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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As reported in Multichannel news this morning:

Multichannel News Story re Potential FCC Requirement of Sat. HD Locals


Here is an excerpt:

Quote:
"There is no real issue as to whether or either EchoStar or DirecTV has, in absolute terms, the capacity to provide dual carriage or carriage of stations' HD signals. Clearly, each carrier has such capacity," the NAB said in comments filed Sept. 26 at the Federal Communications Commission.


My 2 cents: If the FCC were to make such a requirement of satellite providers, it would only be after a plethora of hearings and would not take effect until 2005 at the earliest. Also, it seems the NAB is asking D* and E* to compress the HD signals just so the HD locals get carried and is not so much concerned about PQ of the HD signal.
 

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All the networks have now pulled out of NAB so your smaller owners are the ones running it and most have no clue what is going on.
 

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If the NAB wants this so bad, they should build and launch a dish for the satellite companies to use for broadcasting these highly compressed HD channels that I would guess almost no reasonable HD subscriber would buy if they had any care about the quality of HD they watch.
 

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i think the fcc should give them what they ask for the ota networks in hd over sat; except by letting them add national hd feeds. :) just kidding that won;t happen but people should be careful what they wish for. what ridiculous demand
 

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The NAB needs to put down the crack pipe. Dish and DirecTV have nowhere near the capacity to carry locals in HD.


DirecTV can't even provide a top-notch HD picture on the 6 channels they have now!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jfischer
DirecTV can't even provide a top-notch HD picture on the 6 channels they have now!
In this case "can't" just means "won't."
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by SonomaSearcher
... Also, it seems the NAB is asking D* and E* to compress the HD signals just so the HD locals get carried ...
Do you have a quote or document for this claim? Everything I've heard before was that local stations did not want their signal to be altered (usually compressed) by cable or satellite.
 

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it is an implied request or an unknowingly made one, because to do what they ask their signal would need to be altered
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by SBryan
Everything I've heard before was that local stations did not want their signal to be altered (usually compressed) by cable or satellite.
This is true but the wishes of the broadcaster are very rarely adhered to when it comes to technical issues with cablecos. My station is compressed on the local TWC and I talked to the head end guy (who is a great guy and has helped me on other issues) and he said because of bandwidth issues they had no choice but to compress us. It was either get compressed or get off. Nice choice. We did compromise and they are only compressing about 2 mps.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tonyb100
it is an implied request or an unknowingly made one, because to do what they ask their signal would need to be altered
I hate to bring this up again, but that is not true. Just go with the D* plan of taking the local feed and switching in local commercials at the right time. Bandwidth is no longer the issue.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tonyb100
i think the fcc should give them what they ask for the ota networks in hd over sat; except by letting them add national hd feeds. :) just kidding that won;t happen
I have a problem here, Technically D* and E* already carry a (national feed)

east or west depending on your reception capabilities. (Yes I realize the are still a local station, NY,LA) But they are passed off as a network feed for those who can't get OTA.


Why not allow the same in HD for those who have little or no access to OTA HD! Why is this such a NO NO!


When your local comes on in HD, BAM...you have to drop the national feed!

Thus accomplishing two things, One makes locals a little more hurried to get their HD signal on and, Two spurs the purchase of new Digital sets because people will have access to HD network programming, which is what most are looking for anyway!(General Public).


Just a thought.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by aviators99
I hate to bring this up again, but that is not true. Just go with the D* plan of taking the local feed and switching in local commercials at the right time. Bandwidth is no longer the issue.
mite as well bring it up as i was unaware of it, so others likely were too
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by aviators99
I hate to bring this up again, but that is not true. Just go with the D* plan of taking the local feed and switching in local commercials at the right time. Bandwidth is no longer the issue.
What happens when local news and other local shows, or even local commercials start going HD? How is this going to work?


It's going to be a while before we see locals in HD on satellite.
 

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The current system of OTA antennas and satellite dishes works pretty well. Since the OTA Channels are seamlessly integrated into the program guides, switching between national networks and local channels is effortless to the viewer.


Currently, there are over 1000 digital stations broadcasting. Assuming these stations would want to use their bandwidth for HD, that would be the equivalent of 6000 standard def channels.


That would require one hell of an armada of satellites or a butt load of compression. It would probably be cheaper & easier for D* & E* to buy every man woman and child a UHF antenna.


Also, each station has invested millions into their respective transmitters. Assuming for a moment, that all the local HD signals could even be carried by satellite, that equipment investment would almost be moot. I would think the local broadcasters would like to have control over the quality of their product. Since in order to shoe horn all these channels in, the satellite providers would most likely have to introduce a compression ratio, the likes of which has never been seen before
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by aviators99
I hate to bring this up again, but that is not true. Just go with the D* plan of taking the local feed and switching in local commercials at the right time. Bandwidth is no longer the issue.
But timing becomes the back breaker. DTV delay is only about 1.5 seconds. DirecTV might have as much as 6 seconds delay. To cleanly switch between the two is difficult at best. I personally do not see this as a valid option.
 

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I'm going to guess that with the combination of OTA receivers continuing to improve, more stations passing HD and transmitting at full power, that most people will be able to receive HD either OTA, or if that's not feasible, off a basic cable feed for a few dollars a month.


There really seems to be no good reason for the satellite providers to put 100s or 1000s of HD feeds on satellites with such limited bandwidth, given current technical limitations.


Schemes such as local commercial switching seem to be riddled with serious problems.
 

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Quote:
I hate to bring this up again, but that is not true. Just go with the D* plan of taking the local feed and switching in local commercials at the right time. Bandwidth is no longer the issue.
I don't think I understand this. It seems if you have a thousand stations simultaneously broadcasting 1000 HDTV local commercials then you would be back to having to pass 1000 different HDTV streams. Why would bandwidth not be an issue?


Or do you mean pick up the commercials with an OTA antenna? But then you could pick up the show also, and not bother with locals.


What am I missing here?


- Tom
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jckessler
most people will be able to receive HD ... off a basic cable feed for a few dollars a month.
I wouldn't be surprised if cablecos clamped down on that pretty fast. "Hmmm, we have a lot of customers interested in HD, but only local channels. Wonder why?". If that became a large trend, I'd expect to see them require a more profitable package to get the HD feeds. I actually considered doing this: I could get an HD decoder box from the cable company for $5/month, added to my basic locals package which is only $13/month (which I only keep because cable internet is $10/month more without it). That would have been a fairly inexpensive way to get SOME HD until the HD DirecTiVo came out. In the end, I got a great deal on an HD receiver from DirecTV, so I went that route instead. But I bet if the cable companies realized they were helping HD DBS customers with little to gain, they'd change their packages.


A similar situation exists with some natural gas companies. One of the cheapest ways to heat your home is with a dual-fuel heat pump system. In mild weather, when a heat pump is the most efficient, you heat your home off of the electric heat pump. When weather gets colder, and heat pumps get less efficient, you switch to fossil fuel (usually natural gas). Natural gas companies started changing their rate structures so that people with dual-fuel systems were on a different plan. IF they found out you had a dual-fuel system, you paid a monthly "infrastructure" charge, which was not necessarily small. Natural gas companies complained that they had to design their systems for peak load, which dual-fuel customers contributed to, but the revenue they received from these customers was relatively small because they were heating with electricity the rest of the time.


In the big picture, ecologically, dual-fuel systems are great for everyone, except the gas companies. Receiving national networks via satellite, and locals via cable is also a great solution. For everyone but the cable companies.
 
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