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Discussion Starter #1
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2001Oct13.html


It sounds like those damn feet-draggin broadcasters are trying to make billions of dollars on something they don't even own!! This crap really pisses me off! They should take (then Senator) John Ascroft's advice (giving every American household a digital tuner) instead and digital broadcasting would get rolled out a lot quicker.


I guess we all need to form a letter to send to our representatives as well as to the FCC to voice our displeasure. Maybe I (and others) can post a form letter for people to use. Hopefully if enough people voice their opinions, then maybe these broadcasters won't be able to hold this spectrum (that they were loaned for free) for randsom and they will actually start converting to digital!!
 

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I agree, we need to do something. Let me know how I can help.
 

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i agree lets start something in response to this..


g
 

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Hmm.


Let's see.


Basically, the companies' that sell their digital channel space are dooming themselves to non-existence once the digital conversion is complete.


I guess if a company want's to get out of the broadcasting business for good why not let them? Do you really want a company that is willing to give up decades of money for a one time boon like this?


We don't need broadcasters like this anyway. Let them leave.


(edit)


Okay, so I guess they get to lose viewers at some time when HDTV / analog is at say 50%.


Still sounds like something only a low watched station like PAX would prefer.


:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally posted by David_B
Basically, the companies' that sell their digital channel space are dooming themselves to non-existence once the digital conversion is complete.


I guess if a company want's to get out of the broadcasting business for good why not let them? Do you really want a company that is willing to give up decades of money for a one time boon like this?


We don't need broadcasters like this anyway. Let them leave.
That's NOT what the article is saying! Broadcasters all have had a specific part of the spetrum to send their analog OTA television signals on, but in 1996 Congress allowed the to borrow ANOTHER peice of the spectrum to setup HDTV on. Once the transition to HD is complete they were suppose to give that borrowed spectrum back so its real owner, the gvt, could auction it for other uses. Now the broadcasters are being allowed to auction that borrowed spectrum and keep the profits for themselves!!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by STL
That's NOT what the article is saying! Broadcasters all have had a specific part of the spetrum to send their analog OTA television signals on, but in 1996 Congress allowed the to borrow ANOTHER peice of the spectrum to setup HDTV on. Once the transition to HD is complete they were suppose to give that borrowed spectrum back so its real owner, the gvt, could auction it for other uses. Now the broadcasters are being allowed to auction that borrowed spectrum and keep the profits for themselves!!
More properly, they were given new spectrum to move into--the old spectrum became "borrowed" at that point. However, the government made a commitment to vacate the 60-69 UHF range sooner than the 2006 deadline for HDTV conversion (which has recently turned into a very soft "whenever 85% of homes in your market have HD tuners" deadline), to throw a bone to the bandwidth hungry wireless industry. It's these local broadcasters who have some of that channel 60-69 analog broadcast spectrum, apparently only 21 strong across the nation, who are being allowed to sell it. The government will eventually get to auction off all the rest of the analog TV spectrum.


Once they sell it, the only spectrum they will own will be their digital spectrum, over which they are only allowed to broadcast DTV. The number of advertising dollars that they can garner by broadcasting to the .1% of television viewers who can currently tune DTV is unlikely to keep any of them afloat. By the FCC's recent rulings, they could assert cable "must carry" rights for their DTV signal, but it would still be a DTV signal that most people couldn't tune on their NTSC sets even over cable (unless the cable companies required to carry the signal were so kind as to supply all of their subscribers with HD-tuning STBs capable of downconverting to analog 480i, which we've discussed in other forums--cable's motives for doing this are thin-to-none). Forcing them to give up their analog spectrum at this early point in he HDTV transition is, for all intents and purposes, forcing them off the air. So, their being allowed to profit from vacating their analog spectrum early is a little less outrageous than you (and the author of that article) make it out to be. Some of them may need that money to survive until the transition to HDTV is done and a significant number of people can see their programming again.


My question is why the FCC thought it was fair to make the broadcasters in 60-69 give up their analog bandwidth long before they were asking any of the others to do it?


-- Mike Scott
 

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Thanks mike,

For a resonable post about a very biased article.

If a broadcaster sells his analog spectrum this early.

He is a dead duck!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by woowoo
Thanks mike,

For a resonable post about a very biased article.

If a broadcaster sells his analog spectrum this early.

He is a dead duck!
Well, I have to admit that my knee-jerk reaction to this news was pretty much the same as the author's. But then I thought about it about for a few minutes. Why would the FCC even consider allowing this? If they didn't know they were being unfair to these broadcasters, they could just order them to stop broadcasting on that spectrum, and shut them down and take them to court for breaking Federal law if they failed to comply.


-- Mike Scott
 

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On 9/17/2001 the FCC issued a ruling to "to facilitate voluntary

clearing of incumbent broadcasters in the 746- 806 MHz (Upper 700 MHz) spectrum band"


As Paxson noted that the FCC had said:

"Single channel broadcasters participating in band-clearing agreements may continue to operate in analog until December 31, 2005 or until 70% of the television households in their markets are capable of receiving digital broadcast signals."


At that point they must convert to digital and at that point cable must carry the full 6Mhz.
 

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Okay--I've read the press-release on the ruling. It looks as though they get a dispensation from the "only broadcast digital in your digital spectrum" rule and are allowed to broadcast in analog there. Which means that "must carry" rules would get them carried by cable in analog, though possibly on a different channel. Cable, though, could continue to carry them under their old channel number, since that channel wouldn't be in use for OTA television, so its cable use wouldn't be misleading (not that changing them to another channel on cable would be that big of a deal--that's done all the time).


I'm losing some of my sympathy for them, though their getting chased off their analog spectrum before everyone else does deserve some consideration. Tens of millions of dollars worth of consideration, I don't know.


The only problem I see is that, even if they get to broadcast in analog on their digital spectrum, don't they then lose their OTA viewers? Where is the digital spectrum, anyway? Is it anywhere that can be tuned OTA with normal NTSC televisions? The whole point here is that they have to get off the spectrum now or very, very soon. Or does the ruling state that they get to both auction off their spectrum and keep using it as long as they get off as soon as there's at least 70% market penetration of DTV tuners or until the end of 2005, whichever comes first. If that's what the ruling means, I don't see how it will do the wireless industry much good.


-- Mike Scott
 

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At the end of the transition only the core spectrum of channels 2-51 will remain. Those stations allocated NTSC and DTV channels within 2-51 will choose which channel they will use.


In Los Angeles the UPN station is on channel 13 (NTSC) and channel 66(DTV). Suppose in the auction, now scheduled for June, 2002, Verizon buys the channel 66 spectrum. Verizon can make an agreement for the UPN station to transfer that spectrum immediately. Channel 66 is then powered off. Channel 13 remains on OTA, cable and on satellite(with must-carry in 2002). When the 70% figure is reached NTSC channel 13 becomes DTV channel 13. Cable must then carry the full 6Mhz DTV signal. I am not sure what the satellite requirements are.


In most cases I see little or no revenue loss from shutting down the digital signal below 70% or losing analog OTA between 70% and 85%. Viewers have access to channel 13 from all sources during the below 70% period. There is no indication that advertisers will pay more for a DTV viewer than an NTSC viewer. During the transition cable may not carry the DTV signal. There is no proof yet that showing a program in higher definition increases ratings measurably. Channel 13 can still make an agreement to carry the DTV signal on cable or satellite without transmitting OTA. During the below 85% level they are saving electricity costs of about $7000 per month.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan Sh
There is no indication that advertisers will pay more for a DTV viewer than an NTSC viewer.
Common sense indicates an HDTV viewer is much more valuable because he or she is much less likely to be able to time-shift a high-def program and then skip over its commercials. And the high-def commercials will be attractive in their own right (for a while).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Syzygy
Common sense indicates an HDTV viewer is much more valuable because he or she is much less likely to be able to time-shift a high-def program and then skip over its commercials. And the high-def commercials will be attractive in their own right (for a while).
Long, long, long before anything like 70% market penetration of HDTV occurs (the which will take a significant number of years), there will be HD timeshifting devices. There will be HD D-VHS VCRs on the market within a couple of months--by the time there's 70% HD market penetration, these should even be reasonably priced, as should HD televisions.


In fact, reasonably priced HD sets and timeshifting equipment will be required to achieve 70% (hell, even 30%) market penetration, as well as, IMO, carriage of OTA DTV channels on cable, along with the NTSC. I can tell you that I'd dearly love to watch HD programs and can afford the equipment now, but I won't own one until there's some source of programming other than DBS, which I can't have in the condo complex I live in or the two or three channels of OTA, which I'm not interested in even attempting to receive. Short of HDTV on my local cable system, HD movies on tape or disc (preferably the latter), with a good number of titles being release simultaneously with STD tapes and discs would do it.


No one's going to buy an HD tuning downconverter to NTSC until they're just about to turn NTSC off. The only way they're going to get those in people's home's before then is that boneheaded scheme to require them in every new television, which, given the current cost that would add to a television, would cause the television sales market to plummet, probably causing the failure of a good number of small TV/electronics shops. With our flattening economy, the television market is already in a downward tailspin--that will really kill it. I can see the salespeople trying to dance around that one: "I know, that 19-inch set you were looking at a couple of weeks ago was just $100, and the cheapest we're carrying now is $250, but you see..." :)


-- Mike Scott
 
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