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Posted: 10/6/2005 8:00:04 AM EDT
US Senate Commerce boss backs 2009 digital TV move
Thu Oct 6, 2005 4:21 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said on Wednesday he supported setting 2009 as the year for completing the transition to higher-quality digital television.

U.S. lawmakers have been debating when to require television broadcasters to shut off their analog signals and only air digital. Current law sets the deadline as either December 31, 2006 or when 85 percent of the television audience can receive digital, whichever comes later.

Since most Americans have yet to buy the new television sets or equipment needed in part because of their high cost, experts have said the transition could take a decade.

"With a 2009 hard date, there would be three Christmas buying seasons during which Americans will buy digital television sets," Stevens said in remarks to the Association of Maximum Service Television conference.

Stevens, an Alaska Republican, said his committee would consider on October 19 a bill to set the date.

The government plans to auction most of the analog airwaves to commercial wireless providers, a sale that is expected to raise billions of dollars. Some airwaves would be set aside for public safety organizations.

Stevens and other lawmakers want to use some of that auction money to partially subsidize equipment to convert digital back into analog for those households that cannot afford to buy the expensive new sets.

"Our converter box program will attempt to ensure that consumers who cannot buy a digital television set will still be able to watch TV with a converter box," Stevens said.

Draft legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives would set January 1, 2009 as the deadline for completing the digital television transition.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:05:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:05:53 AM EDT
We need a reason to buy HD sets... Very few channels and shows, after how many years?
I dumped digital cable, wasn't worth the bother.
Someday the'll get over the new DVD format war.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:07:24 AM EDT
spend money on what?


Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:08:34 AM EDT
I don't have a tv, and don't plan on buying one.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:13:54 AM EDT
The AR-15 channel.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:23:41 AM EDT
I'd buy an HD TV if there was actually a fair amount of HD tv broadcasting... There isn't here.

-The network shows show the little HD TV symbol, but they are not broadcast in HD here.
-Digital cable has nothing to do with HD TV.
-If I was the get the measly 4-5 channels that are actually HD, I have to rent the $10 "box" from the cable company.
-I have to buy a new TV... I have seen HD TV over at some friend's houses. Some stuff is really nice, most shows, I don't see a real huge improvement.

Thanks, when my TV blows up, I'll consider replacing it with an HD version...
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:24:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chokey:

U.S. lawmakers have been debating when to require television broadcasters to shut off their analog signals and only air digital.



Okay. Why the fudge is this a law? Why are elected officials debating this? Am I missing something.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:28:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
I don't have a tv, and don't plan on buying one.



+1

Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:32:31 AM EDT
IIRC this only effects broadcast stations...i.e. rabbit ears, antennas, etc?

Not cable or sat.

Broadcast television infrastructure is _antiquated_...and it takes up a huge chunk of otherwise valuable bandwidth in the spectrum.

This won't immeadiatly effect anyone except those who still get their TV for free from the public airwaves.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:43:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NMSight:

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
I don't have a tv, and don't plan on buying one.



+1




Same here. We only watch DVDs that we rent or buy. Don't give a rats ass about network or broadcast mass media propaganda.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:44:04 AM EDT
Sounds like a good date to stop watching TV. I am changing my cable from Digital (with the box) to basic tomorrow. With gas at $3.00/gal. something has to go and I don't watch TV anyway.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:44:22 AM EDT
Don't you see?

This is all a plot. Using the new HD "TV" the .gov will start sending subliminal messages to us in order to keep us passive and pliable as they take over our brains...

<dons tin foil beanie>
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:45:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By efpeter:

Originally Posted By Chokey:

U.S. lawmakers have been debating when to require television broadcasters to shut off their analog signals and only air digital.



Okay. Why the fudge is this a law? Why are elected officials debating this? Am I missing something.



Becuase in order for radio communications to work there has to be nationally standard structure. The FCC regulates all radio communications and frankly TV signals eat up a huge chunk of our spectrum. There are currently 68 TV channels each eating up 6MHz of spectrum, while the digital ones use around 1MHz.

FYI: A public safety radio frequency will use either 25KHz or 12.5KHz spacing.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:46:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hank_Rearden1:

Originally Posted By NMSight:

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
I don't have a tv, and don't plan on buying one.



+1




Same here. We only watch DVDs that we rent or buy. Don't give a rats ass about network or broadcast mass media propaganda.



exactly.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:48:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By efpeter:

Originally Posted By Chokey:

U.S. lawmakers have been debating when to require television broadcasters to shut off their analog signals and only air digital.



Okay. Why the fudge is this a law? Why are elected officials debating this? Am I missing something.



Because the government wants the frequencies the analog signals take up. They are going to sell that bandwidth to wireless providers, but they can't do it if the broadcasters are still using that bandwidth.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:48:23 AM EDT
There is a difference between HD and digital. This discussion is about whether to switch to using digital signals for all TV, including HD. Bear in mind that this will mean little if you use cable or satellite... you just won't be able to recieve over-the-air broadcast TV if the dish or cable goes out and you have an old TV.

Nothing to see here, move along...
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:49:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2005 8:53:01 AM EDT by NimmerMehr]

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
Becuase in order for radio communications to work there has to be nationally standard structure. The FCC regulates all radio communications and frankly TV signals eat up a huge chunk of our spectrum. There are currently 68 TV channels each eating up 6MHz of spectrum, while the digital ones use around 1MHz.

FYI: A public safety radio frequency will use either 25KHz or 12.5KHz spacing.



Also, the frequences that terrestral (sp) broadcast TV are ideal for long range transmission.

and that digital mandate does not apply to cable (land line) or satellite transmissions.

high definiition and digital are not necessarly intertwined, but the advertisers like to merge the two together for a simpler and easier package for selling. You CAN have high definition images transmitted in analog, or low definition images sent in digital. (example, the funny movie often posted here. they are stored and transmitted digitaly, yet often are low resoultion)
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:50:09 AM EDT
I have an HD tv and I have an HD Direct TV reciever I picked up last year. I got 6 months free HD programming ( I think HBO, SHOWTIME, and a few other channels) and paid 12 bucks or so a month for the HD channels but I decided to cancel the HD service. I never watched the channels. They were very clear and crisp but I found that I hardly ever watched them. They gave me a free antenna to pick up the local HD channels and ya know what, there are only a few channels that broadcast in HD in my area and the ones that do broadcast dont do it all the time. Hopefully it will pick up alot in the next few years
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:51:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By efpeter:

Originally Posted By Chokey:

U.S. lawmakers have been debating when to require television broadcasters to shut off their analog signals and only air digital.



Okay. Why the fudge is this a law? Why are elected officials debating this? Am I missing something.



Basically, current analog television technology is really old. There's a standard defined for the next generation of TV's called "HD-TV" that specifies a protocol for delivering high quality video and audio to a TV. The catch is that "ordinary" TV's don't support this signal. The question at hand is "when do normal TV stations stop broadcasting the old signal and start broadcasting the new one". It's relevant, because that's the day that TV watchers either have to get a converter box (to convert the HD signal for their old TV) or a new TV that understands the HD signal.

As other people on this post have pointed out, it's a chicken and egg problem "I'll upgrade when there are more channels vs we'll all more channels when there are more TV's upgraded". The bill aims to force the hands of both consumers and broadcasters.


Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:54:28 AM EDT
I don't understand all this HD TV stuff. My regular TV works with a digital cable box and I don't see them getting rid of those boxes in the next decade.

WTF is HD tv good for? I really don't know? I have a regular glass tube TV and I can see it and that is good enough for me. I remember when I had 3 channels by airwaves and one of those was fuzzy.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 8:54:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SabreCat:
Don't you see?

This is all a plot. Using the new HD "TV" the .gov will start sending subliminal messages to us in order to keep us passive and pliable as they take over our brains...

<dons tin foil beanie>





Right on the money.

These new tv's will be right out of 1984-they can watch YOU at the same time.Get in line to buy 'em now boys!

Tinfoil wallpaper-they can't get to me!

Bwahahahahah!
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:06:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2005 9:07:50 AM EDT by nightstalker]
Some of the low quality you perceive in HDTV is due to stations like FOX trying to pass off EDTV for HDTV. They were using a 480p standard with widescreen, even with the Super Bowl. This, as the article points out was OK as an interim move but the goal was 720p or 1080i as the standard.

"In my 2002 article: "Fox Turns Chicken On HDTV?" (refer to link in sidebar under "Additional Resources" for more details), I reported on the fact that FOX chose not to broadcast the 2002 Superbowl in HDTV as other network hosts had done earlier. FOX opted, instead, to broadcast the Superbowl and some of its other programming in a 16x9 enhanced 480p widescreen format. Although, its commitment to 480p falls within the FCC guidelines regarding the turnover to DTV broadcasting, it is not HDTV. Basically, 480p is the same resolution as progressive scan DVD, which may be adequate, but does not give its viewer the true potential of the current state-of-art in television broadcasting capability. The best analogy is the the comparision of 480p to HDTV to the comparison of the inferior video quality VHS to that of DVD. Or, putting it another way, VHS has half the resolution of DVD and DVD is half the resolution of HDTV.

All of this is about to change: FOX recently announced that it is is ready to begin HDTV broadcasting for Fall 2004 (Refer to links to related articles on the "Elsewhere On The Web" sidebar). FOX is adopting the 720p format, which is the same format already in use by ABC. CBS, NBC, and WB have all the adopted the 1080i HDTV format. In addition, FOX announced tentative HDTV feeds for its sports cable and satellite networks. Although it is isn't clear how long FOX's HDTV turnover will take, since it requires a large financial and logistical committment for it to play catch-up with its competitors, it is very good news for both other programming providers, television makers, retailers, and even its network competitors.

By making the broadcast HDTV commitment almost complete (UPN has not made an HDTV decision yet), FOX has given HDTV viewers more choice in HDTV programming, television manufacturers additional incentive to make more DTV/HDTV products (especially TVs with 720p display capability - most HDTVs either upconvert 720p to 1080i or downconvert it to 480p), and studio executives more incentive to finance productions with HDTV in mind. This cycle benefits everyone interested in HDTV.

More details on its future HDTV program schedule will be forthcoming, but if early announcements pan out, by Fall 2004 excellent shows like "24", "Malcom In The Middle" "That 70's Show", and "Boston Public" could be given the HDTV treatment. One the other hand, do we really need "American Idol" and "Joe Millionaire" in HDTV? Just think, if FOX News goes HD, we will be able to see Bill O'Reilly in all of his "colorful" detail.

Let's hope that FOX's metamorphosis from "Chicken" to "Chicken Hawk" on the issue of HDTV results not only in maintaining state-of-art technology, but a rising commitment to excellence in cutting-edge programming. If FOX had moved towards adopting HDTV earlier, events, such as the 2002 Super Bowl and quality programs, like "The X-Files" could have played a significant role in the HDTV landscape. "
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:10:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By afman91201:
I don't understand all this HD TV stuff. My regular TV works with a digital cable box and I don't see them getting rid of those boxes in the next decade.

WTF is HD tv good for? I really don't know? I have a regular glass tube TV and I can see it and that is good enough for me. I remember when I had 3 channels by airwaves and one of those was fuzzy.



What they are talking about is the regular channels, not the cable ones, like channel 5, 10, 13 or what have you. The network affilates that you can pick up with a regular set of bunnyears antenna. After a certain date, all these affilates will switch over to a digital signal (HDTV) and your regular tv with a regular antenna will no longer pick up these channels. You will have to have a digital tv or converter box to pick them up.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:13:45 AM EDT
I like the old days when all you had were three colors; black, white and grey, and you didn't have many more channels either, but they were free. And what was on then was better than most of the mindless shit thats on today. So really, if TV gets much more complicated and costly, I think a lot of people are going to say fuck it. I know I will....maybe.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:16:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By afman91201:
I don't understand all this HD TV stuff. My regular TV works with a digital cable box and I don't see them getting rid of those boxes in the next decade.

WTF is HD tv good for? I really don't know? I have a regular glass tube TV and I can see it and that is good enough for me. I remember when I had 3 channels by airwaves and one of those was fuzzy.



Digital cable vs analog cable is similar to DVD vs VCR. It's just about how the transport media gets the picture from the source to your TV. What digital cable allows the cable company to do however is use their bandwidth more efficiently to bring four to six channels to you in the space that one channel would usually take.

HDTV is the "next generation" of TVs. They provide a higher resolution (up to around 4x as many pixles) and an aspect ratio (shape) that some consider better suited for telling the stories.

As was already stated if you get your TV from cable or a sattelite provider this 2009 date means nothing to you. This is because the cable company manages the frequency use on their own cable as they see fit and the satelite companies are already using digital signals from their head end to the reciever on your TV.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:24:04 AM EDT
I, for one, am very happy to have a government which looks out for and enforces the important issues like when we have to use digital HDTV instead of allowing for a free market to decide.

What would we do without them?

Phew.

Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:27:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CeramicGod:
I, for one, am very happy to have a government which looks out for and enforces the important issues like when we have to use digital HDTV instead of allowing for a free market to decide.

What would we do without them?

Phew.




If it was up to the free market it would quickly turn into a battle of who has the biggest transmitter.

Let's face it folks, in order for your cell phone, bluetooth, WiFi, cordless phones, XM radio, and follow on technoligies to work frequencies have to be freed up. And the biggest waste of good bandwidth is TV.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:33:37 AM EDT
Does this mean my 18 year old Philco (cable ready ) and rabbit ear antenna will be obsolete?

That I won't even be able to pick up a rather snowy CBS affiliate?

Gee, I don't see any reason to throw away a perfectly good tv. Guess I'd better just stock up on more DVD's.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:45:02 AM EDT
What irks me is that the gov can auction off something that doesn't belong to them in the first place, namely the EM spectrum. Why not auction off the atmosphere for Christ's sake while they are at it? Oh, I know, interstate commerce, the be all and end all of gov regulation.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:48:01 AM EDT
Toss your TV. Trust me, you'll be happier for it. (TV free since 1996.)
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:49:02 AM EDT
Wow... who says the government has its hands in too much stuff?
This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard today. Why is our government dictating to its people when they should have to start paying for digital TV? Madness

Is there something wrong with analog? Do I really need to see reality TV in crystal clear clarity? Or is there just too much shit flying through the air that they feel they need to make space by moving TV to a different "frequency"?


Originally Posted By Chokey:
The government plans to auction most of the analog airwaves to commercial wireless providers,

Commerical Wireless providers? Would that be wireless phones? Because I was under the impression they were phasing out analog phones signals for all digital? Granted I don't fully understand the whole GSM, digital, analog thing with phones but that's the impression I got when I renewed my cell phone contract with Cingular.

Or are they referring to wireless internet as it sounds like the tech for wi-fi is at the point where they can start cranking it out over way longer distances.


a sale that is expected to raise billions of dollars. Some airwaves would be set aside for public safety organizations.

and no doubt they'll spend that money on raises for themselves as opposed to reducing our national debt.

Stevens and other lawmakers want to use some of that auction money to partially subsidize equipment to convert digital back into analog for those households that cannot afford to buy the expensive new sets.

Just wait for the the '09 hurricane season... all the looters will make HD TV's their tops priority.So now it's the government's responsibility to pay for a way to change digital back to analo for poor people. I coudl swear that should be on the cable company's dime... or better yet... leave things the way they are. Otherwie, it sure sounds like a cable TV-welfare program to me.



Well, they're making it very easy for me to determine when I won't need cable any more. 2009 sounds like a good time to drop cable TV and just rent DVDs. Thank god for the government.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:50:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
I don't have a tv, and don't plan on buying one.

Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:50:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SabreCat:
Don't you see?

This is all a plot. Using the new HD "TV" the .gov will start sending subliminal messages to us in order to keep us passive and pliable as they take over our brains...

<dons tin foil beanie>



Would a chain mail beanie work?
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:52:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2005 9:53:02 AM EDT by efpeter]

Originally Posted By pliftkl:

Originally Posted By efpeter:

Originally Posted By Chokey:

U.S. lawmakers have been debating when to require television broadcasters to shut off their analog signals and only air digital.



Okay. Why the fudge is this a law? Why are elected officials debating this? Am I missing something.



Basically, current analog television technology is really old. There's a standard defined for the next generation of TV's called "HD-TV" that specifies a protocol for delivering high quality video and audio to a TV. The catch is that "ordinary" TV's don't support this signal. The question at hand is "when do normal TV stations stop broadcasting the old signal and start broadcasting the new one". It's relevant, because that's the day that TV watchers either have to get a converter box (to convert the HD signal for their old TV) or a new TV that understands the HD signal.

As other people on this post have pointed out, it's a chicken and egg problem "I'll upgrade when there are more channels vs we'll all more channels when there are more TV's upgraded". The bill aims to force the hands of both consumers and broadcasters.





I still have to believe that the free market could take care of this. TV broadcasters don't have perpetual leases on their freq's, do they? If the bandwidth is so valueable, won't someone else just step up and pay for it when it's time for renewal?
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:56:04 AM EDT
Will the new TVs have dimmer switches?

Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:56:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
Wow... who says the government has its hands in too much stuff?
This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard today. Why is our government dictating to its people when they should have to start paying for digital TV? Madness

Nobody is saying that you'll have to get digital cable. At worst a person will have to get a set-top box to convert the over the air digital signals to something that older TVs understand, and as we get closer to that magical date, the boxes will get cheaper.

Is there something wrong with analog? Do I really need to see reality TV in crystal clear clarity? Or is there just too much shit flying through the air that they feel they need to make space by moving TV to a different "frequency"?

It's a bandwidth hog. Nothing more, nothing less. And yes, there is too much stuff flying through the air that they NEED to make space.

Well, they're making it very easy for me to determine when I won't need cable any more. 2009 sounds like a good time to drop cable TV and just rent DVDs. Thank god for the government.

Again your cable TV will not be affected.



The public is demanding more wireless capabilities. They want to take everything with them while they're on the go. This takes spectrum space. And as it's all pretty well full, something has to give.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:57:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By skpp108:
I like the old days when all you had were three colors; black, white and grey...



What are you taking about? TV has more colors than that now? [
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 9:58:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By efpeter:

I still have to believe that the free market could take care of this. TV broadcasters don't have perpetual leases on their freq's, do they? If the bandwidth is so valueable, won't someone else just step up and pay for it when it's time for renewal?



So the free market will take care of it by losing their government liscense?

I'm not sure, but I think that's basically what the FCC is saying. But up, or be shut up.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 10:06:28 AM EDT
got one 3.5 years ago, bring on the all digital TV broadcasting!
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 10:16:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:


So the free market will take care of it by losing their government liscense?






Yes, that is what I am saying. I think it is stupid for elected officials to be wasting their time and our tax dollars on debating mandatory switch to digital broadcast. Wouldn't TV broadcasters do it themselves if upgrading their technology was less expensive than buying lots of bandwidth?
If nobody wants to buy a digital TV or digital converter, then advertising rates will go up for the analogue broadcasters. Just supply and demand economics.


It is just silly to pass a law about broadcast television like that. How much does it cost to enforce it?

Link Posted: 10/6/2005 10:49:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By efpeter:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:


So the free market will take care of it by losing their government liscense?






Yes, that is what I am saying. I think it is stupid for elected officials to be wasting their time and our tax dollars on debating mandatory switch to digital broadcast. Wouldn't TV broadcasters do it themselves if upgrading their technology was less expensive than buying lots of bandwidth?
If nobody wants to buy a digital TV or digital converter, then advertising rates will go up for the analogue broadcasters. Just supply and demand economics.


It is just silly to pass a law about broadcast television like that. How much does it cost to enforce it?




It costs next to nothing to enforce it. Just take out an old TV, and try to tune station. If signal comes in, go to station, take all FCC broadcast licenses and disconnect broadcast power. Sell license for ridiculous amount to another company who wants to obey the law, and make about 100000000 times the 10 bucks it cost to send an agent to the location for ten minutes.

The bandwidth needs to be freed for other uses. They've had a transition plan active for the past 5 years, and are now discussing finishing the plan in 3-4 more years. The public has had the ability and knowledge to make all future television purchases digital capable TV's for around 8 years well in advance of the end of analog. And there will be tuner boxes available to convert any older television.

This is an item that if the private sector took over, every channel network would need a proprietary television to receive their signal. RF is a subject that absolutely has to have a governing body to keep people from occupying the same frequencies.

Currently every broadcaster is broadcasting digital, and a lot are simulcasting in analog. They are broadcasting the exact same programming if they are still broadcasting both. The FCC needs the frequencies completely clear if they are going to sell them to other companies for new wireless uses. It's a situation where less technically savvy counties might have continued in analog for another couple generations before a complete switch to digital could be accomplished. Meanwhile, the rest of the country would be missing out on new technologies which could serve many possibilities because of the lack of available bandwidth. We are not the only nation making this change. How competitive would we be as a nation today if Europe got cell phones 20 years before we did? While cell phones suck in many ways, they have seriously increased productivity.

If you believe it should be decided in the private sector, you are correct, as it already has been decided. The FCC knows, and has willing buyers, that will pay many times more for the licenses to use the frequency ranges occupied by analog TV than is currently being paid by TV broadcasters. If they were 100% capitalist, about 5 years ago, you would have turned on your TV to static, because the FCC didn't renew the current licenses, and sold the frequency ranges to Sprint/Verizon/Comcast/etc for a lot more money. They are just trying to allow the average citizen to have uninterrupted television service, and allow the average consumer to plan for their television budget by stretching it out. It is also meant to allow the industry multiple years to produce the billion televisions that are being outdated.


The biggest problem the FCC is facing is that the consumer electronics industry has not started mass producing cheap digital TV tuners to feed our old analog televisions. The major companies would rather sell whole TVs, and unfortunately the FCC is going to take the PR hit in the long run. You should be able to walk into a store, and for less than $50 bucks walk out with a digital tuner box with an analog out, which would make the transition painless.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 11:03:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gunman0:

If you believe it should be decided in the private sector, you are correct, as it already has been decided. The FCC knows, and has willing buyers, that will pay many times more for the licenses to use the frequency ranges occupied by analog TV than is currently being paid by TV broadcasters. If they were 100% capitalist, about 5 years ago, you would have turned on your TV to static, because the FCC didn't renew the current licenses, and sold the frequency ranges to Sprint/Verizon/Comcast/etc for a lot more money. They are just trying to allow the average citizen to have uninterrupted television service, and allow the average consumer to plan for their television budget by stretching it out. It is also meant to allow the industry multiple years to produce the billion televisions that are being outdated.





I guess I would rather see static on my TV than have any new senseless (in my opinion, I will say) laws passed. Just raise the cost of badwidth. Problem solved.

I'm not trying to argue the point with you, I'm just saying it seems really stupid to me that elected officials are debating this. They don't have any reservations about raising taxes, why not bandwidth fees? Maybe they could spend their time debating how to keep terrorists from blowing up a US city or something.

Of course, five years ago I would have turned on my TV and it would have worked just fine thru the magic coaxial cable!
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 11:05:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By efpeter:

Originally Posted By Chokey:

U.S. lawmakers have been debating when to require television broadcasters to shut off their analog signals and only air digital.



Okay. Why the fudge is this a law? Why are elected officials debating this? Am I missing something.



Telescreens?
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 11:07:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By efpeter:

Originally Posted By gunman0:

If you believe it should be decided in the private sector, you are correct, as it already has been decided. The FCC knows, and has willing buyers, that will pay many times more for the licenses to use the frequency ranges occupied by analog TV than is currently being paid by TV broadcasters. If they were 100% capitalist, about 5 years ago, you would have turned on your TV to static, because the FCC didn't renew the current licenses, and sold the frequency ranges to Sprint/Verizon/Comcast/etc for a lot more money. They are just trying to allow the average citizen to have uninterrupted television service, and allow the average consumer to plan for their television budget by stretching it out. It is also meant to allow the industry multiple years to produce the billion televisions that are being outdated.





I guess I would rather see static on my TV than have any new senseless (in my opinion, I will say) laws passed. Just raise the cost of badwidth. Problem solved.

I'm not trying to argue the point with you, I'm just saying it seems really stupid to me that elected officials are debating this. They don't have any reservations about raising taxes, why not bandwidth fees? Maybe they could spend their time debating how to keep terrorists from blowing up a US city or something.

Of course, five years ago I would have turned on my TV and it would have worked just fine thru the magic coaxial cable!



If I remember correctly there has been some administrative rules about converting to all digital for a while now, but each time the FCC keeps sliding the no later than date. This is just the FCC being told to quit giving the broadcasters more time.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 11:07:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
The public is demanding more wireless capabilities. They want to take everything with them while they're on the go. This takes spectrum space. And as it's all pretty well full, something has to give.



Can't they just drop all of the QVC, HSN, paid advertisement TV stations, and Al Franken Radio? That would free up enough bandwidth to accomodate wi-fi for another hundred years.

I guess it makes sense now. Someone else brought up a good point that if the man didn't have his hand in it they'd have probably forced people into it a lot sooner.

I don't have a cablebox on my tv. I run the coax right into the set. So odds are I'd need to pay for some stupid box and ANOTHER remote control taking up space. No thanks. They can keep their 100+ channels of crap.

The only way I could see buying into it is if they start dividing up stations into packages that would appeal to more people. Like the outdoor package, the educational package, the cartoon package, so

I'm not paying for a bunch of crap I never watch. I'll take the Discovery channels, National Geograhic, the History Channel, FNC, and the whatever other stations that fall into this catagory that I might be missing. They can keep their 15 Mtvs, VH1s, BETs, and other useless pop-culture shit stations.

Any reason they can't do this? They can do it with the HBO's, Skinemax, and Showtimes.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 11:14:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
The public is demanding more wireless capabilities. They want to take everything with them while they're on the go. This takes spectrum space. And as it's all pretty well full, something has to give.



Can't they just drop all of the QVC, HSN, paid advertisement TV stations, and Al Franken Radio? That would free up enough bandwidth to accomodate wi-fi for another hundred years.

I guess it makes sense now. Someone else brought up a good point that if the man didn't have his hand in it they'd have probably forced people into it a lot sooner.

I don't have a cablebox on my tv. I run the coax right into the set. So odds are I'd need to pay for some stupid box and ANOTHER remote control taking up space. No thanks. They can keep their 100+ channels of crap.

The only way I could see buying into it is if they start dividing up stations into packages that would appeal to more people. Like the outdoor package, the educational package, the cartoon package, so

I'm not paying for a bunch of crap I never watch. I'll take the Discovery channels, National Geograhic, the History Channel, FNC, and the whatever other stations that fall into this catagory that I might be missing. They can keep their 15 Mtvs, VH1s, BETs, and other useless pop-culture shit stations.

Any reason they can't do this? They can do it with the HBO's, Skinemax, and Showtimes.



One more time. Cable TV providers will not be affected by this cut-over date as they do not broadcast over the air.

And if you want to pick and choose channels take a look at 4DTV. It uses a big ugly dish, but from what I understand it allows you to pick and choose.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 11:45:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By efpeter:

Originally Posted By Chokey:

U.S. lawmakers have been debating when to require television broadcasters to shut off their analog signals and only air digital.



Okay. Why the fudge is this a law? Why are elected officials debating this? Am I missing something.



Telescreens?



Yipe!!

Fuck HDTV. Fuck plasma. Fuck ten thousand dollar TV's with a fucking half-life of 18 months. Fuck this latest big-money consumer fishing expedition.

Actually, fuck TV. I chopped my cable feed off at the wall some years ago. After a year or two of not watching every shitty sitcom and not planning my life around the latest innane episode of the same rehashed shit they've shown a thousand times, I now find it really hard to sit through any of it.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 12:07:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
guess i will just be upgrading my dish reciever only if it needs it. i don't watch enough tv to jusify the upgrade. most folks are already on digital cable os dish anyway so i don't think it's going to cause a rush to buy on new tv sets.



Actually, NO, most people aren't on digital cable. If you have analog/basic cable, you don't have digital. Why else would they charge you extra for "digital cable/high definition programming"?

The damn converter boxes are supposed to cost about $150. Might as well toss your old set.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 12:09:09 PM EDT
We've already got HD television. I'll spend the money on EBR's in case Hitlery wins the election.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 12:11:40 PM EDT
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