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post #541 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 03:47 AM
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For the people that are unhappy with the SD subchannels picture quality with an HDTV set top box. I found out if I watch an SD subchannel with the composite yellow video cable it looks much better than going through the component cables. It less grainy. I have been watching SD subchannels this way since finding this out.

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post #542 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by dkreichen1968 View Post

What I'd love to see from the other side is a well reasoned defense of their side. All I hear is that free television is a waste of bandwidth based on the decline in analog viewership over the past 20 years. That isn't a well reasoned defense of your side. If you would like to contribute to this discussion please tell us.

Why is the bandwidth needed?

Will the bandwidth be used for anything more useful than Twittering and streaming porn movies on I-phones? (This is a genuine question)

If it really is needed, why can't it come from other sources including above 3.7 GHz?

How will reallocation help the average joe?

How will reallocation benefit the poor?

How will reallocation help improve access to broadband?

How will reallocation help decrease the cost of broadband?

Good post, IMHO the national broadband plan is a farce. Our unserved rural areas don't need more radio spectrum, they need more money for more towers and more mid-mile fiber to use the spectrum that is available now. Only a third world country should base a national broadband plan so heavily on wireless. If you really want a lot more broadband bandwidth then fiber optics (practically unlimited bandwidth) is the only answer to that.

The real reason the cell phone carriers want so much spectrum is to eliminate potential competition. TV Band (white space) devices, ATSC mobile / handheld and a healthy free TV broadcast community are all potential competitors and taking away their spectrum kills all of them. Only the shareholders of the cell phone carriers will profit while subscribers will pay for the spectrum auctions and the general public will pay in terms of lost public service and decreased competition. This issue is about greed as much it is about the future of free TV.
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post #543 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 07:24 AM
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http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...ctrum_Bill.php

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It's 2014 and you're still paying for television?
 

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post #544 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 09:08 AM
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Two articles sent to me this morning by CBS NY.

From Jul 14, 2010 3:01 PM Technical paper finds HD channel sharing to be viable in achieving FCC spectrum goals

From Aug 5, 2010 9:48 AM New approach seeks to optimize DTV spectrum allotment
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post #545 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by dkreichen1968 View Post

What I'd love to see from the other side is a well reasoned defense of their side. All I hear is that free television is a waste of bandwidth based on the decline in analog viewership over the past 20 years. That isn't a well reasoned defense of your side. If you would like to contribute to this discussion please tell us.

First of all, I just want to say that I'm not officially "on the other side." I'm just a schlub with my own opinions, and I think it's helpful to air out as many viewpoints as possible. In my experience to date, this thread seems an awful lot like a pep rally for the TV industry. Several posters have made it clear they're only here for the propaganda benefits, and because of the narrow range of opinion expressed, it seems like a pretty one-sided discussion since about page 2.

So, I'm giving this another shot and strapping on the asbestos vest. I'm not able to address all the questions posed above, but I'm game for taking a shot at those I can.

Why is the bandwidth needed?

Because the telephone, in its mobile form, has been and continues to morph from a speech tool to a do-it-all on-the-go information appliance. This trend has been bubbling under the surface for 10 years, but it really took off with the iPhone and the rivals that Apple inspired. Where mobile data was a sideshow up until 2005 or so, it is now becoming the main event. That trend is only going to grow stronger with the advent of other types of mobile devices, such as the Kindle and the iPad. No doubt lots of others will follow.

As a result, there are reams of estimates for strong growth in mobile data services demand, and you can Google if you really want to understand these developments better. But here's one link that will give you some perspective:

http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/30/mob...-rise-40-fold/

Will the bandwidth be used for anything more useful than Twittering and streaming porn movies on I-phones? (This is a genuine question)

You say this is a genuine question, but it sounds awfully snarky and dismissive, which is probably why you haven't received an answer previously. So, here's a snarky and dismissive initial reply: As a sincere defender of broadcast television, do you really want to go THERE?

If we're going to engage in a round of subjective judgments about content sent over the airwaves, the US television industry is not exactly in a position to be casting first stones. Should I start with something current like "The Bachelor" or go into the archives for "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour"? Or how about I just confine myself just to zoological-oriented excesses and misfires -- "BJ and the Bear" or "Manimal"? Or how about local news? ("Manimal gets the edge there.)

I could do this all day, but it's really meaningless and beside the point. Your question displays a dismissive attitude toward anything other than broadcast TV.

Let's just consider Twitter for a moment. I routinely receive useful international, national or local breaking news alerts via my Twitter account, as well as links to news and commentary about the industries, businesses and policies I'm interested in. A century ago, people depended on newspapers and its 24-hour (or longer) collection/distribution cycle for important "current" news. Then radio and TV shortened that cycle, and now Twitter shortens that cycle to the near real-time horizon.

And that's just one example of the potential value of Twitter -- it's a very malleable medium which means there will be lots of beneficial ways to make use of it. Twitter played a central role in the recent uprising in Iran against the government, and though that uprising failed, there's no question that Twitter and applications that will follow will be empowering for those in that sort of situation.

My point here is not to defend Twitter (or streaming porn). Mobile data is ultimately just the latest in a long line of emerging technologies that make possible new types of communication between and among people -- some of those uses will be universally beneficial, some may end up being regrettable, while most will be benign and fleeting.

The worst thing we can do is try to "central plan" this sort of thing based on the subjective/incomplete/negative value assessments of bureaucrat types. Your question implies that the content of broadcast television is superior to the content of mobile data. Maybe that's true for you, but you are just one person. Like it or not, the market has more collective knowledge than you do, and therefore it's in a better position to value these things than you can.

Or me.

If it really is needed, why can't it come from other sources including above 3.7 GHz?

Sorry, I can't answer that one. I'm also interested in hearing about all the potential options, along with their pros and cons.

How will reallocation help the average joe? How will reallocation benefit the poor? How will reallocation help improve access to broadband? How will reallocation help decrease the cost of broadband?

In essence, these questions are all ultimately a variation on the same question. If the projections are correct and we're facing an eventual mobile data bandwidth crunch, with insufficient supply to satisfy overall demand, that means that mobile data access prices will rise over time instead of fall, access will be constrained on the basis of income and a large number of people will be locked out of potentially valuable information and services.

And that sort of development would have serious knock-on effects, as a smaller audience for potential mobile data services would result in a stifling of innovation and business formation, which in turn would lead to slower economic growth, limited employment opportunities, and less overall upward mobility for society at large.

That may sound overly dramatic, but imagine how different the economic landscape of this country would look today if the personal computer revolution had not occurred on the scale that it has due to avoidable limits on the resources needed to grow that industry and associated businesses over the last 30 years. Many analysts believe that the mobile data market has similar revolutionary potential, and the most important thing is that it not be unduly obstructed in either delivering on that potential or proving that there are better uses for the resources it requires -- capital, intellect, spectrum, etc.

While I'm always suspicious of government actions (they're always more about good politics than good policy), I think the FCC probably has the big picture correct here.

Mobile data needs are growing fast and that growth is expected to accelerate. Broadcast television is occupying a large and central chunk of finite telecom spectrum, while at the same time its audience is shrinking and those who view it receive it through indirect, rather than over-the-air, means. I'll even stipulate that there appears to a very fledgling trend back toward OTA access, but it is no more than a drop in very big bucket and there's no persuasive data to show that trend growing at anything like the same rate as the gold rush toward mobile data.

So, I think it is, in a macro sense, a good thing that the FCC is proactively doing what they can to ensure that mobile data innovation does not run up against a brick wall of constricted bandwidth. My concern would be that because these decisions are political and hold significant scope for corruption, that there's no guarantee the right decisions will be made. This is one of the reasons I would prefer that ALL spectrum allocation be done by an open public auction, and that everyone who makes use of this type of public, commercially leveraged spectrum should pay according to what the market will bear. Yeah, that's not a perfect solution either, but I'd much rather go that route than what will likely end up being bureaucratic fiat.

One other thing. The US government did a lot to encourage the development of the broadcast television industry in this country in the early part of the last century. It did that by helping to shepherd standards and then provided essentially free access to the communication spectrum needed to make that technology come alive. Granted, it was a lot easier to provide that spectrum access then, as there were relatively few competing demands for it -- I Googled for evidence that telegraph operators were squeezed out of the market by NBC, but came up empty . And there really was no established market value for the spectrum that TV ended up occupying.

The mobile data market is obviously birthing in a very different technological and competitive environment, but the role and intent of the FCC is not really all that different than it was during the birth of television. Yeah, it may now be more politically charged than it was back in the 1930s and 1940s. And that's why I'd consider anything that can reasonable limit arbitrary government factor likely to come into play here and in similar situations.

Doug


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post #546 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 09:59 AM
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There are hardly any TV stations using VHF low channels 2-6. These channels simply don't work well for digital TV broadcast. If the FCC wants to sell off something to use for broadband, they should start by selling that. The UHF channels do work well for digital TV and may be needed for that purpose.
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post #547 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There are hardly any TV stations using VHF low channels 2-6. These channels simply don't work well for digital TV broadcast. If the FCC wants to sell off something to use for broadband, they should start by selling that. The UHF channels do work well for digital TV and may be needed for that purpose.

they won't work for broadband either
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post #548 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 11:12 AM
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Doug - you may have some points - but let's see the wireless phone companies develop what they have now before giving them any more.

And When I say "develop" - I don't mean just in the urban areas - let's get it out to rural America as well.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...

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post #549 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 11:23 AM
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There are hardly any TV stations using VHF low channels 2-6. These channels simply don't work well for digital TV broadcast. If the FCC wants to sell off something to use for broadband, they should start by selling that. The UHF channels do work well for digital TV and may be needed for that purpose.

The problem with this concept is that the mobile broadband industry doesn't want these frequencies for the same reasons that they don't work well for DTV. They require large antennas and are subject to interference. If the TV band was a continuous band from channel 7 to 400 MHz we proably wouldn't be having this discussion since most of the coveted spectrum is above 400 MHz. The reason the FCC didn't allocate it that way back in 1949 was that there were well established users in those bands. Meanwhile there was lots of military UHF spectrum from World War II that wasn't being used. Now we're kind of stuck with it.

To answer "Drop the Remotes" last post, I can't think of any level of benefit of mobile broadband that warrants throwing television broadcasting under the bus for 120 measly MHz only one year after the digital transition. The FCC already has another 380 MHz earmarked, and they aren't even looking above 3.7GHz. Between 3.7GHz and 5.8GHz there are 2100 MHz. How much of that is in use, and how much of that could be used for broadband I don't know, but as a society we need to look at truely unused spectrum first before we start doing to much hurried central planning. 5.8GHz is successfully being used for wireless broadband, and even higher frequencies may be useful in this regard. If there is money to be made their will be people who figure out how to do it. Meanwhile broadcasting is stuck where they are at. They can't move, they can only be squeezed, and the more their squeezed the less competitive they become, and the less competitve they become the more likely the premature prediction of their death is to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Some broadcast programming is trite, granted, but it is that programming that supports universal access to news and information that is vital for an informed public. And, that information is local, generated in a local news room, and in general there are a variety of these local voices, and the more the better. Also, PBS programming is a great educational resource. Pay TV is almost always of a much lower quality, and has very little local content.

I do hope that mobile, other wireless, and wired broadband grows!!! But, not at the expense of free broadcast television. Ultimately universal access to wired, not wireless, broadband would be the most beneficial for Americans in general.

You also couldn't get through your argument without repeating the "shrinking audience" argument. That whole argument is based on an irrelevant time period when television, for the most part, was analog, and a very messy transition period. Digital is similar to analog in that it is broadcast on the same frequencies and it is video content, but that is where the similarity ends. Most of us are still trying to figure out how best to receive it, and broadcasters are still trying to figure out how best to broadcast it. In the United Kingdom, where the government actively pushed DTV, pay TV subscription rates dropped significantly with the transition. Here, it was almost as if the government was pushing pay-TV (and given what has followed, they probably were). The "shrinking audience" argument is invalid propaganda that shouldn't be given anymore time in this forum. I believe that the "shrinking audience" will become the "rapidly expanding audience" as real economic forces and general knowledge of the existence of free digital television come to bear.

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post #550 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 12:49 PM
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Personally, I'd like to see some of these corporations that are hoarding all the spectrum to stifle competition actually putting more of it to use before the government allows them to take any more of it.
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post #551 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by DeadFormatLover View Post


From Jul 14, 2010 3:01 PM Technical paper finds HD channel sharing to be viable in achieving FCC spectrum goals

This propaganda paper should be shredded and spread on the crops because it is full of BS! As far as U. S. TV stations with different owners sharing spectrum is concerned, "That dog don't hunt".
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post #552 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 04:50 PM
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If the FCC is willing to turn its back on localism and diversity we have plenty of spectrum. Sure, the FCC is required by law to foster localism and diversity. Sure, there are a whole lot of private contracts that provide affiliation agreements between local broadcasters and the national networks. If we are willing to slaughter those sacred cows, we could get by just fine with as few as ten channels of over the air programming.

We could use a single frequency network (SFN) with dedicated national channels for NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and PBS. We'd probably want to include the CW, My Network TV, perhaps Ion, and Univision and Telemundo. Blam, we can get away with just ten television stations. Switch from inefficient MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 and we're down to just 3 MHz per station, leaving us with national over the air HDTV on just five channels. Because channels 14 through 17 are used for land mobile communications in certain parts of the country, I recommend using channels 18 through 22 for our new, homogenized network of nationally simulcast programming on SFN.

Of course, we do run into a few problems...

With an SFN, we have just one time zone for the entire contiguous United States. That might be inconvenient for viewers on the West Coast. Plus the 9:00pm rules for "racy" content might mean that we have objectionable content running at 6:00 on the West Coast or alternatively starting at midnight on the East Coast. Then we will have to do away with local newscasts (no great loss) and local tornado warnings (perhaps more troubling).

We will get rid of local fundraisers and notices of local community events. We will tear up the contracts that local broadcasters have with their affiliated networks (never mind the Contract Clause of the Constitution). All diverse, local, minority and religious broadcasters will be banished from the air, but surely there's no First Amendment consideration with this.

While the government can enact a taking under eminent domain, it may not do so without just compensation. The cost of compensating an NBC or Fox affiliate in a top 30 or even top 100 market could be quite high. Compensating the networks for their Owned and Operated stations and compensating the countless network affiliates in order to give spectrum to AT&T and Verizon would be ludicrously expensive.

In short, while it might be possible to offer most of the HD content that most people already get free over the air in as little as 60 MHz or even 30 MHz of spectrum, it would be insanely expensive, politically untenably and likely unconstitutional. Best of luck with that, Chairman Genachowski!

Free over the air HDTV + Tivo HD + Netflix for Blu-ray and streaming = Bliss
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post #553 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Switch from inefficient MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 and we're down to just 3 MHz per station, leaving us with national over the air HDTV on just five channels.

Except no TVs have mpeg-4 tuners in them. Even if you mandated starting TODAY it would be a dozen years before you got close to the vast majority of TVs with such tuners. So then your talking about yet ANOTHER converter box program. Not to mention all the TV stations would have to switch to mpeg-4. Who is footing that bill?

The problem with the digital conversion was that the FCC waited too long to mandate digital tuners in TV and to remove TVs without ATSC tuners from the marketplace. 2 years was way to little time considering the average person won't replace a TV for 6 years or more. I agree mpeg-4 would solve a lot of these issues, but if that's the solution the FCC will have to wait until at least 2023 before claiming that spectrum. I doubt they are willing to do that.
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post #554 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 08:00 PM
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The technology has expanded since the digital transition was planned, and it will continue to expand, but unfortunately broadcast TV must have a workable technology that we can stick with. Unfortunately it looks like that has to be MPEG-2. Unfortunately TV is pretty much stuck with current frequencies. I really think there is enough bandwidth to go around without taking any back from broadcasting. Cell phone/broadband companies have a much better ability to adapt to new technology since cell phones have a relatively short lifespan. And, they have much better ability for frequency reuse. If they don't get all the bandwidth they might want, they will figure out how to make it work.

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post #555 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 09:07 PM
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Personally, I'd like to see some of these corporations that are hoarding all the spectrum to stifle competition actually putting more of it to use before the government allows them to take any more of it.

Yup. Although if we really want to shake the industry up, we also need to ensure that when additional spectrum is eventually auctioned off (hopefully not from the TV broadcast bands), it goes to someone other than the incumbent carriers. The best way to stir things up is with competition, and letting Verizon and AT&T dominate the wireless spectrum isn't going to get us there.

In any event, that hoarded, unused spectrum is part of the reason that I'm not buying the "spectrum shortage" argument.

The other reason is because another viable solution in heavily populated areas is simply to shrink the size of the cells. As a grossly simplified example, if you have a single cell tower serving an area with 100,000 people, and you break it into four separate cells that each serve 25,000 people, you've essentially quadrupled your data capacity without needing any more spectrum. Of course, the cost is that you do need more cell towers. But if you make the cells small enough (ie, a "microcell" system), you can put the those antennas on top of streetlights, buildings, whatever -- and the cost per cell could get quite low.

My point is that the solution to broadband congestion is competition and innovation, not turning over more spectrum to the incumbent carriers. So the travesty of this attempted spectrum grab is that it's not necessary for solving the congestion problem -- instead, it seems more geared towards entrenching the incumbent carriers and letting them maintain the status quo for spectral efficiency of their operations.
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post #556 of 2861 Old 08-06-2010, 10:34 PM
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If the FCC is willing to turn its back on localism and diversity we have plenty of spectrum.

Actually if the FCC is serious about taking more than half of the UHF (best for digital TV) spectrum from the TV band it should consider cutting the number of TV markets in half. 105 TV markets would be plenty for the government to assure that every state and DC get at least one. The other 54 markets could be located where there is the most demand for a separate market. It could be a license requirement for commercial stations that smaller cities have to be served by moderate or low power DTS repeaters. There would still be a need for channels 31-36 unless Congress uses some of the auction proceeds to remove Land Mobile from 14-20. It would make a lot more sense than asking stations in the same city to share spectrum. Does the U. S. really need 210 TV markets?
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post #557 of 2861 Old 08-07-2010, 06:15 AM
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We could use a single frequency network (SFN) with dedicated national channels for NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and PBS. We'd probably want to include the CW, My Network TV, perhaps Ion, and Univision and Telemundo. Blam, we can get away with just ten television stations. Switch from inefficient MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 and we're down to just 3 MHz per station, leaving us with national over the air HDTV on just five channels. Because channels 14 through 17 are used for land mobile communications in certain parts of the country, I recommend using channels 18 through 22 for our new, homogenized network of nationally simulcast programming on SFN.

Unfortunately, SFN using the ATSC 8-VSB modulation cannot provide reception comparable to that available from a single TX. In contrast, COFDM, the standard used in most of the rest of the world, was developed with SFN in mind.
Most TV broadcasters are aware of the fact that SFN will not work in the US. In fact, at the recent FCC Broadband Engineering Conference the task force assigned to look into DTV cellularizaton, declared that SFN will not work based on the NYC trials that cost the taxpayers 10 millions.
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post #558 of 2861 Old 08-07-2010, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually if the FCC is serious about taking more than half of the UHF (best for digital TV) spectrum from the TV band it should consider cutting the number of TV markets in half. 105 TV markets would be plenty for the government to assure that every state and DC get at least one.

Tha would really only work if the FCC not only allowed stations to increase power but also demanded it. There are UHF stations I COULD be getting in but I don't most of the time beause they are broadbading at 350 kW when they could be broadcasting at 1000 kW. Also some stations are using directional antennas which also hurt. A requirement to use omni-directional antennas must also be mandated.

Some ideas I have instead

While I do find PBS to be valuable why do we have so many of them. There are more PBS stations than any other network. You could cut down the number of PBS stations by 1/4 and still cover the areas needed. Also I'm not against the idea of channel sharing for those stations that are in SD and are not planning to move to HD. for example in Nashville you have Jewelry Channel and A1 on RF44 and you have HSN on RF 31 as a LP. All 3 are broadcasting in SD. Any reason why all 3 can't share a channel?
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post #559 of 2861 Old 08-07-2010, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreichen1968 View Post

Some broadcast programming is trite, granted, but it is that programming that supports universal access to news and information that is vital for an informed public. And, that information is local, generated in a local news room, and in general there are a variety of these local voices, and the more the better. Also, PBS programming is a great educational resource. Pay TV is almost always of a much lower quality, and has very little local content.

So, just how effectively are local TV stations reaching their audience with local news?

The latest information I can find via the web is from The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, and it goes back to 2008. Note that the raw data, which is derived from individual local markets, originates with Nielsen, and then PPEJ has taken that and devised a method for re-aggregating the data on a national basis. Although it's not explicitly stated, I'm assuming that this represents numbers of households, of which there are roughly 115 million in the US (with minor variations, depending on who does the counting).



Source: http://www.stateofthemedia.org/2009/...?cat=1&media=8

If we assume, for the sake of argument, that local news is the high-water mark for local TV's public service contributions to its communities, these numbers are not impressive, as they indicate that local news, at its best (evening news during the February 2008 sweeps period), reached less than 10 percent of the households where it was available on any given day.

Even if we were to generously assume that all of the morning and all of the early evening news viewers were "unique viewers" and that half of the late evening news households were households that hadn't previously tuned to previously aired local news program that day, that still means that only 18.7 million households benefited from the local news programming provided by the four network-affiliated local broadcasters nationally. That works out to about 16.3%, which is just short of one out of six households nationally. But again, that's a very generous reading of the data -- no doubt, the reality is much closer to 10% than 16%.

Also, this data was captured during the sweeps period, when stations are pulling out all the stops in the Gimmicks and Antics Department in order to maximize the number of viewers and advertising rates.

While I agree that a well-informed public is a critically important ingredient for a productive and responsible society, the numbers here really don't make a convincing case for local TV succeeding in fulfilling those needs. I'm not going to argue the problem is entirely with the content of those news broadcasts (though it's likely an important factor). But one thing is certain -- it's not for lack of promotion or viewer awareness of local news availability. People know where and when to find free, locally originated news about their communities, and all that's really required is that they sit back and listen. And yet, most potential viewers vote "not present."

Finally, I can't let stand your assertion that "Pay TV is almost always of a much lower quality." This takes the cake for sweeping generalizations and would indicate either a complete lack of familiarity with the offerings of subscription TV services or a stubborn resistance to the real world. I don't really believe that overall there is much of a quality difference at all. But even if free broadcast TV, with the benefit of bigger budgets and greater reach, has an edge, it is small and growing smaller by the day.

Maybe you were thinking local access cable ("Party on, Garth") versus PBS? If that's the case, then yeah, we've finally found something we agree on.

Doug


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So, just how effectively are local TV stations reaching their audience with local news?

The latest information I can find via the web is from The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, and it goes back to 2008. Note that the raw data, which is derived from individual local markets, originates with Nielsen, and then PPEJ has taken that and devised a method for re-aggregating the data on a national basis. Although it's not explicitly stated, I'm assuming that this represents numbers of households, of which there are roughly 115 million in the US (with minor variations, depending on who does the counting).



Source: http://www.stateofthemedia.org/2009/...?cat=1&media=8

If we assume, for the sake of argument, that local news is the high-water mark for local TV's public service contributions to its communities, these numbers are not impressive, as they indicate that local news, at its best (evening news during the February 2008 sweeps period), reached less than 10 percent of the households where it was available on any given day.

Even if we were to generously assume that all of the morning and all of the early evening news viewers were "unique viewers" and that half of the late evening news households were households that hadn't previously tuned to previously aired local news program that day, that still means that only 18.7 million households benefited from the local news programming provided by the four network-affiliated local broadcasters nationally. That works out to about 16.3%, which is just short of one out of six households nationally. But again, that's a very generous reading of the data -- no doubt, the reality is much closer to 10% than 16%.

What if "only 10%" of the nation died in a terrorist attack? All of sudden 10% doesn't seem "only". If a show dropped "only" 10% in it's rating it would probably be cancelled. If your pay was cut by "only" 10% you'd be quite mad.

18.7 million is the equivalent of NY, LA and Chicago combined. 18.7 million is equivalent to the population of state of Florida which is the 4th largest state. Hardly "only".
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07-20-10Talking points

We can discuss every aspect of saving 41% of our current FREE TV spectrum in this thread.
However, none of it will make any difference unless we follow Dan's advice from 9 days ago.

The Right to Write
Some Suggestions on Writing Your Congressman
by Morris K. Udall, Member, U.S. Congress

On July 20th (post #397) Dan wisely urged everyone to write their representatives. This thread now has 561 posts. 18 days and 164 posts later, has anyone taken Dan's advice?

The time & energy that's being invested into this thread would be better utilized urging Congress to do the the right thing - to listen to the will of the American people (voters & taxpayers) rather than well-healed lobbyists - especially given the upcoming November Congressional election.

We need to influence Congress - the only people who will decide this matter.

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post #562 of 2861 Old 08-07-2010, 11:13 AM
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Ryan Jairam:
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I just got a call from Rep. Scott Garrett's office (R, NJ-5) and the staff member that was calling me said that he was a big supporter of OTA TV and was definitely interested in hearing more from constituents. I had sent him a note about the big FCC spectrum grab and the threat to OTA TV via his website. I would expect that in an election year they are a bit more attentive of course... but something to keep in mind, that your local congressperson (some of them anyway) does in fact read and listen! By the way if you live in our district or even if you don't, please send Rep. Garrett your thanks for listening and supporting OTA TV!

Well done Ryan!

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post #563 of 2861 Old 08-07-2010, 11:14 AM
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What if "only 10%" of the nation died in a terrorist attack? All of sudden 10% doesn't seem "only". If a show dropped "only" 10% in it's rating it would probably be cancelled. If your pay was cut by "only" 10% you'd be quite mad.

18.7 million is the equivalent of NY, LA and Chicago combined. 18.7 million is equivalent to the population of state of Florida which is the 4th largest state. Hardly "only".

Wow! This seems like a silly game to be playing. Too bad we're not in China or India -- you'd really have the power of absolute numbers on your side then.

My point is that broadcast TV's most public service-oriented product is routinely ignored by more than 85% of its target market. But still, local news appears to be the TV industry's knight-in-shining-armor, and a cornerstone of its "public service" rationale for continuing to occupy a huge chunk of ocean-front spectrum.

I guess the TV industry can make that argument if it wants, but I don't need Nielsen, Pew or Gallup to tell me the odds are that's a losing hand.

Smartphone penetration (the type of device that currently makes the greatest demands on mobile data infrastructure) is currently at 21% and is expected to climb to 50% by the end of 2011.

http://www.gpsbusinessnews.com/Niels...011_a2154.html

Does that prove anything? Maybe, maybe not. But I'd sure rather be playing the telecom industry's 50% hand than the 15% hand the TV industry seems so proud of.

Doug


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they won't work for broadband either

One thing the low VHF channels will work for is low power analog. There are several thousand analog LP stations and a majority of them will probably never go digital. Let them fight over low VHF. Why not set a maximum ERP of 10 kW analog NTSC (secondary service) for channels 2-6 and a quick date to clear all analog stations from channels 7-51.
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Save Free Antenna TV! RabbitEars.Info, thanks for getting us over 25 fans!

Now, "Save Free Antenna TV!" has their own username. Simply direct friends to this page by this link: facebook.com/SaveFreeTV .
Thursday at 9:48am

Congratulations Ion on reaching your first goal - a facebook username. What is your next goal and how can we help you achieve it?

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post #566 of 2861 Old 08-08-2010, 09:48 AM
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That would really only work if the FCC not only allowed stations to increase power but also demanded it. There are UHF stations I COULD be getting in but I don't most of the time because they are broadbading at 350 kW when they could be broadcasting at 1000 kW. Also some stations are using directional antennas which also hurt. A requirement to use omni-directional antennas must also be mandated.

You could probably improve your own antenna system by that 5 dB or so, a lot cheaper than the stations increasing their transmission power by that much.
And, if every station raised their power to 1000 KW omni-directional, we'd just have to shut half of them down due to interference issues, or make everybody put up a receiving antenna array the size of a house.

It's not as simple as "just jack up the power level".

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post #567 of 2861 Old 08-08-2010, 11:17 AM
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You could probably improve your own antenna system by that 5 dB or so, a lot cheaper than the stations increasing their transmission power by that much.

Some stations are as low as 50 kW and we have a 1 MW station here in the Pittsburgh area with a directional antenna that goes down to 38 kW. Some OTA viewers can't improve their antennas by 5-6 db let alone 10-13 db unless we start having community antenna systems that charge a lot less than the cable companies do. Have to admit that you are definitely right about those 1 MW omnidirectional monsters causing lots of interference concerns. If the intent had been to replicate 5 MW analog UHF stations rather than to replicate the coverage of analog VHF, IMHO the FCC would have made the maximum between 500 and 750 kW.
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post #568 of 2861 Old 08-08-2010, 12:24 PM
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That's why I suggested, ten years ago, that broadcasters begin pushing for antenna systems on most buildings. Had there been a demand for the equipment, small MATV systems could have been included in almost all MDUs and office buildings, for a very reasonable cost. They could have been required as part of the original construction, or included with remodeling and building upgrades...when it would be have been more affordable.

The big problem with adding power on one (or, a few) stations is, then everybody has to increase power proportionately, or you have potential for interference between stations of vastly differing power levels.

Broadcasters could have also done their/our part by co-locating facilities, or by staggering channels to allow for non-overlaps between adjacent cities and between different sites, leaving a gap for location-agile receiving systems. Right now, it takes a very elaborate system to "comb out" the different adjacent and semi-adjacent channels when they come from different directions...worse when they are very different power levels at the receive site.

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Broadcasters share a large part of the blame for the ever shrinking OTA market. Instead of endlessly whining they could have worked with set manufacturers to develop smart indoor antenna that is electronically integrated with the set to maximize the SNR. Instead, they left us with rabbit ears and rooftop antennas that are relics of the 50s.
The broadcasters apathy toward OTA is largely due to the 15-20% market size. But that is short sighted and has brought all the predators who claim that they can use the DTV channels more efficiently.
My advice to the DTV broadcasters: It's not too late to start growing the OTA market. With smart Rx antennas you can get the improvement equivalent to increasing the TX power x10.
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post #570 of 2861 Old 08-08-2010, 01:49 PM
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Broadcasters share a large part of the blame for the ever shrinking OTA market. Instead of endlessly whining they could have worked with set manufacturers to develop smart indoor antenna that is electronically integrated with the set to maximize the SNR. Instead, they left us with rabbit ears and rooftop antennas that are relics of the 50s.
The broadcasters apathy toward OTA is largely due to the 15-20% market size. But that is short sighted and has brought all the predators who claim that they can use the DTV channels more efficiently.
My advice to the DTV broadcasters: It's not too late to start growing the OTA market. With smart Rx antennas you can get the improvement equivalent to increasing the TX power x10.

Yes, Smart Antenna technology will certainly help reception issues. But DTV reception is not the issue here.

The supposed reason for voluntary spectrum auctions is to provide broadband for everyone. The problem is existing DTV spectrum is in and around population centers, not in rural areas where the lack of broadband is the real problem.

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