Is all current television equipment becoming worthless?

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Pop wrote:

Nope, it was in Rolling Meadows, IL.
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If John McCain gets the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination,
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Beachcomber wrote:

We know what bullshit is. One form of it is using inappropriate, invalid comparisons to form an argument, like saying that everything that is old is bad.
Do you drive an automobile, a standard of transportation that's over 100 years old? Hypocrite! Do you use knives, spoons and/or forks to eat? Hypocrite! That technology is hundreds of years old. Wear shoes? Hypocrite! Shoes are thousands-of-years-old technology. Take a train? Airplane? Jet? Use gravity-fed running water in your home? Flush toilet? Hypocrite, hypocrite, HYPOCRITE!
People replace old technology with new when the price-performance ratio of new technology exceeds that of old technology... or when they're forced to do so by government fiat. That's why I don't use a 50-year-old modem, not because it's fifty years old but because new technology is faster AND cheaper. At my location, you couldn't equal the price-performance ratio I get from NTSC. If you gave me a few HDTVs *and* a few thousand dollars, I'd still be behind. And so would most everyone.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: ,,, .

I fear if we left it up to the individual broadcasters we would have a dozen more more incomparable different systems right now. This is sort of like deciding which side of the street to drive on. It is best if we all do the same thing at the same time. :-)
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Joseph Meehan

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It worked OK for Beta/VHS. The market(people) decided.
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Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

The Beta/VHS issue did not have to share the same bandwidth. Broadcast signals share the same bandwidth and you can get a lot more digital stations that analog in that same space.
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Joseph Meehan

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Beta was better quality. VHS was cheaper and offered recordings of up to 6 hours (at degraded quality).
The cheaper system prevailed.
Remember the original versions of Windows? They sucked... multiple crashes, general protection faults, slow and sluggish...
The original Windows was a copy of the superior Macintosh Operating System, specifically, the graphical user interface (mouse - pull down menus). The problem was that Macs were expensive and (at the time) had less than 20% of the world's computer market share compared to the "PC compatibles" even though the Macintosh worked a lot better.
The cheaper system prevailed.
The great "what if" in history is that if Apple had cut their prices and opened up their operating system at a critical time, the world might have gone over to the Macintosh instead of the PC world we live in today. Can you imagine Bill Gates working for Steve Jobs?
Beachcomber
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Beachcomber wrote:

Good points. The marketplace does not always do a good job of selection. Of course it can be fairly argued that government does not do any better.
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Joseph Meehan

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"29. Beachcomber

Beta was better quality. VHS was cheaper and offered recordings of up to 6 hours (at degraded quality).
The original Windows was a copy of the superior Macintosh Operating System, specifically, the graphical user interface (mouse - pull down menus). The problem was that Macs were expensive and (at the time) had less than 20% of the world's computer market share compared to the "PC compatibles" even though the Macintosh worked a lot better.
The cheaper system prevailed. "
It's true that both of these things were cheaper and that's why they prevailed. But the other and more important lesson from this is that open systems prevail. Betamax was created by Sony and they refused to license it to anyone else. VHS was licensed and available from multiple companies. That was what drove the cost down.
The same thing happened with the Mac. Apple kept the Mac hardware and software propriatary, while the Windows/Intel platform was available from many manufacturers, driving the cost down.
It's also interesting that some people use the Betamax/VHS example of how well the marketplace works as opposed to the way the FCC is handling the digital broadcast transition. How do they think the people who spent $500 on Betamax units felt when they essentially lost much of their usefullness due to the marketplace. Do you think they all said I wound up with an expensive product that I can't find new titles for, but the free market did it, not the govt, so it's OK?
Don;t get me wrong. I'm a big proponent of free enterprise. But when you have a limited bandwith resource that has to be shared for the benefit of all, some traderoffs have to be made. You can't make everyone happy. This $40-$70 cost for a digital tuner to continue to use your existing TV for those relying on OTA, is small potatoes compared to lots of other govt mandates. Take air bags for example. One could argue, and some did, that it should be marketplace driven. But the govt shoved that down everyone's throat and the cost impact was a hell of a lot more than $40.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Of course the idea was that it would save lives and money and we would all save more than the original cost by lower insurance rates. Of course it did not turn out that way, now we more people surviving, but with long term injuries and the cost of air bag replacement and maintenance ... well I suspect the cost is actually higher. Of course I would rather live than die.
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Beachcomber wrote:

Then you DO understand that what a majority of the American people want is what they already have, and that they resent being forced into more expenditures for less quality.
Yes, I said less quality. Don't even TRY to tell me that filtering your fancy signal through a converter box and running it down to NTSC won't degrade the quality. That's assuming I build the phased array needed to replace my rabbit ears, or the converter box won't get any signal at all.
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Taking a HDTV signal and running it through that converter box to get NTSC will degrade the quality so it is no longer HDTV quality. It will, unless that converter box is real trash, still be a better quality signal than you are likely to have ever seen from over the air NTSC.
From what I have heard, most anyone who can get a stable NTSC UHF signal over the air will be able to get a better DTV signal with the same antenna.
You could get a worse signal if the station chooses to broadcast DTV at lower power than they did NTSC, or if they change the transmission antenna so you get less of a signal, or if the NTSC was at a frequency you could pick up well but the DTV is at a different frequency that is not as good for you.
Bob <valen (at) mailcart (dot) us>
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Bob Joesting wrote:

I doubt it, unless the horizontal resolution of the DTV signal is 320 pixels or less. Otherwise the analog signal is going to be deteriorated through some kind of signaling to keep the video signal from "overwriting" the audio carrier. To keep the filters cheap, they're going to have less than desirable cutoff characteristics, i.e. they'll attenuate high frequencies (i.e. fine detail) starting at a lower point than a television station ever had to do. The filter will also introduce phase distortion, because as a minor afterthought in a $99 retail box, it ain't gonna get twenty minutes of design time. Add in low-Q Chinese components and the picture rots.

From what I read of actual experiences in Chicago, people who could get perfect VHF and UHF pictures with rabbit ears couldn't get anything digital with roof-mounted log periodics.
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On Fri, 30 Dec 2005 20:17:11 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

We dont have that now.... I dont know if they use the same transmitter for both the analog signal and the hdtv, or if they are broadcasting both separately, but right now both exist and I dont see why tv stations would change to anything else. Why cant they "encode" a analog signal right in with the hdtv signal? Has anyone looked into that? Rather than the govt. forcing everyone to buy converters, and spending tax money t do it, why not just make the tv stations re-do their transmitters to handle both signals combined. I'm sure it would cost the govt. less to assist them than make every tv owner buy converters. I'm sure the technology exists or could be developed.
Its like someone else said about the change from B&W tv to color. They made them backward compatible. This should occur now.
Mark
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No, the systems are completely different. Digital TV requires brand new high power transmitters, new processing equipment, a new antenna, new microwave or fiber links. In many cases, the broadcaster is faced with a fully-loaded tower for the old system and must construct a new one. Add an upgraded 100 KW emergency generator because both systems are "on" at the same time. The cost of this can be millions of dollars for "each" station. Don't even mention the electric bill.
When this was first proposed, the broadcasters howled. No one wanted to invest millions of dollars in a system that could not be watched (no member of the public had a digital tv) and would not directly add to revenue.
Now it is a competition between broadcasters, cable guys, and satellite providers as to who can offer the best picture. The broadcasters are smart and realize the benefits of an upgraded technology. When the switchover occurs in 2009, for many viewers it will be seemless, as they will already be watching on a digital TV.

Yes, it would be great if you could change the laws of physics.... Maybe those Maxwell equations don't really exist.... :>
Seriously, though...
The history of NTSC TV consists of cramming the maximum amount of analog information in a limited 6 Mhz bandwidth. They cut most of the video carrier to a vestige of it's former self (Hence, vestigial sideband). The engineers searched long and hard for a spot to add the aural (audio) carrier so as not to interfere with the video.
Then they wanted to add color and make it backwards compatible. Most said it "couldn't be done" but some of the best minds said that if you set a phase modulated signal at 3.58 Mhz and put it in there with the video, it just might work. They crammed the chroma signal in there and it did work. They added a color "burst" signal to keep it in synch.
In the 1980's, they wanted to add stereo audio and something called VITS and VIR Test signals, so those were added. Data signals from who-knows-where fill up the vertical interval.
The end result is that the NTSC bandwidth is truly maxed out and there is simply no place to add a high definition digital signal and keep it compatible with existing TV.
Digital signal processing and compression is, on the other hand, of tremendous value to broadcasters.
Back in the early 90's, a typical satellite had 24 video transponders with a capability of one 6 Mhz video signal for each transponder.
In one day, , they put digitally compressed signals on each of these transponders and gained 4 or 5 fully compatible video signal channels for each transponder. This "Quadrupled" the satellite capacity overnight. Do you think you have too many home shopping channels on your cable TV?
The government realizes that for some people, it is going to be a bitter pill to make this changeover. Otherwise, they would not be speaking of subsidies.
The benefit of this pain will be a much better system for all, however... IMO.
Beachcomber
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"33. snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com
We dont have that now.... I dont know if they use the same transmitter for both the analog signal and the hdtv, or if they are broadcasting both separately, but right now both exist and I dont see why tv stations would change to anything else. Why cant they "encode" a analog signal right in with the hdtv signal? Has anyone looked into that? Rather than the govt. forcing everyone to buy converters, and spending tax money t do it, why not just make the tv stations re-do their transmitters to handle both signals combined. I'm sure it would cost the govt. less to assist them than make every tv owner buy converters. I'm sure the technology exists or could be developed. "
All this was hashed out and decided years ago. The broadcast industry has been involved every step of the way. The issue is that there is a finite frequency spectrum. And that spectrum is valuable because new technologies and industries that didn't even exist 25 years ago are now actively using it. Everything from cell phones to satellites.
They can't broadcast HDTV, digital TV and anaog TV all in the same frequency space. They could keep two transmitters going and continue to use the analog system the way it is. However the govt wants to resell the analog freqs and expects to get $10Bil for it. Whether it's worth the $10Bil in revenue that would be lost if they don't do this, because of the impact to a small percentage of the population, is the only real debate.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Oh, we can see that. The fact that they're doing it NOW proves it.

No. Not until you consider the billions of dollars of wasted equipment now in use and the billions (if not trillions) of dollars of equipment needed just to bring the country back to the status quo. This is just another income transfer, from the sweat of our backs to the Congress' wastrel pork barrels.
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my vote for President will be a write-in for Jiang Zemin.
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Maybe. If it can be done reasonably economically, yes, but at some point, you have to make a technological jump that just does not allow for that. Look at other aspects of our consumer lives. Would you not buy a new car because the snow tires from your '68 Volkswagen won't fit it? Would you not buy a new computer because your 300 baud modem is not compatible? Would you not buy a good single malt Scotch because you usually drink cheap beer?
Why should millions of people have to drive cars that use the same tires as your '68 Volkswagen because you are not, or cannot make the change?
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

A closer comparison is would you not buy a car because it won't run without a computer?
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Do you buy shoes because your job requires it? Time for you to get a new job. Shoes are thousand-year-old technology. Your 2006 automobile is now four months old; time to trade it in. When was your living space built? I hope not before 2005. And I just know you have 100-gigabit fiber to your house, right?
Again, the bullshit argument that old equals bad.
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Never said that, but new is better and it is not always practical to have new and old at the same time. There are time you have to make a leap and leave behind old technology. Just as you state shoes have been around for a thousand years, the technology of making them has improved. Some are repairable and very durable, others are more durable and last a long time before replacing. There are shoes affordable for most anyone. We no longer use reeds from plants to tie them to our feet
My living space was built in 1978 and is upgraded every few years. Parts have been replaced, painted, etc. I added a larger deck. I guess that is the same as adding a converter to an analog TV set?
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