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US digital terrestial TV a disaster?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Jan Panteltje, Jun 24, 2004.

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  1. **** Post for FREE via your newsreader at ****

    You need to register with the NY times, but it is free.

    A quote:
    "Digital converter boxes are getting better," said Ken Holsgrove,
    an HDTV consultant and an AVS Forum moderator.
    But for customers who expect current over-the-air digital TV to
    work like regular TV, he had some advice:
    "I'd steer clear of it. The technology will not support their expectations."

    end quote

    So, it seems the European system was better after all (multipath).
    You guys in the US got stuck with market protection measures it seems

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  2. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    It's a plot. The cable and satellite companies don't want the
    competition and are out to kill free television.

  3. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hi Paul,
    They might have won over a lot of people already so that I am a bit
    skeptical whether there really is much of a market left for terrestrial
    HDTV or even SDTV. In our neighborhood we are the only ones with an
    antenna as the sole source of TV out of about 20 families that we know
    well. Many have antennas but they use them for local channels, if that.

    Then there is the obvious question: Does mankind need terrestrial HDTV
    or SDTV? For us I can reply with a resounding no. But we aren't typical.
    The ultimate powers to be will be the marketeers. How much added revenue
    does that generate via commercials or other means? If that ain't enough,
    why would anyone want to invest in it? Can they win folks back to
    terrestrial? After seeing how hooked some people are to soap operas that
    you can only see on cable or sat I would think that chance is rather slim.

    Regards, Joerg
  4. No. Its a plot. The major movie studios are attempting to undermine the
    concept of 'fail use' as it applies to broadcast content.

    Or: Its a plot. Various wireless service providers and digital content
    providers (major ISPs) are attempting a grab of the current frequencies
    allocated for broadcast in order to add them to their voice/data
    bandwidth portfolio.
  5. The 5 or 6 channels I get here on LI NY are great. I'm even in the fring area.
    Thats with a WINTV card. Real clean pictures, STV like. Get a Dish and a reciever that has a HDTV tuner and your set.

  6. Mark Maupin

    Mark Maupin Guest

    I'm a newbie, not in electronics, but I really enjoy my 45" Samsung HDTV
    with progressive scan. The scan doubler is unbelievable making regular
    digital TV almost as good as HDTV. But really, the video quaality...which
    varies...on HDTV is breath taking when you have good source material like
    Discovery HD. I submitted a proposal for HDTV to the EIA in 1989 that
    turned out to be close to what we have now.

  7. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hi Mark,

    Agreed, HDTV is nice. I have seen a demo and it is indeed like photo

    I am not at all representative since our TV consumption is maybe an hour
    a day if that. Just the evening news. We even didn't have a TV for eight
    months after a move and kind of forgot about setting one up. What most
    people out here want to see in hi-res is stuff from the video store
    (rented DVDs) and sports. That's usually it. Only the sports part is
    transmitted. And lets face it, after half the poporn and beer has been
    consumed the difference between a regular big screen and HDTV starts to

    At the end of the day it's going to be a marketing game. It is about
    whether and how quickly the investment in licenses and technology
    returns a profit. Europe had its bout with HDTV in the 80's and it
    flunked. But that was analog D-MAC and they are not always as willing as
    we are to shell out enormous amounts of money for TV.

    Regards, Joerg
  8. Fiberman

    Fiberman Guest

    Hi Joerg,

    I only paid $1299 for my 45" Samsung. For what it does, that very cheap.
    It also has a silver molded plastic case which sits on a stand that puts the
    16x9 viewing area at eye level.. I've been very happy with it.


  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Fiberman,
    That seems like a good deal. Still, I won't bite. We paid $250 for a 25"
    TV seven years ago and it's just fine. Then again, as I said before we
    are not the typical consumers when it comes to TV.

    If they start showing movies like "Once upon a time in the West" in 16x9
    hi-res on terrestrial channels I might be tempted though. But that's not

    Regards, Joerg
  10. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    Sounds about right. The major movie studios, wireless service
    providers, and the cable and satellite companies are all the same

  11. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    PBS here, in the Bay Area, shows alot of old movies and they are
    transmitting four DTV stations.

  12. ddwyer

    ddwyer Guest

    In the UK we are catching up with the US as per the number of channels
    Assuming that there is a fairly fixed revenue for programming the money
    available for the program material is 1/the number of channels. So our
    program quality is deteriorating to US levels.
    High definition rubbish is still rubbish.
  13. Mark Zenier

    Mark Zenier Guest

    If you have a dish, it's not terrestrial DTV.

    Terrestrial DTV is broadcast on (mostly) the UHF channels by the
    TV stations off a tower, serving just the local area.

    Mark Zenier Washington State resident
  14. Mark Zenier

    Mark Zenier Guest

    Great typo.
    But with terrestrial TV, they get most of that. Analog TV is so
    prone to interference that about 2/3rds of the channels in any
    given area can't be used for anything else, but when they
    all go to ATSC, it's not supposed to be as interference prone
    so that the unallocated channels can be used for other things.
    (And the TV stations themselves may have spare bandwidth in their

    The main problem I see is that 1) the standard is so gold plated that
    set top boxes/HDTV chipsets cost too much, and 2) the satellite/cable/DVR
    companies are all subscription based and can give their hardware away
    and give a kickback (er, sales incentive) to the big box discount stores.

    The local stations are stuck paying for a new transmitter and antenna,
    and all their studio gear all on their own. Hard to pay this with the
    declining viewership because the networks are run by bean counters
    pumping out the cheapest crap possible.

    Mark Zenier Washington State resident
  15. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    The major movie studios are attempting to undermine the
    "Fair use", but yeah.
    ....and we all know that DRM == Denial of Rights Mechanism.
  16. Hey, my spell checker says its OK. ;-)
    I really wonder how much it will cost to add a broadcast TV demodulator
    to 'standard' TV sets. IIRC, there was a thread here a few weeks ago
    where someone had located a single chip solution. Maybe not one
    sufficient for a HD monitor, but it will suffice for all the old TV sets
    when analog signals go dark.

    As a set top box, there is much more to this than the single chip. But I
    think that's because the typical set top box (for CATV/DVRs) has a lot
    more functionality built in than the bare minimum needed to select a
    channel and demodulate it. Most of these functions are subsidized by the
    subscription based business models. This may be why its easier to get HD
    as a part of a service contract, either through digital cable/satellite
    or an add-on terrestrial digital tuner attached to these services. If
    there is any collusion to keep terrestrial DTV broadcast tuners off the
    market, proving it and finding the guilty party(ies) will be difficult.
    The networks appear to have spent some of their own money on HDTV gear
    as well. Quite a few network produced shows are going HD. Its the movie
    studios that are dragging their feet, claiming fears of piracy. But
    their piracy fears don't seem to hold water, since pirates are doing
    pretty good business selling low quality product (camcorders slipped
    into theaters, etc.). I doubt that there are too many additional
    customers for illegal product that are sitting it out just because of
    the low quality.

    In fact, studios would be better off if the pirates started distributing
    digital content directly. It makes digital watermarks and other
    technologies for tracing content easier to implement. It wouldn't be
    long before the detection of such content
    on the internet was coupled to automated systems to request ISPs to
    terminate accounts and electronic civil suits being filed would be

    Its just my opinion, but I think the studios are dragging their feet on
    HD broadcast content until broadcast TV can provide them with a fee
    structure similar to subscription distribution systems. This is one of
    the technologies Microsoft is hard at work on. Secure computing, which
    depends on a central key authentication service, makes a great place to
    collect monthly fees. It would be simple to extend this technology to
    set top boxes so that you must keep your subscription current or both
    your PC and your TV will go dark.
  17. YD

    YD Guest

    Around here the free channel programing is so atrocious I'm fairly
    certain it'a a plot to force the move to paid serice.

    - YD.
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