Stations don't want cable to downconvert HDTV to DTV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 287 Old 05-26-2006, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...=Breaking+News
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post #2 of 287 Old 05-26-2006, 09:41 PM
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Alright...I'm pissed...in advance...if I need to be! :D

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post #3 of 287 Old 05-26-2006, 09:44 PM
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I'm sure Congress will do the right thing.
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post #4 of 287 Old 05-26-2006, 09:57 PM
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[/Sarcasm]

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post #5 of 287 Old 05-26-2006, 10:01 PM
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The title of this thread really got me laughing. I nominate that we should re-use this title for about 50% of the threads on this forum.

But then I went and read the article. And now I'm pissed! :D


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post #6 of 287 Old 05-26-2006, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonColeman
[/Sarcasm]

J.
Just what makes you think I'm being sarcastic??

Maybe, just maybe, I stilll have some faith in our elected officials. Maybe, unlike some, I still believe in the democratic institutions created by the founding fathers and that are enshrined in our Constitution. And maybe, I happen to believe that Ted Stevens, the senior senator from my great state of Alaska, has the wisdom and integrity do to what's right for this country.

Then again, maybe you're right.

One thing's for sure, I've had too much to drink.
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post #7 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 12:42 AM
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It aint the elected officials thats the problem. its the forces that play upon them.
I am really tired of campaign contributions.
But I digress ...
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post #8 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 04:06 AM
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"Save The Alamo!"

and

"Cable is only $4.95 per month"
"It will never go up"
"It is 100% Commercial Free"
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post #9 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 04:28 AM
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Talk about a way to slow down getting people to cross over to digital sets...
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post #10 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 06:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhollis
Just what makes you think I'm being sarcastic??

Maybe, just maybe, I stilll have some faith in our elected officials. Maybe, unlike some, I still believe in the democratic institutions created by the founding fathers and that are enshrined in our Constitution. And maybe, I happen to believe that Ted Stevens, the senior senator from my great state of Alaska, has the wisdom and integrity do to what's right for this country.

Then again, maybe you're right.

One thing's for sure, I've had too much to drink.

LOL....You seemed to have drank yourself into a coma.
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post #11 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 07:58 AM
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And Congressman Jefferson thought those were Ice Cream Sandwiches he was putting in his freezer?

Can we trust elected officials that defend video taped CROOKS storing payola! A crook is a crook regardless of who finds and exposes it and we trust our broadcast decisions to these jokers?

Separation of powers to protect crimes? Hardly think the founding Fathers ever intended this! ;)

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post #12 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR_IN_LA
It aint the elected officials thats the problem. its the forces that play upon them.
I am really tired of campaign contributions.
But I digress ...
I really, really want to respond. But I'm not going to. No, I'm not.

"Discipline 007. . . discipline."
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post #13 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 09:50 AM
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I've shared this with a few other forums here (HDTV Reception and HDTV Programming). This should be an important topic and we all can contact our representative to let them know we are against it. At least the HDTV>DTV portion. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. If we don't say anything then the people with the deepest pockets will win.

Lets try to keep this as non political as possible. I know it wont be easy re: the topic. Please don't start flaming each other.
Thanks

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post #14 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 10:01 AM
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Topic title changed.

For those wondering, it originally was 'Read this and get pissed!!.

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post #15 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 10:03 AM
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It seems to me this just means an STB that will output whatever standard your TV will accept. Not a loss of HDTV.
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post #16 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 10:06 AM
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This is absolutely nothing new. The fight over this part of the communications law rewrite has been waged for many, many months.

The cable conglomerates have been singing this particular tune for years -- as well as making the requisite campaign contributions to make sure their "lyrics" were being clearly heard.


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post #17 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 10:22 AM
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I agree with this:

Quote:
Allowing cable to "degrade" HDTV, they argue, would disenfranchise viewers who have bought HDTV sets to be able to watch the Super Bowl, Nascar or other programs in high-def.
.....but i wonder what they'd say about this:

Allowing local affiliates to "degrade" HDTV, they argue, would disenfranchise viewers who have bought HDTV sets to be able to watch the Super Bowl, Nascar or other programs in high-def.

... or are we only disenfranchised when cable and sat companies degrade our HDTV?
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post #18 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95
I agree with this:



.....but i wonder what they'd say about this:

Allowing local affiliates to "degrade" HDTV, they argue, would disenfranchise viewers who have bought HDTV sets to be able to watch the Super Bowl, Nascar or other programs in high-def.

... or are we only disenfranchised when cable and sat companies degrade our HDTV?

Of course. You have nailed the hypocrisy, CP95.

The stations also want legislation that would require cable operators to carry all digital signals the stations can churn out.


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post #19 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 10:31 AM
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I'm not sure what the issue is here. Is this a matter whether the downconversion is sent analog or digital? It seems odd that the cable companies would want to send both digital HD and digital SD of the same channel. It wastes bandwidth and the STB could do the downconversion.

What will happen with D* & E*? Will they only send only the HD version or will they also downconvert and send a separate SD DTV version?

If both satellite and cable are required to send the HD version of any broadcast channel that is being downconverted, it seems like a non-issue. OTA downconverters are going to be made available for those with analog sets, so I don't see much of a difference.


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post #20 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 10:39 AM
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One possible motive is that the affiliates (and O&O's) are in the midst of negotiating a premium for the HD feed. Those cable systems that are holding out can do so because they have an analog feed available for major network programming. Once the analog shutoff occurs, being able to downconvert the HD feed to DTV-SD may offer them the opportunity to continue to avoid that HD premium.

However, not knowing how those new contracts are worded, I don't know if that scenario is relevant.
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post #21 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
It seems to me this just means an STB that will output whatever standard your TV will accept. Not a loss of HDTV.
Disagree.

The way I read it, there are two different issues here.

One issue is allowing cableco's to downconvert Digital TV, including HDTV, to an analog signal for legacy analog subscribers, which is fine with me.

The second issue is allowing them to downconvert HDTV to a standard digital format. The only logical reason to do this, is to use less bandwidth for local DTV/HDTV retransmission. This would result in cable subscribers not getting native HDTV from local stations. This is not fine with me.

As noted by others, this is no comment on what local DTV stations are doing to HDTV, which in many cases is to multicast during HDTV broadcasts. This also uses less bandwidth than is necessary for optimum HDTV.

The bottom line is that there is 'only so much bandwidth in the ground', to paraphrase Tower Of Power, and we're only beginning to see the battle lines drawn on who gets what and how it's used.

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post #22 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95
One possible motive is that the affiliates (and O&O's) are in the midst of negotiating a premium for the HD feed. Those cable systems that are holding out can do so because they have an analog feed available for major network programming. Once the analog shutoff occurs, being able to downconvert the HD feed to DTV-SD may offer them the opportunity to continue to avoid that HD premium.

However, not knowing how those new contracts are worded, I don't know if that scenario is relevant.
A premium fee for the HD feed makes more sense, but what happens when it's the only feed? They would still be using the HD channel regardless of how it's sent to the customer.


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post #23 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H
The second issue is allowing them to downconvert HDTV to a standard digital format. The only logical reason to do this, is to use less bandwidth for local DTV/HDTV retransmission. This would result in cable subscribers not getting native HDTV from local stations. This is not fine with me. ...........

The bottom line is that there is 'only so much bandwidth in the ground', to paraphrase Tower Of Power, and we're only beginning to see the battle lines drawn on who gets what and how it's used.
I'm not sure why sending a DTV version equates to not getting native HDTV from local stations. Is what we're saying here is that if the cable company doesn't want to send an HD version of the channel, they can only send an analog downconversion?

As HD becomes more popular, it seems they would be trying to carry all the HD they could. They are already free to reduce the bitrate of the OTA signal, why would carrying a SD DTV version make a difference? And why would they want to? Isn't a STB already required to watch the cable SD DTV channels on a SD TV? Couldn't the STB do the downconversion?

I guess the concern is that cable will only send the SD DTV downconversion and not the HD. This is a bit different than the station sending reduced quality HD because of multicasting, although at times I couldn't tell you which is worse.

D*, E* and cable have been degrading broadcast signals for years, what's different now?


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post #24 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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Actually, this could open up a door if a enough of a letter writing compaign would happen.

For example, there are minimum contents requirements for mutliple things, i.e. Whole Milk.

If enough people would SUPPORT this bill in congress but with basic minimums built in as to what can legally be called HDTV.

For example, 1920x1080i and 1280x720p are the only resolution that can be called HDTV.

xx.x Mbps is the lowest bitrate that is allowed to be called HDTV.

This puts the station in a quandry.

That gives them what they want with cable - but they must go BY THE SAME RULES.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander as the old saying goes.

If people would get behind support for that by contacting their Congressman as the way to make this bill fair and equitable, it would be a WIN-WIN for consumers.
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post #25 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVOD
I'm not sure why sending a DTV version equates to not getting native HDTV from local stations. Is what we're saying here is that if the cable company doesn't want to send an HD version of the channel, they can only send an analog downconversion?
My interpretation is that what the cableco's could do, all at the same time:

- Offer local Digital TV/HDTV downconverted to analog. (Fine with me)
- Offer local Digital TV/HDTV downconverted to something akin to digital cable. (Not fine with me)

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post #26 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H
My interpretation is that what the cableco's could do, all at the same time:

- Offer local Digital TV/HDTV downconverted to analog. (Fine with me)
- Offer local Digital TV/HDTV downconverted to something akin to digital cable. (Not fine with me)
What cable has requested the right to do is downconvert the standard digital signal to analog to protect legacy analog sets. They made this request because as the law is currently written they cannot do that. It will enable the companies to still provide an analog signal to the millions of their customers that will still be analog in 2009.

I follow this stuff pretty closely and have never read of cable requesting the right to downconvert the HD feed and eliminate the HD feed. The only logical scenario would be if a station only provides an HD feed, they would be allowed to downconvert this to a second channel suitable for analog broadcast. They would still provide the HD feed as well, just as they do now.

I think folks may be getting their panties in a wad here unnecessarily. Note that it's the broadcasters quoted here. There is nothing from the NCTA or cable saying this is what they want. The broadcasters are on record as saying they don't want cable to have the right to still provide an analog source of their signal.

If someone has more info than what's offered here quoting cable as saying that they want to downconvert HD and not provide an HD feed at all, I would be interested in reading it.

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post #27 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoIrish
What cable has requested the right to do is downconvert the standard digital signal to analog to protect legacy analog sets.
According to the article, they also would be allowed to downconvert HDTV to a standard DTV format for their digital cable subscribers.
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post #28 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoIrish

If someone has more info than what's offered here quoting cable as saying that they want to downconvert HD and not provide an HD feed at all, I would be interested in reading it.
Go back and read the article.

The author of the article, John Eggerton, is a well known TV industry writer. He says the bill will allow cableco's to convert HDTV to DTV.

Quote:
A Senate bill rewriting communications law would allow cable systems, through 2014, to convert digital signals to analog for their analog customers and HDTV to DTV for their digital subs.

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post #29 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H
Go back and read the article.

The author of the article, John Eggerton, is a well known TV industry writer. He says the bill will allow cableco's to convert HDTV to DTV.
Guys, I read the article prior to my post. My point was that the cable imdustry, at least as far as my knowledge and reading knew, had not requested this specific ability. Certainly not for the purpose being extrapolated through the chain of concerns in the post.

I know congress never makes a mistake, but maybe the broadcasters spin in the article isn't entirely accuarte, the article itself is not accurate or, congress is acting in a fashion not consistent with cable lobbying.

Everything I had read up to this point related specifically to analog conversion for the express reasons I stated. That's why I sought additional sources for this being requested by the cable industry as was inferred in the posts leading up to this point.

And I am familiar with Eggerton's writing, I get B&C weekly.

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post #30 of 287 Old 05-27-2006, 06:24 PM
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The only new news in this that Congress is looking into this. This has been going back and forth for several years between cable and the broadcasters. Congress' take historically has been to NOT allow cable to downconvert HD to SD. Their take is, that if a station offers HD, then the cableco needs to provide it in HD, end of story.

Now, if a cable sysem wants to offer an analog SD version, a digital SD version as well as a HD version to its subs, (all three) then I have no problem with that.

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