching TV.

At this point, Congress will have to step in to give the NTIA more money. It's also possible that the NTIA will seek dollars from the stimulus plan to keep it going.


http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2009/01/dtv_c...

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Urban Prairie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #11
99. Got my converter coupons in the mail today!!
I have had at least basic cable service for years (since '82) But due to the ECONOMY, and the fact that I am on a fixed income due to disability (1/2 of what I earned per month when I last worked) AND my wife lost her career job due to outsourcing, we can no longer afford the $100+ per month cable bundle (phone/broadband/digital cable, so we canceled our service last September. We now have one prepaid cellphone ONLY, and use an amplified rabbit ears antenna to receive over the air signals. I set up and now share a WI-FI connection with my neighbor and we split the cost of the broadband cable connection that he has. If it were not for the WI-FI, I would feel like I went back in time to the 70s.
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LSdemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:12 AM
Response to Original message
16. The only reason the conversion should be delayed is that the coupon program is out of money
If and when the coupon program is fully funded, then the change should take place.
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rcrush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:21 AM
Response to Original message
20. I'm surprised people still dont know what this is.
Theres a commercial for it every 5 min. I've been hearing about it for something like 4 years now.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. It's been in the works forever.
One wonders if the Luddite faction here at DU ever reads a newspaper.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #20
30. What is the end objective . . . is it not HDTV . . . ???
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. No, it's changing from analog signal to digital not HD
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #33
55. So people aren't going to have to buy new TVs . . . the Congress was confused about that?
That is . . . if you want to benefit from the change.

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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #55
61. No you fucking don't!
Are you just thick? A little converter is all you need! And if you get cable or satellite - which you clearly do - then you don't need to do jack shit no matter what TV you have! No converter, no new TV -- nothing!

Fuck.
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S n o w b a l l Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #61
82. LOL
:thumbsup:
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #55
108. No
You know what I'm doing for the switch...nothing. I have older tvs too (one's 10 years old and the other one probably 8). I'm doing absolutely nothing for the switch, because I have cable. See. If I still used rabbit ears, then I would have applied for a coupon and bought a converter box, but since I'm not, I have to do NOTHING.

Simple.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #33
65. Can you have HDTV with analog signals?
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #65
68. No.
You don't know god-damned anything about this, do you?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #68
71. So the pathway to HDTV is via digital conversion FROM analog . . .
is that what you're saying . . . ?
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. HDTV has nothing to do with this.
Jesus fuck.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #72
80. Answer the question . . .
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:51 PM by defendandprotect
and arrive at the obvious answer . . . this is the necessary step to produce HDTV.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #72
168. Except that, for every analog station that goes, they can run TWO HD channels -- !!!
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #168
197. Why is that a problem?
Why does HDTV bug you so much?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #197
204. Because it offers incentive to cable companies to knock our programming--
even C-span educational programming --- !!!
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #68
190. Actually yes you can have HDTV with analog.
Japan had it but it occupied so much bandwidth it could not be transmitted terrestrially and was delivered only by satellite - it took the space of 4 regular definition analog channels. It was turned off in 2007.

In Europe, they played around with HD-MAC (analog picture, digital sound)... to give an example of the bandwidth required... a regular PAL SDTV channel would require 6-8 Mhz of bandwidth. A HD-MAC channel required 36 Mhz - up to 6x the bandwidth for regular PAL.

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Dumak Donating Member (397 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:37 AM
Response to Original message
23. It's not changing to high definitionTV (HDTV)
it's changing to digital transmission
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:38 AM
Response to Original message
25. This Was 10 Years In The Planning
I give credit to the many TV engineers out there who built new stations to meet this deadline. Too bad both the government and manufacturers screwed up so badly.

As someone else posted...HDTV is not DTV...just as Stereo isn't FM. The quality of DTV is vastly superior to the nearly 70 year analog system we've been using. The plans for this conversion began in 1997...supposedly plenty of time to make a smooth transition.

Manufacturers saw money to be made...only put the digital ATSC tuners in their high end wide screen models...most costing $2 grand or more...with few, if any smaller models available. Converter boxes didn't start coming out until a year ago...the quality is shitty and the supply has been poor at best. Instead of mandating all sets made after, say 1/1/2001 having an ATSC tuner, the FCC left it to "the marketplace" and it became a mess.

The number of people who will be affected by the "flash-over" will be less than 10% of the viewing audience...but it's predominately poor and elderly...those who can't afford either cable or a new set. Personally, I don't see how a delay of a few months will help...just kick the can down the road...with many stations already heavily invested in this new technology and all set to go.

If there needs to be a revision...it would be to set up low power analog stations to operate within large cities as a repater of the digital signals...reaching those neighborhoods where the largest group of affected viewers are...allow those stations to operate for 5 years (the lifespan of existing TVs) and then fade away.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:27 PM
Original message
"...those who can't afford either cable or a new set" -- and . . .
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 06:29 PM by defendandprotect
why should anyone have to bother with this for the crap that's on TV . . . ?

What are you watching???

You need HDTV for what?

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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
32. If all that is on TV is "crap", why do you care?
Read a book.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #32
73. I read more than 200 books every year --
How much garbage do you watch on TV?

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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #73
142. I prefer the Torture Channel myself
I mean, it's not like there are any decent channels out there. No educational programs. Yep, it's all torture and wrestling.

:sarcasm:
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mentalsolstice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
148. Look, why are you down on people who want HDTV.
Here's the basics:

DTV=Digital telvision, or broadcasting digital signals. The converter box allows for the oldest TV to receive digital signals. The box costs little to nothing, and once you have it your TV viewing remains FREE.

HDTV=High Definition television. It is about consumers who WANT high def, and are willing to pay for a capable TV set and pay for the service from their cable or sat provider. Nobody is going to be forced into this group. It is totally for consumers who have the $$$ and desire to view their television programming in this way. And you don't have to be snotty about those of us that choose to do so. What do I watch on my HDTV? Discovery, Travel, PBS, CNN as well as my local stations (and as a result, yes, we do watch sports in high def). However, my choice for doing this has not and will not force you or any other consumer into buying more than what you've already got. My demand for HDTV has not fueled the need to convert to DTV, as that was coming regardless.

To make it simple, it's kind of like when color TV first came out. The consumer could decide to shell out big bucks for a new set or decide to stay with B&W.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #148
169. THIS is not anything like the change from B&W to Color . . .
This is very minor visual change for absolutely no reason --

Basically, C-span coverage of USHR and Senate should be considered educational

and it should be available to any cable subscriber -- at any level.

Whenever an analog channel is moved out of basic, it means that the cable company

can run TWO HD channels!

Without digital, there can be no HDTV, as far as I understand it --- !!

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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #169
170. You're conflating two separate issues
Comcast moving C-Span has NOTHING to do with the switch from analog to digital.

It's just Comcast moving channels around.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #170
180. Again, if it increases bandwith and provides cable companies
with more opportunity to open HD channels, it has everything to do with ending analog!

And much of this happened across the nation in two years -- plenty of profit there!!

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mentalsolstice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #169
193. You've gotta be punk'n the rest of us.
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 07:07 PM by mentalsolstice
I can't believe you're this stupid. The Telecommunications Act that required DTV was signed in 1996. HDTV didn't exist back then, so it wasn't driven by consumers wanting HDTV. It was about freeing up analog signals for those services that needed them and about improving TV reception for those TV viewers who do not subscribe to cable or satellite services. People who get their TV off an antenna should receive a clear picture without any static. Once everything is ironed out, the transition should improve the TV viewing experience for the poor and elderly in our society. They will get a crystal clear picture with no snow or static from ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and FOX (the terror channel).

I support a delay in the transition as the gov't screwed up in rolling out access to free converters.

However, your issue about C-Span is between you, your provider and C-Span. FWIW, I only get C-Span1 and 2, I don't get the third one that offer special coverage of hearings, which I would be interested in getting.

eta
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CRF450 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #169
207. "This is very minor visual change for absolutely no reason --"
OMG, are you that friggin stupid?? Have you seen what a regular 480i analog/digital channel looks like on a 30"+ HD tv?! It looks horrible, with grainy and pixilated shit picture quality. At a decent price the added cost of HD tv channels is well worth the huge jump in picture and sound quality.

Everyone else here has explained everything thats going on to a T and your just too damn ignorant to acknowledge what has been said much less even figure it out.

This subject owns you. Move on...
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Ohio Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:49 AM
Response to Original message
26. I converted months ago, it was no effort
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 06:51 AM by Ohio Joe
I think the govt. has gone wicked overboard making information available far and wide. TV is flooded with commercials clearly explaining what the transition is and what it isn't. Months ago, I called a number (forget what it is now), took only a few minutes. A few weeks later I got a coupon in the mail for the converter (yes, I use rabbit ears). I stopped at a local Best Buy and picked up the converter, cost me a dollar or so. Took me a few minutes to hook it up and I love it. Better picture and more channels. I'll be glad when the change is done just so I don't have to see any more of the freakin commercials.

Edit to add - I did not vote in the poll because HD has nothing to do with it, so I see no valid answer.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #26
74. You can't have HDTV with analog signal ---
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liberalpress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #74
128. you also won't have to have it with digital
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mentalsolstice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #74
149. The people who can afford HDTV probably don't care.
HDTV consumers have the $$$ and are willing to make a choice to pay extra for the equipment and the service. However, we're not forcing our desires on you or any other consumer. Digital TV was coming regardless of HDTV.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
31. Oh Noes! Techmology!
Everyone! Back into the yurt!
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #31
75. Yeah . . here we are again . ..
Really smart about really stupid things --- !!!

Anything about Global Warming or the new Larsen fall?

Anything about electric cars on your TV?

Maybe they're playing "SICKO" -- ??

Or chatting up nationalizing oil industry, or creating single payer health care?

Among the plastic surgery, torture, and prison shows, let me know how this helps

the economy?
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Touchdown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #75
157. Actually, they're doing all of that.
Yesterday "Too Hot Not To Handle" was on HBO, a global warming doc.

6 Months ago Showtime had Sicko on for a month.

PBS had a 2 hour Frontline about universal Healthcare around the World 4 months ago, and they're repeating it for their fund drive now.

Showtime had "An Inconvenient Truth" on for a whole month last Summer.

Free Speech TV constantly airs shows about the oil industry, investigations into war profiteering, gay & lesbian affairs among many other progressive programs.

History Channel is currently airing "The Universe", which is a fascinating show about the astronomical sciences.

Sundance has an entire series devoted to green living. It also airs on Universal HD (which is a free channel on Satellite)

HBO showed Obama's celebration on Monday the 19th, and re-aired the entirety on Friday night.

Some channel, I can't remember which has shown "Who Killed The Electric Car?" numerous times.

Sundance showed "The Corporation" a 2 1/2 hr doc criticizing corporatism for 2 months.

HBO showed "Maxed Out",a documentary about credit card debt, and the laws that allow banks to charge usury rates.

Discovery Channel showed "ENRON: The Smartest Guys in the Room" about a year ago... numerous times.

Dan Rather devoted an entire "Dan Rather Reports" on Diebold and Sequoia voting systems and their reliability problems.

Ted Koppel ran a 4 part expose on modern China and how it's not the dream they think it is.

HDNet World Report ran a report on an American tycoon who is polluting/poisoning a Peruvian village with his 70 year old smelting plant.

HBO had a 6 part series on a single marine platoon deployed in Iraq called "Generation Kill"... it was not a yee-haw series.

CBS aired a dramatized movie about Enron 3 or 4 years ago.

Then there's the movies... March of the Penguins, Hoop Dreams, that spelling bee movie, Crumb, The Fog Of War, and too many others to count.

With all that, I have no time for Nip/Tuck, Prison Break, ER, CSI:Whatever, 24, Desperate Housewives, Survivor: East LA, or American Idle. I have yet to see a show extolling the virtues of torture, but if you can provide me with the time and channel, I'll consider myself uninformed about my TV choices.
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leeroysphitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
40. I'm sorry but you seem to be very confused. There is no conversion to "HDTV" law There never was.
The law you are confused about concerns OVER THE AIR (not cable) broadcast service providers only. And it only requires over the air broadcast service providers to switch from an analogue to a digital signal.

This has absolutely no effect whatsoever on any cable or satellite service provider. NONE. Nada. It only effects a TV signal that is sent from a local antenna to your home antenna. That's it.

If Comcast tells you otherwise then Comcast is lying to you. Postponing the transition can not and will not have any effect on what Comcast is charging you for your cable package. Comcast is going to raise your rates no matter what happens.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #40
77. Can you have HDTV with analog transmission ... ?
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leeroysphitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #77
83. Yes. But analogue is kept at 480i to save bandwidth.
Conversely there are plenty of over the air broadcasters that have no plans to upgrade thier standard def programming to high def. The law only says that analogue broadcasts must switch to digital.


Digital does not equal high def.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #83
86. From where we are now . . . what does it take to get to HDTV . . .
and to provide more bandwith for corporations . . . ?

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leeroysphitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #86
92. From where I am it takes nothing.
I have a set of rabbit ears and a TV with an HD digital tuner. There are a number of stations close enough to me broadcasting HD signals so all I have to do is turn my TV on.

If you are a cable subscriber and want HD programming you will have to pay the cable company extra fees per month for the privilege.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #92
94. Right . . .
Interesting combo -- rabbit ears and HD digital tuner --!

But what about everyone else?

Right . . . if I want HD programming -- which now includes C-span's transmission of the

Senate if you use Comcast/!!! --- I have to pay extra to see it!!!

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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #94
102. Is C-SPAN only available in HD on Comcast?...
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 08:33 PM by SidDithers
or is it available in both regular and HD format?

I've got HD cable, and with the exception of DiscoveryHD and HDNet, all of my HD stations also have regular format stations located elsewhere in the lineup. If Comcast is making CSPAN an HD only channel, then you have reason to be upset. If Comcast is showing CSPAN in both regular and HD formats, then you're just stirring shit out of ignorance.

Sid

Edit: fixed wording
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #102
111. Well, first -- shouldn't C-span be considered informational TV . . .
and available to everyone? It always has been, as far as I know.

In fact, in Boston they show it 24 hours a day while it was always interrupted

here --

Comcast has some quite political overtones, IMO.

However, almost two years ago, Comcast just disappeared the Senate --

they told us it was moved to a higher tier -- if we wanted it we had to move up.

C-span wrote me in response to a copy of my letter that they pleaded with them

not to do this -- but that they did it anyway.

C-span also suggested that they moved the Senate so it could be broadcast in HD.

By whom . . . I've no idea?

But it's been gone almost two years.


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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #111
112. No, as far as I can remember C-Span has always been a cable channel
So, not it hasn't been free to all.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #112
115. I didn't say "free" --- and certainly BASIC CABLE isn't free . . .
what I did indicate is that everyone has had this in BASIC . . .

in fact, in Boston even if you just paid for hookup to cable and subscribed

to NO programming, you still got the C-span stations.

What does it mean to right-wing corporations like Comcast --- called "predatory" --

when they can cut darken large blocks of counties as far as watching the Senate is

concerned?

As I said ... C-span is "informational" -- or educational and most people understand

you need people who have information in order to cast enlightened votes.

Evidently, that's what scares Comcast!



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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #115
167. Then what the heck does that have to do with the switch to digital?
If you have cable you the switch won't effect you. If you're upset with Comcast for moving C-Span then contact them or get a new provider.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #167
174. And, I guess few of us thought of . . .
"contacting Comcast or C-span" . . . !!!

Only you are so bright as to have thought of that --- !!!

And, perhaps you haven't noticed either that there is pretty much a cable monopoly

in every area?

What all this has to do with the switch to cable . . . is that two years ago when

Comcast moved C-span out then increased their bandwidth and for every program removed

they could replace it with TWO HD channels!


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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #174
189. And yet that still doesn't explain how Comcast moving C-Span
has ANYTHING to do with the digital switch next month.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #189
205. For two years they've been removing
analog programming -- US Senate -- in order to increase bandwidth and add more HD channels.

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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #111
113. You didn't answer the question...
but it sounds like the problam is with your cable company moving channels. That, btw, has ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOTHING to do with the changeover from analog to digital. And it certainly has nothing to do with HDTV, which was the subject of your OP.

Sid
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #113
175. Unfortunately, it has to do with greed . . .
and HD channels ---

In this way . . .

When Comcast moved out C-span Senate coverage and moved it to hier tier --

it opened up additional bandwidth which allowed Comcast to open up TWO HD channels

for every analog program pulled!

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Lugnut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #77
88. No, already.
Comcast is taking advantage of it's subscribers who don't know wtf they're talking about with this switch.

I have three old TVs all connected to cable. They will all work when the switch from analog to digital happens.

I can pay my cable company an extra $11 a month for a high def channel lineup if I want. Right now I have no TVs that are high def capable so that would be a stupid move. All the high def channels that my cable company offers in it's high def package are available in the regular cable lineup that I currently get.

I know I just wasted my time with this post but I thought I'd give it a shot.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #88
95. They also took advantage of C-span which which begged them not to do it ---!!!
Imagine how many people no longer get the Senate on their TV sets!!

Who does that benefit?

Maybe someone is seeing something on their TV sets about cable companies,

costs, and competititon???


Well, Comcast took away the Senate from the basic line up here in my part of

NJ -- that almost two years ago!! -- and moved it to a higher tier . . . because

they thought it necessary to broadcast the Senate in HD -- !!!

That's what Comcast told me -- that's what C-span told me --


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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #95
121. Now try to understand.
That this has nothing to do with the digital laws. It was a corporate decision unrelated to the issue you brought up.
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Lugnut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #95
134. I get it.
But you're trying to compare apples with oranges. Your issue is with Comcast. Not the analog to digital switch.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #134
176. My issue is with a lack of concern for education of citizens .. .
and my issue is with greed ---

For every analog program which Comcast removed they increased bandwidth which

enabled them to open TWO HD channels!

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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
45. The chage is to digital teevee, not hi def.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
54. Uh, no. The change is from analog broadcasting to digital broadcasting, not HDTV mandatory.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:19 PM by Initech
Read more:

http://www.dtv.gov/wilmington/consumercorner.html

It mainly effects the broadcasters, since most TVs purchased after 2002 (?) will be able to handle the transition but for those that dont you can purchase a converter box for like next to nothing. This has nothing to do with HDTV whatsoever.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #54
78. Who wants a converter box . . . how many will be forced to move to cable?
AND, can you have HDTV with analog transmission?
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mentalsolstice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #78
150. Why do you care?
You've stated above-thread that those of us with HDTV are just watching crap like wrestling and torture anyway :eyes:. Since you already have cable, it's analogous to upgrading from a B&W TV to color. Nobody is forcing you to do so. People who buy HDTVs do so voluntarily, just like people who buy a Mercedes Benz.

I don't know, I guess I'm just a stupid as the OP for spending the last 1/2 hour trying to explain it. :spank:
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #150
177. I care about consumer rights, costs for services and greed --
Two years ago Comcast began moving out analog programming ---

and thereby increasing their bandwidth which enabled them to open TWO

HD channels for every analog program removed!


All of this while increasing the costs to subscribers--!!!

The first concern should be for keeping the Senate available to anyone who subscribes

to cable services --- there should be no "tiers" involved.

Nor should there be interruptions to substitute sports --- it should be available 24 hours.


There are only so many things on TV and that is obvious from people who have 125 channels

available and find it ALL crap. Who needs to see Brian Leher/Petroleum Broadcasting System

in HD?

Or Olbermann in HD? Of Jon Stewart in HD?

Maybe for tattooing shows? Or plastic surgery shows? Or to see the Iron Chef?

This all comes under the category of ...

"Americans are really smart about really stupid things--"

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mentalsolstice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #177
199. I'm sorry Comcast is treating you crappy
However, it is not the fault of HDTV viewers...we didn't drive the move to digital TV, that act was signed in 1996 before HDTV ever existed.

We hated our cable company, and when we moved into our current house (on a rent-to-own basis) we took advantage of the satellite dish and receiver that was already here. We've never looked back. However, cable and satellite services are consumer-driven. They're for pay, and the consumer has to negotiate, with their wallet, as to what they'll accept or not accept.

As for the current situation, my 95 y.o. grandmother can now watch ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and PBS without any snow or static on the TV she bought in the 1980s. Additionally, her local 911 services can better respond to her emergency needs, should she need them, as a result of freeing up analog signals. Because she doesn't subscribe to cable, she has never experienced C-Span, and doesn't care if she ever will, she just wants broadcast programming and local news. Yet, she gets her TV now without snow and static...and given her poor eyesight, she's happy!

The fact that your cable service is taking advantage of the digital conversion really sucks. But it is really between you and your cable provider. I have satellite and a TV capable of hi-def, but many of the channels I get are still not in hi-def...and for the most part I don't care. We got the TV mostly for watching movies. Before you decide that we like crap movies, I can assure you we mostly like movies based on their artistic, ethical, and cinema graphic value. We're both avid readers, so we're drawn to movies based on the books we've read, or that make us think, or give us a beautiful vision of a part of the world we're not familiar with.

Yeah, well, we'll watch the Super Bowl next week in hi-def, but people who have a digital converter box, but with no cable or satellite will also watch it with a clearer picture. Hi-def viewers aren't stealing anything from standard-def viewers, we'd still be moving to digital signals regardless of the existence of hi-def TV.

And, btw, HDTVs can receive analog signals. However, it would be a stupid waste of money to do so. And, yet nobody is forced to do so.

Okay, I'm done trying to explain this to you. You're on your own to go out and explore. And I'll say it again, it sucks if cable providers are using the transition to DTV to drive up their prices...just as much as it sucked when the oil companies were using Katrina as a reason to gouge customers.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #199
206. Well, support consumer rights ---
and stand together against cable company greed with other subscribers --

Try to understand that many in ever state cannot now see the US Senate on TV ---

that doesn't help democracy.

It does help Comcast --

I'm glad some parts of this are working out for you and family --

but others indicate not working for them.



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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #177
201. No one needs HD television.
It's a CHOICE. What part of that don't you get?
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
56. Where's the option for "You don't know what the fuck you're talking about"?...nt
Sid
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #56
98. Bravo!!!
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brooklynite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
67. This is NOT an HD conversion...
...it is a conversion from analog to digital.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #67
69. Maybe he'll listen to you.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:38 PM by Codeine
The last 300 people telling him that clearly weren't understood. ;)
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #67
79. Again . . .
if there is no conversion to digital, can you have HDTV with analog transmission?

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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #79
101. the answer is that HD might have been possible with analog
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 08:30 PM by onenote
but digital was a better way to do it.

But no station -- none -- is required to offer HD quality video. They can, if they choose, use the digital spectrum to offer multiple streams of standard definition quality video. Indeed, even where a station is offering HD, compression technology has improved to the point where, using the 6 MHz of spectrum allocated to a broadcaster, a single HD channel and another three channels of standard definition video can be simulcast. What will be on these multicast streams? Hard to say yet. Right now broadcasters are experimenting with foreign language programming (do we progressives think that's bad?), time shifted programming, news/public affairs programming.

Moreover, no one needs a new tv to get all this additional standard definition programming. With your old set and digital to analog converter, you can get the multicast streams. The only thing you won't get is HD quality video -- for that you'll need a new tv with an HD quality monitor.

Is having more channels of television available free over the airwaves now a bad thing? Someone needs to make sure we're all getting the same memos.
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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #79
124. Again...
Yes. HDTV is broadcast over analog in 480i. That does mean that analog hi-def is not significantly better than standard-def but nevertheless the answer is still yes, you can broadcast HDTV over analog. It works better in digital...actually the whole damned broadcast system works so much better in digital.

HDTV has fuck-all to do with the DTV conversion. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. It's not paving the way for HDTV or anything else you wish to imply...it's ceasing to waste valuable public bandwidth delivering broadcast content in an inferior unreliable way. It has nothing to do with forcing people to get cable, it has nothing to do with package tiers or C-Span and almost nothing to do with Comcast. (It does affect Comcast as it changes the way they receive the content they send you through the cable lines. It does not affect you as the end user qua Comcast.)

I'm curious to see how many ways you can get the same questions answered and the process explained before you understand.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #67
87. It is a change which paves the way for HDTV . . .
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 08:02 PM by defendandprotect
and which provides corporations/broadcasters with more bandwith to run

garbage on . . . !!!
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #87
104. wrong again
digital compression paves the way for multicast streams -- when the DTV transition was first planned, it was thought that broadcasters would have to choose between a single channel of HD or maybe three channels of standard definition video. Now they can do a channel of HD and three standard definition channels.

And maybe some of it is going to be garbage. If you think so, don't watch. However, a more likely result is that while a great deal of the new programming may be the same garbage that you don't like now (but that millions of others apparently feel differently about), some of the new spectrum will be used for foreign language programming, news, weather, and public affairs programming, etc.

I'm sorry we can't just go back in time to the golden age when we huddled around our 15 inch black and white sets watching quality fair like Hee Haw and Smoky and the Bandit or the 15 minutes of news that was offered a night until the mid 1960s. Things were so much better then.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #104
181. For every analog program closed out over last two years .. .
it enabled the cable companies to open TWO HD channels because the move

opened up bandwidth.

Greed has been involved in removing public service programming like US Senate ---

Yes, many have subscribed to 125 channels only to find "there is still nothing on!" . . .

and many watch plastic surgery, tattooing, wrestling, boxing -- some even watch

infomercials!! Some even watch commercials!!

When Ted Turner had CNN news there were 13 million international viewers --

last I heard they had dropped to 3 million quickly after the sale.

Same with most of the other networks supply "news."

People are actually tuning out.

The "golden age" of TV was when it opened to show us the civil rights movement and

permitted us to hear the revolutionaries challenging the status quo. That lasted a

very short time before they disappeared!

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #67
178. However . . .
for every analog program moved out by Comcast to a higher tier ---

they were able to expand their bandwidth which enabled them to open TWO HD channels!!

While also charging consumers more money to recapture the programs moved to hier

tiers are higher prices!!

Meanwhile, much of the nation is now deprived of Comcast-coverage of Senate -- !!!

Why are you at DU if that is of no concern to you, whatsoever!!??
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
84. You obviously have no idea what you're talking about, sadly.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:57 PM by Occam Bandage
It is a change to digital, not a change to HDTV.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #84
97. is it just me, or is the amount of mis and dis information on DU increasing these days?
Man, there is a lot of nonsense being spread around here.
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S n o w b a l l Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
85. I think we've been punked
That's the only sense I can make of it. :D
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Lugnut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #85
91. I think you're right.
Oy.
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bottomtheweaver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
93. First they take away free TV, then free radio,
but only from those who rely on it, so folks who have cable don't give a shit. And what's the excuse for selling the PUBLIC AIRWAVES to Verizon? Believe it or not, 911. Supposedly this will solve some bogus communication problems on 911, and you know if they have to reach for that dead horse, it's a big fat GOP-CIA-Bushler lie.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #93
96. when did they take away free tv?
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 08:36 PM by onenote
I was just over at my dad's house, watching on a set that's not
connected to cable or satellite, and my goodness, it wasn't a blank channel.

And ask the folks down in New Orleans about the "bogus" communications problems. The inability of first responders to communicate with each other is enormous problem. Hopefully it will never impact you directly, but I'd prefer that emergency personnel have the tools they need.


edited to add that slippery "not" to the first sentence
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bottomtheweaver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #96
100. If you were watching on cable, it wasn't free,
and if you were using the cable as a broadcast antenna, it won't work after the conversion. This is a gross and obvious ploy to limit the access of the working poor to information and how they got away with selling off the public airwaves I can't imagine. Oh wait, I can.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #100
106. oops my bad. typed too fast and left out the "not"
The set I was watching on -- the one I recently hooked up a digital converter box to -- uses rabbit ears, not cable or satellite. And by golly, it gets tv!!

And if there is really an effort to limit the access of the working poor to informaiton, why has so much money been allocated to subsidize the one time purchase of a converter box that will allow viewers in most situations to get not only everything they were getting before, but more channels, since many broadcast stations are transmitting multiple streams of content over the air now, including virtually every PBS station.

That's not to say that there aren't problems with the transition. Informaiton about how to hook up the boxes and the need for a proper (and properly oriented) antenna has not been forthcoming. And the coupon program has stalled for lack of funds. But those are reasons why a short delay is good policy -- because it will help get info to those who most need it -- the elderly, minorities, lower income families etc. Yet, many of the folks who call themselves progressives on this board are doing nothing but looking down their noses at those people, complaining that they shouldn't have to put up with a few more months of ads about the transition just to make sure some old, poor, non-white folks get their television.

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bottomtheweaver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #106
110. Auctioning off the public airwaves relied on by millions to Verizon
and other telecoms strikes me as about as defensible as auctioning off oil rights in our national parks and all the other brilliant bush-cheney privatization schemes, which always manage to pork the most vulnerable Americans on their way to enriching corporations.

In this case, they're taking away broadcast TV from millions of working poor and elderly who rely on it. And what about those millions of newly unemployed trying to hang on to their houses? Are they really going to run around buying converter boxes and new antennas to keep their TVs working? No, they'll have to just do without, or become Rush Limbaugh listeners if they weren't already. Typical bushler ploy.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #110
114. auctioning them off is a damn sight better than simply giving them away
which is what we've done in the past. The holders of licenses to the spectrum are still regulated in how they use the spectrum and still at risk of having their licenses revoked -- at least as much as license holders ever have faced that risk.

And you keep saying television is being taken away from millions -- well, that's almost certainly a gross exageration -- a substantial amount of taxpayer money has been allocated to subsidize the cost of obtaining a box that will allow viewers who rely on over the air reception to continue to receive not only the signals that they now receive, buy additional streams of programming. WIll there be some dislocations? Yes. But not nearly what you think, and less so if the transition is delayed a few months to get the coupon program back to where it should've been.

And are you suggesting that when the DTV deadline was set back in 2005 that everyone knew that there was going to be a financial meltdown occuring at the time the transition was taking place? Cause if you are, I wish you had mentioned it at the time so I could've made some different investment decisions.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #110
182. Thank you -- seemed like conscience was too much to ask . . .
from DU posters!

Perhaps they'll rethink this at some point and begin to understand the value

of informed citizens/voters. C-span certainly hasn't been perfect over the last

8 years -- we lost much over decades of GOP rule -- but it at least gave the

opportunity to watch the USHR and US Senate and supposedly every cable company

honored that commitment to C-span. Until greed became too much for a few.


Everytime they moved an analog program out over the last two years, it opened up

new bandwidth which enabled them to open up TWO HD channels for every program moved out.

And to also increase their service charges and costs to subscribers as they moved them

into a higher tier of service to recapture the programming no longer in the lower tier.


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liberalpress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #100
129. "Using the cable as broadcat antenna"
is a sentence that makes as much sense as "adjusting the picture on your radio"
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
103. Here's an interesting article on this ---
EXCERPTS . . .
(Unlike many other countries, the United States is converting both to digital signals and high-definition pictures at the same time = confusion.)

Also see the Wilmington Test below this ....

QUOTE:

NOW... Just how certain is the February transition to digital-only, no full-power-analog TV?

There will be a new Administration, a new FCC, a new Senate and House, new committees and committee chairmen in Congress by January 2009, which this year comes before February 2009, so anything is possible ("Expect The Unexpected." -Big Brother, CBS). Our best GUESS on New Years Day 2009 (and we hope we're wrong)?

Ok, what do we have here? On or before 17 February, all full-power TV stations will attempt to kill their analog transmission (most stations) or flash-cut from analog to digital signals (a small number of stations). Viewers will either need a Digital TV, or a converter box, or a pay TV service (FiOS, Cable, or Satellite) to watch digital TV. However, our opinion is that there is a disaster looming when the transition is attempted. The government is not ready; no one is truly in charge; millions of viewers aren't ready; digital TV has a number of flaws; and many TV stations aren't really ready.

Millions of Americans may choose to stop watching TV entirely; or they will be unable to watch because of various technical complications, including problems with new antennas and with the converter boxes. This will cause millions of people to (literally) jam the phone lines attempting to complain to their congressmen, senators, the FCC, local stations, networks, and local media. And does Washington really need yet another crisis?

Voter anger (and media hysteria) will be intense; Congress will be forced to revisit the transition and try to find a quick fix. But there are none; 2009 will be a terrible year for everyone involved in the analog-digital transition. This transition was poorly conceived ("analog nightlight" six weeks before the transition?) and even more poorly co-ordinated by government and broadcasters. Literally, no one has been in charge, other than the $$$.

So they'll try it, it will be a disaster. At that point, look for the Obama Administration to delay the phase out of full-power analog TV to 2011 or 2012. The summer of 2011 would allow the US and Canada to transition together. And we'd have 2 more years to fix some of the fubars and let the economy heal. But that's just our opinion.

(However, many viewers who now get their TV from over-the-air antennas MAY stampede to subscribe to their cable provider or FiOS or a direct broadcast satellite service prior to the transition (or very shortly thereafter). Because they will be desperate for a simple way to keep watching TV, regardless of cost. It really depends on the economy in six weeks from today. So we'll just have to wait and see and hope.)



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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #103
119. and oh my goodness, whose lap will the blame be placed?
oh yeah, the 'ignorant'. . . (and the Dems in office).

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


now, just as an aside in the whole snafluffle, i recently (about 2 years ago) went to the market to buy a dvd player. Actually i wanted a vhs/dvd combo so i could watch either format. And found out that the ATSC tuner that was usually included in a dvd/vhs player had been taken out of the new models. Now you needed cable services to run a TV thru your dvd/vhs, etc. Now, why would the manufacturers do that?

I ended up going on Ebay and buying a refurbished model, one of the last ones that had the tuner included. The tuner is needed to receive digital. Go figure.

remember, ignorant masses are the wetdream of the right.
dp
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #119
183. Interesting . . .
and in the Comcast saga for every analog program which they moved to a higher

tier of service they increased bandwidth sufficiently to be able to add TWO HD

channels!

C-span programming is educational as far as USHR/Senate and was highly respected and

protected by cable companies -- though many cut the Senate hours to run sports.

Until a few subscumbed to greed!

Thanks for your story --



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Connie_Corleone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
116. This thread is the PERFECT reason to delay it. Digital vs. HD
Some people are confusing DIGITAL with HIGH DEFINITION.

This just proves that people still need to be educated about the digital conversion.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #116
122. winnah!
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #116
123. Dumbfucks are incapable of learning.
This thread should be proof positive.
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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #123
125. and assholes are incapable of empathy
learned much from this thread?

dp
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #125
127. Hey, I'm all for free converter boxes,
but this rampant fear of changing technology is disgusting, and the level of sheer willful ignorance demonstrated by the OP is breathtaking in its grandeur.
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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #127
130. granted the OP made a simple error in the poll, but
a delay will not effect those who are digital ready. The transition will effect those who are not.

and as i asked above, not answered, how will the delay affect you?

still awaiting your answer.
dp
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #130
131. No effect.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 11:37 PM by Codeine
I have basic cable and an old-ass analogue TV (old enough it has a built-in VCR.) I won't need to do anything, just as with most people.

And the OP didn't just make a factual error, he compounded it by being utterly incapable of learning when exposed to the facts a billion times.
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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #131
132. oh, okay. You just want to call 6.5 million households
dumbfucks, since you were affluent enough to afford cable? Sorry, but that sounds just like the same 'i've got mine so screw you' mentality of the past 8 years.

The OP confused HDTV with digital, no biggie. Except that it is indicative of the confusion in every facet that this transition is creating.

Wait for it, there will be a Simpson's, King of the Hill, or Family Guy episode written soon with this storyline. You'll be a star. Tune in.

perhaps i'll get a credit for a line or 2
dp
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #132
136. No.
"Dumbfucks" was a frustrated reaction to the unending stupidity of the person on this thread who simply refused to recognize the difference between DTV and HDTV.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #131
184. This is a question of greed and betrayal by cable companies .. .
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 06:26 PM by defendandprotect
for every analog program they were able to move to a higher tier over the past two

years, they increased their bandwidth which enabled them to open TWO HD channels

for every program removed!

And while it doesn't seem to bother you at all, there was a commitment by cable companies

to provide coverage of USHR and US Senate to all subscribers -- until greed and betrayal

of a few cable companies.

If you're here at DU for any purpose it should be to understand the value of informed

citizens/voters.



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rcrush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #184
186. Ok
Whats the problem? CSPAN is a cable channel so people with rabbit ears couldnt have gotten it. Only cable subscribers so no one who got CSPAN before this will be losing it.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #186
202. Which suggests that you don't understand that subscribers
have LOST programming -- including C-span programming!!
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #125
164. Right . .. they're on DU supposedly working against fascist corporatism . . .
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 05:17 PM by defendandprotect
while basically they don't much care about corporations running wild ---

nor consumer rights!

Leave alone "getting it" re educational/information channels like C-span!!

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Trekologer Donating Member (445 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
126. You seem to have a number of terms confused
DTV != HDTV != digital cable != satellite

(!= means not equal)

First the digital broadcasting switch is not moving programming to HDTV. A digital broadcast is not necessarilly HDTV. In fact, the converter boxes that are being subsidized by the coupon program are specifically not HDTV-capable.

The current over-the-air broadcasts are for the most part analog and standard definition. In February, the digital switch over mandates that television stations cease broadcasting over the air in analog and instead broadcast in digital. This will require that over-the-air viewers have a televison equipped with a digital tuner. Most television sets made in the last 5-10 years already have a digital tuner built-in. But for televisions that do not, viewers will need a converter box (a stand-alone digital tuner). One of these converters will make any existing television set that is not already compatable with digital broadcasts compatable.

The switch over has absolutely, positively NO impact on cable or satellite services. They are not covered by the switch-over. And yes there is both analog cable (often not requiring a set-top-box) and digital cable (often requiring a set-top-box). A number of cable companies are using confusion over the switch to get their subscribers to move from analog CABLE to digital CABLE (often at a higher cost). The cable companies are also moving some channels from the analog programming tiers to digital tiers, forcing subscribers to take the digital tiers if they want the same channel line up. Digital cable is not necessarilly HDTV either. The changes to channel lineups are business decisions by the cable companies and not government-mandated.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #126
171. Two years ago, when Comcast moved a number
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 05:39 PM by defendandprotect
of programs out of analog and into a higher tier --- $$$ --- and that included

C-span coverage of the Senate . .. they were then able to replace each channel

with TWO HD channels because it opens bandwidth -- !!!

Re the supposition that TV's have built in "digital tuners" --- if that were true

so many would not need converters. And the demand for them seems quite obvious!


Older TVs last longer than the new crap they are making --- that's why people still

have older sets.

And, true, this has provided new coverage for cable companies to scam subscribers --

and Congress hasn't stopped them.

And all of this at constantly increasing monthly costs!!!

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timtom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
133. Meaningless issue
but meaningless to me only.

Something to consider is the ultimate confluence of all the technologies into -- what?
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
137. congress should enact a short delay to allow the coupon program to resume
Over a million people who have applied for coupons are now stuck on a waiting list because the money has run out. The FCC only recently entered into contracts to set up call centers to handle the 1-2 million calls that they expect to get between now and Feb 17 regarding the transition. A short extension will let those who reasonably expected to get coupons to offset the cost of a converter box to obtain those coupons, purchase a box, and get it set up and properly working. It also will allow the government to get out the information that it did a really bad job of getting out up until now -- namely that you shouldn't just go get a box and then wait until the day of the actual transition to set it up. It works now and viewers relying on boxes should be setting them up now to see if they have signal reception problems etc.

A short delay isn't going to result in anyone who already is prepared being less prepared.And it won't ensure that everyone will be prepared when the hammer finally falls. But it will give those who acted in a timely fashion,but because of the coupon funding screw up or the poor information disseminated by the government, aren't going to be ready on Feb 17. The needs of those people -- well over a million of them, mostly, in all likelihood, elderly, minority, lower income -- can and should be served by a short extension.
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #137
144. This thread is irrefutable proof...
....that there is a certain significant percentage of the populace who won't bother to find out what all those TV ads are really about and take some action until their TVs go dark. As far as I'm concerned, there's no time like the present. It's going to happen eventually, so why not get it over with?

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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #144
146. Yes some will always not be prepared. But those who tried and got screwed by the government's
poor planning shouldn't be left out in the cold when they did exactly what they were told to do. The government froze the coupon program, essentially without warning to the public, on January 5 - nearly six weeks before the scheduled transition. The notices to the public gave no indication that this was going to happen. There is a large and growing waiting list of viewer -- in all likelihood disproportionately elderly, foreign speaking, lower income -- who thought that they'd get the assistance promised by the government and who are now in danger of not getting it as promised. In addition, it is likely that there is a growing number of people who, having just lost their jobs in the past month or so, are dropping cable or satellite and finding themselves in need of a coupon and box that they didn't expect to need. These people deserve a break. I'm just amazed at the callousness of those here who think that my 90 year old shut in neighbor, who applied for a coupon on January 8 (the ads telling her to apply were still running and they didn't say anything about a freeze), shouldn't be given an opportunity to get her coupon, arrange for someone to go to the store and get her a box, and hook it up for her. At this point, I'm probably going to buy her a box myself and give to her as a gift. But not everyone in her situation has that option.

A little empathy towards those who actually made the effort to do what they were supposed to do would be nice I think.

Finally, there is the related problem that the FCC only issued contracts to set up call centers to answer calls about the transition a week or two ago (after soliciting bids back in September). The Democrats on the FCC -- Michael Copps and Jon Adelstein -- have for monts been publicly decrying the mess that has been made of the transition by the governement. Its been the repubs, who don't really care about older, poorer, less white, less english speaking voters, that seem to think that there is no problem out there.
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #146
151. There are exceptions, of course.
But information about the digital conversion and the availability of $40 coupons toward the purchase of a converter box has been readily available for a year or more, yet people waited until after New Year's to inform themselves (or those around them who might not be sufficiently technically savvy to understand) and make the necessary arrangements.

Your willingness to be sure that your elderly neighbor has a converter is laudable, but why wait until now? We have three older people in our building who had neither cable nor satellite nor digital sets and several of us got together last summer and got them taken care of then, though we made a conscious decision not to even go into the coupon issue with them because these are people who can well afford the $60 for a converter box (could afford cable if they chose) and those coupons are for folks for whom that would be a financial hardship. One opted to just have us pick up a new TV for him and the other two had us get converters and they've all been hooked-up for months.

You're right. I have little sympathy for most of the people who waited 'til the last minute when they could have addressed this and had it all taken care of well before now. The early bird and all that.

And, as someone mentioned on one of these threads yesterday, there is no Constitutional right to TV. Those who want it, need to do what's necessary to make sure they have it or do without. Sorry, but people's attitudes about what we all supposedly have a "right" to has gotten entirely out of control and at some point in time someone has to say "ENOUGH!". This is as good a time and as good an issue as any.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #151
153. if people had been told in those countless ads that they needed to act early or risk not getting
a coupon, you might have a point. But most of the information about the coupon program made it sound like there was no urgency about getting the coupons in advance -- no suggestion that if you didn't apply early, you might not get a coupon. The government budgeted for 33 million coupons. They've given out less than 20 million and the program is frozen because of the way it was set up they actually can't issue all of the coupons that are budgeted for on the schedule they suggested. That's not the fault of those that heard the instructions and acted but not before they thought -- based on what they were told -- they needed to.

And I didn't do anything for my neighbor sooner because I didn't know she relied on over the air tv. It was only when I was talking to her and she mentioned that she had a friend order her a coupon that I reaized (a) that she needed one and (b) that her order had been placed after the freeze.

I'm sorry you don't have as much sympathy for the people in our society who are need the most assitance with things like this -- the elderly, the non-english speaking, lower income people. And its not about anyone claiming that there is a constitutional right to tv -- certainly I've never suggested any thing like that. But it is about the government doing a piss poor job of letting people know that the coupons that they're urging folks to get before Feb 17 might stop being available six weeks before that date and about not getting the leg work, in the form of call centers set up in advance. The DTV transition's first "trial" market was in Wilmington DE - a market selected because it had a higher proportion than average satellite and cable penetration, and relatively small populations of non-english speaking people. The area was blanketed with information about the transition before it occurred and surveys showed that virtually everyone knew about it. But when it occurred, there was still a significant number of calls from people having trouble making things work -- no one had told them they should've tested their boxes before the switch, among other things. Extrapolating the number of calls in Wilmington to what we can expect on Feb 17, its likely that the FCC will be deluged with between 1 and 2 million calls. That probably will be the case whenever the transition occurs. But a month's delay makes it more likely that the outsourced call centers will actually be staffed, trained, and up and running when it does.
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #153
155. You can denegrate my level of sympathy all you like.
But it was me, along with a few of my other neighbors, who took the time to canvas our immediate area to see who might need some assistance with the switchover and did something about it early so our neighbors didn't have to fret about it. Had they needed coupons, we'd have gotten them, but we didn't want to diminish the pool for those who are really needy. Pity more of them didn't take advantage of the opportunity when it was available. After all, no one ever guaranteed that there would be a coupon for absolutely everyone who felt they needed them. Or by your definition, does beeing elderly or low-income absolve people from ever having to take responsibility for anything?

I do have sympathy. Just not for people who wait until the last minute and then are upset when things don't work out the way they erroneously thought they would and have to scramble to beat the clock.

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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #155
158. I only denigrated it because you said you weren't sympathetic
to those who didn't act.
The efforts you took are laudable -- even moreso than the effort I'm making on behalf of my neighbor. But the fact is that your effort is the exception.

And the fact is that is that while maybe no one "guaranteed" that there would be a coupon for everyone, the idea was that by allocating enough money for 33 million coupons there would be enough for everyone. And as it turns out, the program has run aground with only 20 million coupons redeemed and timely requests for coupons on hold waiting to see if and when funds become available.

BTW, this is the wording that the FCC mandated be placed on the bills that telephone companies send to their "lifeline" service customers -- customers viewed as most likely to be relying on over the air television and needing a subsidzed box:

"After February 17, 2009, a television receiver with only an analog broadcast tuner will require a converter box to receive full power over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nations transition to digital broadcasting. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before to receive low power, Class A or translator television stations and with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. Information about the DTV transition is available from www.DTV.gov, and from www.dtv2009.gov or 1-888-DTV-2009 for information about subsidized coupons for digital-to-analog converter boxes"


That's it. No warning that the number of coupons was limited. No message that people should act sooner rather than later. Nothing. If you go to the dtv2009.gov site now, you'll learn that the coupon program is frozen. But up until January 5, all you would've learned when you went to that site is that you have until March 31, 2009 to apply for a coupon and that it takes about 10 days to get one. Indeed some of that information is still on the government website, despite the fact that swomehwere between 1 and 2 million people (requiesting 2.5 million coupons) are now on a waiting list.

I'm not going to hold people resonsible for not doing more than they were told to do by the government. I'm going to look to the government to take at least a modicum of action to fix their screw up.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
140. The change isn't to hi def. It's to digital TV.
Big difference
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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
141. Don Quixote, is that you?
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 08:41 AM by Hugabear
I would respond, but you've proven repeatedly that you can't listen to facts or logic.

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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
143. Signal not strong enough, sucks! That's the message I keep
getting using my over the air antenna. Without the stupid box, I can watch TV. I live out in the country and with my TV tower I can usually pick up 7 or 8 channels. They may not all be crystal clear, but at least I can watch TV. Now with this new digital box, I can't watch anything.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #143
156. From what I've read
Once they shut off the analog the digital broadcast will be stronger and you should get your channels. Right now the power isn't set to "full speed" on the digital.
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Regret My New Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
152. I agree with defendandprotect 100%
just 'cause it's funny.
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TWiley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
154. i wanna blue-ray in on some nekked wimmin !
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Generator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
160. Isn't that why we voted for Obama?
FREE HD TEEVEE! Change we can see.
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david13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #160
161. Lets get it over
and done with.
dc
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rcrush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
185. I'm not clear on why the OP is all upset.
HDTV doesnt have anything to do with changing from analog to digital in a few weeks. It only affects people who get tv through rabbit ears only. People who never had cable before who just plugged a tv into the wall and use rabbit ears to get tv. When they switch people who still use rabbit ears will need a box to get a signal. Most people who cant affoard the box will get a coupon from the govt. Currently there arent enough coupons which is the only reason the switch should be delayed.

What does HDTV have to do with this? Anyone else who already had cable before this wont have to do anything to still get tv. When the switch happens they are still going to have TV. Whats the problem?
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Zech Marquis The 2nd Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
192. actually
you should change the title to Digital . Although the new broadcasts will be in HD, you won't need an HDTV to view them. Mainly, any tv brought within the past 3 years or so should already have a digital tuner built in. TVs older than 5 years or so will most likely need the converter box unless you have cable or satellite service.


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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
196. I'm mixed about the transition process from analog to digital...
(as pointed out many times upthread this isn't about HDTV, it's about the digital transition, which includes the option for the broadcasters to deliver a higher definition picture).

Elsewhere in the world, it's:

a) being done in stages,
b) have a totally different transmission arrangement compared to the US.

Sweden and Finland are all 100% digital now, analog has been switched off.

Compare US and UK...

1) In UK, transmission sites are shared, so if you can get one channel, you can get all of them. In the US, sites are rarely shared so you may resort to antenna adjustments when you change the channel. Same is true for digital terrestrial.
2) In the UK, digital transition is going over in stages. The Scottish Borders area is now 100% digital, the rest is going region by region, finishing in 2012. The USA is aiming for a gung-ho continental switchover.
3) In the UK, the attraction is more channels. Upgrade from 4 to 25 with the addition of a box. In the US, the attraction is a better picture, particularly HDTV, but more channels are an option... but HDTV is the thing being plugged here.
4) In the UK, switchover assistance is only given to those who geniunely need it financially, or may have to contribute some money. This may include switching over to satellite (freesat) instead of going to digital terrestrial TV. In the US, anyone could get a coupon until the money ran out.
5) The UK is using the DVB-T standard, which offers better multipath protection and could work well for TV in vehicles. The USA is using the ATSC standard which is better for broadcasting across flatter, bigger areas.
6) Both the UK and the US have assigned broadcasters temporary channel numbers and imposed power restrictions. Upon switchover, the broadcasters channel may change, the power most likely goes up.
7) The UK authorities are committed that 99.7% of the population will be able to receive a digital TV signal with a regular outdoor antenna, same as what can receive analog TV. I don't think the same is true for the USA.
8) Cable and satellite usage has good penetration in the US. In the UK, over the air is still dominant, satellite is the #2, and cable is a poor #3.

I personally think that even though the UK is only now trying to figure out what to do with HD TV, I think they got it right.

Mark.
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
209. What we need
is massively better science and technology instruction in grades K-12. Maybe then we can have informed debates about science and technology policy.
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