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When the stations are required to go digital.


Brian
 

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I think I read last year that Comcast planned to be all-digital nationwide in 3 years, which would be sometime in 2006.
 

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When the stations are required to go digital.


Why?? They don't HAVE to - as far as I know.


The OTA stations won't be able broadcast the signal OTA in 2006 --- but I haven't seen anything that says the analog cable stations couldn't stay - since their signals are only sent via satellite to the cable companies (via microwaves or whatever) - these analog cable stations are not being broadcast using UHF of VHF.


I could be waaaaaaaaay off here - if so, I apologize in advance.
 

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Assuming all OTA has to go digital.

And... assuming there'll be PLENTY of analog tuners/TV in existence...


It makes sense for the cableco's to retain analog.
 

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If the cable companies eliminate all NTSC analog signals from the system they would have bandwidth for MANY more channels. They can put I would guess at least eight digital 480I signals in one 6Mhz channel using 256 QAM. They would have to replace all analog cable boxes with digital ones and could no longer have a bottom tier that does not require a cable box at all. Also new TV sets are coming that will operate with digital cable without a cable box. At some point it will be worth the cost to the companies to go all digital. That does not mean that the digital cable box can not output analog video to your existing TV set.
 

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All digital would also mean less theft of the cable signal.
 

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There were articles last year on a little cheap box that the cable companies could use to connect "Cable ready" TVs to an all digital network. Once that thing comes on to the market, you'll see cable companies move quickly to deploy them.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stickyfingers
When the stations are required to go digital.


Brian
Nope. The FCC DTV conversion has nothing to do with how or when cableco's convert their analog cable systems to digital.


It's all a matter of not cutting off their customers not using a cable STB. It will happen, but no date has been set. It's also very likely that different areas will have different system conversion dates, maybe varying a year or longer.
 

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No, they wouldn't touch the physical cable. The channels would just be passed along though the cable as a digital signal. It would allow them to squeeze way more channels in the same space without suffering from noise interference or ghosting.


They can fit 2 HD channels in a 6mhz slot. I think someone said instead of a HD channel they could put 4-6 SD channels. I believe one analog channels takes 6mhz so that would mean in the same space as one analog channel you get 8-12 digital channels with most likely better picture and sound (depending on compression).


The cable company would have to provide (free or rental) a means for those who have old analog boxes or just put the cable in the back of the tv a means to decode those digital channels. There was a thread on the forum about the box CycloneGT mentioned which would decode digital channels back to analog for those who don't want digital cable.


This would have absolutely no effect on internet service (unless they add more now freed up bandwidth for internet services).
 

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Originally posted by Joe_R
If they shut down analog cable, wouldn't this interfere with their internet service as well?
Nope, unrelated.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken H
Nope. The FCC DTV conversion has nothing to do with how or when cableco's convert their analog cable systems to digital.
I knew that they (the cablecos) could do it independent of the station, but I thought that it would save them having to convert the analog signal to digital if the affiliates were doing it already.


Brian
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Joe_R
If they shut down analog cable, wouldn't this interfere with their internet service as well? I believe it's all passes through their analog spectrum.
There's no such thing as "analog spectrum" or "digital spectrum." Bandwidth is bandwidth.
 

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You must remember that many, many people bought "cable-ready" TVs in the pre-digital days specifically in order not to have to use an STB. Not only will a decoder for these people have to be cheap (or free), it will also have to be incredibly easy (perhaps a free install visit). Otherwise, I would agree with the Comcast rep who (writing in the local Boston thread) predicted "an uprising" if too many analog channels were removed.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BobColby
You must remember that many, many people bought "cable-ready" TVs in the pre-digital days specifically in order not to have to use an STB. Not only will a decoder for these people have to be cheap (or free), it will also have to be incredibly easy (perhaps a free install visit). Otherwise, I would agree with the Comcast rep who (writing in the local Boston thread) predicted "an uprising" if too many analog channels were removed.
The same uprising would occur anyway as soon as the FCC says that the DTV conversion has hit critical mass and NTSC stations could be turned off, those folks will need to purchase a box also just to get OTA stations.
 

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As far as cable goes, there will be no uprising. So, a few people have to use an extra box to get cable TV? Big deal. I feel bad for the pepole who rely on rabbit ears for OTA who will get nothing in a few years.


Cable will go all digital soon as someone said, to reduce piracy and to provide more interactive on-demand content which is just better and easier with digital. They can indeed fit more in the same bandwidth, which means more profits ultimately. It makes business sense.


The real question is when will everything be all HD? I hope I'm alive to see that day. :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stickyfingers
I knew that they (the cablecos) could do it independent of the station, but I thought that it would save them having to convert the analog signal to digital if the affiliates were doing it already.


Brian
Actually, what will happen when the analog cutoff occurs is that Comcast will have to convert the local digital signals to analog for the analog tier, which in some small way will exist well into the future.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jckessler
There's no such thing as "analog spectrum" or "digital spectrum." Bandwidth is bandwidth.
What I meant was the frequency which is passes along. For instance, if you have std. cable, they install filters to block out HBO etc...so that means HBO is being passing in a different frequency range than the other channels. But they're all in the high frequency range (or analog as I called it...
 
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