Will Mobile DTV survive in this economy?

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#1
Just curious what everyone else thinks. I know that the ATSC-MPH standard is free but is there really a need to have capability built into telephones for watching TV? If I need TV, I watch YouTube videos over my Iphone. So easy, plus I can choose what I want to watch. Can't quite do that with mobile DTV from what I understand, there's channels to choose from, but it's not a direct stream that you can do this with, right? Anyway, I'm taking bets, you guys think it's going to last?
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#2
I think it's a jumping step to Captain Kirk's century. Do I believe it's necessary? No, it's indulgent. Most of the iPHone and other smart phones are toys, not necessities, and they pull people away from other things. While I say that, it's just a bridge to what comes next, when a tricorder and whatever those slim report packs are called that the yeomens walk around give us all we need.
 

Mockingbird

DTVUSA Member
#3
I think that we will see mor portable and less in home. What remains in home will be more geared toward a cinema type experience. Large screens and comfort. Information and entertainment on the go are here to stay
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#4
I agree with Mockingbird. It's now something of a fad, that has morphed already into a trend that will finally become the way things are.

If MPH itself survives will depend on which devices are available to use it. How well it works. Lets say new phones will include it (that alone is a big if). Then if you are near the towers it will be fine. If you are on the go or want to watch cable only channels then you will pay the $10 a month or so streaming video. But as Aaron points out, why even pay for the cable channels when most with large screen phones have internet and can go to YouTube, Hulu, etc.... Then stream the program they want, not what is on TV.

But that said will it be the pay cable type service on phones that dies? If you have internet and can watch Youtube, etc, why pay for streaming video from cable channels that costs you ever month and might not have the show you want?

In that case MPH might become a better partner on handhelds than streaming cable TV, because the internet sites and MPH are free.

Still I think the single biggest obstacle to MPH will be which devices will have a receiver. I don't believe it will catch on if it requires a separate device. Today consumers want everything in one device.

Will the next I-phone say: "MPH? We have an app for that!"

Then toward the future, the G4 and G5 phones planned for the 700 MHz range (our old UHF channels) will be very close to the UHF TV channels. So it would be less work to build receivers in the phones for at least UHF MPH channels.

Which begs another thought. VHF is not going to work well on MPH, or at least in this Pig's perspective. Now imagine MPH makes a hit. What happens to those stations that ran like poker players to secure an VHF channel? Will they then have to lease bandwidth on a competitor to stream their VHF station on someone's UHF transmitter? To me that would prove to be too ironic, since I am one of the ones that said the FCC let WAY too many stations move to VHF.
 

Eureka

DTVUSA Member
#5
...If I need TV, I watch YouTube videos over my Iphone. So easy, plus I can choose what I want to watch.
But Youtube is not live TV.

... imagine MPH makes a hit. What happens to those stations that ran like poker players to secure an VHF channel?
IIRC, VHF is being left out of mobile trials. It would be practically impossible to have an antenna large enough in a handheld device that would work with VHF. If mobile handheld TV catches on, VHFs are screwed unless they have a sister station they can use to piggback a sub channel on.

I think VHFs are screwed, anyway - at least where weather frequently interferes with solid reception. It's raining/lightning near here right now and our local DTV chs on VHF are a pixelly mess, full of audio dropouts. The UHFs are rock solid.
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#6
True YouTube is not live, but that's kind of a plus in my book because I can select the clips or shows I want to watch. Not saying it's a replacement to live TV, but there are other possibilties that are going to be available in the futue over the phone too for streaming video, news, and movies. The main factor here for me would be getting free TV OTA, but I still can't see myself walking around a mall with my girlfriend, or sitting somewhere in the public watching TV with sound. It's annoying enough when people are on the phone or walking around like zombies trying to text at the same time. It'll be even more of a pain in th rear having to hear what someone's watching on TV.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#7
But Youtube is not live TV.

IIRC, VHF is being left out of mobile trials. It would be practically impossible to have an antenna large enough in a hand held device that would work with VHF. If mobile hand held TV catches on, VHFs are screwed unless they have a sister station they can use to piggback a sub channel on.

I think VHFs are screwed, anyway - at least where weather frequently interferes with solid reception. It's raining/lightning near here right now and our local DTV chs on VHF are a pixelly mess, full of audio dropouts. The UHFs are rock solid.
Youtube not being live though makes a perfect blend for local MPH, but it's also perfect blend for pay TV via cell phones. I still say success will more depend on which devices go on the market to receive it.

I know MPH isn't yet and probably won't be considered for VHF which was what made me chuckle as we just passed the "Hidden Transition" and it's troubles that are still going on those that felt cutting back to VHF was a grand idea.

The reason I chuckle is I am having a horrible experiences with VHF here where I live. At least 2 of the 4 VHFs I have didn't need to move to VHF, they choose it thinking lots of range, small electric bill. 2 of the stations don't have a sister UHF, they are sister VHFs.

Besides lightning, here in the Gulf coast they spaced VHF's too close together. Tampa and Jacksonville FL share 3 VHF channels at 165 miles between farms. Seeing high band 80 miles out is common here back in the analog days, during the day, there most of the time. I used to watch WFTV RF CH9 analog for decades at 81 miles during the day as well. Seldom was it not watchable. At night it was clear. Same with Ch 12 analog out of Jax at 61 miles, that was clear almost all the time.

During our normal night time tropo 80 to 100 mile reception is the norm, not an exception or hot skip night. This leaves a HUGE zone between Tampa and Jacksonville where you can't count on receiving digital. The zone is large enough it extends into their FCC contours on a regular basis at night about a 1/4 to 1/3 of the way in. I bet they didn't count on that happening, if they did, then shame on them.

======

somewhat related Trip did a great post on AVS
The official upcoming final DTV Table Of Allotments/channel change thread - Page 136 - AVS Forum
 
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Piggie

Super Moderator
#8
It's annoying enough when people are on the phone or walking around like zombies trying to text at the same time. It'll be even more of a pain in th rear having to hear what someone's watching on TV.
Think how easy it will be to watch TV driving. Be hard to prove unless you wreck and you know you screwed up, or the officer is on a horse to look down in the car. There are enough wrecks already from texting.

If you think about it driving is getting dangerous. Something like 1 in 10 is drunk, how many are texting? It would be ok with me if they only hurt or killed themselves. That would be natural selection at it's best.
 

Eureka

DTVUSA Member
#10
... I am having a horrible experiences with VHF here where I live. At least 2 of the 4 VHFs I have didn't need to move to VHF, they choose it thinking lots of range, small electric bill. 2 of the stations don't have a sister UHF, they are sister VHFs.

Besides lightning, here in the Gulf coast they spaced VHF's too close together.
VHFs are a PITA here, too. The stations' answer is "put up a big outdoor VHF antenna or sub to a pay service (which they get a cut per viewer from)." I have an outdoor VHF antenna with good gain, but the problems persist.

I bet quite a few VHF stations have lost a lot of casual viewers, using rabbit ear/loops on secondary sets for catching the news/weather in the kitchen, etc. The average rabbit ear viewer just isn't going to bother installing an outdoor antenna for a portable TV, when all their UHFs work fine.
 

O-O

DTVUSA Member
#11
I don't have high expectations for atsc-mph quite yet but that's because I haven't seen a live demo. A lot of it is going to depend on how some of the VHF stations perform too like Piggie referred too.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#12
VHFs are a PITA here, too. The stations' answer is "put up a big outdoor VHF antenna or sub to a pay service (which they get a cut per viewer from)." I have an outdoor VHF antenna with good gain, but the problems persist.

I bet quite a few VHF stations have lost a lot of casual viewers, using rabbit ear/loops on secondary sets for catching the news/weather in the kitchen, etc. The average rabbit ear viewer just isn't going to bother installing an outdoor antenna for a portable TV, when all their UHFs work fine.
I am pretty sure the whole rush to VHF has back fired on their rural viewers at least. I know a few people around the country that are not fringe, can't put up or won't put up an outdoor antenna and just stopped watching the VHFs because it drops out in the middle of a show.

I am sure there are plenty that don't have a VHF problem. Most of it is location, location, location.

My local NBCs in all three directions are VHF. I live inside the supposed FCC contour of WNBW REC Broadcast Query but they only run 470 watts ERP in my direction. I already filed a complaint with the FCC like that is going to do any good, but at least there is one on record.

Oh, I have a pair of YA-1713s with the top one at 30 ft, and the second one 40 inches under it. I exhaustively tried all kinds of distant between the two, and that works best across the VHF band.

Tried 40 inches and it came alive, then went back to one antenna and no doubt I have more gain than a single antenna at this point.

I can turn the beam to Jacksonville and it works fine in the daytime but not at night because of skip.

It totally inhales canal water. I am so sick of it I am ready to give up NBC and not even watch them on satellite. They intentionally left a huge part of their old coverage in the dark. :mad:

So I hope all the VHF's have to suck it up on MPH
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#13
Oh, I have a pair of YA-1713s with the top one at 30 ft, and the second one 40 inches under it. I exhaustively tried all kinds of distant between the two, and that works best across the VHF band.

Tried 40 inches and it came alive, then went back to one antenna and no doubt I have more gain than a single antenna at this point.

I can turn the beam to Jacksonville and it works fine in the daytime but not at night because of skip.

It totally inhales canal water. I am so sick of it I am ready to give up NBC and not even watch them on satellite. They intentionally left a huge part of their old coverage in the dark. :mad:

So I hope all the VHF's have to suck it up on MPH
You know it's bad when Piggie can't pick up a channel. :doh: Especially with a pair of YA-1713s. Have you thought about trying duel 91XGs?
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#14
You know it's bad when Piggie can't pick up a channel. :doh: Especially with a pair of YA-1713s. Have you thought about trying duel 91XGs?
Key word here is VHF. UHF DTV works pretty well and as expected. It's VHF to me that is a total disaster to receive in many situations where UHF would have worked.

91XG is a UHF antenna and would do me no good picking up VHF.

I have good reception pointing west at Gainesville FL on UHF using only a Radio Shack U-75R up 23 ft. About 18 ft is enough to give me LOS to Gainesville, but I like to suggest go 5 ft above LOS is possible.

So I have about the tiniest UHF pointing a Gainesville UHF at 25 to 37 miles to the stations and good results.

Then I have the biggest thing I could erect at 30 ft can't give me reliable VHF to Gainesville at 37 miles, nor to Jacksonville at 61 miles.

Now that said it's not the problem with those stations signal reaching me, it does. The problem is not enough of it can be received all the time to over come impulse noise in the day time, but most of the time daytime is not too bad.

But once night falls, there is so much tropo in Florida its a lost cause. Even last night ch 9 out of Gainesville that granted only runs 0.470 KW ERP was wiped out by some skip. Probably either Sarasota at 160 miles or Panama City at 230 miles. The way tropo normally runs in Florida it's more likely WINK in Sarasota at 444m smoking 69.1 KW

Moreover is the fact that VHF reception is so fragile. It works when there is no noise at all around in the environment. Even worse is it takes very very little interference on the same channel from out of town to wipe it out. Judging back when Tampa still had analogs running, the amount of tropo that wipes out VHF from out of town would not even let the most die hard viewer that watched analog deep in the snow able to follow a program.

The oligarchy's desire for a little money ($19 billion) and lobbyists adding not how much to the campaign coffers, took away channels 52-69. How I wish I had been more aware of this before the 700 MHz auctions occurred, as now they are gone forever and VHF doesn't work very well.
 
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