DTV: Article predicting a mess in February 2009

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#1
The following highlights are from this article (at edn.com): Digital TV, now everyone sees it’s a mess - Anablog - Blog on EDN - 1700000170 written by Paul Rako.

In reference to the broadcasting standard picked for DTV,
It took something like 20 years to come up with standard, in a large part because all the multinational companies had to keep fighting to get their patents woven into the standard so they can reap licensees.
On rural DTV recepion,
People in fringe rural areas or multipath urban areas will need an external high-gain antenna on a rotator. And it has to be mounted way up high, even if they live in a condo or apartment. The cable and satellite people love this disaster since they know a lot of people will just give up and sign up for cable and satellite.
On cable companies and removing channels from their basic cable service,
...you cable people get to be screwed, too, however you should be used to it if you have been paying for cable all these years. See, cable companies want to move your local channels off the analog band on the cable to a digital band. They will call it an upgrade and then charge you more. This is a completely separate shafting than digital TV.
The more email, street talk, and news stories I see, the more I'm beginning to think we're headed towards a disasterous digital transition in February.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#2
Seems like that blogger is full of a bit too much gloom and doom

Quote:
People in fringe rural areas or multipath urban areas will need an external high-gain antenna on a rotator. And it has to be mounted way up high, even if they live in a condo or apartment.

How is this any different than with analog signals? I live within six or so miles from six different transmitting towers (all from the same direction) and have had no problems with multipath signals since I went to digital. At the same time I can receive crystal clear channels from most Cincinnati stations (about 45 miles away) which is something I could never do with analog. My antenna set up is very modest too consisting of a 20 year old 2-bay bow tie antenna from Radio Shack mounted in the attic above the second floor, rg-6 coax and a cheap run of the mill 10db distribution amp that feeds three tv's thru a 3-way splitter.

Quote:
The cable and satellite people love this disaster since they know a lot of people will just give up and sign up for cable and satellite.

No one should be surprised to see cable companies get an initial boost of customers from the analog to digital change over, but I believe the cable companies will lose customers in the long (maybe short) run. Once cable customers start to see just how beautiful free ota digital tv looks, they'll be leaving their pay to view services in droves. Least that's what I think. Could be wrong. :)

Not quoted by Jay but also from the article...

Quote:
Allowing broadcasters to put out 5 channels in the same bandwidth as a single analog channel used to occupy was one of the key ways the FCC sold the TV stations on the whole digital TV scheme. Who would not want 5 stations where you used to have one? The FCC and all the multinational corporations that were trying to get their patents into the scheme did not mentioned that when you broadcast 5 stations at once the quality of the pictures is horrible. My friend calls it blockified, like a crappy jpeg from the Internet.

Maybe it's that way where the blogger lives but it's not that way around here. Channel 16 (PBS) and channel 43 (Trinity) each broadcast on 5 different stations and everyone of them is picture perfect. Far and away better than anything you'll pick up on cable tv. Having five subchannels may hurt the quality of the stations HD picture but it sure doesn't cause any of the other channels to look "horrible" or "blockified"
as the blogger stated.
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#3
Allowing broadcasters to put out 5 channels in the same bandwidth as a single analog channel used to occupy was one of the key ways the FCC sold the TV stations on the whole digital TV scheme. Who would not want 5 stations where you used to have one? The FCC and all the multinational corporations that were trying to get their patents into the scheme did not mentioned that when you broadcast 5 stations at once the quality of the pictures is horrible. My friend calls it blockified, like a crappy jpeg from the Internet.

Maybe it's that way where the blogger lives but it's not that way around here. Channel 16 (PBS) and channel 43 (Trinity) each broadcast on 5 different stations and everyone of them is picture perfect. Far and away better than anything you'll pick up on cable tv. Having five subchannels may hurt the quality of the stations HD picture but it sure doesn't cause any of the other channels to look "horrible" or "blockified"
as the blogger stated.
Yeah, I thought that part was a little much. The only blockified picture that I've ever received was due in part by bad signal reception on lower frequency channels, and at this time here in Arizona, PBS is the only OTA station broadcasting 3 subchannels.

I hope for the sake of digital transitioners with a lack of technical know-how that the gloomy dtv reception predictions are off.
 
#4
I'm predicting that the next administration is going to postpone the digital transition. Too many people with too many reception problems right now.
 
#5
They can get rid of the reception range problems if they make broadcasters transmit at a higher power.

Right now analog is at full power, digital is not, after they shut down analog, whats stopping them from going full power on DTV?

WFXT in my area recieved complaints because their analog antenna got severly damaged from a snow storm last month, and now, they are forced to send out at limited power. They don't wanna spend money to fix the analog antenna because they will be going digital next month anyway.

I knew something was wrong, because I live 30 miles away and I would be able to pick it up on my analog tv with a piece of wire, but now, it's completely gone. In august, their DTV setup will be completelt finished.

But anyways, all that needs to be done is a power increase.
 
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