Obama wants to delay the transition to DTV

SatinKzo

SatinKzo

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Must be a UHF station, 1000 kW is the max for DTV UHF IIRC. 1 million watts sounds more impressive than it is. :)
 
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Bobby H

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1 million watts of OTA transmission power still sounds like it would add up to one expensive electric bill.
 
Techfizzle

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i guess i was wrong heres a snippet
WRC-DT NBC 4 is broadcasting on UHF 48 at 813 kW. WFDC-DT Univision 14 is broadcasting on UHF 15 at 325 kW. The difference in UHF channel frequency and the propagation pattern could be the reason MikeMikeb has problems getting WRC-DT. There are also 2 low power analog stations in DC on either side of UHF 48: WMDO-CA 47 and WWTD-LP 49 (150 kW). They should not be interfering with WRC-DT, but if one is closer in to the broadcast towers in DC, there could be interference in some spots.

WFDC-DT 14 has been granted it's post-transition maximization filing for 1000 kW, so it may be cranking up to 1000 kW as soon as February 18 (depending on whether the station is ready and the whims/last minute panic response of Congress). I guess MikeMikeb will find out then how he likes 1000 kW digital UHF stations (of which there are already 2 in DC: WUSA-DT CBS 9 (34), WTTG-DT Fox 5 (36)).
 
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Mr Tony

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there are stations in Minneapolis that are at 1000kw right now and will stay that way post 2/17
 
jgantert

jgantert

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So will the delay also delay the channels that are changing frequencies? Ie: Channels 7,9,11 and 13 are going back from UHF to VHF post 2/17. So does that mean they can't do that until June now (assuming this delay gets passed)? Very confused here. I only have a UHF antenna (8-bay bowtie), but it actually picks up upper VHF pretty well, so I'm crossing my fingers it will be ok. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing I'll have to do a new channel scan when they change frequencies. What a PITA this delay could be if all the channels stagger their switchover and don't do it on the same day.
 
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Bobby H

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The June 12 delay, if passed, will only confuse things further and keep them confused until then.

The way the deal reads, some broadcasters can go ahead and turn off their analog signals and move to new frequencies on February 17. It's a judgment call on their part and one that will be made on a station by station basis.

A lot of TV stations will probably play it safe and just keep doing what they've been doing until June 12: running their analog channel at normal power and running a low power DTV broadcast. They don't want to draw the anger of low income viewers or older/elderly people who don't like farting around with digital technology.

I'm hoping most TV stations will spend the extra money it takes to ramp their DTV channel broadcasts up to full power before February 17 even if the June 12 delay is passed. The move will certainly benefit those who have already bought digital televisions. They'll be much more likely to receive their local channels OTA in HD so the June 12 delay won't make any difference to them. And then the positive word of mouth about being able to receive HD free over the air might finally convince the hold outs to get off their backsides and either buy new televisions or converter boxes.
 
navychop

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I wonder how this might affect TVGOS analog......
 
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TalkingRat

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If it interferes with analog signals still broadcasting, they won't be able to go to full power. I have four stations changing frequency, three involve shutting down their own analog. It surprised me that the only station I've heard about so far is not one of the four. KOIN (CBS) is on the FCC's list to move Feb 17. Last night they also said they still intend to move on Feb 17 "as we promised."
 
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Bobby H

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I'm a little confused about this. A full power DTV channel bleeding out an existing analog channel?

A regular NTSC analog broadcast channel requires a 6MHz slice of broadcast spectrum. As part of the DTV transition local broadcast stations were allotted another 6MHz channel for those DTV broadcasts. The data in the broadcast can identify the channel as a ".1" subset of the existing analog channel even though it is really a completely different channel number. So a station taking its DTV channel up to full power should have no effect at all on the existing analog broadcast. It will cost the station more money in terms of transmission power.

When the analog channel is shut down the station can choose to move the DTV signal to the space formerly occupied by that analog channel and then give up the spectrum it was using temporarily for its DTV channel.

Anyway, that's my understanding of it. For instance, I can pick up KDFX channel 3 in Wichita Falls, TX in both analog and its full power DTV version. The station can't squeeze both broadcasts into just 6MHz of spectrum.
 
navychop

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I'm a little confused about this. A full power DTV channel bleeding out an existing analog channel?

A regular NTSC analog broadcast channel requires a 6MHz slice of broadcast spectrum. As part of the DTV transition local broadcast stations were allotted another 6MHz channel for those DTV broadcasts. The data in the broadcast can identify the channel as a ".1" subset of the existing analog channel even though it is really a completely different channel number. So a station taking its DTV channel up to full power should have no effect at all on the existing analog broadcast. It will cost the station more money in terms of transmission power.

When the analog channel is shut down the station can choose to move the DTV signal to the space formerly occupied by that analog channel and then give up the spectrum it was using temporarily for its DTV channel.

Anyway, that's my understanding of it. For instance, I can pick up KDFX channel 3 in Wichita Falls, TX in both analog and its full power DTV version. The station can't squeeze both broadcasts into just 6MHz of spectrum.

Not sure I'm quite following you. But YES, digital channels can interfere with analog. Consider adjacent channels, and the waveforms are somewhat different. Somewhat different characteristics. This interference possibility has been the subject of a great deal of review by the FCC & others, and is not fully understood. There are unknowns in the transition, and a staggered out transition simply increases the chances of problems cropping up.

And to clarify: The digital channel may be transmitting on, for example, the spectrum identified as channel 47. But it will appear to the viewer as the good ole' channel 7 (for example). In that 6 MHz of bandwidth, the primary and ALL the subchannels of the digital signal are carried. I wouldn't say the digital channels and subchannels are a "subset" of the analog channel. This can only be confusing to many folks.

I think the problem is multi-faceted. First, they don't really know how well the interference problem has been solved- both for digital to analog (for however long they may co-exist with only some digitals "moving") and even digital to digital. Also, many digital stations will have LOWER power after the transition. That, and propagation (reception) differences with digital, will likely result in many people losing OTA reception, or being obliged to move to a rooftop antenna. Perhaps in coming years, some of these digital stations will increase power, if it can be shown to not cause interference, and to be in their interest. Or if they're coerced. Personally, I believe they should be forced to cover AT LEAST as many OTA households after the transition, as they did before. I suspect these "OTA" stations often just want to sell to cablecos and satcos, and dump their OTA expenses entirely.

BTW, just for general interest, after ATSC was set and well along in the process of stations starting to commit funds to the system, another hybrid system was developed. It supposedly demonstrated a way of combining the digital and analog signals in the same 6 MHz, but was certainly not compatible with ATSC or the equipment people were already buying. And I don't think it allowed for HD until after the analog was dropped, IIRC. It was stillborn. Wish I could remember the name of it.
 
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Bobby H

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I haven't heard of such a system where both the analog and DTV broadcast could co-exist within the same 6MHz space. At the very least, such a system wouldn't have been workable until the most recent advances in video compression (AVC, VC-1, etc.) were developed. NTSC needs enough bandwidth on its own, so any companion HD channel would really get squeezed badly for bandwidth.

Regarding interference, yes I agree that a DTV channel could interfere with an analog one if both 6MHz channel spaces were located right next to each other in the frequency band. But that's not the usual practice. They try to have the two 6MHz bands of a TV station spaced well apart from each other or other neighboring channels. But that's not possible in every viewing market.

And what I was referring to as channel subsets was only regarding how they appear in a viewer's HDTV set. Not as parts of the actual frequency spectrum. For instance, the ABC affiliate in my market, KSWO channel 7, has channels "7.1," "7.2" and "7.3" as DTV "subsets" of the main analog channel 7 even though those ".1" variants are probably really nowhere near the actual channel 7 space in broadcast channel frequency.
 
Jim5506

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Most UHF digital stations are 1,000 kilowats = 1 million watts.

Out channel 34 is currently 5,000 kilowatts analog (5 million watts).

I'd hate to pay their monthly electric bill.

Turning it off will probably save them $25,000 per month.

I just sent an e-mail to Senator Hutchison emphisizing the reasons not to move the transition date.

I URGE all of you to contact your senators and representatives to do the same, especially those in Texas since Sen. Hutchison is the ranking Republican on that committee with Waxman, if she sees we don't want it maybe she'll see the light.
 
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TalkingRat

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Thanks for the explanations. I wasn't being scientific in terms of researching the science, just basing it on my two least stable digital stations. They are from the same antenna farm as my other stations, comparable power and all strong 1 edge signals. But the digital versions often have audio break ups once a minute, and the picture freezes and pixelates, the meter on my CM locked at 100% and the meter on my TR40 drifting a point or two at a time, between 93 to 96, not the wild changes that occasionally gives me pixelation on other stations. There are a lot of small stations, and when I do an analog scan, the tuner thinks it has found something on nearly every frequency. But the main thing about the two digital stations is they have their own analog transmission on an adjacent frequency. One uses 32/33, the other 48/49, and there's a 47 and 50 broadcast, too. The analog versions on 32 and 49 are plenty strong, but they have horrible PQ. Even after Feb 17 there will be a dozen analog stations remaining. A lot depends on getting rid of the full power analog. ps, I've written my emails to Senators, Reps, and Obama. Hutchison is working with Rockefeller, I think. Waxman isthe House side of things.
 
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Bobby H

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I wrote Tom Cole, the US Representative for my district in Oklahoma as well as US Senators Jim Inhoffe and Tom Coburn. I asked them to vote against the delay, explaining how it would confuse the situation further and cost both large and small businesses a good amount of money. I hope they get the messages before this issue comes to a vote. I don't know if my letters will do any good, but I figure it couldn't hurt either.
 
Techfizzle

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Imagine seing a commercial that goes like this
"We were going to shut analog off feb 17, but now were goint to wait a while, so we can confuse you"

I personally dont like digital ota, it doesnt have the coverage like analog, the signal is more line of sight instead of just everywhere, you cant get it on an emergency tv radio or a pocket watch tv, it goest out in the rain or heavy snow.

I think it was a ruse to piss everone and make them switch to cable or satellite.

I switched to satellite because there isnt much on ota anymore, back in the 60's there were only 3 tv companys abc,cbs, and nbc, so eveything you wanted was on 3 channels, now we have a seperate channel for
Golfing
Shopping
Weather
News
Music
Etc. I know why thier was a big a big boom in cable and satellite subs a few years ago, I remember when several stations that had started some shows, then they pulled them and put them on cable or satellite.
 
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Bobby H

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Techfizzle said:
I personally dont like digital ota, it doesnt have the coverage like analog, the signal is more line of sight instead of just everywhere, you cant get it on an emergency tv radio or a pocket watch tv, it goest out in the rain or heavy snow.

I think it was a ruse to piss everone and make them switch to cable or satellite.

I don't agree.

First of all, I'm getting better reception with HD OTA signals than I do with digital satellite. For example, we get some really severe thunderstorms here in Oklahoma. I lose my satellite signal in those things, but haven't seen the low power OTA HD channel from KSWO channel 7 in Lawton cut out during the same storms.

Another example is the great reception I'm getting OTA with KFDX an hour's drive away in Wichita Falls. In all the years I've lived in SW Oklahoma my reception of that station's analog channel has been snowy garbage. Their new full power DTV signal comes in great using my same old outdoor antenna. The HD channel is even coming in better than the DTV broadcast from KSWO at a significantly closer distance. I have little doubt when Nexstar bumps KJTL to full power in a couple of weeks I'll get equally great results.

Good OTA reception of DTV signals often yields better video quality than what you see via cable or digital satellite -where the video is compressed further or reduced to HD Lite resolution. With the OTA stuff working this good it would do more to encourage viewers to dump pay TV rather than move to it.

Overall, I think other factors are working to make people subscribe to pay TV. The DTV switch has nothing to do with it. Quality of programming on network TV is the biggest factor. If you like reality TV and many variants of CSI or Law & Order then it may not be a bad thing to live only with OTA free TV. Most people want more variety in programming and relief from the scourge of reality TV and are willing to subscribe to pay TV to get what they want.
 
Techfizzle

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I have never seen a DTV station that is better then satellite unless its HD.
My satellite has never gone out
 
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Bobby H

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You must live in a place not often hit with severe storms. Here, it doesn't matter how good a satellite system is configured. It's going to cut out during severe weather.

The OTA broadcast from KFDX in Wichita Falls looks better than most cable/satellite channels. However, the station isn't multi-casting at all. They're using all their DTV bandwidth for only 1 single 1080i HD channel.
 
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grampi

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I must say, Mr. Obama is not starting his term very impressively. First ordering the closing of Gitmo, now this? What's next? Banning HDTV all together?
 
navychop

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I have never seen a DTV station that is better then satellite unless its HD.
My satellite has never gone out

I'm hearing reports that in my area, the OTA ATSC signal is sharper than the locals delivered by satellite. SD & HD. Plus, OTA around here gives you more channels and more subchannels, as well as better PQ.

I don't get LiLs, but I have a good sized OTA antenna. We'll watch some local TV, mostly just ER & DH. But when my in-laws visit, they mostly watch local OTA stations.
 

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