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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For anyone interested


Well I finally got my Dgtec HD STB and it seems to work fine with a few minor lip sync issues here in Perth, Western Australia.

I am able to receive full 1080i HD through a rabbit ear type antenna that is quite ghosty with normal analogue tv reception.


Quality of HD is excellent but unfortunately only 50Hz not 60Hz I suspect due to backward compatibility with PAL sources.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Not so far that I'm aware of. I'm using a three gun so I guess I'll have to wait until a cofdm pc card becomes available to up my refresh. only really noticable on full white scenes so far though.

there is a HD loop channel which broacasts about 50 mins of HD material for about 6 hours a day. Other than that, support is quite poor as we've only just had the box released in the last few days and I guess there wasn't the demand yet.

I think at least two or three local shows are broadcast in HD with more to come. Also there is mention of some of the US HD shows being broadcast here in HD.

You guys still only get 60Hz right? Obviously better but I wouldn't think it would be worlds apart.

 

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50Hz? Yucky. Do any of the HDTV monitors in Australia overscan to 100Hz? I know some of the analogue PAL tvs in Europe do this.


Glad to hear someone in Australia is actually recieving HDTV. How much hi def programming is there on air right now? Is most of it Australian shows, US shows, live sports or what? Since you guys (and Japan) are the only ones to broadcast HDTV, I'd really be interested in what you have to watch.


Jim


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Let me get this straight, this show is hi-def and 5.1, but my local affiliate makes it crappy NTSC and mono?!
 

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Our scan rate options are 60 fps interlaced and progressive along with 30fps progressive. You would think that movies would be 24fps and let the monitor show it 3 or 4 times for a 72Hz or 96Hz display. Should look nicer for film sources and save a little on transmission bandwidth.


Jim


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Let me get this straight, this show is hi-def and 5.1, but my local affiliate makes it crappy NTSC and mono?!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dyates69:
For anyone interested


Well I finally got my Dgtec HD STB and it seems to work fine with a few minor lip sync issues here in Perth, Western Australia.

I am able to receive full 1080i HD through a rabbit ear type antenna that is quite ghosty with normal analogue tv reception.


Quality of HD is excellent but unfortunately only 50Hz not 60Hz I suspect due to backward compatibility with PAL sources.
How far are you from the station? What power are they broadcasting at? How easy is it to receive on the rabbit ears? Can you move it around without losing signal? Does it have to have line of sight? And what did you have to pay for the DGTEC?


Thanks for any info.




[This message has been edited by Bob Miller (edited 09-16-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Bob

Sorry, not sure on the power they broadcast at, could probably find out though, I'll let you know.

Distance from transmitter station is around 20 miles I think, not line of sight and it gives a moderate to good signal strength via rabbit ears but will break up periodically if I move the antenna around.


Cost of the box is now Aus$899 RRP and I got mine for $720 which is around US$370 I think.


It upconverts all signals (576i, 576p, 720p) to 1080i. Is this a standard feature with the STB's you guys use? It seems to do a good job of the conversion.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dyates69:
Hi Bob

Sorry, not sure on the power they broadcast at, could probably find out though, I'll let you know.

Distance from transmitter station is around 20 miles I think, not line of sight and it gives a moderate to good signal strength via rabbit ears but will break up periodically if I move the antenna around.


Cost of the box is now Aus$899 RRP and I got mine for $720 which is around US$370 I think.


It upconverts all signals (576i, 576p, 720p) to 1080i. Is this a standard feature with the STB's you guys use? It seems to do a good job of the conversion.
Thanks. Also what stations can you receive and what stations are broadcasting that you would expect to receive.


Could you elaborate on what happens when you move the antenna? Does it breakup while you are moving the antenna or does it only work in one location or does it only not work in a number of locations?


Also what are the obstructions since you are not line of sight? Is there a window in the room that sort of faces in the direction of the transmitter?


$370 for the first receiver in Australia one of the smallest TV markets in the world. This is with no competition driving the price down. If this unit was introduced in the US with competition the price would be $200 or even less in a matter of months. I know I have talked to all the manufacturers. I wonder if that would have any affect on the uptake of DTV and OTA HDTV in the US?


Don't you think someone should ask the manufacturers of DTV receivers in the US why they feel compelled to gouge the US consumer for current receivers?


Since in press releases and testimony before Congress from the CEA, Zenith, NxtWave and the NAB we were instructed that other HDTV markets would have to bear very high prices for receivers if they didn't adopt the American standard. We were told that the very large US market would guarantee the lowest prices. This was very specifically a warning issued to Australia. In fact they told Australia that no one would even make receivers for such a small market.


How come the first receiver with not competition cost only $370 and others promised cost even less? Australia will have a $250 list price HDTV receiver by next summer.


I think the American consumer and Congress deserves an answer. Manufacturers have had far longer to get the price down in the US also. Australia just started broadcasting DTV last January while we have been at it for 4 years.

 

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Quote:
I wonder if that would have any affect on the uptake of DTV and OTA HDTV in the US?
Of course it would. There is no question that cheaper receivers would have a huge impact. If the MSRP of the Aussie HDTV STB is $460 US (using dyates69 numbers) ours here are generally 50%-100% higher. That is really inexcusable.

Quote:
I think the American consumer and Congress deserves an answer.
Me too.


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Rich Peterson

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Peterson:
Me too.

The only reason that the first HDTV receiver in Australia has a list of $899 (US $463)and sells for $720 (US $371)is because there is no competition so far.


Initially they set a price of $699 (US $360 was $343 when they set it)and that included installation. They first raised the proposed price to $799 (US $411) and then to $899 because they can. The reality is that they can sell it for $699 or even less now or discounted to as little as $599 (US $308)right now. I know I can sell this unit in the US for $250 with our large market and make money right now and for even less after 6 months of sales.


It would be interesting to hear an explanation from those who argued for what we have. They told us emphatically that they could do all things with the technology they had in the fall of 1999. All untrue. You will not hear a peep from them now.


Now we find that the cost of HDTV receivers is not 50% or 100% higher but 200%+ higher. And who knows what the next generation of receiver will cost.


I knew this because I was talking to Motorola (which makes both kinds of receiver chips)and most other manufacturers. I was told in 1999 that to get more out of the US standard would only raise the cost even higher.


We would have a hundred mobile PCMCIA receiver cards working in downtown Manhattan at ground zero today and they would be for sale in the US for $225 right now if...


We are scrambling to get some working down there in the next few days but it is unfortunately too little too late. Actually I just got a call from the DOD, we will have units working at ground zero in the next few days.


Did anyone see 60 Minutes piece on the FAA and their fake test of airport security yesterday? Seems they did a test of security where the airports were informed ahead of time and told what devices to look for. They did this to counter a private test that had shown that almost anything could be spirited past airport security and they had a 94 to 100 % failure rate. The FAA test showed a 94% success rate. The "real" test was able to pass bombs, 45s and Uzzis onto departing planes.


Most Federal agencies have been co-opted by the industries they are supposed to regulate. The DOD (Bradley fighting vehicle, Osprey), FDA and our friends at the FCC also come to mind. Reminded me of a test that the FCC conducted last year.


Tests designed to produce specific, politically correct, favorable results are a staple of governmental agencies.


BTW also reminds me of my military days when our PSYOPS airborne unit on Okinawa had a supposedly airborne ready media motor pool that in reality was painted in place. It was composed of rusted relics with 50 coats of paint that couldn't move.


 

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Quote:
Now we find that the cost of HDTV receivers is not 50% or 100% higher but 200%+ higher
Bull. No amount of your creative math can make the Aussie price look three times more than ours. If you are going to use your own speculation of their possible future retail prices, you at least should compare them to US discounted prices available today. I was using MSRP prices and even the 50%-100% figure I used is a bit of a stretch when you can buy a DTC100 some places for under $450.


Even if their HDTV STBs could be sold for US $308 as you say (which I doubt) the discounted prices of all US units I am aware of are significantly less than $927 which is 200% more.


You have a good argument that the Aussie unit is selling cheaper than US ones. Why must you overstate it to the point of absurdity in order to strengthen your position?




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Rich Peterson

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Peterson:
Bull. No amount of your creative math can make the Aussie price look three times more than ours. If you are going to use your own speculation of their possible future retail prices, you at least should compare them to US discounted prices available today. I was using MSRP prices and even the 50%-100% figure I used is a bit of a stretch when you can buy a DTC100 some places for under $450.


Even if their HDTV STBs could be sold for US $308 as you say (which I doubt) the discounted prices of all US units I am aware of are significantly less than $927 which is 200% more.


You have a good argument that the Aussie unit is selling cheaper than US ones. Why must you overstate it to the point of absurdity in order to strengthen your position?

Your right. Actually I was thinking 200% worked out to around $800. I was wrong. Is that $450 for a DTC100 before or after the satellite subsidy? I have heard that if you buy the DTC100 without buying the satellite service you are penalized $250.


I get carried away because for so long the BS from the CEA and NAB has been so deceitful yet unquestioned.


One reality is that if the US had the same standard the rest of the world does these receivers would cost no more than $120 to make now. I can buy them for that NOW in quantities of 100,000 from more than one company. The PCMCIA card cost us $150 in small quantities now.


I really would like an answer from Zenith and the others but we won't get one.

 

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Quote:
Is that $450 for a DTC100 before or after the satellite subsidy? I have heard that if you buy the DTC100 without buying the satellite service you are penalized $250.
Some places require DIRECTV activation, some don't. For example, Copperbox.com has DTC100s for $490 w/o activation. **************.com has them for $448 but activation is required there.


Incidentally, ABT electronics also has a Samsung HDTV STB delivered for $429 after rebate. That unit has no DIRECTV capability so no activation is required.


The bottom line is that savvy shoppers can get an STB today in the low $400s, but most are paying about $500-$800.



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Rich Peterson

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Let's not forget that most North American STB's include both OTA & satellite reception and other features like the combined advanced program guide, multiple inputs, etc. This accounts for a decent chunk of the price difference.


Having said that, it is good to see Australia up and running with HDTV, and at reasonable price points.


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"Better living thru modern, expensive electronics devices"

tm


[This message has been edited by Ken H (edited 09-17-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bob

No I don't have any windows facing the transmitting tower and there are buildings and other obstacles in the path.

When I move the antenna it will break up but i can sit it still in most positions and it will come good.


All commercial stations (only 5) are currently broadcasting digital SDTV and about three are showing some HD content from time to time. I can receive all of these


In defense of your pricing there I think you may find the fact that it is digital technology (rapidly decreasing in cost) and that we released it four or more years after you guys means that we can get it at a more affordable price point. I assume the major cost of these boxes originally was the processing power required whereas these days it wouldn't be such an issue.

Also you will probably find your boxes are a fair bit more mature with a richer feature set than ours and this could have an effect on pricing.

I think the reason for the cheap price in Australia is the fact that here virtually nobody owns a display device capable of handling HD resolutions and they have to factor the cost of that into the equation. The government may even be subsidising the cost of these boxes I'm not sure.

The cheapest HDTV we can buy here now is a newly released 36" (possibly only 34" in the US) wide screen Sony Wega CRT for Aus$6999. This is probably quite expensive by your standards and is one of only two or three options.

The other reason I expect is that Australians are generally very slow when it comes to adopting new technology. 95% of the people here argued that they didn't want HDTV because it would take the bandwidth away from multicast SD transmissions and wouldn't look any better anyway (obviously they'd never even seen it before jumping to such a ridiculous conclusion!)

 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dyates69:
Bob

No I don't have any windows facing the transmitting tower and there are buildings and other obstacles in the path.

When I move the antenna it will break up but i can sit it still in most positions and it will come good.


All commercial stations (only 5) are currently broadcasting digital SDTV and about three are showing some HD content from time to time. I can receive all of these


In defense of your pricing there I think you may find the fact that it is digital technology (rapidly decreasing in cost) and that we released it four or more years after you guys means that we can get it at a more affordable price point. I assume the major cost of these boxes originally was the processing power required whereas these days it wouldn't be such an issue.

Also you will probably find your boxes are a fair bit more mature with a richer feature set than ours and this could have an effect on pricing.

I think the reason for the cheap price in Australia is the fact that here virtually nobody owns a display device capable of handling HD resolutions and they have to factor the cost of that into the equation. The government may even be subsidizing the cost of these boxes I'm not sure.

The cheapest HDTV we can buy here now is a newly released 36" (possibly only 34" in the US) wide screen Sony Wega CRT for Aus$6999. This is probably quite expensive by your standards and is one of only two or three options.

The other reason I expect is that Australians are generally very slow when it comes to adopting new technology. 95% of the people here argued that they didn't want HDTV because it would take the bandwidth away from multicast SD transmissions and wouldn't look any better anyway (obviously they'd never even seen it before jumping to such a ridiculous conclusion!)
Actually I have read that Australia is very quick to adopt new technology. $6999 is $3600 US I will let others decide if that is expensive. If it is expensive by US standards that only buttresses my argument that the Australian receiver price is exceptonally low. That is the ratio of the cost of your displays to our cost for a similar display should carry over to the ratio of our receivers to your receivers. If your display cost $3600 and a similar one here cost $2600 then it would be reasonable to expect that a receiver that cost $371 there should only cost $271 here in the US. In fact the opposite is true for receivers. They cost much more here. This means the discrepancy is even more flagrant.


You say that nobody has a HDTV display device and we have to factor that into the cost of the receiver. That argument would favor a very high price for the receiver. The manufacturer does not decide to produce receivers for a miniscule market like Australia and then decide to price the product low because very few people in this very small market will buy it. Those facts argue for not introducing the product at all or at a very high price. Low quantity equals high prices.


No the reality is that the cost of DVB-T receivers is low already and going lower. This is not so with the brute force give me more silicon approach of 8-VSB where the cost if we stay "compatible" will climb or stay flat for the intermediate term.


If the US had chosen DVB-T the cost of built in receivers would be $50 to $75 next year (could even be as low as $40) and the whole world would be going HDTV. As it is we are going nowhere with OTA DTV.


Comparing the first HDTV receiver in Australia to the cost of current US receivers is not the test. Having a four year head start is not what makes US receivers more expensive. Australia does not have an advantage because it started late unless you mean they got to chose DVB-T while we were stuck with 8-VSB. The US market allows manufacturers to project huge potential sales at various cost points. Australia has no such advantage. The rapid advance in digital technology applies to both standards. The problem is that one needs more and more silicon to improve.


I will say it again, if the DVB-T standard had been allowed not switched to in the US this spring we would already have receivers that cost $225 or less. These receivers would work so much better over the entire coverage area that the expense of outdoor antennas would be cut by 90% and the need for directionality the same.


HDTV would benefit immensely since the world leader in technology, the US, would be on the same wavelength as the rest of the world. The economies of scale would soon drive the receiver cost down to insignificance.


As it is we are going to be waiting one, two or three years just to see the fixed US standard.


Wait till you hear what power level is being used on those stations that dyates69 receives in Perth.


As to the fact that 95% of Australians say they prefer multicasting and multi camera angles to HDTV the fact is if you presented that option to the US population you would probably get a similar number. I want to see HDTV succeed but if you present an either or to most Joe six-packs even after they had seen HDTV they would go for multicasting now.


Luckily it is not either or, we can have both.


Their reasoning could go something like this. With free OTA multicasting where I can receive 15 channels or more and each represents 5 very high quality SDTV channels I could cancel cable. (Actually if you lowered the quality of OTA to match cable/satellite you could fit 10 shows into a single OTA channel) When I can afford the HDTV display I will subscribe to cable or satellite for HDTV. In the meantime I save the cable/satellite bill and can receive mobile/portable to boot. (I say mobile/portable because just like in 1999 when they said 8-VSB chips available then could do mobile/portable, they are saying the new 8-VSB fix will do mobile/portable also in the foreseeable future)

 

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"If the US had chosen..."

"I will say it again,..."

"As it is we are going nowhere with OTA DTV"


I wonder how many times do we have to hear this? I suppose there is no end to it.


------------------

"Better living thru modern, expensive electronics devices"

tm


[This message has been edited by Ken H (edited 09-17-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dyates69:
Bob

No I don't have any windows facing the transmitting tower and there are buildings and other obstacles in the path.

When I move the antenna it will break up but i can sit it still in most positions and it will come good.


All commercial stations (only 5) are currently broadcasting digital SDTV and about three are showing some HD content from time to time. I can receive all of these

Power levels in Perth. What is the 5th station you receive, 29? I coudn't find power on 29.


Seven Network Channel 6 10 kW Bickley or Carmel sites

Nine Network Channel 8 30 kW STW9 site, operated by STW9

TEN Network Channel 11 30 kW Bickley or Carmel sites

ABC Channel 12 45 kW from ntl site, alternate is TXA Carmel site


More info on SFN's to be constructed... (on channel repeaters and SFN's actually)


Increased Coverage for Digital Television


Translators: The next phase of providing the digital television services in the metropolitan areas is the planning, installation and commissioning of retransmission

facilities (translators) required to provide the “same coverage†as that provided by the analogue television transmissions. Initially, this will see provision of

retransmission facilities at existing television translator sites; later the possibility of additional “in-fill†digital television transmitters will be considered where this is required.


The Request for Tender for the supply, installation and commissioning of digital television retransmission facilities closed on Friday 4th May 2001. Assessment of the

tenders is now under way with testing of equipment currently being undertaken.


Australia will implement retransmission facilities that are planned to share the same frequencies within a licence area. This innovation, called “Single Frequency

Networks†(SFN) is one of the distinctive features of the DVB-T transmission standard. Two countries that have extensive SFNs already operating are Spain and

Portugal.


SFNs allow much greater spectrum efficiency in the planning and operation of digital television services compared with the spectrum requirements of equivalent

transmission networks required to support analogue television transmission systems. Analogue networks require a dedicated frequency for each transmitter; re-use of

frequencies can only be achieved where there are relatively large distances between transmitters wanting to share the same frequency. SFNs, by definition, require a

single frequency for multiple transmitters in an area.


It is proposed to commission the first digital television retransmission facilities in metropolitan areas early in 2002, with the remainder to follow over the next two

years.


 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken H:
"If the US had chosen..."

"I will say it again,..."

"As it is we are going nowhere with OTA DTV"


I wonder how many times do we have to hear this? I suppose there is no end to it.
If you are pro HDTV and free OTA I don't see how you can be happy with the current situation in the US. I can't imagine a more anti HDTV OTA situation than the one presently failing in the US.


There is an end to it when the FCC proposes that all TV spectrum be auctioned off because so few are using it. Chairman Powell has asked the question once, he will ask it again and sooner or later the logic of it will become clear. If no one is using the spectrum lets sell it to someone who can use it.


Lobbyist are whispering that into the ears of Congress everyday now. Of course HDTV will survive just fine on cable and satellite but I favor saving OTA.


If you have a plan with which we can save OTA broadcasting using 8-VSB I would like to hear it. No broadcaster or engineer that I have talked to has one.


OTA broadcasting is dead right now. The only reason broadcasters pay their broadcast electric bill is to qualify for must carry. There is no other business plan that justifies those electric bills.


How HDTV on single OTA channels can compete with cable and satellite is beyond me. When there are enough HDTV displays to make it interesting cable and satellite will be forced to compete with HDTV and there is no niche left for OTA. no one is going to bother with OTA anymore than they do now. 15% and dwindling.


Why should they? So tell me your plan, how does HDTV resurrect a free OTA broadcasting that is already dead and how does it compete with cable and satellite?


Look at Cuban's HDnet. It is on satellite right? The subscribers to AVSForum are little interested in OTA except for the fact that OTA, they want to think, is required to do HDTV. They have less leverage over cable and satellite. I don't think that they really care, and some have said as much, about the survival of free OTA. The primary focus is HDTV.


I think that OTA can survive. To do so it needs a modern modulation standard and low cost receivers now not in two or three years maybe. I think Australia just might show us the way.


There is an end to it when we get it right.




 

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Quote:
I wonder how many times do we have to hear this? I suppose there is no end to it.
Ken, unfortunately you are correct. It appears there is no end to it.


Bob, I've said it before and I'll say it again. Fair or not ATSC won in the US. Time to get over it and move on with your life.


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Rich Peterson

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Peterson:
Ken, unfortunately you are correct. It appears there is no end to it.


Bob, I've said it before and I'll say it again. Fair or not ATSC won in the US. Time to get over it and move on with your life.
It isn't a game and they haven't won. It looks like they are losing to me. Unfortunately we all lose if the large content providers get away with killing off free OTA. Free OTA can be a major competitor to cable and satellite.


As has been said many times on this forum the vast majority of Americans have little idea of this controversy. When they start to understand what is being done and how they are being ripped off it will be quite a different story.

 
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