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I am *sure* this has been talked about before, but...


I know the ratio of SD to HD channels on cable or Satellite is like 4:1 or even 6:1, but... For channels such as ESPN, or OTA locals, would it be feasable for a distributor to send only the HD signal to the end user and inside the cable box it basically down-convert the signal to SD for those without an HD receiver?


That would immediately free up say 5 to 10 SD channels per cable/satellite system, wouldn't it? The only drawback would be the SD viewers would be forced into 16:9 format viewing weather they like it or not.


We already have locals, say 4-6 per market, ESPN, HBO, SHO, TMC - there's 10 channels per market which would free up space for additonal SD or HD programming.


I guess the other drawback for cable would be that everybody would have to use a cable box, which I am sure, by law even, they can't force at this time. For DBS, I'm guessing everyone would need a new STB, a card itself probably wouldn't suffice to solve this problem.


Any thoughts or am I pipe-dreaming...


Cheers,

Caleb
 

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Also, not all digital channels are on 24/7 yet. The ABC affiliate in Nashville broadcasts 6am-midnight then goes off the air (no national anthem to end the day this time :) ). I don't know how long until the FCC mandates that they be on all the time.


Lee
 

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Cable will have a biog bandwidth advantage with Digital as then can take an ASI Digital feed direct from the Satellites and Local Networks and dump in into a QAM system with maximum bandwith. Right now, basic and expanded services are analog and then duplicated on most systems in QAM. Once QAM becomes the cable standard for all channels, Cable will be having a field day. With 125 channels to work with an a 6:1 SD ratio and 2:1/3:1 HD ratio, they'll have more bandwith than they know what to do with. In addition, if they need more they can go to a dual QAM system using two cable feeds to your home doublign capacity. As a minimum, 256 QAM would allow 250 HD feeds. Likely more feeds than they will ever need.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by leewcraft
I don't know how long until the FCC mandates that they be on all the time.
The FCC has never mandated 24/7. They have minimum hours a classification of station has to be on the air to "server the public." Currently the FCC requires analog stations to be on 2/3 of the day between 8am and 10pm (yes 8am to 10pm) even though the stations have authorizations to operate 24/7 and digital, for those stations that were required to be on the air by May 1999, they have to maintain the 2/3 rule and the other stations are only required to be on from 8pm to 11pm even though they too are authorized 24/7.


You have to remember that it has only been about 15 years since most stations started staying on 24/7. Before that, when Carson went off at 1am, stations signed off until 6 or 8 am. Your larger markets went 24/7 many years ago, but it wasn't widespread until about 15 years ago.


It was 1993 before my station went 24/7. Before that we were 24 hours Monday through Friday and then on Saturday and Sunday we signed off at 3am and came back on at 6am. A lot of stations did that.
 

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I can remember running the national anthem each night at the end of my master control shift at my first TV job - and that wasn't much more than a decade ago. After that, down went the transmitter until just before 6AM in time for ABC World News This Morning (we never rebroadcasted World News Now).
 

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Why don't we commit more to receiving the broadcasts from the main source , C-Band satellites, where all the bandwidth is allocated instead of supporting the redundant DBS systems that provide sub quality artifact-induced images.....
 

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I'm guessing because people don't want to have 6 to 10 ft diameter dishes on their roof or in their yards. Now if they start building C-band birds with more power [Scotty, I need more power!] that would be a start.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sdwow
Why don't we commit more to receiving the broadcasts from the main source , C-Band satellites, where all the bandwidth is allocated instead of supporting the redundant DBS systems that provide sub quality artifact-induced images.....
Or, eliminate the stupid locals requirement. The DBS providers are struggling to provide up to 210 versions of network shows. Forget local HD. Local interest can be provided in some other manner.
 

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"Or, eliminate the stupid locals requirement. The DBS providers are struggling to provide up to 210 versions of network shows."


Ah, the locals canard.


DirecTV, for example, has 46 CONUS transponders. Once they complete the launch of DirecTV 7-S, they will be "wasting" 11-12 of them on locals, or roughly 25%.


And then there is silly matter of the millions of customers who'd leave the satellite services were it not for the locals. Somehow, I doubt a bankrupt Echostar is going to provide you full-quality, artifact-free images.
 

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It would still require a BUD for C-band, no matter what their power level. You need the directionality of a large dish for the small (currently 2 degree) spacing of the satellites.
 
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