OTA Tuners and HD in All E* Receivers, Why Not?

gpflepsen

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
3,292
296
SE NE
Dish needs to be working towards all receivers having an integrated OTA tuner built in them. It's only natural to want this after having a 6000 and 811 with this feature. The ease and convenience make it so much more enjoyable from a usability standpoint. Also, in the near future all receivers will have to be moving towards DTV outputs, that is they need to have DVI/HDMI connections. I can't fathom E* having a receiver in the planning stages now without HD and OTA capabilities.

Do you think they are forward thinking enough to be doing this?
 

DVDDAD

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
786
12
Huntington, Long Island, NY
OTA tuner's, DTV outputs, and DVI/HDMI connections all add additional manufacturing costs to the receivers. It will be a long time until you see these as standard features in any satelitte or cable box. Because it will be quite some time before everyone's TV has been replaced with a Digital TV. They would not be prudent if they didn't offer a lower priced STB for those who didn't need the features of a HD box.
 

dlsnyder

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
1,825
3
Moreno Valley, CA
IMHO just the opposite will happen in the near future. There is an FCC deadline approaching in July of this year at which time all TV sets 36" and larger (SD or HD) must include an ATSC tuner if they have any broadcast reception capability at all, and must be 50% of sets in that size range produced by a manufacturer. By 2008 this rule will include all televisions 13" and larger, and broadcast reception devices including VCRs and DVD recorders. By then, so the theory goes, ATSC tuners will be so cheap and readily available that it won't be necessary for one to be put in a satellite HD receiver. By then we very well might see HD receivers that have no analog capability at all. That is, they can only be connected to a TV with some sort of all digital connection like DVI.
 

bcshields

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 28, 2003
1,458
0
Delaware
It needs to be sped up, that's for sure. After seeing an 811 pick up a local OTA station crystal clear 3 miles away from my snowy picture, I'm definately wishing OTA tuners were included in recievers. (I know, HDTV signal helped..)

The problem with including them in TV's is that people don't purchase them often. My parents have the same TV I grew up with... I'm surprised it has coax inputs, nonetheless OTA reception. The same thing happened witht he VChip. it's there.. but who uses it? Joe Customer doesn't know how.

On the other hand, if E* included OTA tuners in their base recievers, it would void their FCC arguments for locals to go across DMA lines, because of increased ability to get OTA reception.
 

dlsnyder

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
1,825
3
Moreno Valley, CA
I am sure there are many who would disagree that digital OTA broadcasting increases your ability to get OTA reception. When the signal is there it looks great. When the signal drops just below the S/N threshold you get nothing, and you have no indication why it disappeared. At least with analog you have the option to watch a snowy ghosty picture if you choose to.
 

AcuraCL

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 7, 2004
345
0
I expect Dish will do it when it becomes as economical as putting a NTSC tuner in. NTSC is now in everything ... tv, vcr, sat. box. I think going forward, ASTC will eventually be in every box too. But I don't expect Dish to add the ATSC tuner to more than, perhaps, 2 or 3 more receivers (as yet unnamed) in the next year or two. Just my guess.
 

GaryPen

Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Supporting Founder
dlsnyder said:
IMHO just the opposite will happen in the near future. There is an FCC deadline approaching in July of this year at which time all TV sets 36" and larger (SD or HD) must include an ATSC tuner if they have any broadcast reception capability at all, and must be 50% of sets in that size range produced by a manufacturer. By 2008 this rule will include all televisions 13" and larger, and broadcast reception devices including VCRs and DVD recorders. By then, so the theory goes, ATSC tuners will be so cheap and readily available that it won't be necessary for one to be put in a satellite HD receiver. By then we very well might see HD receivers that have no analog capability at all. That is, they can only be connected to a TV with some sort of all digital connection like DVI.

Some of these new TV's with built-in digital tuners also have the new "cable-card" capability as well. It's a cable tuner with smart card access that eliminates the STB entirely. You simply plug in your local provider's card, and can tune whatever channels you are paying for. I think Dish and DirecTV need to move in this direction.
 

bcshields

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 28, 2003
1,458
0
Delaware
So Dish will tell you to reboot your TV? I don't think I'd trust Dish to expect my TV to decode their stuff... Recievers get swapped out so often due to competition, the only way I'd see if was if you'd buy the TV/Rcvr combo from the provider.

I'm wrinkling my nose up to this... they can't keep a box operational, nonetheless a television.
 

dlsnyder

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
1,825
3
Moreno Valley, CA
GaryPen said:
Some of these new TV's with built-in digital tuners also have the new "cable-card" capability as well. It's a cable tuner with smart card access that eliminates the STB entirely. You simply plug in your local provider's card, and can tune whatever channels you are paying for. I think Dish and DirecTV need to move in this direction.

I agree 100%! Just getting E* and D* together (not to mention the others) to make it happen is unlikely. They don't want to make it any easier to switch from one to the other than it already is. At least in the cable world, with a few exceptions, each area only has one cable system so they don't compete directly with one another. Co-operation on technical standards makes sense because it makes it easier for the consumer to use cable anywhere, making it more "satellite-like". Now Charlie is taking a step backwards and trying to make satellite more cable-like with that TV Guide channel! :p
 

Geronimo

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 9, 2003
12,030
1,612
dlsnyder said:
IMHO just the opposite will happen in the near future. There is an FCC deadline approaching in July of this year at which time all TV sets 36" and larger (SD or HD) must include an ATSC tuner if they have any broadcast reception capability at all, and must be 50% of sets in that size range produced by a manufacturer. By 2008 this rule will include all televisions 13" and larger, and broadcast reception devices including VCRs and DVD recorders. By then, so the theory goes, ATSC tuners will be so cheap and readily available that it won't be necessary for one to be put in a satellite HD receiver. By then we very well might see HD receivers that have no analog capability at all. That is, they can only be connected to a TV with some sort of all digital connection like DVI.


That will be fine if we all run out and replace our exiting TVS. A digital tuner would help.
 

GaryPen

Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Supporting Founder
dlsnyder said:
I agree 100%! Just getting E* and D* together (not to mention the others) to make it happen is unlikely. They don't want to make it any easier to switch from one to the other than it already is. At least in the cable world, with a few exceptions, each area only has one cable system so they don't compete directly with one another. Co-operation on technical standards makes sense because it makes it easier for the consumer to use cable anywhere, making it more "satellite-like". Now Charlie is taking a step backwards and trying to make satellite more cable-like with that TV Guide channel! :p

Well...they got all the cable companies to agree on a standard, so it ain't impossible. But, you're probably right about not trusting E technically to be able to pull it off, or Chuckie being able to agree with his competitors.

D could still do it. It would just end up being another reason people left E because of their hardware
 

dlsnyder

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
1,825
3
Moreno Valley, CA
Yes, that would probably be more likely since D* already has licensing agreements in place with many of the major CE manufacturers. As I recall that line of RCA TVs with the built-in DirecTV tuners didn't exactly fly off the shelves. That may only be because they were RCA though.

What would be great to see would be some kind of a socket where you could just plug in a DBS module complete with built-in CA card. It could be small and simple using an extension of the TV's built-in software for guide and tuning functions making for a seamless look and feel. I wonder if D* or E* would be willing to give up that much control over the presentation of their product? As long as the module only functioned when plugged in to a compatible TV there shouldn't be any big security concerns. I wonder how much something like that might add to the cost of a TV? As long as the TV already had an FCC-mandated ATSC tuner all the electronics would already be in place - it's just a matter of adding a mechanical interface for the module. E* would be at an advantage here because they use standard MPEG-2. Hmm...
 

aperry

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 26, 2003
700
0
The cable companies may have agreed on a standard, but that doesn't mean that they are using it.
 

M Law

SatelliteGuys Family
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
105
0
Having a monitor based device that will accept different decoder cards or boards is definitely the right way to go. But it takes foresight and energy to push it forward. Satellite distributors could make their systems so much more acceptable to the everyday consumer if they would move in this direction.

The cable companies were smart enough to know they had to unify (at least on a few issues), to fight satellite's continued encroachment into their subscriber base, so they formed CableLabs to set standards. It was about the same time that all the telecommunications companies were getting into each other's businesses, so it wasn't just satellite but the phone companies that were worrying them as well. Of course the phone companies have withdrawn on the whole now, but the result is an agreed standard that has been presented to the consumer electronics industry and the FCC too.

All satellite distributors need to get their act together and do the same thing. If there is one thing I have learned in business, its that in the absence of a standard for new technologies, companies will reach for the most agreed platform. The silence is deafening from satellite on this issue, at least until lately, so cable's proposals just go right through.

What would really be great is if the sat co's would work with Cable Labs and settle on a standard interface device for the monitor that could then accept a cable or a satellite decoder module. We could only hope.

Here's a thread discussing the issue:
NCTA Defends CableLabs, Tackles Issues at FCC
 

dlsnyder

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
1,825
3
Moreno Valley, CA
Cable and satellite agreeing on an interface standard? That doesn't seem likely, but stranger things have happened. It would take something like an FCC mandate, which IMHO they would be unlikely to do. What they SHOULD do is make a rule that if a manufacturer wants to sell any video display device as a "monitor" it should have an industry standard digital hardware interface that will accept one or more of the following: ATSC (8VSB) tuner, QAM (cable) tuner, 8PSK (satellite) tuner, or combination of the three. That might prove to be less expensive for CE manufacturers in the long run and it would give consumers more choice. It could also be a boon for pay TV providers as it would be really easy to lease out and connect up all those cheap tuner modules.
 

GaryPen

Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Supporting Founder
M Law said:
What would really be great is if the sat co's would work with Cable Labs and settle on a standard interface device for the monitor that could then accept a cable or a satellite decoder module. We could only hope.

Here's a thread discussing the issue:
NCTA Defends CableLabs, Tackles Issues at FCC

That would be great. Lots of happy consumers. Too bad that big business can't get it through their short-term greedy little skulls that happy consumers are actually good for business.
 

M Law

SatelliteGuys Family
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
105
0
dlsnyder said:
Cable and satellite agreeing on an interface standard? That doesn't seem likely, but stranger things have happened.
A guy can dream, can't he? ;)

dlsnyder said:
It would take something like an FCC mandate, which IMHO they would be unlikely to do. What they SHOULD do is make a rule that if a manufacturer wants to sell any video display device as a "monitor" it should have an industry standard digital hardware interface that will accept one or more of the following: ATSC (8VSB) tuner, QAM (cable) tuner, 8PSK (satellite) tuner, or combination of the three. That might prove to be less expensive for CE manufacturers in the long run and it would give consumers more choice. It could also be a boon for pay TV providers as it would be really easy to lease out and connect up all those cheap tuner modules.
That's an excellent idea, let's hope they are listening. You would think that the sat co's would see that it is to their advantage to push this type of idea. I'm afraid GaryPen may be right when he says:
GaryPen said:
Too bad that big business can't get it through their short-term greedy little skulls that happy consumers are actually good for business.
 

dlsnyder

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
1,825
3
Moreno Valley, CA
The biggest problem is that it would be to the advantage of the satellite companies. Cable still has a pretty overwhelming percentage of the market share for subscription TV services and they don't want to make it any easier for them to steal their customers than necessary. If the FCC saw that giving consumers more choice was in everyone's best interest than perhaps that obstacle could be overcome. Sadly the current administration doesn't seem likely to be willing to give consumers more choice, given recent decisions about media ownership rules. Though I myself am a conservative I really just don't know what they were thinking... :no
 
Top