Is all current television equipment becoming worthless?

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote in

It's got one BIG advantage over digital TV;analog TV degrades gracefully,and is still watchable even with some noise,while digital TV is either a great picture or NO picture.Not everybody lives in areas with good TV reception,and some cannot use outside antennas like those in apartments. Just look at Direct TV when a storm goes through;the picture freezes,and pixellates,unwatchable.That's what you get if you are in a weak zone,and digital TV is way more sensitive to weak signal.

Supposed gov't forced you to buy a new PC every so often,instead of allowing the MARKET to decide? Or maybe a new operating system,to meet government standards?

Not relevant.

Yeah,just check out digital TV's freezes and pixellations.Any small sat- dish owner can tell you about them.

Then the MARKET should have been able to decide the issue,like it did for Beta/VHS tape systems,or 8-track/cassette/CD/Ipod audio.Not government.

Maybe they don't HAVE an extra $70 to spend just because the gov't wants to force a change.Maybe they have more than one TV.(and you need a converter for each VCR you plan to use to record off-air with.)
BTW,-where are- these $70 converters?

Government is forcing the change because they see big bucks in auctioning off all that bandwidth they get back from the broadcasters.
--
Jim Yanik
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"It's got one BIG advantage over digital TV;analog TV degrades gracefully,and is still watchable even with some noise,while digital TV is either a great picture or NO picture.Not everybody lives in areas with good TV reception,and some cannot use outside antennas like those in apartments. Just look at Direct TV when a storm goes through;the picture freezes,and pixellates,unwatchable.That's what you get if you are in a weak zone,and digital TV is way more sensitive to weak signal. "
You probably prefer 8 Track tapes over CD's, VHS tapes over DVD's and analog cell phones over digital for the same virtues.
"Supposed gov't forced you to buy a new PC every so often,instead of allowing the MARKET to decide? Or maybe a new operating system,to meet government standards? "
"Then the MARKET should have been able to decide the issue,like it did for Beta/VHS tape systems,or 8-track/cassette/CD/Ipod audio.Not government. "
The govt has regulated the broadcast industry from day one, because there is finite broadcast spectrum and you can't have everyone broadcasting at any power and on any frequency, can you? For the FCC, in cooperation with the industry, to want to put a graceful end to a broadcast technology that has been around for half a century and have it replaced with something most of us find far superior, doesn't seem extreme. Not when the small minority that will need a converter can buy one for $40. And the industry was part of the discussions, standards, and schedules for setting up ATSC and ending NTSC. They recognize the need and aren't complaining as they don't want to keep two transmitters running forever.
"Government is forcing the change because they see big bucks in auctioning off all that bandwidth they get back from the broadcasters. "
Yes, that's partly true. They want to auction off the old spectrum. However, for the US govt, even $10bil which it is expected to bring, is pretty small potatoes these days. I'm sure you'd prefer to waste valuable broadcast spectrum for a dwindling audience, when an easy conversion can take place that most of us have no problem with. Already 85% of US households receive via cable or sat. Should we tie up a national resource, that can be put to better use, forever, because some people will want to wait another 30 years?
I don't need a tuner, because like most people today, I have cable. And even if I did need one, I would be happy to buy a digital tuner for $70 in 2009 if I needed it, because I recognize that digital broadcasting has significant advantages and I would like to see it happen faster, rather than sit around and wait for every last TV to wear out.
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Very true... and there are more reasons that broadcasters are regulated.
There is a lot, and I mean a lot of big money involved. Your local TV station is a million dollar investment for some company, (the big networks themselves if you live in a major city). Each station has a general manager, a sales manager, hungry salespeople with expensive tastes, not to mention the often oversize salaries paid to the anchors, reporters, and other news gathering people.
There are installment payments being made on a big Lexus and many mistresses to be paid off.
They have an association called the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) that needs to meet in Las Vegas every year so that they can throw around their big money and give each other awards of high praise. Often the President himself will speak at their gathering.
In other words, there is a lot a stake for these people and they work closely with the FCC and the government to minimize the more unworthy regulations and keep the money train flowing. They generally get what they want. Otherwise, we would already be fully converted to digital TV. The NAB's interests are to delay...delay...delay (2009 sure! No problem)
Beachcomber
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On 30 Dec 2005 17:09:53 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Lets compare apples to apples. I certainly preferred 8 track to cassette if you got a quality 8 track cartridge. They used wider tape that ran at a faster speed across the head. The sound on a good machine was much better. 8 track was killed because cassettes were cheaper to produce and the record labels didn't care if they broke immediately. Then you had to buy another one.
They love CDs because they are cheaper than tape to produce and they charged more for them.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote in

I've gone over this;MARKET forces decided those issues,not government.

You keep forgetting that the BROADCASTERS would decide depending on their MARKET.It would not be -mandated- that analog TV continue until the last one gives up.

Oh,so then government should decide to eliminate over-the-air completely,force EVERYBODY to buy cable or satellite receivers,by your standards.Then they would have ALL of that TV bandwidth to auction off.

--
Jim Yanik
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experience in broadcasting and transmission technology, I can tell you from experience that the reception threshold for signal strength on a digital system is 50%.
That is, if you can pick up at least 50% of the available signal at your location with your antenna, assuming all else is well, you will get a "perfect" picture. No ghosts... No reflections... No Snow. It is a video bitstream just like your Direct TV or DISH Network system.
In practice, this actually extends the usuable range of terrestrial tv to beyond what the primary Grade one contour is now. (More households get a usuable picture per licensed station).
Yes, those that live in what is call the fringe areas (60 miles +) from the transmitter may have problems unless they go with an upgraded antenna, amplifiers, cable, or direct-broadcast satellite tv. There are also translator stations that will relay the digital signal with zero degradation. The point is that there are options.
Digital is better. Digital is the future.
Beachcomber
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Last year I was looking at TV. No way was I going to spend big bucks on digital because I could get a nice 36" for about $400 loaded with features. So, there I was, standing in the store in front of my chosen 36" and a 34" HDTV for $1300. Side by side, it kept looking back and forth. $400 versus a whole bunch of money. Yeas, the picture was nice, but wow, the cost was just too much. I kept looking, comparing, thinking about he big price difference. Suddenly, I knew that six month later I'd be wishing I bought the HDTV. I did and have not regretted it.
I bought a 34",(16:9 ratio) the largest I could get with a CRT. I did not care for the quality of the projection screens as much, plasma was way too high. Sucker weighs 185 pounds, but that is another story getting it on the stand and later the oak stand I built (see my web page under woodworking)
As for signal, we have a problem with one station at time. The cable company received the signal over the air from a local broadcast station. As someone mentioned, the picture freezes at times. It may last half a second, it may last 10 seconds. Then it will not happen again for days. Cable company says it is due to the way they receive that signal compared to the others on satellite.
--
Ed
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By any chance was it raining when your picture froze up? Cable companies get even the local stations off the satellite these days and most of the satellites are KU Band and subject to attenuation from thunderstorms.
Not every downpour will kill the signal either... just those severe ones where its continuous rain clouds upwards of 50-60,000 ft. It doesn't matter where your house is... just the location of the cable co. head end.
The old C-Band satellite dishes seldom had this problem, but then you had a big ugly dish to put someplace and a satellite that didn't need so much power to beam down a signal. KU Band means big powerful satellites beaming signals to tiny sat. dishes. The weather related interference still leaves PBS and the major TV networks scratching their heads sometimes, but it is part of the physics and their is no easy solution to drops outs during bad weather.
If the cable co. gets the digital signal directly off the air from the originating station, it's possible that you can get freeze-ups from non-weather sources (radar from planes and land sources, military aircraft, certain cell phones, microwave links).
The earth is intensely radio-emmisive due to the activities of mankind in the 21st Centruy.
Beachcomber
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On Sat, 31 Dec 2005 03:02:33 GMT, not snipped-for-privacy@xxx.yyy (Beachcomber) wrote:

Sounds like bafflegab to me. Fifty percent of nothing is still nothing. Oh... that must be the "assuming all else is well" part. Like plenty of signal and no multipath.

I'm within 5 miles of local channel 13, but it's an obstructed path with severe multipath. I can guarantee you that the reflected signals are within the -4 dB threshold that chokes 8VSB.
All other local stations are further away and are also obstructed paths with multipath despite them being at 8800' ASL. Fat chance there will be translators. The chief engineer at one station is a friend of mine and I asked him why they didn't have a translator serving my area. He said they had been trying, without sucess, for a decade to get a license.

Maybe if it's COFDM.
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On Sat, 31 Dec 2005 03:02:33 GMT, not snipped-for-privacy@xxx.yyy (Beachcomber) wrote:

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Oops, sorry for that last blank reply.... (hit the wrong key)
OK, after reading your post this has me concerned. I live in a rural area. I get 3 VHF (sometimes 4) stations and 3 UHF stations. (not including the infomercial only channel) They all come from one of 3 cities. The cities are distanced as follows. 55miles 70 miles 90 miles (and that 4th is 115 miles) The first two are the only ones that are fairly decent. That is 2 VHF and 2 UHF (one is PBS). Will I be able to get ANY reception with a converter on HDTV? Right now I have to go outside and rotate the antenna to get both directions (I know, I should have a rotor). but my vice grips on the mast works too.
Next concern. Will I have to buy a new antenna? It's easy for some of you to say you will spend $30 or $70 for a converter, or spend $1500 for a new tv, but some of us are on a fixed income. And I dont believe it will stop with the purchase of a converter. First off, there will be needed a converter for EACH tv and VCR. In my case that would be TIMES FIVE 3 tvs 2 vcrs. So we are now up to $150 to $350. I have a feeling I'll need a new antenna, so add another $100 or more. We're not JUST talking $30 here, and dont let that fool you. I dont doubt that the new antenna will require other components too, maybe new coax, and the list goes on.
Final concern. I have a small portable black and white tv that runs off 3 power sources. Batteries, 12 volt car lighter, or AC with a black outlet box. I mostly own this set for when I go camping, or want something to watch when I take breathers when I travel. You tell me how will I use a converter on that set? Will they offer battery operated converters? Will they include a built in rabbit ear antenna like these portable tv sets have?
It's not just spending $30 and living happily ever after....
By the way, do they offer these small portable battery and 12 volt TV sets with HDTV?
Mark
On Sat, 31 Dec 2005 03:02:33 GMT, not snipped-for-privacy@xxx.yyy (Beachcomber) wrote:

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All of the US TV stations have been allocated UHF frequencies for digital TV. (The VHF stations will continue to broadcast on VHF frequencies CH 2-13 until 2009, but most have already constructed their digital UHF plant and are either conducting tests, or full blown HDTV broadcasts (for the major network stations). The digital site may not necessarily be physically located where the existing analog transmitter site is currently broadcasting from. (Although in most cases, it is the same).
Remember, that in the USA, all HDTV will be digital, but not all digital TV will be HDTV. (Japan had an analog HDTV system called MUSE!) so it is possible.
In order to get information (Channel, location, power levels) for your specific locality, it might be best to contact the Director of Engineering for the stations you are interested in. Also check the station's website.
The impact of the big changeover will probably be hardest on rural residents because typically, rural residents require the most expensive and elaborate TV antennas and rotators. In other words, it won't be much differerent than it is now except for the converter issue. It may be more economical to switchover to a satellite system with local channels. It depends on your specific locality.

I can't imagine that people would be forced to pay $1500 for a new tv.
The TV sales industry would dry up overnight. I wouldn't pay that for any tv.
Most likely, you will need a new antenna since digital tv uses the UHF spectrum. If you have an existing outdoor UHF antenna, you might not need to change. Both indoor and outdoor digital TV antennas are quiet commonplace now. Check eBay for examples.
One simple way of looking at it. Today you view both VHF and UHF stations. Well ... basically all of the VHF stations are going away and will become digital UHF stations. The existing analog UHF stations will remain UHF stations, but convert to digital broadcasting.
Don't forget, most people feed their tv from the output of a VCR. The existing RF signal from antenna, cable, or satellite goes to the RF input of the VCR. Thus, you may need just one converter, not two for the TV-VCR combination. I'm assuming the converter will be some sort of broadband version, but I could be wrong. (I haven't seen them yet, have you?). Otherwise you will have to select the channel you want on the converter and it would put out NTSC Video/analog stereo audio OR modulated on CH3 or CH4. It will probably be similar to a set top cable box.

Good question. I don't know.
The converters should be small and all solid state. Some may even work on 12VDC. If your portable tv has an external antenna input, you should be able to connect it. You would then supply an RF antenna connection to the input of the converter. It sounds like it could possibly be an awkward mess of cables for a little TV.
2009 is three years into the future and it's difficult to predict what technological developments, let alone what new products will be out there.
You want confusion... Some TV stations identify themselves with their existing VHF allocation. (example FOX 12, Newschannel 8, etc.) These will mean nothing when all broadcasting is digital.
In the meantime, I'd like to see them bring back channel one.
Beachcomber

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Beachcomber (not snipped-for-privacy@xxx.yyy) said...

As I understand it, one channel's bandwidth is capable of transmitting:
- a single HDTV signal (1080p or 1080i) - up to two EDTV signals - up to four "traditional" definition video signals (480i)
I suppose one EDTV with two "traditional" is also possible as well.
I recall reading somewhere that PBS was considering broadcasting four "traditional" low res programs during the daytime and switching to a single HDTV program for the evening.
That is one of the beauties of a digital system: the channel provides a certain amount of bandwidth for data. How a broadcaster uses that bandwidth is up to them (with some restrictions!). If the program content is not HDTV, then the extra bandwidth could be used for other programs, or for some other data transmission.
--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
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Calvin Henry-Cotnam wrote:

Oh, boy! More infomercials! More 24-hour sales channels!
--
If John McCain gets the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination,
my vote for President will be a write-in for Jiang Zemin.
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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

I figure that I'd have to build a quad stacked array of log periodic antennas with a special precision rotor-and-tilt mechanism and revolvers for the individual antennas, and put it all atop a 50' or higher tower. Never mind that there are about a hundred homes within 25 miles who aren't restricted from doing that by covenant, never mind that I can't afford five figures for an antenna system, I'd never spend it just to get television.

Oh, you want service in emergencies. Right here, Harv. For that you need our special $50,000 survival RV.

Someone will, by the time the 2009 FAO Schwartz catalog comes out. It'll come in at 50 pounds weight and a cost of $12,000, with optional 500AH deep-discharge battery for $100 each (one battery runs the set for 45 minutes).
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If John McCain gets the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination,
my vote for President will be a write-in for Jiang Zemin.
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Beachcomber wrote:

Interesting. I have Charter cable which is in the process of going 100% digital after previously having some digital channels only in the extended basic package.
Our digital channels are constantly screwing up. Either pixelating, cutting out audio, or going completely blank. They have been out here several times replacing the box twice and "tweaking" whatever out on the pole. Usually the problem is not removed at all or is only fixed for a couple of weeks before it is back.
I find it hard to believe that we are receiving "less than 50%" of the signal. The technicians that have been out have told us that the digital receivers are very sensitive to signal strength. Too little (or too much) signal outside of a fairly narrow range causes problems. They apparently find it difficult to get the strength of the signal so that it works for both the people close to the nearest splitter and those that are further from the splitter.
We have a switch box that allows us to bypass the cable box and instead pump the analog signal from the cable directly to the TV. When one of the digital channels is messing up we often have to do this to be able to watch a program.
I'm not protesting the changeover, but I have no doubt that MANY people who can get decent analog reception now will be screwed when that signal is turned off.
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Rick Brandt wrote:

I get about two months between service visits for the same thing on Comcast. Funny, they were extremely finicky about setting up the cable modem to just exactly so much signal, no more no less, and the modem seldom if ever has an outage. But getting to see half a program (ten seconds at a time, then ten seconds of freeze, pixellation and blackout) is a regular treat here.
--
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my vote for President will be a write-in for Jiang Zemin.
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not snipped-for-privacy@xxx.yyy (Beachcomber) wrote in

I worked for TEKTRONIX for 21.5 years,repairing and calibrating TEK broadcast video test equipment.I also live in an apartment,where external antennas are prohibited,except for the 18" sat dishes.I live well within 30 miles of all the local stations antenna sites,yet have marginal TV reception. I definitely will not receive digital TV. So,I guess next you are going to tell me to move,or pay for cable or sat- TV.
--
Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:u

I started my full-time professional career in television service in 1967, got comprehensive MATV training from RCA Service in 1969, and first taught TV servicing in college in 1972. I'm not going for Beachcomber's bafflegab either.
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... : : I started my full-time professional career in television service in 1967, : got comprehensive MATV training from RCA Service in 1969, and first taught : TV servicing in college in 1972.
Any chance you did the RCA training in San Diego? We might have been in the same classes!
Small world
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