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Digital transition in 2009- what do you plan on doing?

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View Poll Results: What do you plan on doing to your secondary TV's regarding Digital transition
Adding the TV's to your current provider as an add on set
3
15.79%
Replacing the Analog TV with a HDTV
10
52.63%
Sign up under the coupon program to get a DTV converter to view OTA
6
31.58%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

Digital transition in 2009- what do you plan on doing?

Old 10-07-07, 11:01 AM
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Digital transition in 2009- what do you plan on doing?

Just curious to see if those that have Satellite or cable in there home and have extra TV's that only recieve OTA.

Last edited by brtcmfn; 10-07-07 at 11:13 AM.
Old 10-07-07, 12:42 PM
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???
Old 10-07-07, 12:56 PM
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I don't have cable, only OTA.

I have two HDTVs (both have built-in tuners), and my one remaining analog tv is on a digital tuner box I bought to experiment with digital reception before I invested in HDTV. I'm ready for 2009-02-18.

PS: I'm one of those old farts that opponents claim "can't possible figure this stuff out." Lying bastards.

Edit: None of your poll options fit as I'm "already prepared." But I MIGHT get rid of the one remaining analog tv and get another HDTV.

Last edited by OldDude; 10-07-07 at 12:59 PM.
Old 10-07-07, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by matta
???
The rule has been delayed a couple of times, but local midnight, the evening of 2009-02-17, all analog tv OTA transmissions will cease in the US. Stations will broadcast only on their digital frequency (but not necessarily HD).

Because of the properties of encoding, stations can be closer together without interfering, so fewer channel numbers are needed. The government will take back and auction the spectrum off (for billions). Because of the spectrum auction, there is no way in hell that the rule is getting delayed again.

Congress has created a coupon program to help poor people who only have analog tv (and no cable) to buy a converter that receives digital and provides rf modulator or composite output to drive an analog tv.
Old 10-07-07, 01:41 PM
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By that point, I think I will have finally bought a 37" LCD HDTV (the price is almost right for me at this point, but I'm looking for just a little more of a dip) and will replace the 19" TV in my bedroom with the 27" TV I now use in the living room, using whatever sort of device will be necessary. I'm on cable, and I'm not really sure how my cable provider is going to handle all of this yet.
Old 10-07-07, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimmy James
By that point, I think I will have finally bought a 37" LCD HDTV (the price is almost right for me at this point, but I'm looking for just a little more of a dip) and will replace the 19" TV in my bedroom with the 27" TV I now use in the living room, using whatever sort of device will be necessary. I'm on cable, and I'm not really sure how my cable provider is going to handle all of this yet.
It doesn't affect cable at all. Cable providers have been dropping the analog tier, but that has nothing to do with this ruling.
Old 10-07-07, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
It doesn't affect cable at all. Cable providers have been dropping the analog tier, but that has nothing to do with this ruling.
No -- I get that. The deadline is all about when the FCC pulls the non-HDTV spectrum away from broadcast stations.

I just expect that between now and around then, something is going to happen with cable. I don't see how it would make sense to continue the way it's working now. If nothing else, I imagine the increased number of channels broadcasting in HD will provide them with a bandwidth-driven incentive to at least attempt to move to all-digital distribution, which would require a cable box for my bedroom. Time will tell, I suppose.
Old 10-07-07, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimmy James
No -- I get that. The deadline is all about when the FCC pulls the non-HDTV spectrum away from broadcast stations.

I just expect that between now and around then, something is going to happen with cable. I don't see how it would make sense to continue the way it's working now. If nothing else, I imagine the increased number of channels broadcasting in HD will provide them with a bandwidth-driven incentive to at least attempt to move to all-digital distribution, which would require a cable box for my bedroom. Time will tell, I suppose.
Yes, which is interesting as I believe there was a movement back in the non-cable-ready TV days against cable companies making you rent a box. Now we're getting back to that.

I use TiVo with cablecards, so I don't care that much. In fact, I wish my cable company would completely switch off the analog channels because that would free up a ton of bandwidth for new HD channels.
Old 10-07-07, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
The rule has been delayed a couple of times, but local midnight, the evening of 2009-02-17, all analog tv OTA transmissions will cease in the US. Stations will broadcast only on their digital frequency (but not necessarily HD).
Ok, so I have 3 relatively new TVs (LCD flatscreens all bought in the last 2 years) and a computer monitor directly connected to the wall. These TV's only get ~70 channels (vs. the ~700 channels my HD system gets with the cable company's DVR/HD receiver).

Are you telling me that I will now need digital cable boxes for all of my TV's? That'll add $45/month to my cable bill. On the plus side, it might convince me to get HD in my bedroom, kitchen, and office.
Old 10-07-07, 06:38 PM
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Well, first, cable != OTA

The digital transition is only about OTA broadcast. The cable companies can keep using analog or go to digital. You'll have to look at the tuner specs on your TV:
NTSC = old fashioned analog
ATSC = digital tuner spec for OTA (both SD and HD)
QAM = a different digital tuner modulation used by cable companies for "in the clear" digital broadcasts.

Since I don't have cable, I'm not exactly up on what they HAVE to do legally, in terms of keeping some analog (til 2012?) and/or continuing to broadcast local HD broadcasts "in the clear" via QAM. There are some requirements, but I'm not the expert.

Do you know if your TVs have QAM-compatible tuners? If not, no HD, and when analog cable goes away (NOT same schedule), you need digital cable boxes or new TVs. Of course, most HD on cable is encrypted (except local broadcast channels) so you may need them anyway, even with QAM tuner.
Old 10-07-07, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by matta
Are you telling me that I will now need digital cable boxes for all of my TV's? That'll add $45/month to my cable bill.
No, the transition to digital is only in regards to Over The Air broadcast (OTA). Cable companies can continue to transmit analog signals over their cable if they want. So until your cable provider says otherwise, analog TV over cable, which is what your non-primary TVs receive, will continue.

Also, some of your newly purchased TVs may have a QAM tuner built into it, which should work with your cable system, meaning you'll be able to access any unscrambled digital channels your cable provider is transmitting. You may also be able to get a CableCARD for some of these TVs.
Old 10-07-07, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by matta
Are you telling me that I will now need digital cable boxes for all of my TV's?
I would guess yes, but apparently the cable operators can keep the analog if they want.
Old 10-07-07, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
Since I don't have cable, I'm not exactly up on what they HAVE to do legally, in terms of keeping some analog (til 2012?) and/or continuing to broadcast local HD broadcasts "in the clear" via QAM. There are some requirements, but I'm not the expert.
From:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296694,00.html
"Tuesday's ruling will require cable operators to guarantee analog cable customers will receive broadcast channels until February 2012.....

....cable operators must either convert the [OTA] digital signal to analog at the point where the cable signal originates or supply customers with a 'down converter' device that will change digital signals to analog at the TV set."


The bit about the "down converter device" seem suspect to me, since it doesn't specify whether or not this down converter will be provided free of charge, or will have a rental fee attached. After all, most digital cable boxes right now could be considered an "analog down converter device."

Also, it should be noted that this ruling is only in regards to the "must-carry" local OTA channels; there's no mandate that cable companies keep any cable stations in analog format.

However, I still think OldDude is safe for a while at least. Analog is still an advantage for cable in some ways. For one, it's an advantage over Digital Satellite, which requires a set-top box for every TV. Being able to have additional analog-cable ready TVs receiving basic channels at no additional cost per month is a big advantage for some cable consumers. Also, when OTA goes all-digital, some families may see the advantage of subscribing to analog cable to continue using their old TVs instead of buying converter boxes for all of them.

Last edited by Jay G.; 10-07-07 at 07:10 PM.
Old 10-07-07, 07:22 PM
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Here is the website with all you need to know:

www.dtvtransition.org
Old 10-07-07, 08:28 PM
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Being a cheap SOB, I'll take advantage of the glut of "pre-owned" analog-tuner TV's as they hit the scene. Thrift stores, yard sales recycling centers, landfills will be overflowing with "useless" bigscreens, flatcreens, plasmas, LCD's...DVR's, PVR's, VCR's... all manner of goodies will be tossed aside in favor of newer compatible hardware. Then I'll get some of those convertor thingies. All my TV watching is OTA. Anybody know anything about DTV OTA reception? How does DTV signal transmission distance compare to VHF/UHF transmission distance? That is the only thing I am concerned about. I kinda expect the OTA DTV to be done on the cheap and the broadcast stations will have puny wimpy weak crappy lame signal strength. I live 50+miles from the transimtters but can currently tune in all major networks (abc,cbs,nbc,fox,cw,wb,pbs,+3or4independents).
Old 10-07-07, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jonnyquest
Being a cheap SOB, I'll take advantage of the glut of "pre-owned" analog-tuner TV's as they hit the scene. Thrift stores, yard sales recycling centers, landfills will be overflowing with "useless" bigscreens, flatcreens, plasmas, LCD's...DVR's, PVR's, VCR's... all manner of goodies will be tossed aside in favor of newer compatible hardware. Then I'll get some of those convertor thingies. All my TV watching is OTA. Anybody know anything about DTV OTA reception? How does DTV signal transmission distance compare to VHF/UHF transmission distance? That is the only thing I am concerned about. I kinda expect the OTA DTV to be done on the cheap and the broadcast stations will have puny wimpy weak crappy lame signal strength. I live 50+miles from the transimtters but can currently tune in all major networks (abc,cbs,nbc,fox,cw,wb,pbs,+3or4independents).
The Federal "coupon" program will only help subsidize the cost of two converters. Any more, you are on your own. But in using a box and analog tv, you are missing the best part, HDTV. The price of HDTV is dropping rapidly (up to about 32" - 37" especially).

The maximum permitted power for digital channels is 1/5 max. analog power in the same band (vhf-lo, vhf-hi, and uhf each have their own limits). At that (reduced) power, range is "roughly" the same, but when it goes, it goes all at once, it doesn't gradually fade away. In Metro Detroit, everyone seems to use max power now (not originally)


50 miles is going to take a pretty good (outdoor) antenna, but it can be done. Check out AVS forum, they have a reception subforum you will find helpful.
Old 10-07-07, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay G.
From:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296694,00.html
"Tuesday's ruling will require cable operators to guarantee analog cable customers will receive broadcast channels until February 2012.....

....cable operators must either convert the [OTA] digital signal to analog at the point where the cable signal originates or supply customers with a 'down converter' device that will change digital signals to analog at the TV set."


The bit about the "down converter device" seem suspect to me, since it doesn't specify whether or not this down converter will be provided free of charge, or will have a rental fee attached. After all, most digital cable boxes right now could be considered an "analog down converter device."

Also, it should be noted that this ruling is only in regards to the "must-carry" local OTA channels; there's no mandate that cable companies keep any cable stations in analog format.

However, I still think OldDude is safe for a while at least. Analog is still an advantage for cable in some ways. For one, it's an advantage over Digital Satellite, which requires a set-top box for every TV. Being able to have additional analog-cable ready TVs receiving basic channels at no additional cost per month is a big advantage for some cable consumers. Also, when OTA goes all-digital, some families may see the advantage of subscribing to analog cable to continue using their old TVs instead of buying converter boxes for all of them.

Also a disadvantage, satellite gets to run the 100% digital commercials :unlike cable" even though it is a mandate by the gov't the cable HAS to carry analog.

I had to anwser that question a thousand damn times when I was running cable...
Old 10-07-07, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
Check out AVS forum, they have a reception subforum you will find helpful.
What/where is AVS forum?
Old 10-08-07, 02:08 AM
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Let my TV set go dark...why isn't that an option?

Seriously....I really could careless if I didn't have TV. I lived without TV for much of the 90's while I was in college and living on a limited budget, and I could do it much more easily now because I have all my DVDs to keep me entertained.

If AT$T's U-Verse is rolled out in my area by then, I will probably go with them. If not, and Co**suck Cable is still charging outrageous prices to go digital, then I am completely done with TV for the time being. I really, really could careless.

I just don't see TV as a necessity and an important monthly expense to carry anymore. My main issue with cable TV is that the channels I used to love to watch all seem to be carbon copies of each other now.
Old 10-08-07, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
It doesn't affect cable at all. Cable providers have been dropping the analog tier, but that has nothing to do with this ruling.
Which is one of the main reasons I just don't want to mess around with cable any more and let my TV go dark. Co**suck Cable started doing that and I called them to ask why. They said they were moving more channels to the digital package because it was cheaper for them. Then why charge me out the ass for digital cable? I guess it's a perceived quality thing, or some dumbass thing like that that people tell themselves to make them feel better about bending over and taking it each month from the cable companies, but I can't bring myself to fall for it.
Old 10-08-07, 07:45 AM
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I don't know how much digital cable is in your area, but I pay $40 a month for it. Doesn't seem unreasonable to me.
Old 10-08-07, 07:52 AM
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The only TV I actually use is completely ready for the transition, so I guess I can't answer the poll.
Old 10-08-07, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jonnyquest
What/where is AVS forum?
Google is your friend. It is a whole other forum. I don't believe I am allowed to post a link here as it is a competitor.
Old 10-08-07, 11:23 AM
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The newest TV I own is a Sony Trinitron from 1995.

I have DishNetwork so I doubt I will be affected.
Old 01-01-08, 12:48 PM
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Coupons available starting Jan 1st 2008:


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071231/...f59Uvt_LIDW7oF[

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