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post #1 of 26 Old 06-14-2001, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I am moving into a condo and may have to give up my HD Satallite dish (bylaws). I hope not. Has anyone seen a digital cable picture on an HDTV? Is it worth it over regular cable? Will an HDTV display the digital cable signal any different than a regular TV would? What res does digital cable produce? My TV is the 38" RCA 16:9.
I hope I don't have to downgrade! YUK!

Any input will help!

Please email me directly, if possible, or else just post.
Brian
millennium_force@hotmail.com

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 26 Old 06-14-2001, 10:53 AM
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I don't have a direct link, but FCC regulations prohibit any condo board or HOA from preventing tenants from putting up a dish or antenna in their property (not in a common or public area). If you have a balcony with line of sight to the satellites, there's nothing they can do.

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post #3 of 26 Old 06-14-2001, 10:57 AM
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Exactly what vruiz said. You cannot be barred from putting up a dish.
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post #4 of 26 Old 06-14-2001, 11:46 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by vruiz:
[b]I don't have a direct link, but FCC regulations prohibit any condo board or HOA from preventing tenants from putting up a dish or antenna in their property (not in a common or public area). If you have a balcony with line of sight to the satellites, there's nothing they can do.

True, but the Condo/Coop Association can say u cant mount the dish on the building (defacing?). u gotta find a way to set up the dish without screwing it to the outer wall. Hope its not too windy on ur balcony

Ting


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post #5 of 26 Old 06-14-2001, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't have an appropriate view of the south. Only a roof mount would work, and they won't like that.

But my question is still... has anyone seen digital cable?
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post #6 of 26 Old 06-14-2001, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by javalee:
True, but the Condo/Coop Association can say u cant mount the dish on the building (defacing?). u gotta find a way to set up the dish without screwing it to the outer wall.
Not necessarily. There's a Declaratory Ruling somewhere on the FCC site that addresses this (found it; http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Cable/Ord...8/da981284.txt ). Seems someone wanted to mount his dish on the outside wall immediately above their patio. The HOA said "no", but the FCC said "yes" -- an outside wall in the area above an exclusive use patio is also considered exclusive use, and the owner can mount a dish there.

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You have a right to install OTA and dish antennas on property under your control.

See http://www.fcc.gov/csb/facts/otard.html

[This message has been edited by BarryO (edited 06-14-2001).]

You have a right to install OTA and dish antennas on property under your control.
See
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post #7 of 26 Old 06-14-2001, 03:39 PM
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Brian:

I believe you realize that the "digital cable" your system provides likely does not carry an HD signal. Typically, in a standard 6 MHz channel, a cable system will compress about 9 standard defination signals into it. . . sometimes more. The bit rate is probably around 2 Mbs. I believe DBS signals are typically around 4 or 5 Mbs.

The best cable can do with an HD signal is to compress two of them into one 6MHz channel.

You can see why cable is resisting HD. They must choose between carrying two channels or nine.

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post #8 of 26 Old 06-14-2001, 09:32 PM
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A friend of mine has digital cable, and it is roughly equivalent to what you get via DirecTV.. It's compressed NTSC digital video. Some channels are compressed more than others, depending on how your cable company has them set up. To me, DirecTV looks slightly better.

Unless you're in one of the very few areas that are doing HDTV over cable, you will get nothing in HD.

As for the dish.. be creative. I also live in an apartment that won't let me mount it to anything. I have a North facing balcony, but I used a tripod from radio shack and a 5ft metal mast to mount my dish freestanding on the balcony. The dish is pointed back towards the roofline. By looking at it, you would think it is blocked off by the roof. But, the signal comes in at a steep angle & I get a good signal on 101 & 119.
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post #9 of 26 Old 06-15-2001, 06:54 AM
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My mother in law has digital cable. It's not a pretty picture. Only advantage over analog cable is more channels. My experience is that analog looks better, digital presents more choices (because they can compress digital signals). Art

Quote:
Originally posted by bpalmby:
I don't have an appropriate view of the south. Only a roof mount would work, and they won't like that.

But my question is still... has anyone seen digital cable?

Art Shotwell
Anacortes, Wash.
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post #10 of 26 Old 06-15-2001, 07:18 AM
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I had a DirectTV and have had ATT Digital Cable for around 3 years now.

I switched because I had to at the time, and haven't repurchased because I'm lazy and don't watch much TV.

What I can tell you is this:
(1) DirectTV... looks pretty good OK... but you can definately see the difference between a good signal and a bad.
(2) ATT cable... is about the same. I don't think there is any "quality" difference between digital cable and normal cable, except with digital cable you get more channels and you do not get the "sympathetic frequency channel" problems. Which has always been minimal. Because the ATT digital cable box is SO F**KING SLOW and ANNOYING and of POOR QUALITY it is almost never used. I use the analog signals (which gives me the first 99 channels and the main HBO/Showtime/Cinemax). If you A/B these... there is no noticeable difference here.
(3) The DirectTV menu and display system is SO MUCH BETTER that you will never be happy with a Digital Cable system box - promice this. That is the biggest difference to me.
(4) Of course, I use TIVO and the tuning in TIVO does not have any of these problems (I run TIVO via the analog cable - I don't use it to control the POS digital box).
(5) Cable will PROBABLY NEVER send out and of the DTV signals SD or HD. And if they did, I'm sure they would charge for it. ATT milks every penny they can out of their cable subscribers...

I really don't like cable systems... but of the 10 channels I watch 5 are not broadcast... so I need cable - unfortunately. I little more broadband speed and I may be free forever though!

Hope this helps.
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post #11 of 26 Old 06-15-2001, 12:45 PM
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I agree with all the comments made so far.

Digital cable allows the cable company to offer more channels, not BETTER Reception. Example 11 HBO's vs. 2 HBO"'s. You will also have access to more PPV channels and the CD quality music channels.

I currently have DirecTV and a "digital ready" OTA .

I am personally waiting for :

1. More true Local/National Digital Programming
2. Lower cost for decoder
3. A TV or decoder box with "2" HDTV tuners. Most sets have dual tuner NTSC PIP. I can't see having 2 HDTV tuners on top of my TV.

I know # 3 won't happen for a while. I will probable buy the new Sony 32 or 36 inch XBR Wega Digital ready set along with the Sony Directv HD tuner for the time being.

In reference to your HOA allowing you to mount the dish,
while the FCC may tell you yes, you have to LIVE amongst your neighbors. Many of them may be unaware how small the dish actually is. You don't want to p@@s off your neighbors.

As an alternative, have you considered a complex wide install? I.E. One 24" dish with mutiplexers can serve 8 plus condo's with 2 or more tv's each. Careful planning for future expansion will save cost in the long run. Your HOA may even be able to offset the cost of the install by becoming Directv authorized and getting a commision for each receiver installed. This may take some work. If you look into this , you may "win" your neighbors over.

Closing point:

I lived in an apartment complex for 4 years. I was told I could not have a dish, only cable or Pacific Bell Tele-TV (southern ca) by building management. Before we moved in, there was a master TV antenna on each building.They disconnected them about a year before we moved in. Watching tv with even powered rabbit ears was horrible. I found out they had side deals with Pac Bell and the local cable company that tried to limit my choice.

After noticing an onsite employee had a dish, I had one installed also. I was told to remove it, I refused. I went around to all the units in my building and had them sigh a petition for dishes. Fortunately, two things worked in my favor. 1. Our complex got a more "progressive" manager and 2. The FCC issued a pre-liminary ruling in favor of apartment dwellers.

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post #12 of 26 Old 06-17-2001, 12:32 PM
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bpalmby:

If you live in a place served by Time Warner you might be able to get HD. Most anyone else.. forget it.

Depending on where you live, if you can see the northern sky, you might be able to get ExpressVu (canadian DBS).

The post on wiring the complex for a common dish sounds like an excellent plan to prusue, especially if nothing else is available.

Good luck,

Mike


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post #13 of 26 Old 06-18-2001, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeKO:
...if you can see the northern sky, you might be able to get ExpressVu
Interesting orbit!



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- gridleak... biased toward HD

-Roger
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post #14 of 26 Old 06-18-2001, 10:47 PM
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Interesting orbit!

------------------
- gridleak... biased toward HD

My understanding was / is that if you are located in the far south of the US, you cannot "see" the ExpressVu sat. If that is the case, it would seem that they would be relatively too far north. Maybe you could you provide some illumination? Or not. Its mostly a free country, so if you prefer snide remarks to information, by all means help yourself.

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post #15 of 26 Old 06-18-2001, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tji:
As for the dish.. be creative. I also live in an apartment that won't let me mount it to anything. I have a North facing balcony, but I used a tripod from radio shack and a 5ft metal mast to mount my dish freestanding on the balcony. The dish is pointed back towards the roofline. By looking at it, you would think it is blocked off by the roof. But, the signal comes in at a steep angle & I get a good signal on 101 & 119.
Very impressive! If you could, it would be nice to see a picture of that clever arrangement.
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post #16 of 26 Old 06-19-2001, 12:00 AM
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Sorry Mike, I thought you were joking, and I was just playing into it.

All the dbs satellites are equatorial, so that they can remain motionless in relation to the earth as the earth rotates. Satellites can be aimed to specific regions, and the ExpressVu satellite(s) would be aimed towards Canada.

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- gridleak... biased toward HD

[This message has been edited by gridleak (edited 06-19-2001).]

-Roger
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post #17 of 26 Old 06-19-2001, 09:53 PM
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I should apologize also.... I know better than to whip off a quick post when I'm tired and irritable. One of the hazards of email and forums... can't get face to face feedback. Anyway, I REALLY do appreciate the answer, but given an Equatorial orbit, then why do so many people on the west coast have trouble with a line of sight to one of the E* birds (its 148 I think, but I won't swear to it).

Mike


BTW: Orbital mechanics is NOT my area if you haven't guessed.



[This message has been edited by MikeKO (edited 06-20-2001).]


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post #18 of 26 Old 06-19-2001, 11:18 PM
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Glad you responded. My sense of humor can be overly dry at times.

The 61.5 satellite is the problem for the left coast. It sits somewhere over Brazil and is a long reach to the east for those of us in California. The newer 148 satellite is out in the Pacific near Christmas Island and is nicely available in the west. The numbers like 61.5 and 148 are the longitudes in degrees from Greenwich, England, measured along the equator. Dig that globe out of the closet, and everything will make sense.

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- gridleak... biased toward HD

-Roger
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post #19 of 26 Old 06-20-2001, 07:51 AM
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Digital cable quality depends mostly on your local cable company (or companies). How much compression they use is crucial. Time Warner devised their own compression, called Athena, which I understand puts about 10 digitized NTSC channels in each 6-MHz slot. Locally, I've found that provides excellent picture fidelity, with so many movie choices (see link ), that I couldn't see them all if I watched all day. But I see frequent complaints from AT&T/TCI cable subscribers due to the apparently higher compression system used. As noted, other than a few locations, such as Houston, cable companies have failed to patch in HDTV channels. -- John

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post #20 of 26 Old 06-20-2001, 07:51 AM
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OK. Got it (I think). Thanks. Just out of curiosity, is there any reason that they don't do polar orbits since things are getting crowded up there?

Mike


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post #21 of 26 Old 06-20-2001, 08:06 AM
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MikeKO:

These satellites are in geo-synchronous orbit. They appear to stay in one location in the sky because their orbit speed and distance is sync'ed to the Earth's rotation. The Earth doesn't rotate in a manner that would allow for orbital geo-synchronous paths. Make sense?

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post #22 of 26 Old 06-20-2001, 09:11 PM
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Yup, with a polar orbit you would have to keep moving your antenna to track it. Great orbit for spy satellites, though.

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Alex

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post #23 of 26 Old 06-20-2001, 10:21 PM
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Jeez, I need to get out of this thread... I have to keep slapping myself in the head. Thanks for the info.

Mike


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post #24 of 26 Old 06-20-2001, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dagman:
Very impressive! If you could, it would be nice to see a picture of that clever arrangement.

I snapped a few pictures and put a small description of the equipment up here:

http://weaselworkz.com/hdtv/balcony/index.html

The pictures are not great, but hopefully it gives an idea of my setup and can help other apartment dwellers.
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post #25 of 26 Old 06-21-2001, 05:22 PM
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Saw your post. The only thing digital about Digital Cable is that a compression technology is utilized so that the equivalent of 11-12 channels can occupy the same amount of bandwidth as a single analog channel. This technology was eagerly developed for cable companies to compete more effectively with DBS in situations where they either lacked the time and money (often both) to re-engineer their systems. Cable systems were for the most part developed by entrepreneurs who were for the most part cowboy engineers. A perfect example is San Jose, CA where the system is essentially "channel locked"--and without Digital Cable, there is about a 40 channel capacity without major reconstruction.

The cable industry has been dragging their heels as far as HDTV and because they still don't have adequate capacity to offer a truly competitive channel line up to DBS, are not especially interested in allocating bandwidth for this purpose. Therefore it will probably be some mandate from the folks inside the Beltway that will force cable operators to offer a minimum amount of HDTV programming.

If you are considering Digital Cable, think again.
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post #26 of 26 Old 06-21-2001, 05:30 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by BigRed:

What I can tell you is this:

(2) ATT cable... is about the same. I don't think there is any "quality" difference between digital cable and normal cable, except with digital cable you get more channels and you do not get the "sympathetic frequency channel" problems. Which has always been minimal. Because the ATT digital cable box is SO F**KING SLOW and ANNOYING and of POOR QUALITY it is almost never used. I use the analog signals (which gives me the first 99 channels and the main HBO/Showtime/Cinemax). If you A/B these... there is no noticeable difference here.

<<I assume you are in metro Chicago. What a patchwork quilt of godawful network engineering. TCI (now AT&T) has undergone all sorts of massive efforts to fix many sins from past operators. Probably more palms were greased on the golf courses for franchise awards with the city fathers--Mt. Prospect is a case in point. The box m(DTC-1000/2000) however is largely the fault of General Instrument. The last time GI ever talked to a customer about anything was probably when Cesar was ruling Rome. Unfortunately for GI, they may be fiddling like Nero while the city starts to flame...>>
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