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digital tv transition '09

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digital tv transition '09

Old 02-18-09, 07:24 PM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

While I think consumers are stupid when it comes to this stuff, the fact that there are 4 million coupons in the backlog is a problem too. The government made a big deal about using the coupons to offset the cost of this switch, so I'd say it's a major failing on their part to not account for all of the people who would be affected.
Old 02-18-09, 09:38 PM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
I don't get it. If he's getting a cable signal, that's going through wires in the ground. The issue here is that signals would stop being sent through the air, so cable is irrelevant. At least, that's my understanding.
That would be correct!

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Old 02-18-09, 10:38 PM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

One positive out of this. I don't have to goto the roof to adjust my antenna in the cold until June.
Old 02-18-09, 10:53 PM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

The backlog isn't an issue. It's just mostly retards trying to get extra ones. Who doesn't know someone tech savy to help them set up their new box.

The whole $40 coupon is bullshit anyway, a person should've been able to use that for a new tv as well or a REAL tuner. The delay is bullshit. Nothing like not having no tv to motivate lazy assholes.
Old 02-18-09, 10:57 PM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

I like how the article said there were customers angry about the "early" switch.

Early? This was the day it was supposed to happen!

All the stations here (which I believe they all changed to digital), had tickers going across the screen all day Feb. 16th and 17th talking about going digital. The only way you would now know they were going digital is if you didn't watch TV *AT ALL* during those days.
Old 02-18-09, 11:16 PM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by hdtv00 View Post
The backlog isn't an issue. It's just mostly retards trying to get extra ones. Who doesn't know someone tech savy to help them set up their new box.

The whole $40 coupon is bullshit anyway, a person should've been able to use that for a new tv as well or a REAL tuner. The delay is bullshit. Nothing like not having no tv to motivate lazy assholes.
Do you have a source for that "mostly" number? Or are you going with your gut?

I work for a television station - we get calls constantly about the switch. Despite what the members of a DVD enthusiast forum think, it's not that easy for some people. Especially those who depend on OTA to receive channels. I'd say they are likely to be the least tech-savvy people around.

I guess I'm just not so quick to blame the public for everything on this one.
Old 02-19-09, 03:17 PM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
Do you have a source for that "mostly" number? Or are you going with your gut?

I work for a television station - we get calls constantly about the switch. Despite what the members of a DVD enthusiast forum think, it's not that easy for some people. Especially those who depend on OTA to receive channels. I'd say they are likely to be the least tech-savvy people around.

I guess I'm just not so quick to blame the public for everything on this one.
What I heard was that the government did too good of a job getting the word out, and alot of the coupons were ordered by people that didnt actually need them.
Old 02-19-09, 06:04 PM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
I don't get it. If he's getting a cable signal, that's going through wires in the ground. The issue here is that signals would stop being sent through the air, so cable is irrelevant. At least, that's my understanding.

Sounds like the cable company decided to go all digital to free up bandwidth for future services. It doesn't really have anything to do with the transition though except for timing.

Just speculation...
Old 02-20-09, 09:01 AM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by klemsaba View Post
Sounds like the cable company decided to go all digital to free up bandwidth for future services. It doesn't really have anything to do with the transition though except for timing.

Just speculation...
AFAIK, they aren't allowed to do that. They can move all the good channels to the digital tier, but they have to keep providing analog.
Old 02-20-09, 09:16 AM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

On the news this morning they talked about a guy that shot his TV because he lost his channels.

Wonder if it was in Florida?
Old 02-20-09, 09:32 AM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by Goldberg74 View Post
On the news this morning they talked about a guy that shot his TV because he lost his channels.

Wonder if it was in Florida?
Forget Florida, we have proof that Elvis is alive!
Old 02-20-09, 10:01 AM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Are there any good review sites for the converter boxes? What I’m looking for is a good but relatively compact converter box. Until last Tuesday I got my locals with a roof-top UHF antenna. I did sign up for my locals through Dish Network, but I will need a converter box for my locals on a couple of my TVs plus my wife records a ton of stuff on our DVR and I can’t be watching locals while her shows are recording (though if I had a converter I could switch to the given channel).

I would not need a converter box that also processes analog, it’s all digital in my area now except for a couple odd-ball stations that I don’t care about.

And I do have coupons, they expire in early May. For what it's worth I think the coupons were a bad idea - they are just creating an artificial price for the converter boxes. Once all of the coupons expire I expect to see converter boxes selling in the $10 to $15 range.
Old 02-20-09, 10:42 AM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
AFAIK, they aren't allowed to do that. They can move all the good channels to the digital tier, but they have to keep providing analog.
Cable companies have to "support" analog TVs, either by broadcasting locals via analog, or by supplying converter boxes themselves, until 2012.

However, TomOpus mentioned that the coworker uses a "small local cable company." The FCC allows small operators (with a capacity of 552MHz or less) to request a waiver from the must-carry rules.

http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2...until-2012.ars

TomOpus didn't mention what service the cable operator provides. It could be that it simply relays OTA signals via cable, which is what cable service was in the US for its first 24 years of existence, hence the acronym CATV (Community Antenna Television).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_t..._United_States
Old 02-20-09, 03:17 PM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by Heat View Post
Are there any good review sites for the converter boxes? What Iím looking for is a good but relatively compact converter box. Until last Tuesday I got my locals with a roof-top UHF antenna. I did sign up for my locals through Dish Network, but I will need a converter box for my locals on a couple of my TVs plus my wife records a ton of stuff on our DVR and I canít be watching locals while her shows are recording (though if I had a converter I could switch to the given channel).

I would not need a converter box that also processes analog, itís all digital in my area now except for a couple odd-ball stations that I donít care about.

And I do have coupons, they expire in early May. For what it's worth I think the coupons were a bad idea - they are just creating an artificial price for the converter boxes. Once all of the coupons expire I expect to see converter boxes selling in the $10 to $15 range.
AVS Forum is mostly about HD, but they added a subforum about coupon-eligible converter boxes.

They don't all perform equally so I'd look at performance. Differences in size aren't much. You may also want to look at particular features you need. The high feature ones generally aren't the high performance ones though.

I chose the Zenith DTT901 because it handles multipath well. Both my HDTVs have trouble with multipath. The Zenith is only SD and feeds an analog tv, but I am stunned by how well it handles multipath; it is just rock-solid. If there were an HD version of the same tuner, I'd buy a couple as preprocessors for my HDTVs, even though they have (crappy?) internal tuners.

The other one that has a LOT of votes as best is Channelmaster 7000.
Old 02-21-09, 12:48 AM
  #190  
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Thanks for the heads up, I'll be doing some reading of that forum:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=186

What does multipath mean with regard to converter boxes?
Old 02-21-09, 08:59 AM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by Heat View Post
Thanks for the heads up, I'll be doing some reading of that forum:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=186

What does multipath mean with regard to converter boxes?
Simple answer: Bad reception even though signal strength is good. Picture cuts in and out or has large blocks of pixellation.

Multipath is when you receive both a straight line signal and reflected ones. Metal structures, airplanes, moving tree branches may cause multipath. On analog tv, it causes ghosts and "flutter" or varying signal strength of both audio and video.

Digital has some error correction, but when it can't correct any more, it turns very crappy, very fast. Picture or sound cuts in and out; huge pixel blocks of one color appear on the screen, it shows "weak signal" one second, and then plenty of signal.

Most of the time my reception is ok, but I am on back of a small hill and shooting through some trees. When it is rainy and windy, the moving branches REALLY mess up my reception, even though I am only 8-12 miles from most of the stations.

If you are out in the fringes, 30-40 miles or more, sensitivity (and an impressive antenna) are what you need.

You really need to evaluate your local reeption situation first (AVS research, talk to neighbors who are already digital OTA), then decide which box is best bet.
Old 02-21-09, 09:15 AM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Cable companies have to "support" analog TVs, either by broadcasting locals via analog, or by supplying converter boxes themselves, until 2012.

However, TomOpus mentioned that the coworker uses a "small local cable company." The FCC allows small operators (with a capacity of 552MHz or less) to request a waiver from the must-carry rules.

http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2...until-2012.ars

TomOpus didn't mention what service the cable operator provides. It could be that it simply relays OTA signals via cable, which is what cable service was in the US for its first 24 years of existence, hence the acronym CATV (Community Antenna Television).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_t..._United_States
I only passed on what little info I knew. I could ask her for more info. We were talking in the breakroom and she said she had to run out to get the converter box due her kids' panic attack
Old 02-21-09, 10:47 AM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by zuffy View Post
One positive out of this. I don't have to goto the roof to adjust my antenna in the cold until June.
You will have to adjust your antenna in the cold in June? You live in Alaska?
Old 02-21-09, 11:01 AM
  #194  
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
Do you have a source for that "mostly" number? Or are you going with your gut?

I work for a television station - we get calls constantly about the switch. Despite what the members of a DVD enthusiast forum think, it's not that easy for some people. Especially those who depend on OTA to receive channels. I'd say they are likely to be the least tech-savvy people around.

I guess I'm just not so quick to blame the public for everything on this one.
The media is a bit misleading in some of this as well. In all the talk about getting a converter box, the media often fails to drive home the point people will need a good antenna to pick up the digital channels, and if they don't live in the middle of a large city, this is going to cause most folks to have to buy a rather expensive roof top antenna. Now, if they have been getting OTA reception all along, there is a chance they already have a good one, but I didn't. I live in Kansas City, and I have a cheap old TV in the bedroom to watch the late night talk shows in bed and I don't even need rabbit ears to get get the channels. But when I hooked up my box, I got NOTHING.

I jimmy rigged a cheap antenna for the time being, but I intend to buy a good one, but nobody told me I would have to spring extra money out of my wallet for a new antenna.

The antenna issue is rarely (if ever) discussed by the media in all of this. In fact, one commercial running around here for Time Warner suggests that people are getting rid of their rabbit ears, making it seem like people won't even need them any more after the DTV conversion. Of course, that's to sell Time Warner's service, so naturally they are going to mislead folks.

I can afford a decent antenna...I just need to decide how much I want to spend and find out what the issues would be with my apartment management if I bought one to mount on my balcony. But there are plenty of folks on limited incomes who are lucky they got the coupon for the converter box who are going to have a harder time getting an antenna. And not everybody interested in this box already is watching OTA reception...they may be interested in dumping cable to save money. They are in for a surprise.
Old 03-26-09, 06:32 AM
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Re: digital tv transition '09

Has anyone else had a lot of issues since the changeover, assuming your area went ahead with the original February date?

Prior to the switch, I was able to get the four major networks in OTA HD and four different PBS channels; I was perfectly happy with this, as I don't care to have cable and used to get plenty of enjoyment out of the PBS content. Now that all of the broadcasters here have switched to digital, my TV picks up the presence of two additional weather/news sub-channels, two more PBS channels, and a rebroadcasted CW channel -- problem is, not a single one of them now, including all eight of the original signals I was receiving, comes in strongly enough to be viewable. There's a ton of pixelization, break-up, dropped signals, etc. I've essentially lost all of my channels now that they're in digital; the local NBC station is less than a mile down the road! This is extremely annoying, but I'm not coughing up $40+ a month for cable just so I can watch the morning news and PBS a few nights a week. Ugh.

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