View Full Version : What IS after ATSC


DavGoodlin
04-27-2017, 08:32 PM
I mean for those of us dependent on OTA, how long until I hafta scrap:sigh:all my converter boxes?

Electronic M
04-27-2017, 11:14 PM
What is after OTA? DOOOOOooom! :D

IIRC it is going to be a market driven transition, so those boxes may have use for some time yet...Once they are done just get a ATSC 3.0 box and a HDMI to composite adapter to replace them.

centralradio
04-28-2017, 02:27 PM
Cellphone TV only since they are hogging up all the TV channels..I'll stick with internet TV via Youtube and other free video sites.I could care less about the mainstream nets since they all air rubbish now.

DavGoodlin
04-28-2017, 04:37 PM
I'm really not trying to be pretentious, but with over 60 channels, preamps and big antennas out the wazoo, but only watching a tiny fraction of subchannels like METV, etc mostly for old movies, cartoons and sitcoms of the 1960's.

Sure, almost everything else and all commercials are rubbish to me. I mean, just listen to Frank Zappa'a "I am the slime from the video" from 1976, its been going down hill since I first picked up a HV probe.

Dependence on OTA is due to my serious aversion to paying for any content via cable, DBS or anything else.

Ed in Tx
04-28-2017, 07:06 PM
You can relax.

"...every TV station that converts to ATSC 3.0 will be required to continue to provide ATSC 1.0 service."

Read the whole article HERE
(http://www.commlawblog.com/2017/02/articles/broadcast/atsc-3-0-nprm-adopted/)
:thmbsp:

Sandy G
04-28-2017, 07:19 PM
Seems to me the folks who insist that all this stuff be changed NEVER heard the old adage " If it ain't broke, DON'T go "Fixing it"...

user181
04-28-2017, 07:59 PM
Seems to me the folks who insist that all this stuff be changed NEVER heard the old adage " If it ain't broke, DON'T go "Fixing it"...


I completely agree with you! Further to your point, backward compatibility was considered a high priority (or even critical) once upon a time. Now, it almost seems as though system designers avoid it like the plague. OK, I'm exaggerating, but it sure isn't held with much reverence these days, generally speaking.

Adam
04-28-2017, 08:33 PM
I've noticed the number of interesting digital sub channels increasing lately, so I don't think over the air TV is going anywhere. But what worries me is that if they change format again and we all have to get new converter boxes, what if those won't output anything useful: no composite video or ch 3/4 RF output of good old NTSC. Maybe the new boxes will output in the current version of ATSC on ch3/4 and we'll have to hook our new converter boxes to our current converter boxes:D Or I suppose I could just get every show I like on VHS or DVD and be done with it.

Jeffhs
04-29-2017, 12:30 AM
You can relax.

"...every TV station that converts to ATSC 3.0 will be required to continue to provide ATSC 1.0 service."

Read the whole article HERE
(http://www.commlawblog.com/2017/02/articles/broadcast/atsc-3-0-nprm-adopted/)
:thmbsp:

That is the best news I've heard (read) all day. I don't want to have to convert my TV to yet another broadcast standard if it isn't absolutely necessary.

I am not against progress, but this business of the TV industry "reinventing the wheel" every so often (DTV, then 4K, then eventually 8K..., and now ATSC 3.0) makes me wonder. I like DTV because of its much sharper picture and more channels (by way of subchannels of existing stations), but some of these other innovations....sheeesh! Ever-larger screens, curved screens, and, again, ATSC 3.0, to name but three. At least the FCC is requiring (not simply asking or allowing) TV stations to operate using the ATSC 1.0 standard along side of the newer one; this should calm viewers' fears that their new flat-screen HDTV will be rendered obsolete when the new standard takes effect. It won't happen. That is, there will be a new broadcast standard, but the nation's TV stations and networks, which have already spent millions (!) on upgrading their transmitters, studios and antennas for DTV, will not necessarily have to switch to ATSC 3.0 unless they desire to do so. Even if and/or when they do make the switch, however, viewers need not worry about the change rendering their expensive HDTVs obsolete in the blink of an eye, as DTV itself did to NTSC CRT TVs.

old_tv_nut
04-29-2017, 01:03 AM
... in the blink of an eye, as DTV itself did to NTSC CRT TVs.

Actually, there was an 8-year long transition before the analog cutoff. Eventually, there will be a similar transition to ATSC 3.0 only (except that it may be different dates for different stations), but I expect people will not pay attention until the last few months, just as they didn't pay attention to the analog shutdown date until it was almost too late. As before, this will make no practical difference for pay service subscribers.

dr.ido
04-29-2017, 07:04 AM
That is the best news I've heard (read) all day. I don't want to have to convert my TV to yet another broadcast standard if it isn't absolutely necessary.


If the transition is handled like the current transition here (Australia) from MPEG2 to H264 you will probably be forced to upgrade the converter boxes sooner rather than later. I've scrapped all of my MPEG2 only boxes as they are basically useless now.

Yes, every channel still broadcasts it's main channel in SD MPEG2 that even the oldest 1st generation converter boxes and digital TVs can still receive - however the bit rate keeps dropping and it is reaching the point that it is unwatchable. The last of the HD MPEG2 channels converted to H264 recently. I think some stations are dynamically adjusting the bitrate depending on what considered higher priority as sometimes some channels look fine, but at others they look like youtube at 360p.

I watch more youtube than I do OTA TV, so it doesn't really effect my own viewing that much. It just makes it harder to sell used TVs.

Jon A.
04-29-2017, 07:37 AM
Seems to me the folks who insist that all this stuff be changed NEVER heard the old adage " If it ain't broke, DON'T go "Fixing it"...
There's always room for improvement and plenty of profit to be had in snake oil.

Titan1a
04-29-2017, 11:31 PM
Why, WHY upgrade to better pictures when the programming hasn't improved in DECADES? Broadcast TV is mediocre and cable TV is HUNDREDS of SUCKEY programs! I don't need higher definition or better sound. I'll stick with DVD, Amazon or the subchannels.

benman94
04-30-2017, 03:08 PM
Why, WHY upgrade to better pictures when the programming hasn't improved in DECADES? Broadcast TV is mediocre and cable TV is HUNDREDS of SUCKEY programs! I don't need higher definition or better sound. I'll stick with DVD, Amazon or the subchannels.

Hear! Hear!

My parents wouldn't watch "Two Broke Girls" in 4K, HD, SD, or on a 32 line mechanical set; they find it repulsive, period.

Jeffhs
04-30-2017, 09:17 PM
Hear! Hear!

My parents wouldn't watch "Two Broke Girls" in 4K, HD, SD, or on a 32 line mechanical set; they find it repulsive, period.

I am 60 years old (will be 61 in July) and have no use whatsoever for the newer TV shows (Two Broke Girls or any other), either. I watch the subchannels of channels 19 and 8 in Cleveland (MeTV and Antenna TV, respectively), plus my own collection of classic TV shows on DVD and VHS, as those are the shows I grew up with in the '60s-'70s. The only network programs I watch anymore are the NBC Nightly News and, on rare occasions, Dateline, on channel 3 in Cleveland.

The quality of today's network TV shows has gone right down the drain as far as I am concerned. Those shows wouldn't look any better in any of the newer formats than they look now. I am reminded of something I read in an old issue of, IIRC, the (now defunct) Electronics Illustrated magazine years ago, in its letters to the editor department, in which someone wondered what the violence on TV shows of that time (late sixties) would look like on a 50+-inch wall-mounted TV. The writer went on: "Heck, even a (TV) station (test) pattern (shown on a standard TV) will frighten our children!" There was a fictional cartoon picture near the letter of a baby in a playpen, with a large-screen TV on the wall. The set was showing a test pattern from a fictional TV station, "WNVI", bigger than life, and the baby was screaming its heart out, scared to death. I can remember (in fact, I will never forget) seeing a Conelrad test on TV when I was seven years old, in 1963. We had a 21-inch b&w Crosley TV at that time, and I was watching a program that had just gone to a commercial. The Conelrad test came on after that commercial; when I saw that huge Civil Defense logo on our 21-inch TV screen, I jumped up, scared out of my wits, and ran down the hall from our living room to the back of our house--that's how frightened I was. I was sure something awful or even horrible was about to happen. :eek: :yikes:

Jeffhs
04-30-2017, 09:48 PM
If the transition is handled like the current transition here (Australia) from MPEG2 to H264 you will probably be forced to upgrade the converter boxes sooner rather than later. I've scrapped all of my MPEG2 only boxes as they are basically useless now.

Yes, every channel still broadcasts it's main channel in SD MPEG2 that even the oldest 1st generation converter boxes and digital TVs can still receive - however the bit rate keeps dropping and it is reaching the point that it is unwatchable. The last of the HD MPEG2 channels converted to H264 recently. I think some stations are dynamically adjusting the bitrate depending on what considered higher priority as sometimes some channels look fine, but at others they look like youtube at 360p.

I watch more youtube than I do OTA TV, so it doesn't really effect my own viewing that much. It just makes it harder to sell used TVs.

I don't watch OTA TV anymore, preferring to watch the local TV stations via streaming video, with a Roku player connected to my flat screen. I don't see these players being made obsolete by new standards, ATSC 3.0 or any other, when those standards change; the players will just be upgraded to newer software. Roku players already update their firmware daily, so that won't be a problem if and/or when ATSC 3.0 replaces the current standard. Even at that, US television stations will be required to carry both formats indefinitely, so no one will be left without TV when the new standard takes effect--unlike the DTV switch, which had plenty of people all but scared to death that they would lose their TV reception on June 12, 2009.

Blame the local TV stations for this (the aggressive advertising for the DTV switch). I remember vividly (I won't forget it anytime soon) when the CBS TV affiliate in Cleveland began advertising for what it called "The Big Switch", that is, the switch from analog to digital television. "Your TV will go black on June 12 (2009) if you don't upgrade to HDTV!" the announcement all but screamed at viewers across northeastern Ohio; the announcement was repeated over and over again for weeks afterward, at every opportunity the TV station had: during commercial breaks, station breaks, name it. I never saw such an aggressive advertising campaign on TV in my life.

As for programming, I have a subscription to Netflix, so I can watch any program in its library I don't already have on DVD or VHS. My Roku player has an icon on its home screen that takes the viewer directly to Netflix (I canceled my 3-DVD delivery plan some time ago in favor of streaming directly from Netflix), so accessing the channel is no problem. I could probably, even certainly, put an icon on that screen for YouTube as well. I am sufficiently put out (to put it mildly) by the grade-ZZZ fare on network TV that I have little use for OTA television, in this age of streaming video.

My hat is off to the developers of the Roku streaming-video player, as it is an idea whose time has come; in fact, IMHO, it is long, long overdue. This little box has changed forever how I watch TV. I still have a cable connection, but only so that the Spectrum TV app on my Roku will receive local TV, which I do watch occasionally--mostly for news and for the retro subchannels of channels 8 and 19 (Antenna TV and MeTV, respectively), as well as certain programs on subchannels of the PBS affiliate in Cleveland.

Jon A.
05-01-2017, 07:02 PM
Why, WHY upgrade to better pictures when the programming hasn't improved in DECADES? Broadcast TV is mediocre and cable TV is HUNDREDS of SUCKEY programs! I don't need higher definition or better sound. I'll stick with DVD, Amazon or the subchannels.
No kidding. From what I heard the first TV shows were reality-based, so it's come full-circle except there are a heck of a lot more channels with that crap.

I'm not familiar with programming on Amazon or the subchannels, I just use DVDs.

centralradio
05-07-2017, 12:06 PM
Why, WHY upgrade to better pictures when the programming hasn't improved in DECADES? Broadcast TV is mediocre and cable TV is HUNDREDS of SUCKEY programs! I don't need higher definition or better sound. I'll stick with DVD, Amazon or the subchannels.

No kidding. From what I heard the first TV shows were reality-based, so it's come full-circle except there are a heck of a lot more channels with that crap.

I'm not familiar with programming on Amazon or the subchannels, I just use DVDs.

Great points guys.If this DTV happen 35 plus years ago.Shows were great then and would enjoy watching Knightrider,Six Million Dollar Man . ETC in full Hidef when it was first aired.I probably wont be complaining about it.With todays TV with junk programing like reality shows,crap talk shows,fake news shows on the big four nets.I'm glad that I rid of extended basic cable .

If I was a sports fan I would be happy for the upgrades since its only useful for plus movies too. .

I always had the feeling that the reason why they are shrinking the TV band in resent years because TV sucks and the ratings are dropping like flies in the resent years.Why bother with all the extra channels and nobody is watching them.The only good shows are the CSI series .The new Hawaii Five O,New McGyver and similar drama shows.Sitcoms are not funny and boring.

Jeffhs
05-08-2017, 11:32 AM
I agree that TV isn't what it once was before cable, satellite, etc., and is getting worse by the day. Like VK member Titan1a, I don't watch much standard TV these days, only certain shows on the broadcast networks (I have Time Warner Starter TV service, which is local broadcast channels only), their subchannels, and DVDs/VHS tapes. Time was when I watched a lot more TV than I do now; however, the only things I watch on broadcast TV these days are the evening news (NBC Nightly News and, occasionally, Dateline) and an occasional network program.

NBC's Dateline news magazine is not what it used to be, either. This was once a respectable magazine program, but it, like most of NBC's recent programming, has gone so far downhill, IMHO, that it isn't funny. One thing I don't care for with Dateline is the promotional announcement the network runs for it; it always ends with the phrase "#Don't Watch Alone", which appears just below the NBC peacock. This phrase implies that every edition of Dateline has stories with the potential to scare viewers half to death (I personally think this is simply overblown hype, like most advertising for TV shows these days), which is not my idea of what a TV news magazine should be and certainly not what NBC's news magazines once were.

I remember when NBC's news magazines of the '70s such as Chronolog, Weekend, Comment!, Monitor (the TV adaptation of the old NBC Monitor Beacon radio program, which aired from 1955-1975 over the former NBC Radio Network; "Monitor" on TV lasted only one season, IIRC), et al. were on a par with, and just as good as, CBS' Sixty Minutes at that time; they aren't any longer. No wonder NBC's ratings are so low these days, unless the network has sunk so low that all it cares about now is delivering junk programming to its 200+ affiliates across the US. They even had a jingle which was a takeoff on their "NBC - We're Proud!" slogan of about ten years or more ago. The new jingle replaced the word "proud" with "LOUD", and the network actually seemed proud that their ratings were, at the time, about two years ago (and are, even as I write this) lower than a snake's belly and are probably dropping almost daily. IMHO, they had better darn well watch their step, as they are skating on thin ice at this moment and could find themselves in real ratings trouble, if they aren't in such trouble already. I recently read online somewhere, I don't remember where, a comment (probably, even likely, in regard to the network's programming) in which a viewer stated, "NBC = Nothing But Crap!"


While I personally don't think NBC's programming is that bad (yet, anyway), it may be and probably is headed in that direction. I can see a day coming, again if the network doesn't shape up, and soon, when NBC will cease to exist as a television network, leaving America with just two commercial broadcast networks. NBC may be feeling the pressure from today's wide variety of viewing choices not available 50 years ago, such as cable networks, video on demand, DVDs, and so on, and may have reached the point where they simply don't care anymore about ratings or what happens to the network. Perhaps the only real ratings draws in the 21st century for this network are its sports programs on weekends; most weekends there is nothing but sports on NBC, beginning as early as noon Eastern time, often preempting local affiliates' early (6 p.m. Eastern time) news broadcasts and NBC Nightly News; this is due to the literally unpredictable nature of sports contests which can and often do run overtime, often slopping over into the 6:30 hour and beyond. I don't know about NBC affiliates in other areas, but here in northeastern Ohio near Cleveland, the NBC affiliate will almost always air its local news after NBC's sports programming if the latter runs more than 15 minutes past 6:30 PM EST, instead of showing NBC Nightly News on a tape delay.

I guess the reason Cleveland's NBC station does not show the NBC world news at all after a sporting event that runs more than five or ten (15 at the outside) minutes overtime may have to do with the availability these days of such platforms as video on demand, or even NBC's rerun of their world news broadcast at 3 a. m. (!) Eastern time. The station's programming minions may think these are easier to schedule than taping and showing the broadcast a half-hour later, after the sports event itself ends (assuming it ends right at 6:30 PM ET, which many sporting events rarely do due to overtime). Video on demand allows viewing of a program, in this case NBC's world news, literally any time of the day or night, but these programs are always shown the day after they air on the network, so it is nearly impossible to watch them when the news is actually new.

Jeffhs
05-08-2017, 01:02 PM
I agree that TV isn't what it once was before cable, satellite, etc., and is getting worse by the day. Like VK member Titan1a, I don't watch much standard TV these days, only certain shows on the broadcast networks (I have Time Warner Starter TV service, which is local broadcast channels only), their subchannels, and DVDs/VHS tapes. Time was when I would watch a lot more TV than I do now; however, the only things I watch on broadcast TV these days are the evening news (NBC Nightly News and, occasionally, Dateline) and an occasional network program.

NBC's Dateline news magazine is not what it used to be, either. This was once a respectable magazine program, but it, like most of NBC's recent programming, has gone so far downhill, IMHO, that it isn't funny. One thing I don't care for with Dateline is the promotional announcement the network runs for it; it always end with the phrase "#Don't Watch Alone", which appears just below the NBC peacock before the promo ends. This phrase, which I personally believe is overblown hype, implies that every edition of Dateline has stories with the potential to scare viewers half to death. I do not agree with that reasoning; in fact, I think most Dateline segments are the result of well-done reporting, meant to inform viewers of current events and issues--not to scare them.

I remember when NBC's news magazines such as Chronolog, Weekend, Comment!, Monitor (the TV adaptation of the old NBC Monitor Beacon radio program, which aired from 1955-1975 over the former NBC Radio Network; "Monitor" on TV lasted only one season, IIRC), et al. were on a par with, and just as good as, CBS' Sixty Minutes in the '70s; they aren't any longer. No wonder NBC's ratings are so low these days, unless the network has sunk so low that all it cares about now is delivering junk programming to its 200+ affiliates across the US. They even had a jingle which was a takeoff on their "NBC - We're Proud!" slogan of about five years ago. The new jingle replaced the word "proud" with "LOUD", and the network actually seemed proud that their ratings were, at the time, about two years ago (and are, even as I write this) lower than a snake's belly and are probably dropping almost daily.

IMHO, they had better darn well watch their step, as they are skating on thin ice at this moment and could find themselves in real ratings trouble, if they aren't in such trouble already. I read online somewhere, I don't remember where, a comment (probably, even likely, in regard to the network's programming) in which a viewer stated, "NBC = Nothing But Crap!"

While I personally don't think NBC's programming is that bad--yet, anyway, it may be and probably is headed in that direction. I can see a day coming, again if the network doesn't shape up, and soon, when NBC will cease to exist as a television network, leaving America with just two commercial broadcast networks. NBC may be feeling the pressure from today's wide variety of viewing choices not available 50 years ago, such as cable networks, video on demand, DVDs, and so on, and may have reached the point where they simply don't care anymore about ratings or what happens to the network.

No wonder NBC retired its "Proud N" logo some years ago; that, and the issues over the network's "N" logo of the time ('80s) being identical to a similar logo in current use by an educational TV network in Nebraska. There was a time when NBC had a right to be proud of its programming; unfortunately, however, that time is long gone, and the peacock's only significance these days is its value as an iconic identifier of NBC, which was, after all, America's first broadcast network (NBC radio from 1926-'86, NBC television from 1948 to the present day and, hopefully, well into the future).

The NBC peacock is known world-wide, and the network has no intention of scrapping it any time soon, even though it has done away with such iconic symbols as the NBC color peacock, which was shown in the '60s-mid-'70s before every NBC color program, the "NBC snake" which was shown, again through the '60s until 1975, after every NBC-TV program, and other artifacts of the network as it was in its glory days. The NBC peacock is still shown, after NBC shows, in a much smaller form these days, often with the bird's feathers all one color, although the network still uses a peacock logo with the bird's feathers of different colors, especially as a network "bug" in the lower left corner of your TV screen. The peacock's colors disappear seconds later, and a nearly transparent version of this iconic NBC logo appears for the duration of whatever program is being shown on the network at the time.

jr_tech
05-08-2017, 07:24 PM
Looks to me like NBC is doing pretty well:

http://www.indiewire.com/2016/12/cnn-fox-news-msnbc-nbc-ratings-2016-winners-losers-1201762864/

jr

centralradio
05-09-2017, 06:41 PM
Looks to me like NBC is doing pretty well:

http://www.indiewire.com/2016/12/cnn-fox-news-msnbc-nbc-ratings-2016-winners-losers-1201762864/

jr

Yes thanks to Comcast merging with them.It should of never happen.
ABC with Mickey Mouse and CBS could go with Bugs Bunny.

jr_tech
05-09-2017, 08:25 PM
Yes thanks to Comcast merging with them.It should of never happen.
ABC with Mickey Mouse and CBS could go with Bugs Bunny.

:headscrat

Please clarify.

jr

user181
05-09-2017, 10:01 PM
...because Disney owns ABC.

Sandy G
05-10-2017, 10:13 AM
The BEST OTA we ever had here in Greater Bugtussle was in 1965-66 when the guy who operatd the "Cable" TV system bought a B/W camera, pointed it out of the storefront, & we got to see the local elementary schoolkids as they trudged home. No sound at 1st, eventually he rigged up a system w/the local Angel Modulation station playing in the background... As far as I'm concerned, hey never have ben able to surpass this..

Jeffhs
05-13-2017, 12:33 AM
The BEST OTA we ever had here in Greater Bugtussle was in 1965-66 when the guy who operatd the "Cable" TV system bought a B/W camera, pointed it out of the storefront, & we got to see the local elementary schoolkids as they trudged home. No sound at 1st, eventually he rigged up a system w/the local Angel Modulation station playing in the background... As far as I'm concerned, hey never have ben able to surpass this..

Your local cable TV system at that time must have predated Charter by many years. Speaking of Charter, they are now the cable operator in my area, 30 miles east of Cleveland. The cable company is branded "Spectrum", but Charter apparently owns the system here and those in several other states as well. The only difference I see, however, at the moment is a different name on the Spectrum TV application used with my Roku player. That app used to be labeled "Time Warner Cable", but it was changed to Spectrum when the latter took over TWC.

I haven't had five minutes' worth of trouble with my cable service since Spectrum (Charter) took over, even though the only reason I have a cable account at all is so my Roku player (a small media player about the size of a hockey puck) will receive the local TV stations (this is a strict requirement of both Charter and the former Time Warner Cable). I have a three-way bundle (cable, home phone and Internet) which has been working absolutely flawlessly (except for one small problem with my telephone service a few months ago). I am sold on Spectrum (Charter) Cable and intend to stay with them.

Today's cable systems are all automated, so the days of seeing local images such as the ones you said were being shown locally on your cable system 50+ years ago are long over. I knew a few folks (relatives of my dad's second wife) in the seventies who lived in West Virginia and had cable TV service, but I don't recall the name of the cable operator. That system, IIRC after all these years, did have a camera that scanned weather gauges, and probably had background audio, either from a local radio station or from tape; this was the '70s equivalent of today's Weather Channel. Besides that, the system didn't bring in much except network stations from Clarksburg and Weston, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and, IIRC, Steubenville, Ohio and Wheeling.

Adlershof
05-13-2017, 09:06 PM
If the transition is handled like the current transition here (Australia) from MPEG2 to H264 you will probably be forced to upgrade the converter boxes sooner rather than later. I've scrapped all of my MPEG2 only boxes as they are basically useless now.

Yes, every channel still broadcasts it's main channel in SD MPEG2 that even the oldest 1st generation converter boxes and digital TVs can still receive
Not even this in Germany. Just one big switch per transmitter location: DVB-T with MPEG-2 off, DVB-T2 with H.265 (not 264 here) on. Existing boxes or built-in decoders get no signal anymore.

NowhereMan 1966
05-14-2017, 12:40 AM
Your local cable TV system at that time must have predated Charter by many years. Speaking of Charter, they are now the cable operator in my area, 30 miles east of Cleveland. The cable company is branded "Spectrum", but Charter apparently owns the system here and those in several other states as well. The only difference I see, however, at the moment is a different name on the Spectrum TV application used with my Roku player. That app used to be labeled "Time Warner Cable", but it was changed to Spectrum when the latter took over TWC.

I haven't had five minutes' worth of trouble with my cable service since Spectrum (Charter) took over, even though the only reason I have a cable account at all is so my Roku player (a small media player about the size of a hockey puck) will receive the local TV stations (this is a strict requirement of both Charter and the former Time Warner Cable). I have a three-way bundle (cable, home phone and Internet) which has been working absolutely flawlessly (except for one small problem with my telephone service a few months ago). I am sold on Spectrum (Charter) Cable and intend to stay with them.

Today's cable systems are all automated, so the days of seeing local images such as the ones you said were being shown locally on your cable system 50+ years ago are long over. I knew a few folks (relatives of my dad's second wife) in the seventies who lived in West Virginia and had cable TV service, but I don't recall the name of the cable operator. That system, IIRC after all these years, did have a camera that scanned weather gauges, and probably had background audio, either from a local radio station or from tape; this was the '70s equivalent of today's Weather Channel. Besides that, the system didn't bring in much except network stations from Clarksburg and Weston, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and, IIRC, Steubenville, Ohio and Wheeling.

I work for a telecommunications company, well actually a U.S. based outsourced call center that has a contract for the client, the telecommunications company. The best clue I can give is that Charter/Spectrum/Brighthouse is really goring our "buffalo" as of now. They are the biggest competitor to us.

I do remember our cable system did exactly what you said in the early 1970's. Our system was "Astro Cablevision " that covered Moon Township, Coraopolis and Cresent Township (Glenwillard), I was born and raised in Moon Township. Later on, they expanded to North Fayette Township. I remember they had a local channel set up in black and white with a camera that scanned back and forth the weather gauges for the local weather and we had WSHH, 99.7 Mc, easy listening playing in the background when WPGH, channel 53, lost its tower in a storm and was off the air for year and a half.

Astro carried all the local Pittsburgh stations along with WJAC 6, Johnstown, PA, WSTV (now WTOV) Channel 9, Steubenville), WTRF 7, WHeeling WV, and WKBN 27 and WYTV 33 out of Youngstown, OH.

Channel lineup IIRC circa 1971 (I was 4/5 years old):

2 - KDKA-TV Channel 2 - Pittsburgh (CBS)
3 - WPGH Channel 53 - Pittsburgh (Ind) (weather channel when WPGH went off the air)
4 - WTAE-TV Channel 4 - Pittsburgh ABC)
5 - open
6 - WJAC-TV, Channel 6 Johnstown, PA (NBC)
7 - WTRF-TV, Channel 7, Wheeling, WV (NBC-then, CBS since 1979(?) also ABC on 7.3 in standard def)
8 - WIIC (now WPXI), Channel 11, Pittsburgh (NBC)
9 - WSTV (now WTOV), Channel 9, Steubenville, OH (CBS then, NBC now)
10 - WYTV, Channel 33, Youngstown, OH (ABC)
11 - open (Maybe WIIC WAS here, but I do remember them being on channel 8) I think WPTT, channel 22, Pittsburgh went here when they fired up in 1978
12 - WKBN, Channel 27, Youngstown, OH, (CBS)
13 - WQED. Channel 13, Pittsburgh, (PBS)

Astro was founded in 1966 IIRC, the year I was born. It belonged to a local family, the Fabecs, who started it up. I graduated with one of them in 1985. Sometime in the 1980's, I was in high school then, they became Newchannels and then the 1990' came along and they changed hands more often than I changed my underwear ;) (I know bad joke :)) In 1999, they became Time Warner. We went to Florida on vacation when that happened. We came home and it was AT&T and during our trip, they were very briefly TCI. Mom and I wonder WTF? AT&T then became Verizon and then a quick search for "Astro Cablevision" now turns up they now belong to Comcast.

BTW, when they became Newchannels, the cable box they had was made by "Jerrold Communications" that was started by Milton Jerrold Shapiro, aka, Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp.

zenithfan1
05-15-2017, 02:46 PM
Hear! Hear!

My parents wouldn't watch "Two Broke Girls" in 4K, HD, SD, or on a 32 line mechanical set; they find it repulsive, period.

"Two Broke Girls" is kinda funny, now "The Big Bang Theory" is repulsive...

centralradio
09-21-2017, 12:11 PM
Why bother upgrading since the rubbish programming content sucks.The Sports and movie fans would benefit from it.Its useless to view mindless reality shows and crappy boring poor written sitcoms and fake news shows. . 35 plus years age I would be for it.

dieseljeep
01-06-2018, 09:23 PM
I mean for those of us dependent on OTA, how long until I hafta scrap:sigh:all my converter boxes?

There's been a few messages on some of the channels, that a re-scan has to be performed this coming Monday, Jan. 8th.
I hope that a few of my favorites wont be relocated on VHF, especially the low VHF band. VHF is harder to receive 40 miles or so from the transmission point, even with digital. :thumbsdn:

mr_rye89
01-07-2018, 11:27 AM
If they scrap OTA TV I'm gonna finally have to pick up hulu..... I think they have 90s sitcoms and anime. I already do netflix, and I can feed that to my old TVs........

Jeffhs
01-07-2018, 09:21 PM
If they scrap OTA TV I'm gonna finally have to pick up hulu..... I think they have 90s sitcoms and anime. I already do netflix, and I can feed that to my old TVs........

I'm sure OTA TV will be around for quite a while yet. ATSC 3.0 is simply a new technical standard for broadcast TV, as I was informed via a post in this forum from VK member Andy in Texas some time ago. The future of OTA television does not concern me one bit, as I no longer have cable, having switched to Roku streaming video over a year ago. The picture quality from video streams is excellent, rivaling that of OTA TV (due to better resolution), and Roku offers other services besides your area's local channels (if your cable operator offers an app for that purpose; not all do--yet), including Hulu, as you mentioned. I watch Hulu and Netflix myself, and am very pleased with both services; I wouldn't give them up at this time.

I'm glad to hear you can feed Netflix to your old TVs, probably by using a modulator to convert the output to a VHF TV channel, as has been done by other VK members. (I see no reason why you couldn't do the same with Hulu, should you decide to subscribe to that service.) This sounds like a great alternative to OTA TV, unless you want to see your area's local news and the networks' national newscasts, in which case you would still need an antenna; however, if you use a streaming video player such as Roku and your cable company offers the app for local TV, you can use that player and leave OTA behind for good. I did just that over a year ago and did not look back.

Switching to IPTV is, without a doubt in my mind, one of the best things I ever did to improve my television viewing experience; it is the wave of the future of TV. I am enjoying television more now than I ever did at any other time, and I can remember as a kid just having three NTSC channels from Cleveland to watch, in 525-line b&w of course. My 19" HDTV delivers a picture that runs rings around the NTSC CRT TVs I grew up with, but that is to be expected since 16:9 HDTV operates at a much higher resolution (720 or 1080p, to say nothing of 4K which is 2160p, IIRC) than NTSC ever did.

DavGoodlin
01-12-2018, 12:01 PM
Early channel jump here: One of the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton stations WVIA, shut down their RF channel 41, and piggy-backed onto WNEP's channel 50, which already had 3 subs.

The powerful transmitter for WNEP is on 2000-foot Penobscot Mountain along I-81 but still over 80 miles away, yet 41, 45 and 50 are stable using a 4-bay or moderate Yagi on my garage. My Samsung SIRT-451 STB automatically added 16-4,-6,-7 as soon as I punched in "50".

Jeff, Maybe there is hope for WOIO abandoning their troublesome VHF in favor odf one that reaches out better.

old_tv_nut
01-12-2018, 01:25 PM
Early channel jump here: One of the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton stations WVIA, shut down their RF channel 41, and piggy-backed onto WNEP's channel 50, which already had 3 subs. ...


What is the picture quality like? The concern is that piggyback feeds will not be allocated enough bit rate.

DavGoodlin
01-18-2018, 04:15 PM
What is the picture quality like? The concern is that piggyback feeds will not be allocated enough bit rate.

Very good question. I need to see how this played out for WVIA , which alone has 2-3 subs. WGTW in Philadelphia has 8 sub-channels and some are very grainy.

The big-time "network channels" with mostly HD content, such as WGAL locally, still has only one sub.