Digital TV Conversion

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Joe K

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Jul 16, 2007
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To Satellite Guys: How about starting a forum on the conversion to digital tv signals and the looming disappearance of analog signals in February 2009? There are many issues concerning this transition. The General Accounting Office is investigating it, and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is holding hearings. Problems include: free coupons for converter boxes that expire before consumers can even find the units in stores; failure of broadcasters to provide new programming on additional digital channels as promised (with the exception of public television stations); loss of picture and sound due to quirky and unreliable digital OTA signals, as compared to analog; lots of "happy talk" but no realistic, useful information for consumers about antennas and about connecting the converter boxes; misinformation, such as station websites that tell you a converter box is necessary if you are using an antenna (not true--only needed if you are using an analog set). We are heading for a rude surprise next February, when many people will lose their picture entirely.
 
Peter Parker

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We already have an OTA forum. If you start threads on each topic there will be discussion/ that i my vote.
 
riffjim4069

riffjim4069

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My wife's converter coupons expired the other day so we went online and placed a request for two additional coupons, but it was denied because our household had already been issued the maximum of two. Anyway, we clicked on the handy-dandy "Appeal" button, stated we couldn't use the coupons due to so few crappy converter boxes being available to the public, along with the fact we were waiting for the TR-40 (aka DTV Pal) which isn't available until later this month. Anyway, our request was granted and two new coupons on the way. At least they appear to have addressed the expiring coupon issue...we didn't have any problem getting new ones.
 
Jimbo

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My wife's converter coupons expired the other day so we went online and placed a request for two additional coupons, but it was denied because our household had already been issued the maximum of two. Anyway, we clicked on the handy-dandy "Appeal" button, stated we couldn't use the coupons due to so few crappy converter boxes being available to the public, along with the fact we were waiting for the TR-40 (aka DTV Pal) which isn't available until later this month. Anyway, our request was granted and two new coupons on the way. At least they appear to have addressed the expiring coupon issue...we didn't have any problem getting new ones.

What is this DTV Pal ?

I have purchased 2 Zenith convertor boxes from CC and they have worked GREAT.

Jimbo
 
Foxbat

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Notice that the Echostar TR-40 shown at WCES does not look very much like the DTVpal that Dish recently released. So, hopefully, the $39.99 TR-40 is still on-track for a July roll-out?
 
Peter Parker

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Just add $20 to the price the DTV PAL is now upto $59

There are two different products. one at 439.99 one at $59.99
 
boba

boba

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Go to DISH forum there is a sticky on DTV PAL and no there are not 2 separate products the TR40 has become the DTV PAL
 
navychop

navychop

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My wife's converter coupons expired the other day so we went online and placed a request for two additional coupons, but it was denied because our household had already been issued the maximum of two. Anyway, we clicked on the handy-dandy "Appeal" button, stated we couldn't use the coupons due to so few crappy converter boxes being available to the public, along with the fact we were waiting for the TR-40 (aka DTV Pal) which isn't available until later this month. Anyway, our request was granted and two new coupons on the way. At least they appear to have addressed the expiring coupon issue...we didn't have any problem getting new ones.

:up
 
Foxbat

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Go to DISH forum there is a sticky on DTV PAL and no there are not 2 separate products the TR40 has become the DTV PAL
The CNet review of the DTVpal has a different take on that:
http://reviews.cnet.com/tv-hdtv-tuners-receivers/dish-network-dtvpal/4505-6487_7-32886696.html said:
The Dish Network DTVPal is one of the boxes that shoppers can buy with the coupon, and we've been heavily anticipating its release since it was announced at CES 2008. Since then, however, there's been a lot of confusion. The converter box was first announced as the EchoStar TR-40 with a $40 price tag, then it was renamed to the Dish Network DTVPal, and now the latest news is that the Dish Network DTVPal and the EchoStar TR-40 are actually different products--yikes. The final story is that the Dish Network DTVPal is slated to be available at DTVPal.com on June 19, with an MSRP between $40 and $60. The TR-40 will come out at a later date at a price to be determined. If we had to guess, based on Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen's "Charlie Chat," the DTVPal will cost about $60 and the TR-40 will cost $40.
 
Hall

Hall

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The CNet review of the DTVpal has a different take on that:
Ask people at Dish, Echostar, and Sling the story and you'll get three different stories too....

In another thread, I found and posted references from 1-2 years ago where Dish was talking about the TR-40 and then later that it was renamed the "DTVPal". So, until the last "chat" on Dish Network, publically the TR-40 was simply renamed. Now Dish is claiming they're two different boxes (all along). I did ask over at AVS what is the difference in the TR-40 and the DTVPal but haven't gotten much response yet (there's a very active thread going about this whole deal over there).
 
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Peter Parker

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Ther was acomment on the Charlie Chat about another box coming.
 
jegrant

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Problems include: ... failure of broadcasters to provide new programming on additional digital channels as promised (with the exception of public television stations)

I would say this is due to a lack of multicast must-carry. Most broadcast stations can only launch a new digital subchannel if at least one area cable/satellite company will carry it. If it's only OTA, it won't get enough market share.

PBS is an exception, partly because several "Plug and Play" digital channels have been offered to stations, such as Create and V-Me, and partly because they were able to negotiate their own agreement with cable providers that allows for carriage of up to 4 digital channels from each PBS station in a given market area, subject to a common sense rule that the cable system need not carry substantially duplicative channels. (i.e. if two PBS affiliates in the same city both offer a 24/7 "Create" channel, only one need be carried under the agreement.)

I think an effective multi-cast must-carry regulation could work the same way. Tell stations that if you want to provide programming, it will be carried, up to 4 streams per station, but nothing duplicative, and infomercials would be limited to two hours between 6 AM and Midnight. (Midnight - 6 AM would be unrestricted.) This would prevent stations from clogging up the airwaves with home shopping, which many people are dead set against (and probably for good reason) while also offering a chance for stations who want to offer actual programming.
 
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