Article: Diginets come of age

Discussion in 'Over the Air TV By RabbitEars.Info' started by comfortably_numb, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Topic Starter Dogs have owners, cats have staff
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    https://www.tvtechnology.com/news/diginets-come-of-age

    Of particular interest:

    "The share of U.S. households that acquire their TV signals via over-the-air antenna increased to 20 percent—or about 24 million homes—from 16 percent from early 2015 through the end of 2017, according to Parks Associates data from March."

    So, 20% of the nation's population receives its TV at least in part from OTA. I hope that's a good sign :)
     
  2. Juan

    Juan Supporting Founder
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    They keep taking frequencies away

    Sent from my SM-G950U using the SatelliteGuys app!
     
  3. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    ...and the resulting consolidation of stations is sure to make OTA TV virtually insufferable.

    The near future of OTA seems pretty grim which is surely going to cause a surge in streaming and/or direct-feed cable TV subscriptions.
     
  4. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Topic Starter Dogs have owners, cats have staff
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    Before we declare the sky to be falling, lets see how it all plays out first eh?
     
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  5. Jim5506

    Jim5506 SatelliteGuys Master
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    ...and why is that. ATSC channels can co-exist next to each other with no interference, unlike NTSC. There are several full power stations I am aware of that have other full power stations on adjacent channels both sides with no problems.
     
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  6. Radioguy41

    Radioguy41 SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Why? There is never going to be a great surge in streaming until there is a great surge in available, reliable, consistant broadband and that has not happened yet. Look at the reality of it. cable co's aren't expanding because of the uncertain technologies. What should we install; more cable, maybe fiber, wireless, 5G? Hard wired cable became widespread over decades, now the technonlogy is changing at such a rapid rate that nothing ever gets finished before something (theoretically) bigger and better comes along and everybody wants to jump on that bandwagon. Look at HDTV, it's not even 15 years old and it's on the verge of being phased out for ATSC3. This country missed the boat by not going full speed ahead wiring as much of the country as possible for hard wired broadband. It didn't and now it's wheels are spinning in a mud puddle of technonlogies. The US ranks 20th in the world in Internet speed. It's a mess so don't expect any sudden surge in any direction.

    According to the article linked below, 60 million Americans living in urban areas don’t have access to, or can’t afford broadband. There is a local cable co in my area and they offer broadband but unless I also subscribe to their cable TV they gouge the price - $56 for 25Mbps. My Dish bill is less than that so where is the benefit?. I would be paying $56 just for the access to the Internet and would have to pay above and beyond that for any streaming service. Not bloody likely. So where is this great surge going to come from?

    By the way, even with all the consolidation that's been going on I still scan in 63 channels OTA.

    US Ranks 20th in Global Broadband Speed League
     
  7. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    As Juan pointed out, the repack (the rock) is currently underway where 30% of the channels available before the repack are going away from a favored part of the TV band (up high). Add to that the ATSC 3.0 (Next-Gen) stations that have yet to light up (the hard place) and you've got a situation developing.

    We already have evidence of stations in some markets that have a dozen SD streams or more on a single carrier. Most stations that opted out of the reverse auction or didn't qualify are looking to buddy up with someone else's existing complement of channels. They have a choice: stop carrying channels or divvy up the existing bandwidth even finer.

    Of course what probably needs to happen is many of the diginets need to consolidate to eliminate overlap.

    If you believe the Next-Gen rhetoric, the bandwidth usage may only be 30% of what DTV requires so they'll have to drive a wedge about that big into each market or decide not to simulcast them. While they're trying to figure that out, there's going to be more double-digit subchannel "lighthouse" stations or trying to fit perhaps three HD streams on a single channel (two already shows a noticeable impact).

    From the accounts of those who have experienced them, you have to be a glutton for punishment to watch a DTV station that offers almost double what they thought could theoretically be done in terms of subchannels.
     
  8. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    The consolidation is just getting started (Phase 1 was completed two weeks ago). Phase 1 had 140 stations in 20 markets moving. Apparently some moved early because they were ready and others asked for (and were granted) a stay of execution.

    Phase 2 (the one that impacts my market) started on the December 1st and is scheduled for completion just before Tax Day.
     
  9. dhett

    dhett SatelliteGuys Family

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    None of those stations with a dozen SD streams is carrying a major network.

    Here's a real-world example of how the ATSC 3.0 transition is working:

    Phoenix, my home market, is currently testing this very thing. There are 12 full-power stations in Phoenix, and ten of them are owned by companies participating in the the ATSC 3.0 test bed: Meredith (KTVK, KPHO), Scripps (KNXV), TEGNA (KPNX), Nexstar (KASW), Fox (KSAZ, KUTP), Univision (KTVW), NBC/Telemundo (KTAZ), and Arizona State University (KAET). In addition, Univision also has a Class A station, KFPH, that is participating. The 11 participating stations program 39 subchannels. Class A KFPH 35 was chosen to be the ATSC 3.0 test station. It carried four subchannels; Unimás 35 on 35.1 (1080i), Univision 33 on 35.2 (1080i), getTV on 35.3 (480i) and Escape on 35.4 (480i). The other stations split its subchannels - mostly. Full-power KTVW 33 was already carrying Univision 33 on 33.1 (1080i) and Unimás 35 on 33.2 (1080i), so the one duplicate stream of Univision on 35.2 went away and the duplicate stream of Unimás on 33.2 now is identified both as 33.2 and 35.1. KPNX 12 took getTV and labels it as 35.3, while KNXV 15 took Escape and labels it as 35.4.

    In other words, you don't see two stations partnering to implement NextGen; you will see several station groups. Eight already belong to the Pearl TV consortium - Meredith, Scripps, Tribune, TEGNA, Nexstar, Cox, Raycom and Hearst - so you will get cooperation among those groups already, and Fox, Univision and NBC/Telemundo are willing participants as well. That's a major group of owners, plus I'm sure when the time comes, CBS and ABC O&Os will step up as well.

    Add to that numerous LPTV stations that can provide additional hosting capabilities. WatchTV in Portland has been a leader in ATSC 3.0 testing, and Edge Spectrum Inc. (ESI) with hundreds of LPTV stations nationwide is committed to ATSC 3.0, even hiring away WatchTV's Chief Engineer, Jess Ortega, to become ESI's Chief Technology Officer.

    With full-power station groups and LPTV owners participating, you're not likely to see a dozen or more programming streams on a single ATSC 1.0 station, unless they already had it to begin with, and certainly not on a station that is carrying a major network. Univision and Unimás employ multiplexers that handle two 1080i streams well, even when both networks are televising fútbol matches, so I don't see the gloom and doom scenario that you're putting forward. If there is a big squeeze on ATSC 1.0 programming, it will be at the very end of the transition, after the FCC-imposed five-year requirement expires that requires stations to duplicate ATSC 1.0 programming on ATSC 3.0, and station owners nationwide have abandoned ATSC 1.0. By that time, ATSC 3.0 television sets will be abundant and affordable, and there will be no excuse for even the most parsimonious to not invest in a new TV.
     
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  10. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    Old press releases aside, WatchTV lost their Portland ATSC 3.0 test license because they couldn't keep the transmitters running. Also, their effort was an attempt at SFN rather than the traditional monolithic broadcast model.
    Many of your arguments seem to revolve around LP stations but many of those frequencies are being turned over to mainstream stations for full-power use forcing the LP stations to buddy up or die.
     
  11. Voyager6

    Voyager6 Just lost in space
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    Did that happen with the ATSC 1.0 transition? No. It took a mandate from the Government to force all the TV stations to switch over to ATSC 1.0 AND the digital converter coupons paid for with tax dollars to make the switch happen.
     
  12. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Master

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    HD tv sets were commonly around TRIPLE the price (or more) they are now back then. Also, it was a HUGE jump from analog 4x3 tv's to HD digital 16x9 tv's for most people. Now, people are used to having very large digital HD tv's. Just installing an ATSC 3.0 tuner in them won't jack the price at all, IMO. If anything, they might even go lower in price by then.

    So, I think Dhett has a very good point in this case...
     
    #12 primestar31, Dec 13, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  13. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    If you're going to drag the DTV transition into the discussion, remember that there were around 67 RF channels available and no subchannels when that started leaving plenty of room for both NTSC (with its double-spaced requirements) and DTV. There weren't any inter-operation requirements as part of the DTV transition; stations had the option of flash cutting and bailing out on their previous technology broadcasts.

    A complete Next-Gen transition will depend on enough households (perhaps upwards of 90%) voluntarily adopting the technology as compared to the DTV mandate that Voyager6 noted.

    It seems at least somewhat likely that until DTV is gone, Next-Gen will not offer much of a carrot for those contemplating upgrading. Then there are the stations that aren't as excited about the new technology as those station groups who are burning up the column inches singing its praises.

    I'm pretty well convinced that the gubmint is going to have to step up to make any future transition happen.
     
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  14. Voyager6

    Voyager6 Just lost in space
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    Except that he argued that consumers would be investing in new TV sets not add-on tuners. I don't see consumers throwing out their HD sets solely to get the ATSC 3.0 broadcasts.
    He also is advocating the same model that I previously presented. Multiple 1080i stations, along with their 480i subchannels, on the same frequency. What would be the incentive for consumers to purchase new UHD sets for ATSC 3.0 without any UHD broadcasts. I don't see any of this happening without a Government mandate to switch over to ATSC 3.0.
     
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  15. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    Especially if all you're likely to get out of "upgrading" your OTA tuner is still limited to SD and HD content.
     
  16. Jim5506

    Jim5506 SatelliteGuys Master
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    What is the advantage for consumers and TV stations to switching to ATSC 3.0? Is it worth the trouble and cost?

    Is this just another overhyped boondoggle?
     
  17. navychop

    navychop Member of the Month - July 2014!
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    Behind curtain number two we have.....


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  18. Juan

    Juan Supporting Founder
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    Was 3d worth the cost?

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  19. Jim5506

    Jim5506 SatelliteGuys Master
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    No, because it was not practical or necessary - now it only exists in theatres
     
  20. navychop

    navychop Member of the Month - July 2014!
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    :popcorn


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