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  #16  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:13 PM
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Jeffhs Jeffhs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peverett View Post
Cable is not the blessing it seems. You are at the mercy of a monopolistic company that will do whatever they can to drain your wallet. I have had three analog channels stolen from my analog cable package and moved to an area where I would need to pay more to see them again. Did they discount my bill? Of course not!. This is theft, the same as if Ford came and took back one of the wheels on my truck and did not pay me for it.

Another issue is how cable treats the local broadcast channels. My over-the-air reception of these with DTV(when the weather is ok-most of the time) is far better than my cable signals for these.

Now, the phone companies(and I am sure cable also) are trying to kill broadcast TV. I am completely against this!!. In fact, I would like to see broadcast TV send some of the channels now seen only on cable/satellite over the air via the DTV sub-channels, reducing the cable/satellite monopoly.
I don't follow you. Why would your OTA reception of broadcast TV be better with DTV than it is over the cable? I would think it would be the other way around. Cable signals, after all, are not affected by weather; on the other hand, a good thunderstorm, rain, or snow can mess up DTV reception royally. I've had cable for years, and the only time I ever saw my cable TV reception ruined was a couple of years ago, when my cable operator, Time Warner, was converting its systems to digital. I remember trying to watch the NBC news one evening, but didn't see more than five minutes of the program if that much--the picture was dropping out every few seconds, and it did so for the duration of the entire newscast. There are occasions when certain channels on my cable are distorted or downright unwatchable, but that's almost certainly due to technical problems at the head end; moreover, it doesn't happen all the time. If it did, TW's phones would be ringing off the hook with calls from angry subscribers, wondering why their cable service is acting up--after all, the subscribers would point out (and they would be right), they have cable to get better reception than they presently get with an antenna. Most people do not understand how cable TV works, but the cable company almost always puts a disclaimer in their literature sent to subscribers at the initial hookup stating that there may be occasional interruptions in transmission due to weather, service outages due to power failures, and other problems beyond the control of the cable operator. The subscriber does not need to know one thing about how cable TV operates to understand this; the only ones who wouldn't understand it would be young children, people who cannot read, or who have mental problems that keep them from understanding even simple concepts.

I'm not following you either on your second point, that the telephone companies are trying to "kill" broadcast television. The phone companies' business is telephone and, nowadays, Internet service, not television, unless you are referring to AT&T which now offers U-Verse television service or Verizon with its FiOS system, both of which hard-wire the user's TV into the wall and do not use satellites or copper coaxial cables.

However, I don't see how these services can or will do away with broadcast TV. The FCC made a huge mistake just under a year ago when they ended NTSC broadcast television in favor of all digital; their reasoning was that they were going to auction off the old analog TV channels for use by public service (police, fire, etc.) and cellular telephone services, claiming the airwaves were too jammed after communications failures during at least one major disaster (Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana five years ago). There are still far too many people who still get their TV reception over the air, with a TV antenna, so the FCC would be making another huge error in judgment if they decided to do away with OTA TV--after all, many people feel that they do not want to pay through the nose for cable or satellite.
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  #17  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:18 PM
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Yeah, we have one cable company that serves this area and it seems like they raise the rates every 1 to 1.5 years. In the early '80's, the cable bill was something on the order of $17/mo. There were not as many channels back then; but, the quality of programming was better. There was more than enough there to entertain our family.

Fast forward to today and the bill is $56/mo with 60something channels on the analog package. Our cable company has also moved 5 or 6 analog channels to a higher priced digital package over the last two years. Needless to say, the bill didn't decrease any. Now, the quality of programming is so lousy that it's hard to find anything, even with 60+ channels. It would likely be the same way if we had 300+ channels.

My Brother-in-law dropped cable when the DTV transition took place and I informed him that he could now receive 10 or 11 channels out of the air. He thinks that it's a waste of money to pay for 60 channels of nothing when you can get 10 channels of nothing for free. I'd probably do the same thing if it wasn't for the high speed internet.
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  #18  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:51 PM
peverett peverett is offline
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I have analog cable, not digital. The cable company also sells phone and internet service via the same cable. I suspect these and other signals are interfering with the local channel signals, causing interference patterns, etc. The signals are watchable, but have interference.

With DTV, if it is working, there is no interference.

As to the killing of broadcast TV: see this website:
http://broadcastengineering.com/news...217/index.html
The phone companies are trying to take more spectrum away from Broadcast TV. It will only get worse unless people protest.

I agree with you about the huge mistake. In fact, from what I have read about using VHF channels 2-6 for DTV or mobile apps, these should be re-allocated back to analog TV. I know of two stations that were allowed to move from these bands to UHF bands as the DTV reception was so bad. I have also read that the antennas for mobile apps are to large in this area of the spectrum.

The other mistake the FCC made was selling the spectrum. It would be better for the US taxpayer if they rented the spectrum for certain periods of time(just like the phone companies do to their customers).
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  #19  
Old 05-17-2010, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffhs View Post
...their reasoning was that they were going to auction off the old analog TV channels for use by public service (police, fire, etc.) and cellular telephone services, claiming the airwaves were too jammed after communications failures during at least one major disaster (Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana five years ago)...
The problem after Katrina was that the different civil authorities had no way to talk to each other, several systems were totally incapacitated and batteries could not be recharged. If anything crowded the airwaves it was the out-of-town agencies - not berating them, but think about a couple of hundred different police/fire/spca/etc. departments coming down all with their own radios.

Today, all of Louisiana's police and fire departments are on a trunked relay system. Most of the channels in the new trunked system are in bands already allocated for 2-way communications. They have also retained their old channels as emergency backup.

In short, any disaster or civil emergency will "clog" the airwaves. The implication that the extra bands would alleviate such situations is bunk. That's like sandbagging your house now because it may flood next March, or moving everything to the basement because you may get hit by a tornado one day.
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  #20  
Old 05-17-2010, 03:32 PM
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There is talk of completely discontinuing broadcast TV and using the spectrum for things like mobile internet. If that happens, I've heard that cable and satellite companies would be required to offer free local channels to anyone who wants them. I doubt it would go over very well so soon after the huge expense of the digital conversion.
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  #21  
Old 05-17-2010, 03:38 PM
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AndyMack AndyMack is offline
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Wow, that Sylvania is exactly the same as my set, except mine is a console with the swivel base. Wish my set was in as good a condition as that (and working).
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  #22  
Old 05-17-2010, 03:46 PM
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jr_tech jr_tech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy View Post
There is talk of completely discontinuing broadcast TV and using the spectrum for things like mobile internet. If that happens, I've heard that cable and satellite companies would be required to offer free local channels to anyone who wants them. I doubt it would go over very well so soon after the huge expense of the digital conversion.
The latest that I have heard involves the tv broadcasters giving up 120 mHz of spectra (20 channels) and "repacking" many of the existing channels into a smaller spectra.... stay tuned, if you think the DTV transition was a bumpy ride, things could get worse:

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/96588

jr

Last edited by jr_tech; 05-17-2010 at 04:05 PM. Reason: fix typo
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  #23  
Old 05-18-2010, 01:53 PM
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yagosaga yagosaga is offline
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Thank you for these excellent photos!
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  #24  
Old 05-18-2010, 02:03 PM
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I agree with peverett and rely only on over the air tv. One of the religeous channels carries arirang tv from South Korea. Its a very nice channel kinda like a Korean travel brouchour 24 hours a day. I have found that the area cable people do not carry it. So I guess there are some, or many things cable does not have. While our reception is more troublesome that analog was, the picture is quite good 70% of the time. and If i had spent as much on antenna and several boosters/preamps before digital, I would have got crystal clear analog reception.
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  #25  
Old 05-18-2010, 04:38 PM
JB5pro JB5pro is offline
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Relatives of mine had that exact same model way back. It was the set that gave me my first biggest doseage of radiation from marveling at the inside with the back off. I was way too young to be exposed but my parents were busy working and everybody else thought I'd learn something. Thiers had black tapered round legs that I suspect were about 8" long.
I wish I could buy that set if it comes up for sale sometime.
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