We Need to be Helping Others with Transition - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 157 Old 08-18-2008, 07:47 PM
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Who really cares ? It's probably some special package from the local cable company, or they have some internal MATV system. In any event - they need to think about how they are going to handle the transition as well...

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

Being A Beacon of Knowledge in the darkness of FUD
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post #92 of 157 Old 08-18-2008, 08:39 PM
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Helping others: Tonight I attended a seminar with IPTV chief engineer Bill Hayes. He had a 45 minute presentation that was quite basic, just like some stuff on YouTube. When he did the Q&A, he and I both were very surprised that nearly all of people, mostly elderly, have known about DTV and many already had coupons and boxes. The people could not understand why the boxes could not pick up the digital channels. Nearly all had good antennas on the roof. Some had what they called the "Burlington Iowa Special Antenna" they have used for years. Bill mentioned that their antennas were for VHF and right now all digitals are UHF. Fox channel 18 analog comes in good. Well, it has a very strong signal and is somewhat nearer.
People also want a list of reputable installers. Also want a guaranteed antenna recommendation That info is hard to come by.
Some people mention a friend or relative that are still using rabbit ears to pick up a couple of channels now, just to watch the news. Is there some sort of coupon program for them?
So it seems to me that one of the areas to help people will be showing them the TV fool now & TV fool post transition, & helping them select the proper antenna whether it be just UHF or a combo. Another thing would be to find antenna guys to help those that will need an outdoor antenna.

Bob 61231
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post #93 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spokybob View Post

Helping others: Tonight I attended a seminar with IPTV chief engineer Bill Hayes. He had a 45 minute presentation that was quite basic, just like some stuff on YouTube. When he did the Q&A, he and I both were very surprised that nearly all of people, mostly elderly, have known about DTV and many already had coupons and boxes. The people could not understand why the boxes could not pick up the digital channels. Nearly all had good antennas on the roof. Some had what they called the "Burlington Iowa Special Antenna" they have used for years...

I note that Winegard antennas is based in Burlington, Iowa, FWIW.
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post #94 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spokybob View Post

Some had what they called the "Burlington Iowa Special Antenna" they have used for years. Bill mentioned that their antennas were for VHF and right now all digitals are UHF.

From Winegard's website:

Quote:


Winegard operates rolling mills in-house, where raw, flat UV coated aluminum is formed into elements used in traditional rooftop antennas. These traditional outdoor antennas are still a large part of Winegard business. Winegard Specials, antennas designed for specific areas, are also manufactured.

So, I'd guess from that that "Burlington Iowa Special" is an (old?) Winegard design specifically for folks in their home area in IA.
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post #95 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CasualOTAer View Post

So, I'd guess from that that "Burlington Iowa Special" is an (old?) Winegard design specifically for folks in their home area in IA.

Also from Winegard's web site:

Quote:


Winegard Area Special antennas are available from most dealers and are engineered to pick up only the stations in your area. Some Area Specials include two or more antennas mounted on one mast.

If a new channel is added in your area and you have an 82 channel antenna, you shouldn't have to change anything. If the new station is UHF and you have a VHF antenna, add a UHF antenna. An Area Special would probably not be designed to include the new channel, but you can add an antenna.

OK, now my curiosity is satisfied. That would indicate that the Burlington Iowa Special was designed specifically for the (historical) analog channel set for that market. Small wonder their antennas don't do well with their new UHF DTV allocations. I guess those "specials" were a good idea for several decades... but not so much in the DTV transition era!!
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post #96 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spokybob View Post

Helping others: Tonight I attended a seminar with IPTV chief engineer Bill Hayes. He had a 45 minute presentation that was quite basic, just like some stuff on YouTube. When he did the Q&A, he and I both were very surprised that nearly all of people, mostly elderly, have known about DTV and many already had coupons and boxes. The people could not understand why the boxes could not pick up the digital channels. Nearly all had good antennas on the roof. Some had what they called the "Burlington Iowa Special Antenna" they have used for years. Bill mentioned that their antennas were for VHF and right now all digitals are UHF. Fox channel 18 analog comes in good. Well, it has a very strong signal and is somewhat nearer.
People also want a list of reputable installers. Also want a guaranteed antenna recommendation That info is hard to come by.
Some people mention a friend or relative that are still using rabbit ears to pick up a couple of channels now, just to watch the news. Is there some sort of coupon program for them?
So it seems to me that one of the areas to help people will be showing them the TV fool now & TV fool post transition, & helping them select the proper antenna whether it be just UHF or a combo. Another thing would be to find antenna guys to help those that will need an outdoor antenna.

spokybob,
Good going on your outreach program. Do you think there will be more meetings. How about hooking up VCRs and DTV transition, any questions on this. For the meetings I have had, lots of questions and wondering why they need a second converter box.
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post #97 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 09:20 AM
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People understood that the VCR & TV have to be on Ch3 all the time. No one seemed to have a problem with that. The idea of 2 boxes was not mentioned. Bill did talk about analog pass through because IPTV does have a translator in the area. For those that have a newer TV he mentioned splitting the antenna and viewing analog on Ch28 of the TV and using the RCA jacks & aux input for viewing digital with the box. He said 20 percent of households, not tvs, watch OTA in Iowa. He is winding up his tour of Iowa at this time and did not mention further schedules. Bill was at the Iowa state fair everyday at his booth, reaching many people that way.
Warren Electronics in Moline has mentioned the old "Quad City Special."
When pressed for an answer, Bill recommended the HD8200 antenna and a rotor and not recommending a pre-amp unless the location really needs it.
He also had a diagram of antenna, tuner, audio & video circuits, picture tube & speakers. That impressed many who had no idea how a TV "set" works. Then it made sense that the old TV still works just fine when a CECB interprets a signal into a language the TV tuner understands. Good job there!

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post #98 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 04:28 PM
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My husband finally put the antenna together outside and then sat it on top of a wooden ladder to see if things improved. Nope...things were worse then using the rabbit ears. The same situation as it was with my parents who live next door and already have an antenna. Received 1 station (ch.2) from Chicago and if the antenna got turned the other direction we could get ch.16 from South Bend, IN. I thought the antenna was suppose to improve things and it was just the opposite. Getting really frustrated with this whole conversion thing and don't know who to call to help.
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post #99 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 04:58 PM
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Try a bowtie antenna. Rabbit ears are for VHF. Bowtie for UHF. You might need a way to receive both VHF and UHF depending on your local channels - where they are now and where they'll be after the transition.
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post #100 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitzy View Post

My husband finally put the antenna together outside and then sat it on top of a wooden ladder to see if things improved. Nope...things were worse then using the rabbit ears. The same situation as it was with my parents who live next door and already have an antenna. Received 1 station (ch.2) from Chicago and if the antenna got turned the other direction we could get ch.16 from South Bend, IN. I thought the antenna was suppose to improve things and it was just the opposite. Getting really frustrated with this whole conversion thing and don't know who to call to help.

A few questions:
1. What antenna are you using, is it for both VHF and UHF, channels 2-69?
2. How are you connecting the antenna to TV, coax or twin-lead?
3. Have you used the Signal buton on the remote control to check signal quality, what is it? You may need an amplifier if the cable length is too long.
4. If you have a 300 ohm to 75 ohm coax transformer at the antenna, is it for both VHF and UHF.
5. Have you used the http://www.tvfool.com tool to check signal levels for your location.
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post #101 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 05:10 PM
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Mitzy, AVSForum lost everything from 8/1 to 8/11, so we don't have your other posts to look at. Will you give us your info again?

I love the digital transition. The voices in my head just say 0 and 1 now.
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post #102 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 05:35 PM
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1. A brand new Channel Master Deep Fringe 3020 with both UHF/VHF
2. a new Coax
3. Yes, we've used the Signal button on the remote. Nothing happened with the amplifier that he used.
4. Used the 300 ohm to 75 ohm coax transformer at the antenna, it is for both VHF and UHF that came with the antenna.
5. Yes, I've been to TVFool and 2150.com/broadcast. With our location we should be getting quite a few channels from both Chicago and South Bend, IN.
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post #103 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 05:49 PM
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Oh dear, my original posts are gone.

Quick summary, been lurking here at this board for about 4 months in trying to learn which converter box I should get. Ended up getting the Zenith 901.

We have rabbit ears and can get maybe 3 or 4 channels. Somedays even less, some more. My parents live next door to us and they have an antenna. When I hooked up their Zenith 901 they got even less stations! Channel 2 out of Chicago and 16 out of South Bend, IN. I thought for sure that they would get more with their antenna. Their antenna is a couple years old.

My husband has MS so he is kind of limited from climbing these days. So today, he put together the antenna that we just bought recently and placed it on the ladder outside to test things out. We only got ch. 2 out of Chicago and when we turned it got ch 16 out of South Bend. We are not happy about this whole digital transition thing at all.
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post #104 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitzy View Post

1. A brand new Channel Master Deep Fringe 3020 with both UHF/VHF
2. a new Coax
3. Yes, we've used the Signal button on the remote. Nothing happened with the amplifier that he used.
4. Used the 300 ohm to 75 ohm coax transformer at the antenna, it is for both VHF and UHF that came with the antenna.
5. Yes, I've been to TVFool and 2150.com/broadcast. With our location we should be getting quite a few channels from both Chicago and South Bend, IN.

Oh yes, I remember your original posts. When you use the Signal button, what is the percentage of the bar display.
What is you zip code.
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post #105 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 07:22 PM
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Either no signal or maybe ranging between 40-60%.

Zip code 49128
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post #106 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 07:35 PM
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Mitzy,

How do the analog channels look. Is there a lot of snow, or any ghosting? Your reception should be good unless you have terrain/building issues, or a bad connection. Have you completely removed the amplifier? Any amplifier other than a Winegard HDP-269 will probably make matters worse.
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post #107 of 157 Old 08-19-2008, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitzy View Post

Either no signal or maybe ranging between 40-60%.

Zip code 49128

Mitzy,
Using your ZIP code and TVFool I can see why you are having problems. With antenna on ladder, I assumed height of 12 feet. I would guess you can see 16.1 and 22.1 and as you say very low signal. There are no line of sight stations. Receive level is ony -81 and -84 dBm respectively. This is too low. However if you can raise antenna to 30 feet, it is much different. For 16.1 signal level is more than 20 dB or 100 times higher. I would estimate you should get at least 8 stations then. It would also be good if you could put the amplifier right at the antenna. This would be better than at the TV where it is more convenient. Another positive thing is that after the transition, the power will go up and you should receive maybe 10 stations. Does this help?
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post #108 of 157 Old 08-21-2008, 02:14 PM
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Reluctantly I have to admit there is a place for basic cable in transition recommendations. Just spent two hours with a neighbor who had his government coupons in hand and wanted to know what to buy.

BUT he really does do a lot of timed recording on his VCR and doesn't want to give that up. Given the reported troubles I am not about to recommended a DTVPal CECB.

So for him the realistic alternatives are (a) a new DVD/VCR with digital tuner for about $250 or (b) basic cable for about $10 a month. He needs an additional room (now on rabbit ears) wired, so the $50 cable installation fee even seems to be a decent choice.

(Why not Dish? He and his wife are adverse to set-top boxes.)
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post #109 of 157 Old 08-21-2008, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zqxthree View Post

Reluctantly I have to admit there is a place for basic cable in transition recommendations. Just spent two hours with a neighbor who had his government coupons in hand and wanted to know what to buy.

BUT he really does do a lot of timed recording on his VCR and doesn't want to give that up. Given the reported troubles I am not about to recommended a DTVPal CECB.

So for him the realistic alternatives are (a) a new DVD/VCR with digital tuner for about $250 or (b) basic cable for about $10 a month. He needs an additional room (now on rabbit ears) wired, so the $50 cable installation fee even seems to be a decent choice.

(Why not Dish? He and his wife are adverse to set-top boxes.)

I agree the DTVPal is not one to use. At least until they correct the problems. However there is another converter box one can use with a VCR or DVD recorder. This is the Zinwell ZAT-970A. It has a Timer feature and up to 8 events can be set up. It is good on sensitivity and good picture quality. The Timer events don't get lost or corrupted. You can even remove power and events are still there. I wouldn't use this for a direct connection to TV, the Zenith DTT-901 is a much better choice for that.
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post #110 of 157 Old 08-21-2008, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zqxthree View Post

So for him the realistic alternatives are (a) a new DVD/VCR with digital tuner for about $250 or (b) basic cable for about $10 a month. He needs an additional room (now on rabbit ears) wired, so the $50 cable installation fee even seems to be a decent choice.

So for a year and a half the cost between service and new equipment is the same. After that however, the cost of service is an indefinite liability. Where's the logic in perpetual servitude to a monthly bloodsucker?
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post #111 of 157 Old 08-21-2008, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zqxthree View Post

So for him the realistic alternatives are (a) a new DVD/VCR with digital tuner for about $250....

The heck with that - get him a Philips or Magnavox HDD/DVD recorder for around the same price, give or take a few bucks.

He'll thank you many times over once he learns to use it (which should be fairly easy, since he already knows how to set timers on and use a VCR).

And if he mainly wants it to timeshift, at least he won't have to deal with those damned VHS tapes anymore.
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post #112 of 157 Old 08-22-2008, 06:17 AM
 
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When the FCC does its testing, they use a 30 foot antenna, which I think is completely unfair. For many, many years most analog viewers just used settop antennas with a height of ~5 feet. That's the height the FCC should be using if they want to have "same as analog" coverage for the digital signal.
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So for [two and a half] years the cost [$250] between cable service and new OTA equipment is the same. After that however, the cost of cable service is an indefinite liability. Where's the logic in perpetual servitude to a monthly bloodsucker?

The advantage is you don't end-up crying like my mother, or throwing your Zenith DTT900 against the wall like my angry father did. This transition is EXTREMELY frustrating for the average people who are not technical like us.

If you still don't understand, hand your grandmother a DTV coupon box, and sit back and watch her try to hook it up. And after its hooked-up, watch grandma's frustration as she only gets 4 channels instead of her usual 15. (That in a nutshell is what happened to my parents.)

Buying ~$10 a month cable or DishTV is often preferable simply because it's easy-to-use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitzy View Post

Getting really frustrated with this whole conversion thing and don't know who to call to help.

Start with your ~10 congressional representatives and 2 state senators, and tell them you don't appreciate losing your analog television. Also tell them you won't hang-up until they provide some help, because they OWE that to you.

If they don't help, organize a local committee to get them removed from office. (Actually, they probably deserve to be removed for *other* reasons in addition to the tv frak-up.)
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post #113 of 157 Old 08-22-2008, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

This transition is EXTREMELY frustrating for the average people who are not technical like us.

Learning new skills can sometimes be frustrating. But having a tantrum or taking the easy way out are not very mature or intelligent options IMO. Are people really that lazy or stupid? Oh well, with the plummeting average IQ maybe it's to be expected.

My frustration is with the government's implementation of the transition. Oh well, with the corruption in Washington (oh, and did I say the plummeting average IQ) maybe it's to be expected.
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post #114 of 157 Old 08-22-2008, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

When the FCC does its testing, they use a 30 foot antenna, which I think is completely unfair. For many, many years most analog viewers just used settop antennas with a height of ~5 feet. That's the height the FCC should be using if they want to have "same as analog" coverage for the digital signal.

Makes no sense.

Science and engineering depends on controlled and reproducible conditions. Antenna theory is all about conductors in free air. You can compare antennas in the air to one another some what. You can't compare rabbit ears (whose brand, length extended, angle set at, amplified or not, matching circuit or not) five feet off the floor on a first/second/third floor in a cement_block/brick/steel_siding/aluminum_siding/asbestos_siding/wood_siding with one another.

What is done is things are compared to a reproducible standard, 30 foot antenna, and then you can compare specific cases to that if you want.
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post #115 of 157 Old 08-22-2008, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post

So for a year and a half the cost between service and new equipment is the same. After that however, the cost of service is an indefinite liability. Where's the logic in perpetual servitude to a monthly bloodsucker?

OK, so she, er I mean "they" don't like STBs. But maybe they should borrow a CECB (from zqxthree, perhaps?) to see how good/poor their OTA reception might be.
If they can get a dozen or so local channels with little/no breakup via OTA DTV, then a recorder with a built-in ATSC tuner may make the most sense.

If not, then even with the on-going monthly obligation, limited cable may be THEIR better option. I don't like saying that, but most people don't like fussing with their TV set up, or having their program freeze just when they care the most. zqxthree's statement that they don't like STBs is evidence that they want as carefree a solution as possible.
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post #116 of 157 Old 08-22-2008, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post

Learning new skills can sometimes be frustrating. But having a tantrum or taking the easy way out are not very mature or intelligent options IMO. Are people really that lazy or stupid? Oh well, with the plummeting average IQ maybe it's to be expected.

Someone posted a question on this forum asking if they'd still be able to watch their pre-recorded VHS tapes on their analog TV after the transition!!
Weeks earlier, a friend had asked me the very same question!! (All they had caught were the portions of those announcements that said their TVs would stop working after Feb.)

It isn't about IQ (in many or most cases). I believe that most folks do not know and do not care to learn how their entertainment set up really works. When they want to watch video, they don't want to go up a learning curve, or make frequent technical adjustments. They want to press a button, sit back and maybe even put their brain in neutral...

Most folks around these days got their basic familiarization with analog TV many, many years ago. Not nearly as many have come up to speed on ATSC DTV and its various little "wrinkles". ("Why are there real channels and virtual channels and subchannels? I thought a channel was a channel." "Well, you see it's like this...")

So, is it laziness? Maybe, in a sense. IQ? Not usually, IMO. Disinterest in learning and understanding yet another "new" technology just for their daily TV viewing fix? Yeah, for many non AVSers, I'd say most definitely.
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post #117 of 157 Old 08-23-2008, 04:42 AM
 
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What is done is things are compared to a reproducible standard, 30 foot antenna, and then you can compare specific cases to that if you want

I understand your point about "reproducibility" but why does it have to be 30 feet? The FCC Van could do its testing with 5-foot-high antennas, and that too would be a reproducible test. (And more accurate to what most people are actually using - most don't have 30-foot-high antennas.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post

Learning new skills can sometimes be frustrating. But having a tantrum or taking the easy way out are not very mature or intelligent options IMO. Are people really that lazy or stupid? Oh well, with the plummeting average IQ maybe it's to be expected.

I don't know. Are people really as "elitist" as this message? I don't consider my parents lazy or stupid. I consider that they have better things to do than drool over toys (like we do). They want to WATCH television, not waste a month of their life trying to figure out how to make the DTV boxes work. That's why they went back to watching analog, because it "just works".

Same with ~$10 a month cable or dish - it "just works". Simplicity.

Someday you too will be 80 years old, and you too will be "out of touch" with the latest gizmos. I hope no teeny-bopper or twenty-something ever calls you "slow" because you don't understand the new cerebral-based technology of the year 2050, but I'm sure they will.

Oh:

One more thought. It's a fact that, as people age, their brains don't work as well as they used to. The internal structure of neurons literally start to unravel. A little more patience shown to our "seasoned citizens" might be a wiser course than to tell your elderly neighbor "you're stupid" or "it's obvious" or "you're lazy". ----- You need to have the same patience as your teacher showed towards you when you were learning the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic.
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post #118 of 157 Old 08-23-2008, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

I understand your point about "reproducibility" but why does it have to be 30 feet? The FCC Van could do its testing with 5-foot-high antennas, and that too would be a reproducible test. (And more accurate to what most people are actually using - most don't have 30-foot-high antennas.)

If you have an outside antenna - it's generally close to 30 feet above ground. I'd consider the FCC test at 30 feet to be a good standard.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #119 of 157 Old 08-23-2008, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

I understand your point about "reproducibility" but why does it have to be 30 feet? The FCC Van could do its testing with 5-foot-high antennas, and that too would be a reproducible test. (And more accurate to what most people are actually using - most don't have 30-foot-high antennas.)

30 feet is enough height above earth to remove many effects of the earth's surface on the radio waves so the antenna is more like it is in free air.

also from practical sense 30 feet is above the roof height of a two story house (probably the most common house elevation) which would be the height of a roof/tower/mast mounted antenna
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post #120 of 157 Old 08-23-2008, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by zqxthree View Post

Reluctantly I have to admit there is a place for basic cable in transition recommendations. Just spent two hours with a neighbor who had his government coupons in hand and wanted to know what to buy.

BUT he really does do a lot of timed recording on his VCR and doesn't want to give that up. Given the reported troubles I am not about to recommended a DTVPal CECB.

So for him the realistic alternatives are (a) a new DVD/VCR with digital tuner for about $250 or (b) basic cable for about $10 a month. He needs an additional room (now on rabbit ears) wired, so the $50 cable installation fee even seems to be a decent choice.

(Why not Dish? He and his wife are adverse to set-top boxes.)

I love it when people are adverse to set-top boxes but use a VCR all the time. Is the VCR imbedded in the TV????
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