Will Power Crisis Kill DTV/HDTV? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-03-2001, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Food for Thought....
Given the financial problems of most local broadcasters, together with the exponentially increasing costs of electric power, how can stations justify the costs of keeping a Digital TV transmitter on the air 24/7?

With the number of actual receivers being around 50,000 or less, and the number of stations on the air at about 160, that means that a station is probably broadcasting to around 312 homes! At well over $100 a day just for electricity, how do we justify it? What are the chances that ANYONE is watching at a given time? Of course, the retail stores are not showing the local broadcasters' signals...only a demo loop! If we simply turned off our DTV station until the May 1, 2002 deadline, we'd save over $50K.

How do we justify this "extravagance" to our stockholders and Board of Directors?

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post #2 of 23 Old 02-03-2001, 04:59 PM
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At well over $100 a day just for electricity, how do we justify it? What are the chances that ANYONE is watching at a given time?
Well first, if you turn it off then nobody will be watching.
Second if you turn it off you will not be "cultivating" new DTV viewers.
Third assuming you did turn it off until May '02 would you expect to have more viewers then?
Finally, did your station invest all that money on new digital equipment just to leave it turned off??

Ya gotta walk before you can run....

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post #3 of 23 Old 02-03-2001, 06:18 PM
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Extravagance??

That DTV station is the key to remaining in the broadcasting business after the transition is over. Sure, you might save 50K by waiting, but I think your tongue was firmly planted in your cheek when you suggested this plan (or at least I hope it was.) Saving 50K after investing millions in you facility is certainly "penny wise and pound foolish." Unfortunately, the beancounters that run everything from TV stations to power plants sometimes don't understand that.

Of course, nothing in what the FCC says requires HDTV, but I think that TV will need the "HD" part in the future as much as they need the "color" part today.
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-03-2001, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kenglish:
... how can stations justify the costs of keeping a Digital TV transmitter on the air 24/7?
Well, I'd have to agree with much of what other folks have said. However, to pose a possible short-term solution. The PBS station here in Detroit has been shuting off their transmitter around midnight recently. I don't know when they power back up. I can only assume that this will continue for the foreseeable future. I absolutely accept this compromise since it enables them to more affordably provide HDTV signals when I'm likely to be watching and when there is likely to be new material or when I would have guests. Now, obviously this schedule does not work for an NBC affiliate (Leno and all). However, given compelling conditions, a scheduled down time might be acceptable to others.


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post #5 of 23 Old 02-04-2001, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Like I said at the top: "Food for Thought...."

The current power bill is $42k a year...that's more than the salary for one good engineer in most stations. Predictions are, electric costs may go up 75% in the next few months....say, $73.5K per year. Yes, major market stations MAY be able to eat those costs (along with the inherent operating and maintenance costs), but what about the other markets?

Even here, we are seeing layoffs of entire departments, cancellation of projects, etc. I am hearing from smaller markets that people are not even getting paychecks. When push comes to shove, I wonder who will win....the DTV transmitter or the news helicopter, the budget for an HDTV camera or the news anchor's pay raise, the DTV translator station or the new weather graphics computer? What do you think...something that affects 312 viewers, or something that will be seen by millions?

That's why I keep insisting that SOMEBODY BETTER GET SOME RECEIVERS OUT THERE! Why can't (won't) retailers put the local stations on at least a couple of their DTV sets? Is the public just going to wait until everything is HD and the sets are $400 each (with receivers) before they buy anything? Boy! That day is a long way off! Why do the stores ONLY talk about HD, then tell the customers to buy a DVD player? That's not HD! The stores tell people that there is no HD programming available, or worse, they say that there aren't any stations on the air yet!

Next time you go shopping, ask your local retailer why he's not demo'ing the local stations. Remind him that everyone will need a DTV receiver soon, and that he is doing a disservice to the public by not showing what TV is moving to! Demand to know why they are showing off top-of-the-line HD sets with a DVD player, or even VHS tape.
Ask the local Sports Bar owner why he doesn't have at least ONE HD set....or why he doesn't use one DTV receiver to get the best reception for the dozens of analog sets in the place.

And, of course, let your local stations know that you are watching....don't JUST call engineering (we don't set priorities or budgets)....write to the station managers and program directors. Get on their e-mail lists. Ask about putting DTV info on their web sites. Tell them you support their efforts. (And, maybe, let your elected reps know that you think towers are necessary and sorta pretty, too http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif ! We don't need any more Denvers.)

I just don't want Digital TV to become another AM Stereo.

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post #6 of 23 Old 02-04-2001, 09:08 AM
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kenglish
being from Utah you can thank the Californians for your "ever increasing" power bill, your state being 1 of 4 that have joined into the robbing of the Power rich to give to the Power poor.
Here in Oregon we have been givin notice to expect a 30% increase by mid summer, do the math -If your power bill is $100 a month and you add $33 a month to pay for Southern Californians to be happy sucking your power away from you and your state which has say 3 million people: thats $99 million a year that outfits like PGE in Washington and Oregon can steal from our pockets and smile all the way to the banks.
H/DTV Is the least of your worries, living too close to millions and millions and millions of people living in a desolate desert that cant take care of their own Power, Water so as to raise your cost of living because your plentiful in natural resources but you cant afford to purchase nice things like HDTVs because you must pay someone elses power tab

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post #7 of 23 Old 02-04-2001, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kenglish:
Like I said at the top: "Food for Thought...."

The current power bill is $42k a year...that's more than the salary for one good engineer in most stations. Predictions are, electric costs may go up 75% in the next few months....say, $73.5K per year. Yes, major market stations MAY be able to eat those costs (along with the inherent operating and maintenance costs), but what about the other markets?
Ken:

As a former major TV group owner, I can appreciate what you are saying. I can also appreciate that almost all General Managers focus solely on the next years income statement (because their bonus depends on it), and NOT on the long term interests of the station or group. This electricity issue is a case in point. While true, for the next few years, there would be the additional burden of the DTV transmitter, the operating costs of a digital transmitter (as you know) are FAR LOWER than its analog counterpart. Why wouldn't EVERY G.M. try to push their station to replace their power-hungry NTSC transmitter with a DTV transmitter that uses a quarter the electricity to replicate the same service area??? ..... Because the savings are beyond their next paycheck.

I have seen this time and time again - If the owners start tying the G.M.'s bonus to 5-year plans, watch how fast the push to digital becomes!

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post #8 of 23 Old 02-04-2001, 06:38 PM
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Washington and Oregon use more power per capita the Califonia?
I would like the explaination of this, as well as California pumping power into states that have enough "federally funded" Hydro power too pump billions of kilowatts south to a state that has their share of Shasta Dams themselves.
Since Wash and Ore dont need airconditioning and heating with electric in states full of firewood would be simply foolish , what is it we use electrity for exactly other then hot water heaters, lightbulbs, and HDTVs?
The fact is our rates are being raised 30% for the purposes of PGEs needs to funnel the power to the population which is as follows

L.A.- 3,597,556 hot water heaters and Airconditioners
California 32,666,550
Wash- 5,689,263
Ore- 3,281,974
Nevada 1,967,250 Ill agree LasVegas uses more power per capita

I dont remember headlines in the papers saying the Pacific Northwest, Nevada and Arizona is in Energy Crisis and their Govenors wanting Federal disaster relief

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post #9 of 23 Old 02-04-2001, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Huskerduck:
kenglish
being from Utah you can thank the Californians for your "ever increasing" power bill, your state being 1 of 4 that have joined into the robbing of the Power rich to give to the Power poor.
Here in Oregon we have been givin notice to expect a 30% increase by mid summer, do the math -If your power bill is $100 a month and you add $33 a month to pay for Southern Californians to be happy sucking your power away from you and your state which has say 3 million people: thats $99 million a year that outfits like PGE in Washington and Oregon can steal from our pockets and smile all the way to the banks.
H/DTV Is the least of your worries, living too close to millions and millions and millions of people living in a desolate desert that cant take care of their own Power, Water so as to raise your cost of living because your plentiful in natural resources but you cant afford to purchase nice things like HDTVs because you must pay someone elses power tab

God knows people around here want it both ways, and whine a lot when they don't get it, but the lack of power is as much a function of the growth in Ore, Wash, Nevada, and Arizona as it is Calif. Power consumption per captia is a lot higher in most of these states also. Given the amount of power flowing North to Ore during the summer for the past several decades, Ore sure doesn't have a whole lot of room to bitch. Particularly when they've been sucking down Federally subsidized hydroelectric for the last 50 years or so. If you want to throw bricks, you should learn to recognize glass when you see it.

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post #10 of 23 Old 02-04-2001, 10:56 PM
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The reason why digital TV sets are being held up is simply the confusion that the broadcast industry has added to the transition, namely the sinclair broadcast group! If you want to blaim one group for the delay in getting DTV out there then blaim Sinclair. Today there are additional issues, such as programming delays for HDTV and the speculation that all the current dtv's may be obsolete with respect to HDTV too.

So there are the two reasons why you are asking the question. Be glad at least that COFDM has been killed for the USA and we can at least proceed with 8VSB, otherwise you'd be complaining about a much larger electric bill to have to justify.

The solution: Get the MPAA out of the broadcasters business and make programming available without technology restrictions by them and we'll see the set manufacturers put the pedal to the metal.

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post #11 of 23 Old 02-05-2001, 12:25 PM
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I get a little tired of the California bashing. The fact is that 99.9% of the people in this state are regular people with regular homes and regular jobs and power consumption habits little different than our neighbors. Yes, there are more people here, its a big state.

The fact is that this "crisis" is not caused by "greedy Californians", it's caused by greedy private power generating companies, many of which are not in this state, operating in a newly unregulated free market. If you are getting caught up in it too, it's because your local power generators, given a choice of selling power to you at a reasonable price or selling it at 10 times it's value on the California spot market will choose the latter.

There is no actual shortage of electricity, its a financial and political crisis bestowed on us by our former Governor Pete Wilson. Believe me, if we all just paid whatever the power generators wanted, there'd be all the power we need.
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post #12 of 23 Old 02-05-2001, 02:06 PM
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The simple answer to your question is that power crisis or no power crisis, you don't have much of a choice to put up a digital antenna, it's mandated by the government, all the top 30 or so markets have to get their digital antennas up. Stop finding excuses like power crises, or COFDM, etc etc. Quite frankly, you need to get off your lazy butts, quit with the excuses, and start moving towards the migration to DTV at full speed.
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post #13 of 23 Old 02-05-2001, 02:44 PM
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I guess I was a little harsh when I said Californians and should have said the State of California which isnt 1 in the same, heck 5 retired neighbors of mine are people that fled California and give me good business in remodeling their homes to suit by adding Hot Tubs and steam rooms and adding al sorts of elaborate rooms to their dwellings to suit their needs and yes my TV alone wastes 300 watts, but I eluded too the fact several times that it is companys LIKE PGE that is the cause of the price hikes but make no mistake it is a problem when 5 million people camp out in a small desert area with little or no resources to supple power and ofcourse greedy monopolys will take advantage of funneling power from other states to power Disneyland, Studios, California Adventure ( have you ever seen an infrared photo of Southern California from space?)
Those same neighbors Ive mentioned earlier have stated time and again that they move a Thousand miles away and still pay their Beverly Hills and Redondo Power Bills, which doesnt surprise them when its plastered all over the papers here that we are getting a 30% hike for the upcoming Power diversion, even PGE has notified us is a nice candy coated letter
I know for a fact that millions of Californians are hostages to the greed and I feel deeply sorry for their problems with energy and water but what do they expect when others from other states have big enough electric bills ( around $80-$100 a month No electric heat, no Air-cond, No Hot Tubs, No Saunas, No Grow lights, just a HDTV and HT goodies and are notified of a 30% price hike because of California energy crisis) maybe Californias a scapegoat and all the blackouts are a farce constructed by PGE to suck more $$$$ from surrounding states and it is a fabricated fantasy that theres 32 million people living in a place capable of supplying 20 million with power.
I guess High electric bills, property tax, water bills, general cost of living is higher when you live in "paradise" but why should the people that live in the rainforrest foot the tab?
I guess the Title of the thread including the words " Power Crisis" bothered me slightly because Im paying huge amounts for a crisis that doesnt exsist within 800 miles

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post #14 of 23 Old 02-05-2001, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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"The simple answer to your question is that power crisis or no power crisis, you don't have much of a choice to put up a digital antenna, it's mandated by the government, all the top 30 or so markets have to get their digital antennas up. Stop finding excuses like power crises, or COFDM, etc etc. Quite frankly, you need to get off your lazy butts, quit with the excuses, and start moving towards the migration to DTV at full speed."

So, you say our choices are to go bankrupt now, or go belly-up later. So we should hurry and do it NOW?

I'm just pointing out a REAL problem here....that, with nearly NO ONE watching, stations will not be in a rush to throw good money after bad. It's not a question of having "lazy butts"....as a matter of fact, most engineers work their tails off. That, coupled with a "healthy (?)" dose of the s#%*s from the stress of our jobs does not fit MY definition of "lazy butts!

My question is: What ARE we going to do about the situation? Everyone wants to wait until everyone else catches up. "There's no programming." "There's no sets." "There's no viewers." OK....let's have answers.

By the way: Is anyone interested in stealing some heavy equipment, bulldozing some expensive homes on Denver's Lookout Mountain, and building a supertower? We can do it one night when no one is looking. (See. Simple fix for another "problem" http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif !)


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post #15 of 23 Old 02-05-2001, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
By the way: Is anyone interested in stealing some heavy equipment, bulldozing some expensive homes on Denver's Lookout Mountain, and building a supertower? We can do it one night when no one is looking. (See. Simple fix for another "problem"
You're hired http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

You sound as frustrated as the rest of the Denver Front Range HDTV fans.

The only sensible answer to your question is to generate more viewers. I know, it's easier said than done. How many TV stations even try to educate their viewers on the benefits of H/DTV?? We know the retailers could do better but from what I've seen so can the broadcasters. Oh, and unless you're affiliated with CBS or PBS you could also bug your network to offer more HDTV material.

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post #16 of 23 Old 02-05-2001, 05:25 PM
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Ken - What about the down time thingy? When I suggested something similar to our PBS folks they weren't sure if it could be done. But apparently, after talking to the manufacturer, they found a way (maybe it's manually done). At any rate, they are operating at half power, about half the time, and not at all the other halfish, which I assume costs them less than half as much. I don't know what your network is, so that will partially dictate any such schedule. Find out what the primary demographics are for your digital viewers - they're probably mostly late afternoon to evening to late night viewers. You could cut to half power at, say 1am; to zero at 3am; back to half for the morning shows; down for the afternoon; and full power for the news to 1am shift. I know that they probably didn't hook you up with a VCR timer for that and you'd have to do it manually, but if you're gonna cut the cheese, you might as well pass a little at a time. It's harder to notice that way.


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post #17 of 23 Old 02-06-2001, 01:19 PM
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Oh well, if you go bellyup, you go bellyup, I'm not shedding any tears, it's the free market, if you can't produce it, then get out of the way and let the people who can put up a digital antenna most cost efficiently do it. There's enough stations in cities across the nation who have their digital antennas up. You just come up with endless excuses, you have the Sinclair group and their COFDM propoganda, and now we have you bringing up some energy crisis. If you can't provide what you're supposed to, get out of the game.

"My question is: What ARE we going to do about the situation? Everyone wants to wait until everyone else catches up. "There's no programming." "There's no sets." "There's no viewers." OK....let's have answers."
Quite frankly, you're job isn't to sit there and go through the theoretics of HDTV. The government mandated you get your digital antennas up, you get them up. I don't think it's your position to talk about the minimal viewers of HDTV now. The reason they mandated that you put up those digital antennas is so that the programming will be there so that viewers will come. If you stopped stalling and going through the theoretics of HDTV viewership and put up the damned antenna, a lot more people viewers would flock to HDTV. If you can't put up that antenna, I think it's time to find another business. You have a couple years left, and you don't have a choice, so you may as well figure out plans to get that antenna up rather than talk about HDTV viewership numbers.

"How do we justify this "extravagance" to our stockholders and Board of Directors?"

You just don't get it, do you? You have no choice, there is no justification because it's a government regulation, you don't have any other options. Do you realize WHY the government mandates certain things, because without supply there is little demand. If you stopped worrying about justifying something u have no choice on, and put up the damned antenna, you'd see viewership rise. And either way, you have no choice. If you can't justify the extravagance by 2002, you're going to have to get out of the business and find something else to do. Isn't that enough JUSTIFICATION for you? You do it or you lose your license. So get moving.

Quote:
Originally posted by kenglish:
"The simple answer to your question is that power crisis or no power crisis, you don't have much of a choice to put up a digital antenna, it's mandated by the government, all the top 30 or so markets have to get their digital antennas up. Stop finding excuses like power crises, or COFDM, etc etc. Quite frankly, you need to get off your lazy butts, quit with the excuses, and start moving towards the migration to DTV at full speed."

So, you say our choices are to go bankrupt now, or go belly-up later. So we should hurry and do it NOW?
[This message has been edited by dpak2000 (edited 02-06-2001).]

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post #18 of 23 Old 02-06-2001, 05:16 PM
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kenglish,

I'll try to get back to your original ??'s with some ideas??

Living in Salt Lake, and seeing the lack of excitement by local retailers, I can say the only reason I have HD equipment is part early-adopter and part techno-geek. With that said, though, let's think constructively.

As for SLC, the current situation is: NBC (you guys), ABC, and PBS doing digital broadcasts.

First, you guys are to be applauded for your digital news broadcasts and select other local programming. However, I doubt you'll find the 5:00 news shown in the local Ultimate Electronics. News just isn't that catchy, I guess. Unfortunately, the only thing NBC gives you to work with is Jay Leno, which is simply on too late to be of any benefit.

ABC has a feed or two now and again, but usually Sunday P.M. -- not enough material to occupy a store front either.

The local PBS affiliate leaves their HD channel broadcasting the same PBS demo material (which is about a 1.5-hour loop). This is at least candidate material.

If you get my point, I *REALLY* think one key to this awareness is to show DTV and HD material off (not solely HD) -- and the place to do it is in the stores.

So, where can we come up with material that the local Electronics stores will likely want to show?

One thought is to use the existing DTV towers to do as was suggested in another post -- cooperatively allow unused air-time to broadcast more material. For example, CBS has a lot of prime-time material, perhaps that could be placed on PBS's transmitter during the evening. How about repeats of ABC's movies? Anything!

Heck, even time-shifted repeats of 'Music and the Spoken Word' (in that *awesome* DD5.1) encoding would be a start!

Ideas anyone?
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post #19 of 23 Old 02-07-2001, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Gee, dpak2000, do you always shoot the messenger?

And skyfree,
"I don't know about the rest of you HDTV people, but if it isn't in HDTV, it isn't on in my household." That's EXACTLY why stations are putting LESS AND LESS effort into this stuff.

It's hard enough to justify DTV (notice I didn't say Hdtv),when most people can't even spell it, much less understand it. I've about given up on trying to explain it to people, since most have their HD blinders on. No one will give any thought to Digital TV, except the HD aspect of it. dpak says that "it's the law, it's the law, it's the law"....well, the law says we all will have to buy new DIGITAL TV sets soon....IT'S THE LAW! So, why aren't manufacturers gearing up to sell tens of millions of DTV sets, converter boxes, etc. It's because they've all gotten stuck in the "HDTV", "HDTV", "HDTV" mode. They can't see the forest (digital) for the trees (a few HDTV shows). Wonder where CD's would be today if they had been touted EXCLUSIVELY as only a medium for highbrow classical music?

If we could show some "numbers" of viewers out there, we could do a lot more....but, I only know of 4 or 5 digital viewers in our market. Even management has fallen into the "we don't have any HD (ah! that magic word again!) programming yet, so don't get people's hopes up" mode.

Here's my person opinion:
DTV is the medium...HDTV is ONE of the options for that medium. As long as no one seems to have access to that medium, I have nearly no chance of selling anyone on "investing" into that medium (with programming, etc).
If someone were watching, if people would quit playing politics, if the public was aware,...then we could do much more.

I seriously doubt that KSL would use the power bill as an excuse to cut back on DTV transmissions. We've spent plenty to be the semi-first on the air (KSL and KTVX agreed at the start to "push the buttons simultaneously"). We've always been early adopters, broadcasting Teletext, stereo, etc. But, I worry about the smaller markets, and how they are being affected. We actually got a DTV transmitter on the air experimentally a year earlier, when the DTV Express truck was here, just to give people a chance to see REAL OTA HDTV. I caught a lot of flack for that, especially after ONLY ONE RETAILER went to the trouble of plugging it in and turning it on (BTW...his showroom was packed, SRO, for the entire week!).
There are many good reasons to have DTV, above and beyond a few HD shows...better sound (you could get 5.1 on an old B&W army training film if you wanted), program guides, instant call-up of program info, multi channels during parts of the day, not to mention "distortion-free" reception.
It's a totally flexible system. We can do almost anything we want with it, all we need are some receivers out there.
HDTV is expensive to do properly, it's going to take time and money to ramp up to anything like full-time HD. Many other things can be done to make DTV happen, but they all require someone watching.


------------------
Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV/-DT.
"Not a REAL Engineer, but I play one in TV"

Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent the Company positions, strategies or opinions."
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post #20 of 23 Old 02-07-2001, 11:11 AM
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Here's my person opinion:
DTV is the medium...HDTV is ONE of the options for that medium. As long as no one seems to have access to that medium, I have nearly no chance of selling anyone on "investing" into that medium (with programming, etc).
If someone were watching, if people would quit playing politics, if the public was aware,...then we could do much more.

And this is the EXACT BS you started this whole topic for isnt it? HDTV IS DTV, and we learn to accept that and get over the excuses, youll get that digital antenna up. So after 30 posts we get to the meat of your argument, DTV rather than HDTV. You're worse than the COFDM people, atleast theyre arguing for HDTV on another method, you're arguing for enhanced program guides and DTV that isn't HDTV. Take your ideas to another forum. Do you think when all of us have seen HDTV we ever want to go back? Do you realize why I was so harsh on you in my first reply, it's because I knew this is what you were hinting at with your power crisis argument. And you still don't get it do you. No one has access because broadcasters like you are stalling on putting that antenna up. How the heck will people ever get their HDTV without you putting it out on an antenna like you're mandated to do. You really don't have much choice. Put it up or find another business. Having been mandated already, the FCC will likely take away your license. And if you're attempting to push using the digital bandwith allocated to you by the government for something other than HDTV (such as enhanced program guides and digitally compressed analog stations), you're going to have a bigger war on your hands than both the DVI/HDCP AND COFDM concerns combined. So please pick a different fight.

[This message has been edited by dpak2000 (edited 02-07-2001).]
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post #21 of 23 Old 02-07-2001, 12:09 PM
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Ken,

First let me apologize for the rancor directed at you by any posters. I doubt many of us hold you, or any broadcast engineers, responsible for the policies of your affiliated network.

That said, the following thread shows NBC is now doing The NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and Meet the Press with Tim Russert in HD. Hope your station and mine are/will shortly be passing this along to the viewers.

http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum20/HTML/001153.html

Again, thanks for all your helpful posts and for having the courage to participate here at AVSForum, despite the antipathy of some members. BTW, have your people in Macon had any success picking up any of the Atlanta digital stations?

Linda



[This message has been edited by Linda Britt (edited 02-07-2001).]

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post #22 of 23 Old 02-07-2001, 12:18 PM
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I wish more people in this forum would remember to take their medication.
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post #23 of 23 Old 02-07-2001, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Linda:
I saw that posting this morning...I hope it's right! I suspect that, if NBC is PRODUCING something in HDTV right now, they may be working out the bugs off-line, or putting it up only on their NY station for now. I'd love to put something HD up in (almost) Prime Time.

As for dpak's rant...
The reason I started this is to point out that stations ARE cutting back a lot. We need to defend ourselves against the bean counters when they come around with their magnifying glasses. Tell us how! I'm packing away a major project right now, because it was PERCEIVED as being an "HDTV Related" project, and therefore NOT ESSENTIAL! So, d-----t, I'm NOT MAKING THIS STUFF UP TO START A FIGHT, I'm trying to post a WARNING!

If I could just show someone that our product is being seen by shoppers in a store, that alone could help fight off the naysayers! If I could show some numbers from RCA, Mits, Echostar, etc saying that "XX" number of receivers are in the hands of consumers in "XX" zipcodes in our coverage area, I could maybe get someone to listen to some ideas about keeping DTV on the air and prospering. I've got a long list of ideas of ways to encourage DTV, but no one to listen to them. Our Chief Engineer quit a few months ago, in frustration over some of these (and other) matters, and HE was a DTV supporter! (Crap! We lost another one http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/mad.gif !)

And, we ARE on the air! We built our community transmission site two summers ago. Two stations went on the air in November of 1999, another last November (2000). The rest (except for an educational broadcaster) will be on this summer. We broadcast "Leno" in HDTV every night. All local news is shot in 16:9 SD. We are putting in a 5.1 audio board for news soon. We produce the "Music and the Spoken Word" program from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 16:9 SD with 5.1 surround every week. Everything that we broadcast, unless it originated in HD, is upconverted to 1080i HD with sidebars, allowing seamless switching to HD programming as it is available. We simultaneously run a 480i 16:9 SD channel, which we usually keep at a low bit-rate to prevent degradation of the HD signal. When alternate programming is available, we raise that bit-rate a bit and carry the other programming. About 4 minutes from now, at 1:00 PM Mountain Time, we will be switching KSL-DT Channel 5-2 to NASA Select, airing the launch of STS-98.
I'd like to begin having one of our own newscasters anchor the coverage, branding this as a real "event", but we have to crawl before we can run...I think we are at least at the "brisk walk" stage now.
Gotta go, I need to e-mail my small list of DTV viewers about the shuttle coverage!

------------------
Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV/-DT.
"Not a REAL Engineer, but I play one in TV"

Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent the Company positions, strategies or opinions."
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