broadcast digital TV

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by rambler, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We can see some digital TV on cable these days, and the main feeds are digital mostly. So most of us have seen the 'blotchy' square frozen effect of bad digital TV, and the sound & pic totally disband from each other. Actually a bad feed becomes totally unwatchable.....

    Our analog broadcast (antenna) signals would get snowy out on the fringes. But, it was watchable.

    What happens with the coming digital antenna broadcasts? Will they be totally unwatchable out in the boonies?

    It's like AM & FM radio. Sure the FM is much clearer - if you are within 40-60 miles of the station. The AM is understandable for 100's of miles most of the time tho.

    With digital TV basically cut off broadcast TV? I'm sure that was not given much thought buy the folks that set such policy.

    --->Paul
     
  2. gspig

    gspig Well-Known Member

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    The folks that set the policy are urban dwellers that can afford to buy $1000 TV's like they were burned out light bulbs.
     

  3. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    I don't see the loss of broadcast analog television as being that big a loss. If rural broadcast TV dies, then the poorer rurral individuals will probably no longer watch much television. In such areas, community owned TVs and satelite dishes might become the norm. In which sase, television watching might become more of a social event at the local community center/church/fire hall/etc.
     
  4. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Those squares are pixelization and yes thats what you get with digital data.

    Digital tv will actually be better. The digital data being sent ocupies less bandwith of a tv signal so the power is being used more effectvie to send the data. Digital should get you as good if not better signal stregnth on a singnal. Now if you get a very snowy pictue you may not have enough signal for digital, but if you have a usable singal then digital should be better.

    BAD example, THE AM/FM distance issue has nothing to do with AM/FM but freq. If you modulated an AM signal on the same Frequency as your local FM radio station it would magicly go a hundred miles. Same thing for FM modulating your local AM station it wouldnt stop going 100 miles.


    BROADCAST TV IS the Same thig as digital TV. Only the way information is sent change.
     
  5. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    The new standard is a long time coming and the sooner it gets here the better. The picture is sooooo much better than the old standard. Should have been done years ago. If you are on the fringe then you might need to get a better antenna. With the right antenna you can pull in signals from quite a distance.

    I will add that even the poorest folks around here seem to be able to find the money for satellite tv. Even the most dilapidated shacks have dish hanging off of them.
     
  6. LvDemWings

    LvDemWings Well-Known Member

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    What worries me about the change over to digital is that we will need a converter box to change the digital signal over to analog for older style tv's that are not HD ready. This converter box requires electric to work. I have a small TV that is both 110 and 12v and plugs into my cars cigaratte lighter if I lost power. I will no longer be able to use this tv in an emergency when I would need the information the most.

    Hopefully, after all that has happened in Louisiana/Texas, someone will come up with a gizmo that will convert that signal without needing additional power. Think rabbit ears meets the 21st centruy.
     
  7. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    Eventually, yes, the same way it worked with the old 13 channel TVs. There came a day when the FCC said that those could no longer be sold. I don't recall the date, and it's really still subject to some debate, but the plan is for a cutoff of analog broadcast TV.

    The whole thing wasn't given much thought. The technical specs are a politicized compromise, and are not thought highly of by technical folks. I subscribe to a newsletter for broadcast engineers, and the discussion of the many shortcomings of DTV has been going on for some years. Also the discussion of the way the specs were arrived at. It was NOT the old, technically driven process of standards setting. It was rammed through for political reasons.
     
  8. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Yeah like NTSC wasn't? It was a political compromise too and was crap on the technical side from what I've been told. Like the old joke says "NTSC stands for Never The Same Color". I'm going from what I've been told by more knowledgeable folks. The actual technical aspects are a bit above my head and I haven't had the inclination to really dive into them.

    Suffice it to say I've seen the new HDTV broadcasts and they are orders of magnitude better than the old NTSC standard. Could there have been a better standard? Absolutely, but considering you are trying to make accountants, corporations, technical folks and the government all work together there is no way you're gonna get what is best. You're gonna get something better than what was but not as good as it could be. It is better than it was and I suppose that is all we can really expect given the players involved.
     
  9. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    It's great when it's great. It's garbage when it's not great. There's not much in between.

    And it's garbage a lot more than it's great, especially in fringe areas. Oh, and the fringe areas are a lot bigger than they used to be. If you were solid before, you might be iffy with DTV. If you were iffy before, you are out of luck.


    Other than those minor details, it's a big improvement. :bash:
     
  10. lonewolf

    lonewolf Well-Known Member

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    I have one question about this HDTV situation. Will HDTV improve the quality of programing being broadcast to us? I mean, so you have a sharper, richer image on the screen, but if the program is garbage, I see no real reason to upgrade the technology.

    Unless I want to watch a movie I don't use my TV for much besides occasional local news and a science fiction series episode or two each week. With a DVD on my current small TV I have all the high definition that I need.

    Unless they figure out how to produce better programs to watch in the first place, I have no reason to watch TV, HD or regular.

    I suppose next they will decide to make HDFM or HDAM radio stations. Yep, that would be wonderful. Might as well make useless all of the existing radio receivers too. :(
     
  11. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yup - XM radio, from the satilite. Subscription only. Will be only time until 'free' radio won't be around much either.

    I see this all as an end to 'free' transmission of signals. Perhaps I didn't word my original question correctly. I understand the new digital picture & the bandwidth issues make it 'better', but i'm thinking we will no longer have 'free' broadcast (antenna) networks any more. Everything will be pay per view - or at least pay by month.

    I can watch snowy TV stations where the reception isn't the best. Can't watch a digital channel when it starts squaring out and the sound drops out. Worthless.

    About like trying to talk to someone on a cell phone. Miserable. Even tho I'm sure the technology behind it is much better.....

    --->Paul
     
  12. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Well-Known Member

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    At the committee hearings a few months ago, they were talking about outlawing the the analog TV's being sold by the end of this year, but don't know if they ever finalized that. They said it would add $200 to the price of TVs. They were also talking about how they could subsidize digital converters for the poor. I have to go out and get a 13 inch as mine in the kitchen is 20 years old and I have cable and don't need to pay $250 for one when they make them all digital. The reason they are going to digital over the air is to free up bandwidth for first responders so they say.
     
  13. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    If TV goes to a pay per view system then we would not have any need for commericals would we? I see no sense in purchasing commericals. What will happen to those sales people, the commerical makers, the artist, the music people, ect?
     
  14. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    BINGO!

    :D





    Yes, that's coming too. The first round in that is something called IBOC, and it is a technical disaster. But it's coming anyway. During the Clinton years, the FCC turned away from being primarily interested in the technical aspects of new technologies, and became focused on making money for the government (spectrum auctions) and social engineering. The change is not a good one.

    Expect that to continue.
     
  15. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    About two 1/2 years ago we were living in a suburb paying lots of cable tv. We looked at our yearly cost and about fainted and cancelled it. We instead bought a digital receiver (hooked up to our tv) and antenna (put that in the attic) and received about 28 channels for free (lots of pbs channels). The digital picture was better than cable! Our tv was HD ready so when some shows are broadcast in that it's unbelievable - heck we even started watching football because the pic was so good.

    We moved rural 3 months ago. We get about 12 stations for free. Picture is great. Hubby is still adjusting to get more.

    If you need more info about that pm me and i'll let him explain because he's the engineer!
     
  16. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is a VERY BIG misconception. People confuse digital TV with HIGH DEF TV (HDTV). THe switch from analog to digital DOES NOT require a TV station to move to high def, but most are. A station broadcasting digital and analog will have the same quality (resolution) picture.

    Some TV stations (PBS mainly) are spliting there HDTV signal into several low def channels. OUr local PBS station is sending out 4 lowdef digital signals during the day, they have differnent programming on all channels. At night when they go to network programming the go single channel HDTV. Some stations are doing the same thing with football, show all games instead of 1 in HDEF
     
  17. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Boy is that ever the truth!
     
  18. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Dont you remember the hype for cable?Since youre paying for it,NO COMMERCIALS!
    You have noticed that cable doesnt have commercials? :p
     
  19. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well This is the big problem quality of the signal will be much better, quality of the programming doesnt change. PBS does however have a fantastic HD and programs are better, SPorts in HD is very good, (not worth the $1000 upgrade cost for me) but adds a new demision to sports, Movies can be better if sent via HD. Again A digital TV signal doesnt mean HD if the conetent isnt HD.
     
  20. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I think that once folks get a taste of HD the networks simply won't be able to get away with not running everything in HD. I watched some football in HD recently and it made analog look like a pile of puke.

    It was a mistake not to require the broadcasters to switch over to all HD all the time. Hopefully the market will take care of that aspect. Oh and speaking of aspect 4:3 sux. ;)