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Frank Beacham story in TVTechnology  

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Not a happy camper.
http://www.tvtechnology.com/features...-DTVland.shtml
post #2 of 13
Very interesting.
post #3 of 13
I've heard discussions like this at SBE meetings over a year ago.

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LOU@GCL
post #4 of 13
Thank you for posting the informative article.http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

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Hob for Hobby
post #5 of 13
I am glad to read about energy being saved for the 'must carry' fight. So many of the posts here are about antennas and reception. If the cable companies had to carry DTV then the consumer market for the hardware would take off, which would prompt the broadcasters to provide more (hopefully) HDTV programming. It is frustrating to talk to friends about DTV and learn that they think their AT&T digital cable is HDTV.

Tom
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by tombarry:
I am glad to read about energy being saved for the 'must carry' fight. So many of the posts here are about antennas and reception. If the cable companies had to carry DTV then the consumer market for the hardware would take off, which would prompt the broadcasters to provide more (hopefully) HDTV programming. It is frustrating to talk to friends about DTV and learn that they think their AT&T digital cable is HDTV.

Tom
Tom

I follow the international DTV transition and one thing that is different in the US is must carry. If you go to the newsgroup aus.tv.digital you do not see the post about antennas and reception. True they do not have that many users yet (we don't either) but it was even remarked on several aus post recently that there wasn't any activity regarding reception problems because, well, they decided, that their system wasn't having many problems. Broadcasters in Australia had to carefully pick their over the air modulation system because they depend on it to deliver the goods. This is true in 50 countries that also went the way of Australia.

Here in the US having an over the air system that works undermines the very idea of must carry. In every Congressional Hearing, (one last summer and two so far this year) all broadcast representative witnesses had the same mantra.

"Over the air broadcasting doesn't work, people will not put up rooftop antennas for reception and the system requires them to do so, therefore we need must carry on cable". No mention of changing modulation systems to one that works.

The broadcasters have been weaned from their towers over the last 25 years. They have lost 85% of viewers to cable and satellite. Their minds are not thinking over the air broadcasting, they are thinking only one thing, staying in business this week. That means cable must carry and keeping the 12 MHz of spectrum out of anyones hands who might know how to use it and compete with them.

When you look at the recent vote of the Taiwanese Broadcasters who voted unanimously to overturn the government mandated modulation and the near riot that Korean broadcasters had when their government denied their request to switch (recently allowed testing taking the heat off) you have to wonder what US broadcasters were thinking when they voted 27 to 3 in the opposite direction.

There is not a single country in the world that is voluntarily and enthusiastically following our lead.

So why did the US broadcasters vote the way they did? The only thing they know is must carry. Congress was, at the behest of special interest, threatening not only must carry but also their very spectrum.

In one word they were/are terrified.

I think they made the wrong decision. Since to get must carry they so strongly argued that over the air broadcasting doesn't work that now Congress and the FCC are openly asking the ultimate question, "If people won't put up rooftop antennas and only 15% of viewers rely on broadcast over the air for TV why do broadcasters need any spectrum?" As Chairman Powell says, "What are we protecting"
post #7 of 13
Quote:
"Over the air broadcasting doesn't work, people will not put up rooftop antennas for reception and the system requires them to do so, therefore we need must carry on cable". No mention of changing modulation systems to one that works.
What modulation system would work without an antenna? If people won't put up an antenna, then why bother even arguing about the modulation mechanism for OTA, unless you come up with one that doesn't require an antenna at all?


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Dean Roddey
The Charmed Quark Controller
droddey@charmedquark.com
www.charmedquark.com

If it don't have a control port, don't buy it!
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey:
What modulation system would work without an antenna? If people won't put up an antenna, then why bother even arguing about the modulation mechanism for OTA, unless you come up with one that doesn't require an antenna at all?

No one said a modulation system would work without an antenna. The broadcasters before Congress over and over have testified that they need "must carry" because "people will not put up roof top antennas".

The key words are "roof top". The 8-VSB modulation system has specifically been sold as one that requires "roof top" antennas. If you read the MSTV report that is hammered home many times.

The reason for bothering with the modulation system for OTA is that you could save OTA free broadcasting if you did not have to install a "roof top" antenna but could use a simple antenna that did not need installing at all for example.

There are modulation sytems that allow for that. In Germany a Single Frequency Network has been demonstrated where the receive antenna is hidden on either side of a flat screen monitor (diversity antenna). No need for installation and no need to even be aware of the antenna. They have demonstrated ubiquitous reception over the entire coverage area of the station even when the receiver is in motion at hundreds of kilometers per hour.
post #9 of 13
Someone forgot to tell me about this. I have a wee antenna on my porch, about 9' off the ground, pointing right into a tree towards Sutro toward 40 something miles away. And I have no problems getting all of the channels.


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Dean Roddey
The Charmed Quark Controller
droddey@charmedquark.com
www.charmedquark.com

If it don't have a control port, don't buy it!
post #10 of 13
Someone forgot to tell me, too. The 10-inch long indoor antenna (silver sensor)I hooked up to get WNET-HD is actually outperforming my rooftop antenna. I'm 15 miles away with very large trees in my yard.
Perhaps Mr. Miller should be posting on the HDTV Hardware forum to get more meaningful feedback?
-Dave
post #11 of 13
One of the first really smart posts you have made, Bob. ie bringing all this to light. I agree that the broadcasters should simply give up their OTA spectrum. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif Since, cable, DBS and the resurgence of AM all news and talk radio popularity, who needs OTA transmissions? You are right in your observance that in most communities, people will not desire to put up roof top antennas, rather small 18 inch dish or an underground cable is all that we really need, right? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif We can get all the entertainment network programming via the bird and cable now. We don't really need the local network affiliates for local news as cable can do this, doing it now in Florida with the cable Florida News Network. Any local TV advertiser who is frugal knows that cable advertising is far more effective and far cheaper than OTA advertising.

Can we think of one reason why OTA must be maintained?
I can think of several--
It maintains about 100 low paying high tech jobs for a typical a small city.
It maintains about a dozen high paying jobs for a small city.
It enables the poor to save the cost of 2 six packs of beer or 6 packs of cigarettes per month rather than spend that money on basic cable, satellite or both for the same programming and more.

Thank you Bob for bringing this info to us that has such an obvious conclusion-
Shut down the OTA stations for broadcast transmission and institute must carry via cable AND dbs.

I would consider local TV stations then, just like a much larger version of my business. Simply a production company that produces content for cable and satellite. That's just what I do, only they would be simply bigger. :^|


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Don Landis
Home Theater Pics at: www.scubatech.com Last updated 3/25/01
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by woowoo:
Give up OTA?
When they pry it from my cold dead hands

In answer to the last three post I am for the preservation of OTA broadcasting. That is the main reason I post.

Warning that the broadcasters are using the problems of reception to garner support for must carry and thereby inviting the politicians and the Chairman of the FCC to suggest that OTA broadcasting is a marginal use of valuable spectrum, as they have been heard to comment recently, does not make me against OTA.

I did not say that 8-VSB could never be received by an indoor antenna. Obviously it can. I commented that the broadcasters said that the design of 8-VSB was for it to be received by roof-top antennas and that the MSTV test emphasized that fact. And that the MSTV test results were horrible for indoor antenna reception with 8-VSB which I believe was around 25% or so. Isn't that why they are furiously trying to fix it?

I can think of many reasons for maintaining OTA broadcasting and maintaining jobs while laudable is the weakest one. Local content is the most important.

I am not suggesting that we shut down OTA broadcasting, I am warning that that is what is on the minds of some of the regulators and politicians.

Again my only reason for posting is the desire to see OTA broadcasting preserved and as local as possible.
The recent announcement of the combining of the #4 WLIB and #1 WNET PBS stations because of DTV transition cost is just the first in a massive consolidation of both commercial and public TV/DTV stations. Not good for local.

When the consolidation is mostly over then we will see the new colossal owners with infinite and international broadcasting and political power do what they want with the political system. With enough broadcasting muscle they can subtly make or break any politician. Right now they are going for ownership cap removal.

In the mean time the delays inherent in the problematic 8-VSB modulation work for lowering the price of TV/DTV stations and helping in their consolidation plans. After they will have whatever modulation system they want overnight and it will be one that works, a fixed 8-VSB or whatever. The broadcasters who do not have a lot of content production blindly and fearfully just go from day to day like sheep waiting to get sheared and they will.
post #13 of 13
Give up OTA?
When they pry it from my cold dead hands

how many "cable" households have a TV in another room with rabbit ears?
Its used during storms for EBS when the CABLE goes out!
15% of viewers on OTA?
I think not
just drive down the street and look for antennas
Give up Free TV.....
Not Me
(Getting the gun and heading to the roof)

NTSC still looks good if done right
And cable looks like 3/4"

My .02

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Studio Broadcast Engineer
KET
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AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › Local HDTV Info and Reception › Frank Beacham story in TVTechnology