Locals Must Carry HDTV? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 Old 05-12-2002, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
JohnA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: WI
Posts: 562
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I live in La Crosse, WI and there seems to be no interest by any of the local network affiliates to broadcast in HD. Is there not a federal mandate that they have to carry HD by a certain date? Thanks for any information you can provide.
JohnA is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 Old 05-12-2002, 09:29 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Forceflow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,743
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
There is no federal mandate for HDTV, only digital TV. Basically, HDTV could never be shown and the networks would not violate any federal mandates. Personally I think people dropped the ball. Powell, the head of the FCC, has asked networks to broadcast atleast half of the their primetime lineup in HDTV by next fall, but it is only a request. As for locals, they can do anything as long as its digital. Occasionally, locals will not broadcast HDTV even if its available. Most will figure out soon enough they will be in trouble without HDTV shows and fix their problems.

***Warning*** Do not look into laser with remaining eye!!
Forceflow is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 05-12-2002, 10:08 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
foxeng's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Where ever I am is where I am.
Posts: 14,023
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 40
Quote:
Originally posted by Forceflow
There is no federal mandate for HDTV, only digital TV. Basically, HDTV could never be shown and the networks would not violate any federal mandates. Personally I think people dropped the ball. Powell, the head of the FCC, has asked networks to broadcast atleast half of the their primetime lineup in HDTV by next fall, but it is only a request. As for locals, they can do anything as long as its digital. Occasionally, locals will not broadcast HDTV even if its available. Most will figure out soon enough they will be in trouble without HDTV shows and fix their problems.
The real reason is very simple, there are over 330 million analog TV sets in the field, IE at peoples homes. The CEA estimates that from Nov 1998 till Dec 31, 2002, there will be only 2 million digital sets ANYWHERE in the US, including warehouses waiting to be sold. Until your neighbors start buying digital televisions (and it doesn't matter what causes them to do it, IE great pix or federal law requiring set manufacturers to provide both analog and digital tuners) your smaller stations (over 1400 of them compared to 80 in the top 30 markets) are not in a big hurry to spend the millions of dollars it takes to do true digital, not even HD programming. You can not change a whole industry in 5 years and that is what the FCC Timetable (provided by Congress) wanted to have happen. They also want you and your neighbors to dump all of the 330 million analog sets (or at least buy STBs) by 2006. Which we know will not happen. That will mean that the whole changeout would only take 10 years from the broadcasters side and 6 years for consumers. Not even computers and DVD players are on track to do that and they are the biggest sellers of all time. Throw in a recession and Sept 11th, and you have this luke warm reaction.

Hey, I am with you and I want more programming, but I also work in the biz and I like my paychecks to keep coming and not bounce, or get laid off because my salary went to buy a tape deck so you can watch Jerry Springer in true 16:9 HD.

See my point? There are two sides to everything and usually the currents under the surface do not reflect the true nature of the currents on the surface.

Your mileage may vary.

All opinions expressed (unless otherwise noted) are the posters and NOT the posters employers. The poster in NO WAY is/will speak for his employers.
foxeng is online now  
post #4 of 12 Old 05-12-2002, 10:15 AM
AVS Special Member
 
peter0302's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Chicago IL
Posts: 1,883
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
There was a panel of the CEOs of the major networks on C-SPAN the other day talking about this. If I recall they said it takes about 20% more money to shoot something in HDTV than it does regular 480i. One of the reasons for this is that Sony HD Cameras cost $100k+ each. Plus the digitizer equipment is extremely expensive. Fox didn't shoot the Superbowl in HD, but rather just 480p widescreen (MUCH cheaper), because of this.

As for the networks, it seems to me that if the major networks tape thier shows in HD, there shouldn't be any reason for the local digital stations not to broadcast in HD. Does it cost them more money just to broadcast, even if the program is already shot and edited in HD?
peter0302 is offline  
post #5 of 12 Old 05-12-2002, 11:23 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
foxeng's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Where ever I am is where I am.
Posts: 14,023
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 40
Quote:
Originally posted by peter0302

As for the networks, it seems to me that if the major networks tape thier shows in HD, there shouldn't be any reason for the local digital stations not to broadcast in HD. Does it cost them more money just to broadcast, even if the program is already shot and edited in HD?
Unfortunately yes, Most stations have remotely located transmitter sites. Let's add up the total costs to a typical station just to do what is called "pass-through", that is just to take a network 480p signal and get it to your house.

High power DTV UHF transmitter (50,000 watts of DTV power) (two IOT, most VHF's need at least 3 IOTs to even come close to replicate their VHF coverage on UHF, add $250,000 to this as a min) - $750,000 to $1 million

Encoding equipment for the transmitter - $125,000 to $250,000 (depending on how many virtual channels and how cheap you want to go)

DTV antenna, feedline, installed - $300,000 to $1 million

renovation of current transmitter budiling to new building to hold this new transmitter, $100,000 to $1 million

Reinforcement or to install new 1500 ft tower (remember some are 2,000 ft and cost more)- $500,000 to $2.4 million

New digital microwave link $150,000 to $300,000

Rudimentary serial digital switcher at studio to switch from network receiver into the new microwave, including any A/D or D/A converters - $15,000 - $60,000

These are averages and it is true that some stations will come out cheaper and others will pay more.

On the low side that is right at $2 mil and on the high side is just under $7 million. For stations in the major markets they can usually handle that, but for the majority of stations in middle America, where most capital expenses are $500,000 a year at the most, this stuff gets expensive. You tack on the very few receivers in each market, plus the cost to operate a UHF transmitter, at between $15,000 and 25,000 a month, plus all the other bills you have to just keep the analog side going, and maybe you can see why stations are not running out and promoting DTV at this time.

Would DTV have happened on its own? ABSOLUTELY! Would it have been better organized if the government had let things run its course? YES! Remember, this whole DTV changeout is so Congress can have the FCC sell the unused analog TV channels at auction so it will fill the federal coffers, not to give you better television. Hence this crazy schedule to get stations changed over.

England has been working on going digital now for over 10 years and they estimate it will take another 10 years. The US is no where close to being where the Brits are and our government wants it done by 2006. Some say this is a scheme to run broadcasters out of business. I don't know if that is true or not, but if if were, this would be a great way to do it, because those stations that do not change, will be out of business, that simple.

Now this all sounds really bad, but if the government would put some of these same deadlines on cable and program distribution, it would speed things up and make life easier for everyone. The FCC's wish list that came out last month, I believe, is a first step on a way to regulation to get this thing moving, because up until now, it has all been on the broadcasters back.

All opinions expressed (unless otherwise noted) are the posters and NOT the posters employers. The poster in NO WAY is/will speak for his employers.
foxeng is online now  
post #6 of 12 Old 05-12-2002, 11:56 AM
AVS Special Member
 
kenglish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Posts: 5,409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked: 31
The only people who have to worry about losing their television are people who receive OTA full-power stations, free, via a rooftop antenna. Cable doesn't have to change, satellite doesn't have to change, LPTV stations don't even have to change.

I do agree with foxeng, it takes a small fortune to even get on the air in digital, and it takes another pile of money to pass the HDTV signals. Widescreen SD format can be added for a smaller pile of money.

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."
kenglish is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 05-12-2002, 12:39 PM
Member
 
glgorman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Martinez, Ca
Posts: 191
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally posted by peter0302
There was a panel of the CEOs of the major networks on C-SPAN the other day talking about this. If I recall they said it takes about 20% more money to shoot something in HDTV than it does regular 480i. One of the reasons for this is that Sony HD Cameras cost $100k+ each. Plus the digitizer equipment is extremely expensive. Fox didn't shoot the Superbowl in HD, but rather just 480p widescreen (MUCH cheaper), because of this.

Ah, gee - pity poor Fox. Somewhere around $2 million per 30 second commercial during the Superbowl = how much revenue? But cant afford a few new cameras? That's just terrible, I mean terribly unbelievable.

No warranty is either expressed or implied. The universe is a figment of its own imagination. Your milage may vary. Not responsible for lost homework, missed bus transfers, or forgetting to buy a lottery ticket the day they run your birthday. Have fun.

Have spectrum analyzer, will travel.
glgorman is offline  
post #8 of 12 Old 05-12-2002, 12:51 PM
AVS Special Member
 
vruiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brooklyn. NY
Posts: 4,534
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
They don't even have to buy them. Everyone (except HDNet and ASCN) that does live HD events rents the equipment, mostly from National Mobile Television. What a puny excuse.
vruiz is offline  
post #9 of 12 Old 05-13-2002, 08:28 AM
AVS Special Member
 
sregener's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Southeast MN
Posts: 3,085
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally posted by JohnA
I live in La Crosse, WI and there seems to be no interest by any of the local network affiliates to broadcast in HD. Is there not a federal mandate that they have to carry HD by a certain date? Thanks for any information you can provide.
Congratulations! You live in the 139th largest media market in the United States! Living outside of the top 100 means that digital requirements for your area are not as stringent as those in major metropolitan areas.

Currently WEAU (13) is shown to be broadcasting a digital signal on channel 39, according to the NAB. http://www.nab.org/newsroom/issues/d...tvstations.pdf

Other channels should be going live in the next few months. Technically, they were required to go live by May 1, 2002, but the FCC has granted deferments all over the place (see related thread stating that 75% of stations nationwide missed this deadline.) The FCC also declined to penalize stations for missing the date, stating that most anticipate being on the air by the end of the year. We can argue the wisdom of saying, "You missed the first deadline and we're not mad at you. Here's the new deadline and we really mean it this time..." some other time.

And, as others have already noted, none of these stations is required to pass/show HDTV on their digital channels, ever. They can simply retransmit the NTSC program in 480i on 1Mhz of their channel, and auction off the remaining 5Mhz for commercial (i.e. pay) purposes. Again, we can save the debate on "broadcasting in the public interest" questions for another place and time.

The FCC is currently requiring full-power DTV stations by the end of 2004, broadcasting 100% of the time the NTSC channel is up. This deadline may slip, too.

With a very large antenna and preamp, on a big tower, you may be able to pull in KTTC in Rochester (analog 10, digital 36), already broadcasting HDTV whenever NBC actually has something in HDTV. With a lot of tropospheric help, you might even get Minneapolis/St. Paul stations when the moon isn't full, the dogs aren't barking, and the sun isn't shining, etc. etc.

But the best answer in your situation is to, sadly, wait for the local stations to get around to doing their broadcasting duty. Which, if all goes well, may only be another 6 months.
sregener is offline  
post #10 of 12 Old 05-15-2002, 11:32 AM
Advanced Member
 
Jon J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 883
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 24
foxeng...Your cost estimates are astounding. And then, there are those unlucky stations who drew initial UHF assignments that will go away meaning they get to do the upgrade twice.

When news breaks...we fix it.
Jon J is offline  
post #11 of 12 Old 05-15-2002, 12:08 PM
AVS Special Member
 
kenglish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Posts: 5,409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked: 31
"What a puny excuse."
Whadda ya mean, a puny excuse?
Do ya think dey charge da same munny fer da good stuff as dey do fer th old stuff? (Sorry. Had to do my impression of "The Masked Engineer" from one of the TV engineering mags)

Actually, we wanted to do HDTV last year for a parade. NMT wanted $13.5K for a digital truck for the day. We didn't even ask about HD after that! Wound up getting an analog truck for $3500, instead,

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."
kenglish is offline  
post #12 of 12 Old 05-15-2002, 04:10 PM
Advanced Member
 
Dan Bither's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Wilmington DE USA
Posts: 516
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
foxeng,

Thanks for the general costs associated with DTV rollout.

I think what JohnA was asking was the costs associated with HD broadcasts over that of broadcasting 480p DTV. Since all stations must eventually broadcast in digital, is is much more expensive to broadcast in HD?
Dan Bither is offline  
Closed Thread Local HDTV Info and Reception

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off