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'[OT]: DTV penetration. Anyone here watching?'
2002\12\31@005935 by Robert Rolf

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A conversion to fully digital broadcast television (DTV) was mandated by the
US FCC, but nobody seems to be watching. Does anyone here actually HAVE a
DTV set? Do you watch DTV? DTV is the reason many prime time programs
now appear 'letter boxed' (it makes the format conversion more direct. e.g.
no 'pan and scan').

What's your impression of this forced conversion?
How is the conversion in the EC progressing?

Just because it's 'digital' doesn't make it 'good'.

Robert (safely insulated from DTV in Canada).

http://editorial1.industryclick.com/microsites/index.asp?srid=11266&pageid=6068&siteid=15&magazineid=158&srtype=1#nab

The NAB said last week that 692 TV stations are now broadcasting in DTV.
Yet, according to the DTV transition law handed down in 1996, approximately
1,288 commercial stations were supposed to begin broadcasting in digital
on May 1, 2002. For a myriad of reasons, 596 stations have not complied.
The FCC has threatened to fine these lagging stations, but thus far no
such action has been taken.
...

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2002\12\31@053724 by Andy Kunz

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>The FCC has threatened to fine these lagging stations, but thus far no
>such action has been taken.

They won't as long as the economy is stagnant.  Consumers don't have the
money to buy the sets (which, incidentally, they are also mandating by
requiring digital transmissions), stations don't have the advertising
revenue to pay the fines, etc.

The FCC, despite claims to the contrary, is actually one of the few
"reasonable" government agencies.

Andy

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2002\12\31@115933 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 10:56 PM 12/30/02 -0700, you wrote:
>A conversion to fully digital broadcast television (DTV) was mandated by the
>US FCC, but nobody seems to be watching. Does anyone here actually HAVE a
>DTV set? Do you watch DTV? DTV is the reason many prime time programs
>now appear 'letter boxed' (it makes the format conversion more direct. e.g.
>no 'pan and scan').
>
>What's your impression of this forced conversion?
>How is the conversion in the EC progressing?
>
>Just because it's 'digital' doesn't make it 'good'.
>
>Robert (safely insulated from DTV in Canada).

I think you mean DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) as digital television
itself is doing fairly well, from what I can tell. You probably can get it
from your cable  provider, or from Bell Expressvu or other digital satellite
providers even in the most remote area. The US has a rather lower cable
penetration than Canada, so DTT is more important there.

The presence of large numbers of wide-format televisions at Best Buy etc.
indicates to me that it's at least on the cusp of a mass market. My
neighbors have had it for a year or so, but not the HDTV option.

Here's a report on the state of DTT world-wide:

http://www.screendigest.com/yp_00-03.htm

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
speffspamKILLspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

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2002\12\31@122448 by Jim Korman

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Spehro Pefhany wrote:

{Quote hidden}

If and when the 27" JVC dies I might think about it. I've seen all those new
sets at Best Buy, Sears, etc. But I've also talked to the sales folks;
the sets
aren't moving. Notice that DVDs are selling, big time! I don't think
that its just
the technology (so what!), most of the content sucks. Just can't see where
digital makes "Survivor" get any better: broadcast dead air!?   :-)

Jim

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2002\12\31@124300 by Robert Rolf

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Andy Kunz wrote:
>
> >The FCC has threatened to fine these lagging stations, but thus far no
> >such action has been taken.
>
> They won't as long as the economy is stagnant.  Consumers don't have the
> money to buy the sets (which, incidentally, they are also mandating by
> requiring digital transmissions), stations don't have the advertising
> revenue to pay the fines, etc.
>
> The FCC, despite claims to the contrary, is actually one of the few
> "reasonable" government agencies.

From what an editorial in Broadcast Engineering had to say,
that 'reasonable'ness has more to do with the public outcry that
would be expected if the analog signal went away in 2006, leaving 100's of
millions without TV.

Many stations that are broadcasting DTV do so with the lowest power
they can (250W) and with only transcoded analog sources.
Why waste the power or $ when no one is watching, particularly
in more rural/small town areas.

The FCC also mandated an inferior transmission encoding method, which
has proven to be more problematic than expected (so what else is new?).

At least the EC is using COFDM (orthogonal freq div multiplex)
which is much more immune to multipath (big City) problems.

Somehow I just don't see there being a 'killer application' that
would get me to buy into DTV, particularly when the content is
so poor. With digital satellite and cable, why bother with broadcast?

As Carl Sagan pointed out, any sufficiently advanced civilization
stops sending out radio signals when it moves to more efficient
communications media (physical layer). We obviously have quite a ways
to go yet.

Robert

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2002\12\31@125125 by Tom Messenger

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In as much as digital tv is supposed to be a move in the direction of
better quality of experience for the user, I put my knowledge and
experience to work to go even beyond "dtv". My set provides better quality
now than dtv will ever bring.

Using my diagonal cutters, being sure to remove the plug from the outlet
first, I carefully cut off the plug from the power cord.  Result: perfect tv.

Tom M.

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'[OT]: DTV penetration. Anyone here watching?'
2003\01\01@073648 by Philip Pemberton
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Chris Hunter wrote:
> We have several digital services (terrestrial, satellite and cable)
> here in the UK.  The conversion to digital has resulted in poor
> picture quality as the broadcasters try to squeeze every last bit of
> bandwidth out of their system - some channels are unwatchable.
I agree with you there - Sky (aka BSkyB) are pushing the satellites to the
limit. The picture quality is crap, the TV shows they're wasting their money
on are crap. Oh, and the subscription cost has gone up by £10 per year. At
the current subscription price, I could buy a new DVD every month. That's
how bad things are getting.
Sure, we've got 300 channels, but all of them are basically repeating shows
that the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 aired months, maybe years ago.
We're talking things like "Only Fools and Horses", "The Bill", etc. Sky
claim to be unable to air the latest Star Trek series ("Enterprise") until
October, not that I think that particular series is any good anyway (Voyager
and ST: TNG were far better). *sigh*
[RANT MODE OFF]

> We have gone from 5 terrestrial channels to about 150 digital
> channels in the last few years.  The quantity has radically
> increased, but the quality of programming and technical standards
> have plummetted.....
I agree - I've had to repair the Digibox's power supply just to keep it
picking up a signal - two hours' work... And it looks like the LNB is
suffering from water entering the casing - and this system is only 18 months
old!

Later.
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Phil.
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