How much longer will analog cable exist? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 10-12-2008, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I know obviously there's hd but there's the digital. I have a tv that has a analog tuner and I have a analog pvr (generic) I can put in other imputs but the tuner itself will obviously be invalid if it doesn't work.

How much longer will the analog be around? three years? five years?

I've seen a few channels get dropped but I predict a ton more will happen as I've heard the space of one analog can create 3 hd ones...
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post #2 of 32 Old 10-12-2008, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdovell View Post

I know obviously there's hd but there's the digital. I have a tv that has a analog tuner and I have a analog pvr (generic) I can put in other imputs but the tuner itself will obviously be invalid if it doesn't work.

How much longer will the analog be around? three years? five years?

I've seen a few channels get dropped but I predict a ton more will happen as I've heard the space of one analog can create 3 hd ones...

It totally depends on the system. Some will be all digital within a year while others will keep an analog lineup for a few years to come. There may even be some that keep an analog lineup for many years.

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post #3 of 32 Old 10-12-2008, 08:48 PM
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Yeah, they'll continue to do it piecemeal, and at different rates. Obviously they're not going to drop all analog at once and risk pissing off their entire customer base, but they do want to go all digital and not everyone is ready for it.

It's complicated by the fact that some/most digital channels will also be encrypted, and you'll need to rent something regardless of whether you have a digital QAM tuner or not. A lot of people don't like renting cable boxes for the added costs, and some don't like boxes in general. It depends on what the majority of consumers will tolerate. Do they want those channels, or do they want the fee structure that they had when all analog? The cable companies will react accordingly.

I think some, like Chicago Comcast, have already migrated, with customers provided with a digital box for a year.

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post #4 of 32 Old 10-13-2008, 02:22 AM
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I think it will be a gradual reduction in analog channels over the next 5 years or so.
They probably will save a small core of analog channels for the local lifeline basic tier, and gradually move expanded analog channels to digital a few at a time.
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post #5 of 32 Old 10-20-2008, 12:31 AM
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I think it totally depends on system you have. Some goes allways analog, some for a year or two.

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post #6 of 32 Old 10-20-2008, 11:43 PM
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Time Warner San Diego is planning to convert the expanded tier to digital. However the lifeline tier which is ch. 2-23 will stay analog. Unless TBS and WGN America go digital. This will give them a ton of bandwidth for DOCSIS 3, VOD, SD Channels, HD channels or a mix of all 4.
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post #7 of 32 Old 10-24-2008, 11:15 AM
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Comporium Communications, my local cable provider in South Carolina, is in the process of going all digital--the "lifeline" tier, channels 2-21, will continue to be available in analog, though digital customers will also recieve those channels in digital. They are providing one digital box to each subscriber above the lifeline level at no cost and additional boxes cost $4.95/mo. My neighborhood was converted several weeks ago. Since I already had their expanded digital service, I didn't have to do anything to recieve the new line-up on my primary TV. I expected to have to make a decision as to whether to spend the additional money on boxes for my 2 secondary TVs, or stick with the 20 analog channels. Imagine my surprise when I found I still recieve the original 60 channel analog line-up on those sets! Meanwhile, I'm getting the new digital line-up on my LR set---I must say the reception is stunning on the approx 150 channels I get on that set. I'm a happy camper, since I don't have to pay for any extra boxes, but I'm also confused. Comporium told me I'd have to have boxes to get anything over channel 21. Technically, I don't understand how Comporium can retain it's original analog line-up while at the same time greatly expanding it's digital line-up. Our new channel directory allows for reception using a new TV's built in digital tuner, so a box is not necessary to recieve the basic tier. i.e. cable channel 22 (on the digital box) is recievable on a digital TV on channel 27.22 without a converter. Can someone explain how this is possible?
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post #8 of 32 Old 10-30-2008, 10:45 AM
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depends who your cable provider is but they should provide you with a box to convert, DTA

comcast seems to be the most aggressive, looks like portland is the first stop

http://www.lightreading.com/document...66950&site=cdn
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post #9 of 32 Old 11-01-2008, 10:23 AM
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Cox Communications said it will keeps its analog programing for 3 more years.
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post #10 of 32 Old 11-01-2008, 09:02 PM
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As a former CATV Sweep Tech, I'd say the Analog feeds aren't gonna last much past 2009. Each analog channel they can cut makes room for 4 to 20 digital channels. They also need the lower analogs (2-6 at least) to expand the return path. On a system with a channel 2 the return path is 5 to 40 MHz. Each forward analog they drop can increase the return spectrum by 6 MHz. Remember, they are only required to support Analog sets, not provide analog feeds. A set top box fulfills their obligation to the letter of the law.
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post #11 of 32 Old 11-01-2008, 09:15 PM
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I could be wrong but I believe the FCC requires cable companies to provided local channels to all subscribers including those with analog TVs until sometime in 2012. After the cessation of analog OTA next February the cable companies will either have to convert digital SD signals to analog or provide free converter boxes to their analog customers. The FCC will revisit the issue in 2012 and make another decision regarding this issue at that time.

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post #12 of 32 Old 11-01-2008, 11:26 PM
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2/12. So, all that would change then, is that woudn't have to provide free boxes in 2/12. Do you think those boxes will really be free before then? Of course not.
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post #13 of 32 Old 11-02-2008, 06:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye911 View Post

I could be wrong but I believe the FCC requires cable companies to provided local channels to all subscribers including those with analog TVs until sometime in 2012.

However the regulation said clearly that they could either accomplish that via passing analog through the cable, or by provision of boxes with analog outputs - DTAs. There are different opinions regarding whether they can charge for the DTAs, if they go truly all-digital. Chances are that they have to provide one free per paid outlet, but can charge extra for extra outlets, if they choose. And of course, after 2012, even that requirement could be dropped.


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2/12.

No: 12/2012.
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post #14 of 32 Old 11-02-2008, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

No: 12/2012.

No, it is 2/12.

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...C-276576A1.pdf
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post #15 of 32 Old 11-02-2008, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

Chances are that they have to provide one free per paid outlet, but can charge extra for extra outlets, if they choose. And of course, after 2012, even that requirement could be dropped.

If it wasn't clear from before, whether they itemize a fee for one or more boxes is just a shell game by the MSOs. For example, with Comcast there is Standard service, add a box to it and it is called Digital Starter. I think the price difference at one point might have been the cost of the box, ~$4, but, I know for sure in January it was a $1 difference, and now there is no difference. The boxes aren't free, they just appear to be. People without boxes are partially subsidizing those that do have boxes.

BTW, now Comcast in this area will not activate Standard, it has to be Digital Starter, if one wants those channels. I would imgaine, though, that one only has to get one box, but I may be wrong.
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post #16 of 32 Old 11-02-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

No, it is 2/12.

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...C-276576A1.pdf

Hmph.... I could have swore I read "December 31, 2012" somewhere. Guess not!
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post #17 of 32 Old 11-12-2008, 09:54 PM
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Mediacom in the Lake Isabella area of eastern Kern County California (Bakersfield DMA) is going 100% digital this December, even for the limited basic tier. I saw an ad on a local station yesterday stating this. Among other things, it said that "all tvs that don't already have a box will need one very soon". As the announder said this, a message on the screen said "unless it has a cable card or a QAM tuner". Cable card OR a QAM tuner? Clear as mud about what channels they intend to leave in the clear. Their website had no information.

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #18 of 32 Old 12-08-2008, 09:53 PM
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post #19 of 32 Old 12-09-2008, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Don't say I didn't warn you... http://www.king5.com/business/storie....42181bf3.html


If you have an older analog TV, and you have Comcast's most basic package, you won't have to change a thing when it comes to watching channels two through 29.

What we're talking about here are the channels above that. From 30 to about channel 80, said Comcast regional spokesman Steve Kipp.


So they are still providing the "lifeline basic" in analog, no box required.

A 'phile and his money are soon parted...
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post #20 of 32 Old 12-10-2008, 02:22 AM
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Some areas are literally going digital only with that DTA so its happening.
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post #21 of 32 Old 12-10-2008, 08:34 AM
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So they are still providing the "lifeline basic" in analog, no box required.

For now, at least. But ComCast is also currently feeding their "lifeline basic" as clear QAM in most systems. It won't be long before that analog goes away too. Remember, they boasted that 'no change would be necessary' for the digital transition.
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post #22 of 32 Old 12-10-2008, 09:05 AM
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Well, technically, they're right. They're not a part of The Digital Transition (for OTA).

They just failed to mention they'd be doing their own digital transition.

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post #23 of 32 Old 12-10-2008, 10:21 AM
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I'm pretty sure my days subscribing to Comcast analog cable and Comcast in general are coming to an end. In the past few months I've seen several analog channels disappear, the TVGuide on my DVR go unpopulated for a week, the rate went up, and last night right before the network news several analog channels went blank. I was able to see the channels in the digital spectrum with my Samsung box, so who knows what happened. The channels came back 2 hours later with no explanation.

I'm about 60 miles from the transmitter and receiving analog OTA has never worked except maybe 2 junky channels I never watch anyway. I did an experiment over the weekend where I put a cheap pair of amplified rabbit ears on my second story deck and ran the coax to where the Comcast cable connects to the house wiring. To my surprise I was able to receive over 25 OTA channels via the Samsung box and they all came in crystal clear with no freezing. I figure if I put a CM4228HD and pre-amp on the deck things will look just as good.

I know I'll miss some channels that just aren't available OTA, but I've lived with less before and will do so again.
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post #24 of 32 Old 12-21-2008, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

If it wasn't clear from before, whether they itemize a fee for one or more boxes is just a shell game by the MSOs. For example, with Comcast there is Standard service, add a box to it and it is called Digital Starter. I think the price difference at one point might have been the cost of the box, ~$4, but, I know for sure in January it was a $1 difference, and now there is no difference. The boxes aren't free, they just appear to be. People without boxes are partially subsidizing those that do have boxes.

BTW, now Comcast in this area will not activate Standard, it has to be Digital Starter, if one wants those channels. I would imgaine, though, that one only has to get one box, but I may be wrong.

I have had the Comcast "expanded" ? service for several years. This is the one where you get all of the non-premium channels and you don't have to have a set-top box.

At the time I had it installed I had an outdoor antenna feeding into a 4 way amplifier. After the amplifier, there were a few more splits. Technically I had 5 TVs total in the house, but since a few of those also had VCRs, the signal was ultimately getting split over 8 devices. Since my daughter moved away to college, I think I'm down to a total of 6 devices now.

I told Comcast that I had 5 TV's. When the installer came and saw that my amplifier and all of the cable which I had run myself was all done very well in a professional manner, he said (I'm paraphrasing a little):

"I'm just going to put on this form that you have 4 TV's. If we say that it is split more than 4 ways, then we have to provide an amplifier and I have to charge you for it. However, the amplifier you already have is honestly probably better than the one we provide, so let's just say that you have 4 sets."

Anyway, there may have been an initial one time charge for the fact that I had "4 sets" - but there was no additional monthly charges.

Now, fast forward to the present. Comcast said that it was converting some channels to digital that were previously available without a box on my plan. I think "Hallmark Channel" was one of these - which I never watch anyway. So, they said they would send me a "digital starter" box so that I could continue to watch those channels. Of course, they also play up the fact that I would also have "video on demand" which is another way to get you hooked and make money off of you. This ONE digital starter box is provided free of charge.

The catch is that if I want to have a "digital starter box" on the other 4 TV's, it will cost me an additional $4.95 per month per box -- almost $20.00 more per month!

There was a short article in a recent Consumer Reports about this very issue. They said that what the Cable companies are doing is really violating the intent of the digital conversion law passed by Congress. The digital conversion was not supposed to cost people anything. (Of course, for over the air they are only providing for a maximum of 2 $40.00 coupons for converter boxes which usually cost around $49 -- so I guess that isn't really free.)

Anyway, Consumer Reports said that everyone should write their congressman and complain about how this is being implemented.
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post #25 of 32 Old 12-21-2008, 09:20 PM
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Comcast is unencrpyting the exp basic channels in the regions they're deploying DTAs which works for me. I can buy QAM tuners for the old or upgrade my was cable ready analog TV to a cable ready again digital TV. Just hope the new FCC hates cable also and doesn't grant them waivers.
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post #26 of 32 Old 12-22-2008, 02:00 AM
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Some time in Febuary there going to all digital. Right?
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post #27 of 32 Old 12-22-2008, 05:44 AM
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Quote:


Some time in Febuary there going to all digital. Right?

When and if your local Comcast goes all digital is up to them, that Feb date is for OTA only, Comcast will receive the signal from local broadcasters and de-mod it then re-mod it using analog methods.

However some day all cable systems will go all digital this will require you to have a STB or a QAM tuner.
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post #28 of 32 Old 12-22-2008, 06:02 AM
 
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Indeed, "sometime in February" is one of the times that Comcast is not going to "go all digital".
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post #29 of 32 Old 12-22-2008, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRT Dude View Post

Comcast is unencrpyting the exp basic channels in the regions they're deploying DTAs which works for me. I can buy QAM tuners for the old or upgrade my was cable ready analog TV to a cable ready again digital TV. Just hope the new FCC hates cable also and doesn't grant them waivers.

Just hope the new FCC hates cable also and doesn't grant them waivers. Waivers for what??
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post #30 of 32 Old 12-22-2008, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMI Guy View Post

Just hope the new FCC hates cable also and doesn't grant them waivers. Waivers for what??

turning encryption on. Edit:to clarify, I am guessing that is what he means

even if they dont I bet they play games and move the "channels" around so you have to rescan constantly.
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