Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > TV Talk
Reload this Page >

Is DirecTV's $10 a month a moot point after February?

TV Talk Talk about Shows on TV

Is DirecTV's $10 a month a moot point after February?

Old 07-31-08, 06:44 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
GatorDeb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: The "Real" Vice City
Posts: 16,934
Received 88 Likes on 61 Posts
Is DirecTV's $10 a month a moot point after February?

DirecTV charges $10 a month for digital channels, like USA (i.e. Burn Notice). If your package includes the channel you have to pay the $10 to view it in HD, so it's not a digital channel package per se, even the Choice package includes HD channels that you can get in SD if you don't pay the $10.

What do you think will happen when everything goes digital on February?
Old 07-31-08, 06:49 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 127,848
Received 384 Likes on 314 Posts
All their channels are digital already. The $10/mo is for High Def channels. The digital conversion in 2009 doesn't effect DirecTV whatsoever.
Old 07-31-08, 06:57 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
GatorDeb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: The "Real" Vice City
Posts: 16,934
Received 88 Likes on 61 Posts
What's the difference between digital and HD in terms of quality?
Old 07-31-08, 07:01 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 127,848
Received 384 Likes on 314 Posts
You seem to be confused. SD is not necessarily analog. The SD you see on DirecTV is a digital transmission. The HD you see is a digital and High Defintion transmission - 720p or 1080i depending on the channel.
Old 07-31-08, 07:04 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
GatorDeb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: The "Real" Vice City
Posts: 16,934
Received 88 Likes on 61 Posts
I thought starting in February all locals channels had to be broadcast in HD for free at least? i.e. if you have an HD antenna and you live close to the towers you could get 10-20 free HD channels.
Old 07-31-08, 07:11 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
RoboDad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A far green country
Posts: 5,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Digital doesn't imply any specific image resolution, just that the signal isn't transmitted via any analog medium. Every image you see on the Internet is "digital", even a tiny, nearly unrecognizable thumbnail image on eBay.

The same concept applies to satellite TV transmissions (DirecTV and Dish Network). They are all digital, but unless they are designated as HD, then they are usually broadcast at lower-than-DVD resolution, and they may be so heavily compressed that they lose even more definition and detail.

Now, to answer your original question, it is unclear what may happen in the future regarding the premium fees we pay to the satellite services for "HD" programming. If the day comes when most or all of the so-called cable networks (such as USA) are ONLY broadcasting in HD, then it seems unlikely that there could be a premium fee charged for them. Unless, of course, the satellite providers choose to be deceptive, and offer a down-converted version of the networks, and continue to offer the HD versions at a premium cost.

However, when or if the cable networks will choose to go HD-only is not in any way tied to the FCC-mandated digital broadcast change coming next year. That change only applies to over-the-air television stations converting from analog to digital broadcasts, not cable networks.
Old 07-31-08, 07:12 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 127,848
Received 384 Likes on 314 Posts
All local channels have to be broadcast in digital at that point. That doesn't necessarily mean HD. HD is not the same thing as digital.
Old 07-31-08, 07:13 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SnogBox
Posts: 8,005
Received 76 Likes on 54 Posts
Digital does not equal HD. For example, OTA I currently receive 3 ABC channels: HD, Aux Weather, and SD. All are digital, but not all are HD. The mandate in February 2009 is for digital transmission, not HD. They are not synonymous.
Old 07-31-08, 08:14 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Formerly known as Groucho AND Bandoman/Death Moans, Iowa
Posts: 18,121
Received 306 Likes on 217 Posts
Digital isn't HD, just in case no one has said it yet.
Old 08-01-08, 12:08 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 2,285
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
20 over the air channels ?? Most I ever could get was 8, and that was from 2 major and 1 minor metro area !
Old 08-01-08, 04:09 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,612
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Off topic question:

Is digital HD?
Old 08-01-08, 07:52 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Michael Corvin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 61,878
Received 677 Likes on 479 Posts
All dophins are whales but not all whales are dolphins.
Old 08-01-08, 09:40 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Ytown, Ohio
Posts: 5,210
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There also is no such thing as an "HD" antenna.. That's just fluff / gimic / marketing.. A regular antenna picks up HD OTA transmissions..

And the 20 OTA channels? It all depends on where you live and what your surroundings are.. I only get 4 (along w/ their sub channels).
Old 08-01-08, 09:43 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 127,848
Received 384 Likes on 314 Posts
At my old apartment, I was pretty high up, so I pulled in all the affiliates from Baltimore and Washington so 20 is certainly doable, particularly if you count the subchannels as separate.
Old 08-01-08, 11:17 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Docking Bay 94
Posts: 14,259
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Wow... there's going to be mass chaos in February if there's still confusion on this level. Ha.


(I didn't see anyone mention it -- but digital and HD are two different things.)
Old 08-01-08, 11:38 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 127,848
Received 384 Likes on 314 Posts
Originally Posted by bboisvert
Wow... there's going to be mass chaos in February if there's still confusion on this level. Ha.


(I didn't see anyone mention it -- but digital and HD are two different things.)

Yeah - my mom has cable, saw the commercials or a news article and asked me if she needed to do anything. I assume there are a lot of people (particuarly older people) out there who haven't even paid a second of attention to any commercials or notices on the subject.
Old 08-01-08, 01:56 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Docking Bay 94
Posts: 14,259
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
I was trying to explain to an... older somebody how the tiny portable TV he had would flat-out stop working in Feb. There's no inputs, no way to attach any sort of digital anything. I will cease to pick up stations in Feb.

I thought I was pretty clear, kept all jargon out of the conversation, etc... but it was crystal clear that it wasn't sinking in. He's been using that set for 15 years and expects to be using it for 15 more. He's going to be shocked/upset/dismayed in 2009 and there doesn't seem to be anything that anyone can do to fix that.
Old 08-01-08, 02:34 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bboisvert
the tiny portable TV he had would flat-out stop working in Feb. There's no inputs, no way to attach any sort of digital anything.
If the portable TV has a external antenna input (practically all of them do), he can connect a digital convertor box to the external antenna input, tune the TV to channel 3, and he's in business. He'll need an antenna to connect to the digital convertor box.
Old 08-01-08, 03:00 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 40,104
Received 1,296 Likes on 1,013 Posts
Originally Posted by jonnyquest
If the portable TV has a external antenna input (practically all of them do), he can connect a digital convertor box to the external antenna input, tune the TV to channel 3, and he's in business. He'll need an antenna to connect to the digital convertor box.
Kinda makes it non-portable though, doesn't it?

I wonder about all of those car-installed tvs now...
Old 08-01-08, 03:36 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fujishig
Kinda makes it non-portable though, doesn't it?
I wonder about all of those car-installed tvs now...
I was addressing the 'no way to connect' aspect of of bboisvert's post.
The post expressed no concern regarding portable operation.

On the "S.O.L." list:
portable TV's used portably
TV-band radios which receive TV audio
car-installed TV's.
Old 08-05-08, 11:44 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 895
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yet ANOTHER question about this...

My parents have cable service, split to multiple tvs in the house. Not every tv has the "digital service" box, so the tvs that don't still get about 30-40 channels, just not the premium ones. All the tvs are "cable ready" (remember when THAT was the big selling point!?!?! lol).
In this situation, will the tvs without a box not work anymore? I was under the understanding that the digital broadcast mandate for February was just for OTA broadcasts, so these tvs would still work...am I correct in this assumption or will they need to get additional digital boxes? Is the feed from the cable companies withOUT the digital service box still a digital signal?
Old 08-06-08, 12:00 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by kramdenfan
I was under the understanding that the digital broadcast mandate for February was just for OTA broadcasts, so these tvs would still work...am I correct in this assumption or will they need to get additional digital boxes?
Yes, your understanding is correct. No need for them to do anything except continue to pay the cable bill.
Old 08-06-08, 04:07 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
RoboDad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A far green country
Posts: 5,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jonnyquest
Yes, your understanding is correct. No need for them to do anything except continue to pay the cable bill.
You are quite right, but this does raise an interesting question. I remember some discussion quite awhile ago about whether or not cable providers would be required to provide an analog signal for some period of time, or whether that decision is being left up to them. Either way, it is certain that no cable provider will be discontinuing their analog service in February.

But what about three or four years down the road, when the market penetration of digital sets has reached a much more significant level than it is today? At that time cable providers will have to weigh the cost of continuing to provide digital-to-analog conversion, versus the revenue received from the shrinking customer base that is still analog-only. If the revenue that is coming in doesn't defray the ongoing cost of the conversion process, I assume that most providers would opt to discontinue analog completely.

Why pay X dollars to provide a service that only generates X-1 dollars in revenue, and cannot grow?
Old 08-06-08, 08:39 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 127,848
Received 384 Likes on 314 Posts
Originally Posted by kramdenfan
My parents have cable service, split to multiple tvs in the house. Not every tv has the "digital service" box, so the tvs that don't still get about 30-40 channels, just not the premium ones. All the tvs are "cable ready" (remember when THAT was the big selling point!?!?! lol).
In this situation, will the tvs without a box not work anymore? I was under the understanding that the digital broadcast mandate for February was just for OTA broadcasts, so these tvs would still work...am I correct in this assumption or will they need to get additional digital boxes? Is the feed from the cable companies withOUT the digital service box still a digital signal?


At some point they probably will, but I think it's up to the cable company - it's separate from this mandate. I know that Comcast is making this transition.
Old 08-06-08, 08:46 AM
  #25  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 19,311
Received 463 Likes on 329 Posts
Originally Posted by RoboDad
You are quite right, but this does raise an interesting question. I remember some discussion quite awhile ago about whether or not cable providers would be required to provide an analog signal for some period of time, or whether that decision is being left up to them.
The FCC is requiring cable companies to support local channels on analog TVs up to at least 2012.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...ntil-2012.html

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.