Can Antenna TV Come To An End? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 115 Old 04-08-2013, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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After Aereo's court victory, some in the media are speculating that the major broadcasters (CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX) will take their network feeds off the broadcast towers and stream only through cable providers:

http://www.businessinsider.com/2-startups-are-exploding-the-tv-industry-2013-4

A favorable outcome for Aereo and the Hopper in court would push TV operators to dramatically reshape themselves. It could even force them to trade in their broadcast towers and become cable channels alongside networks such as Bravo, AMC and ESPN, says Garth Ancier, who has been the top TV programmer at Fox, NBC and the WB networks.

"They won't have a choice," Ancier said. "When someone attacks your business, sometimes you do something radical."

Some of the top four major networks have been considering just such a move for months, and the emergence of the two technology threats could accelerate their decisions, according to Ancier.

That would keep the broadcasters' signals away from Aereo and their ads free from the Hopper, which for now only zaps broadcast ads in recorded television.

The downside? Broadcasters would have to turn their backs on the 11.1 million homes that Nielsen estimates still receives their TV signals from rabbit ears and rooftop antennas and do not have cable subscriptions.

Spokesmen for Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC declined to comment on their plans. Last week, following the Aereo ruling, Fox said "the court has ruled that it is OK to steal copyrighted material and retransmit it without compensation."
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post #2 of 115 Old 04-08-2013, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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"Could Fox remove its broadcast signals and become available only as part of a cable subscription? That’s one possibility that News Corp. COO Chase Carey offered up as a business solution if it and other broadcasters lose their ongoing legal battle against streaming video provider Aereo.

In an interview with National Association of Broadcasters president Gordon Smith at the organization’s annual confab in Las Vegas, Carey said that if it couldn’t find a legal or government solution to the Aereo problem, Fox could go subscription-only in order to protect its dual revenue stream."

http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/08/news-corp-coo-threatens-to-pull-fox-broadcast-signal-if-aereo-prevails-in-legal-battle/
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post #3 of 115 Old 04-08-2013, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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How would I be affected personally should the major networks such as NBC, CBS and FOX pull their programming away from the broadcast towers? I don't watch ANY network TV except for sports - NFL, NHL and NCAA. Most of my viewing is through a Roku box. However I pull in the local channels through an antenna to watch the NFL and college football. This would be a problem but in no circumstances would I ever go back and pay for cable or satellite. This would put an end to my sports watching...

Which may not be a bad idea since I'm getting tired of supporting million dollar athletes in a depressed economic environment and college players masquerading as student-athletes who can't read, write or count.
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post #4 of 115 Old 04-08-2013, 12:11 PM
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The biggest problem is macroblocking and other motion artifacts will become the norm if OTA goes away. We've waited 50 years for HDTV, and now they want to take it away after we've only had it for 10 years? eek.gif I always watch network TV via the OTA broadcast channel instead of Cable whenever I have the choice. With a static image they all look the same. It's when the image begins to move that the difference becomes apparent. rolleyes.gif

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post #5 of 115 Old 04-08-2013, 12:25 PM
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.... and it's not gonna help when the signals go all wonky from the repack... unless maybe if you have thousands of mini-antennas less than a mile away pointed at the transmitter! Ugh. Bleak. Peace is a better option.
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post #6 of 115 Old 04-08-2013, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry to say this but in my case, it would almost be better if Aereo lost the next court case since that would ensure I get the locals via antenna (which I now get quite well).

However I'm not sure why FOX thinks it is losing anything because of Aereo since antenna users pay FOX nothing right now. Even with Aereo paying FOX nothing, transmission via Aereo would still stream the ads FOX now counts on getting through. So why FOX thinks it is losing money because of Aereo is beyond me...

The Dish Hopper is the one that cuts out network ads from the feed when those programs are recorded by Dish.
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post #7 of 115 Old 04-08-2013, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwam View Post

However I'm not sure why FOX thinks it is losing anything because of Aereo since antenna users pay FOX nothing right now. Even with Aereo paying FOX nothing, transmission via Aereo would still stream the ads FOX now counts on getting through. So why FOX thinks it is losing money because of Aereo is beyond me...

I suspect that their fear is that if Aero can get away with this, other pay providers could theoretically follow suit. If that happened, broadcasters could find their retransmission consent money stream drying up. At least in theory.

That said, I haven't forgotten the similar threats that were issued a decade or so back in the heat of the battle over the "broadcast flag" -- if the "broadcast flag" wasn't adopted, the threat of piracy was going to force the networks off of broadcast and over to cable. After the "broadcast flag" was struck down by the courts, the broadcast networks stayed on broadcast TV. Somehow, I suspect that this case will turn out to be similar...and that when the court cases die down, we'll see that little actually changes.
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post #8 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 05:38 AM
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Maybe FOX wants to the next HBO with "Most Pirated" recognition?

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post #9 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

The biggest problem is macroblocking and other motion artifacts will become the norm if OTA goes away. We've waited 50 years for HDTV, and now they want to take it away after we've only had it for 10 years? eek.gif I always watch network TV via the OTA broadcast channel instead of Cable whenever I have the choice. With a static image they all look the same. It's when the image begins to move that the difference becomes apparent. rolleyes.gif

Then you need to see my local CBS station. It's not good at all. They downgrade the signal to 720p because of their subchannel, colors are dull, and there is still macroblocking. I wish there was a way the public could get signals from ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox straight from them without going through any local station or provider. Then we'd see some outstanding PQ.
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post #10 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 06:49 AM
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^^
MRM4... you should email CBS about this, and if possible get others in your viewing area to email them as well. I believe that they care about the quality of their network programming signal and will take action as necessary. smile.gif

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post #11 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwam View Post

Sorry to say this but in my case, it would almost be better if Aereo lost the next court case since that would ensure I get the locals via antenna (which I now get quite well).

However I'm not sure why FOX thinks it is losing anything because of Aereo since antenna users pay FOX nothing right now. Even with Aereo paying FOX nothing, transmission via Aereo would still stream the ads FOX now counts on getting through. So why FOX thinks it is losing money because of Aereo is beyond me...

The Dish Hopper is the one that cuts out network ads from the feed when those programs are recorded by Dish.

Aereo is already cutting deals with cable programming providers, so it won't be long before they are another "Cable Provider".
Just like the satellite companies were unable to thrive without locals, Aereo would be nothing without the local stations that they carry.
So, the broadcasters are against having a competitor use their programming (which costs the local stations a fortune to produce or purchase) to make their own product viable.

Aereo should have to pay retransmission money, like everybody else, regardless of their "miracle antennas".

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post #12 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 07:52 AM
 
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From what I've read, if Aereo's momentum increases this year as they believe it will, the copyright issue will take front and center. I agree fully with the broadcasters crying ******** since Aereo does not have to pay for retransmission rights, which, as a cable operator, boils my blood because we have to pay for the right to re-transmit.
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post #13 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MRM4 View Post

Then you need to see my local CBS station. It's not good at all. They downgrade the signal to 720p because of their subchannel, colors are dull, and there is still macroblocking. I wish there was a way the public could get signals from ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox straight from them without going through any local station or provider. Then we'd see some outstanding PQ.

That's your local provider for your market are (and probably your reception conditions as well). The four major OTA locals in our area look excellent and broadcast in either 720p or 1080i depending on the source.
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post #14 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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The problem is that Aereo is putting into play the whole concept of "free OTA TV" for the rest of us. More and more websites are picking up this discussion of free TV (e.g. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/04/the_future_of_free_tv.html). Does OTA have a future if Aereo continues to win court cases? Aereo's successes will penalize individuals like me who get OTA with an antenna. Can something be done technically to protect OTA home antennas such that we are not penalized because companies such as Aereo move into this domain?
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post #15 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 08:43 AM
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In my region anything that is available OTA must be provided over coax. So even if you don't subscribe to cable you can still get all channels over the coax. If coax hasn't been run to your house you would obviously have to pay to have that done but we get about 80 channels for free. I'm guessing this doesn't exist most places since this Aereo seems pointless to me?

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post #16 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Some other questions I have:

1. Intuitively people have assumed that we have a "right" to receive broadcasts freely because broadcasters bid on the public airwaves. But broadcasters can just remove themselves from the public airwaves and that "right to receive" OTA disappears. There is no Second Amendment for OTA...

2. If the major networks leave the public airwaves, who would step in to fill them?
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post #17 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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In my region anything that is available OTA must be provided over coax. So even if you don't subscribe to cable you can still get all channels over the coax. If coax hasn't been run to your house you would obviously have to pay to have that done but we get about 80 channels for free. I'm guessing this doesn't exist most places since this Aereo seems pointless to me?

ISPs such as Comcast have won the right from the FCC to encrypt all channels on coax for all the major networks such as CBS and NBC. This hasn't been implemented yet but is on the way. Free unencrypted channels will come to an end over coax. One will require a decoder box rather than plugging in the coax from the street directly into a tuner. Boxee for example is negotiating with Comcast to have decryption software in their box for QAM reception.
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post #18 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 08:49 AM
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2. If the major networks leave the public airwaves, who would step in to fill them?

The government will sell them to the cellular providers.

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post #19 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 09:11 AM
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I don't see the end of OTA anytime soon we are not 100% wired.
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post #20 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 10:05 AM
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I don't think the networks will do this either. The net results is all the local stations that will have nothing to show, at least in prime time.
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post #21 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 06:32 PM
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I don't think the networks will do this either. The net results is all the local stations that will have nothing to show, at least in prime time.

 

We'll probably start seeing a lot of telenovas and futbol en Espanol.

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post #22 of 115 Old 04-09-2013, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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We'll probably start seeing a lot of telenovas and futbol en Espanol.

I tend to agree. A few years ago, driving around my county, I noticed that quite a few rooftop antennas were pointed in the wrong direction. At first I chalked it up to antenna owners not knowing how and where to point their antennas (all of the local network broadcasts come from ONE direction in Atlanta). Then I realized that all of the antennas pointed in the "wrong" direction were in fact pointing at a set of Latino channels coming from a direction away from the major Atlanta broadcast towers (CBS, NBC, ABC & FOX). Silly me... Imagine, being able to tell now the household language by the antenna orientation.

Plus also the airwaves will probably be taken over by sales (infomercial) channels and religious broadcasters (already a trend).

Maybe FOX can delay their OTA exit for a year and I can see whether the Falcons make it to the Super Bowl this coming season. If they don't by 2014, thereafter I don't care... Then I can start my reading program - getting through the 10,000 free books available for my Kindle.
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CBS Joins Fox In Considering Subscription-only Model

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves applauds News Corp. exec's comments, telling The New York Times that the network is considering cutting its over-the-air signal in the New York area.

Another television network has joined the broadcaster backlash following last week's court decision upholding Internet TV company Aereo's right to stream broadcast TV without paying retransmission fees.

Like rival Fox TV, CBS, the parent company of CNET, is considering alternative ways to monetize its television content in the face of Aereo's service, including cutting off broadcast signals in favor of a subscription-only model, The New York Times reported today. The revelation comes a day after Chase Carey, chief operations officer of News Corp., indicated that Fox would change its business model to ensure it gets paid for TV content it produces.

"We need the dual revenue stream model of retransmission fees and advertising to sustain our business," Carey said yesterday at National Association of Broadcasters' annual trade show in Las Vegas. "We will pursue our rights fully both legally and politically to protect our rights. But if we can't get our rights protected, we will pursue business solutions to take our network and turn it into a subscription service."

Carey later clarified his statement to say that News Corp. would work with affiliates and partners to stop broadcasting the Fox channel for free and would instead make it only accessible by paid subscription. The millions of TV viewers in the U.S. who receive over-the-air television free via antennas could be forced to pay.

Leslie Moonves, the chief executive officer of CBS, told the Times today that he "wholeheartedly supported what Chase said" and that his network had held talks with cable operators about taking its signal off the air. CBS, as well as the other broadcast networks, are in litigation with satellite TV provider Dish Network over the legality of its ad-skipping technology.
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post #24 of 115 Old 04-10-2013, 06:51 AM
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post #25 of 115 Old 04-10-2013, 07:54 AM
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"We interrupt this program in order to activate the Emergency Alert System. Please insert your credit card in the slot provided, and enter your PIN number, to find out if this emergency affects you and your family. Thank You, and Good Luck."
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Between TV news, radio and the internet, the emergency notifications have thus far taken care of themselves. If someone lives in an area prone to things like tornados or other severe weather patterns, they'd be foolish not to have a weather radio (which stays silent until it detects an emergency message - which is far more useful at 3AM when you likely wouldn't have your TV on).

The EAS is simply a waste of government mandated money that should be tossed in the rubbish bin.
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post #26 of 115 Old 04-10-2013, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Weren't broadcast networks already considering abandoning OTA even before the Aereo and Hopper issues? What are the economics involved in maintaining broadcast towers when networks can stream their programming via cable to customers? Is the OTA base all that significant to networks and local channels?
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Do you consider 11 million PLUS antenna users, to be "all that significant"? wink.gif
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post #28 of 115 Old 04-10-2013, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Do you consider 11 million PLUS antenna users, to be "all that significant"? wink.gif

They are significant because I am one of them. However what are the finances involved in maintaining broadcast towers and equipment (along with energy costs) for the stations for a base of 11 million? I don't know; perhaps someone knowledgeable within the industry can comment on the costs involved given the number of users...

Is the Aereo case just a trigger for doing something the industry has been thinking of doing anyway in the past decade?
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post #29 of 115 Old 04-10-2013, 10:09 AM
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I don't know about where you guys live. But where I live the OTA signals almost never go down, whereas the Cable signal can be quite iffy at times. Even during and after hurricanes the OTA stations often manage to remain on the air, or get back up very quickly afterwards. Not so for Cable. It's not unusual to be without Cable for days, weeks, or sometimes months following a major storm. So tell me... In a world where everything else is going more and more wireless, why would anyone knowingly choose to be tied to the end of a Cable with no other option?
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post #30 of 115 Old 04-10-2013, 11:36 AM
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^^^^ that has been my experience as well. We don't have the severe weather that other regions do but OTA for us has never gone down unless it was maintenance/upgrade related, and then that was performed in the middle of the night or early in the morning so as to not fry the workers. I can't count the number of times we've had neighbors come over to watch a game because Comcrap was down or the signal was bad for one excuse or another.
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