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canuk
Re: Digital TV (DTV)
Quote:

Don't tell me, you're using "smoke signal" internet service

We use that digital system .... Morse Code internet service.;) :D

carlb
Re: Digital TV (DTV)
canuk wrote:

In the US the change to Digital Television (DTV) is scheduled for February 17,2009 and August 31,2011 in Canada.

Don't tell people that! While it is true for full-power TV stations, letting people know about the different dates for analogue shutdown in Canada and México is only going to interfere with my evil plans to take all the obsolete analogue TV's that legally cannot even be imported to the US and dump them in Canadian retail stores, all hand-picked from brand-name retail chains where salesclerks have a time-proven record of cluelessness. If people walk in with stupid questions like "I hear WPBS HDTV is channel 16.3, does this shiny new TV have a remote control with a '.' button on it so I can tune that in?" they shouldn't be getting straight answers, just blank looks... the blank looks they've come to expect from minimum-wage retail. Let them find out that the two new extra WPBS subchannels aren't on the cable, aren't on the dish and aren't on the already-obsolete brand new analogue idiot box they just forked over all their Canadian Tyre money to buy only *after* it's too late!

canuk wrote:

What this means is that on those dates the television stations broadcasting free “ over-the air “ (OTA) signals are to switch off the analog channels and continue broadcasting with the free digital format.

US low-power TV, mostly small repeaters, will be around in analogue for a while yet. That, and the border stations, will be a problem for some converters that can't just pass through an analogue signal untouched. Hopefully no one noticed (well, except for the low-power broadcasters themselves, and hopefully their voice isn't very powerful so no one will hear them anyway).

In the mean time, we have lots of great public service announcements running eighty-four times a week on every US station (including some already-digital channels) to confuse the public by telling them that it's every analogue signal that's being shut down. LPTV? Canada? México? What's that?

canuk wrote:

This will not have any affect on cable or satellite subscribers.

...unless they live in some small US city where their local channels just plain aren't on the dish. In that case, bye-bye WPBS-TV. Enjoy watching nothing but Hockey Night in Canada until 2011, eh?

And yes, I realise that "This Old House" is running PSA's on WPBS-TV claiming "if you have cable or satellite, you're good to go". I'm not sure what they said next, as I was on some digital subchannel and the picture and sound keep freezing every now and then. Hopefully it wasn't anything too important... like instructions on how to install UHF antennas outdoors before winter comes. Nah, they wouldn't have broadcast that. Never.

canuk wrote:

Analog is the format that television broadcasting has been using since the beginning and the conventional television sets are designed to work with.

I think the beginning was a mechanical spinning disc driven by a shortwave radio signal, although that most likely was just an experiment. :)

Nonetheless, I trust the local CBC affiliate is now using the latest in 1954 technology - the US analogue Never Twice the Same Colour system but no digital signal and no HDTV. Unfortunately, some darned fool let them know about the 1956 invention of videotape and we've been getting endless reruns ever since.

canuk wrote:

When the switch occurs to DTV a converter will be required to decode the DTV signal in order to view on a regular TV set.

A converter, or a DTV tuner built into some other piece of equipment such as a DVD recorder (beware - not all models have tuners).

canuk wrote:

In other words you do not have to buy a new TV just a set top DTV box.

So if I have a pair of new TV's, I shouldn't still need to hold on to one of the converter boxes in order to keep an old analogue VCR still working?

canuk wrote:

The antenna that may be currently used will still work perfectly fine with DTV … contrary to some marketing hype.

At least it would have worked had so many of our weakest, most distant stations not moved from low-VHF channels way up to the top of the UHF dial. I presume that the "deep-fringe antenna, 100 miles VHF, 60 miles UHF" designation is just the manufacturer's way of letting us know that over-the-air NBC is gone for good. I suppose they can leave it on just long enough for us to see Tina Fey inaugurated as their vice-president (what does a vice-president do?) and then turn it off. Bye, bye NBC.

canuk wrote:

If the decision is made to purchase a new TV ensure that it has an ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) tuner. This is what is required for the DTV over-the-air (OTA) format.

Pity the vendors aren't required to tell you this - the way they supposedly are stateside. Hopefully Red Green is still on the air in analogue somewhere...

canuk wrote:

Another misconception or confusion is that DTV automatically means that everything will be high definition HDTV …. that’s not true.

So now you get to learn all this lovely new terminology like "letterboxing" and "pillarboxing". Expect a lot of local programming and syndicated programming (reruns of cancelled TV series sold directly to local commercial stations, along with game shows, Oprah and the like) to still be in the old format for a long while yet, basically. At least PBS HDTV is widescreen at all times, which is a good first step.

When digital TV works, it works well. Still, there are a lot of misconceptions and a lot of unfavourable surprises waiting for viewers this winter. After all, one can only fit so much well-intentioned but wrong-headed info into one half-minute PSA.

canuk wrote:

Here are a couple of very good links :

http://www.dtvanswers.com/

http://www.dtv.gov/

...and, if those fail, try WikiHow: Convert an Old TV Into a Fish Tank - they seem to have the whole thing figured out.

canuk wrote:

Hope this helps.:)

Actually, some aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen might help... thanks...

carlb
Re: Digital TV (DTV)
havanagranite wrote:

do they even have tv in canada??? I thought any canadians with a desire to be on tv came to the states:D

There are television stations in Canada, but the Ottawa régime operates them under fake Chilean callsigns (ie: anything beginning CB...) so that American viewers won't find out either that they exist or that they will continue transmitting analogue until 2011.

bsum1
Re: Digital TV (DTV)

Judging by your rant, you don't like the DTV switch.

carlb
Re: Digital TV (DTV)
bsum1 wrote:

Judging by your rant, you don't like the DTV switch.

I disagree with the way it was handled. I think that it should not have been done at all for low-VHF channels (2-6) because the signals are just not getting out as far. If a station that used to be barely watchable a hundred miles away now drops off the face of the map in a little over half that distance (and such is the difference between analogue VHF and digital all-or-nothing UHF) the limitations need to be addressed. I think that forcing broadcasters to build digital stations by 1999-2003 but not requiring that new TV's be able to tune those stations until 2005-2007 also showed a lack of foresight (didn't we already see this bit of déjà vu before in the 1950's and 1960's with TV's being manufactured to only tune the first dozen of eighty-two channels?) and the underpowered transmitters in use on many digital stations aren't helping matters. (One station out here went from 1700kW analogue to 100kW digital, one channel away - while a direct watt-for-watt comparison isn't very meaningful, guess which version of their signal gets out further...)

I think some serious blunders were made in terms of informing the public as to what's going on. The approach of relying primarily on twenty or thirty-second public service announcements has resulted in most knowing of the US digital transition but has created more misconceptions than it has resolved. PSA's claiming "if you have cable or satellite, you're good to go" should not be running in communities where the local stations are not on the satellites. Digital TV is also not going to magically turn a mess of fading and multipath interference into watchable video (quite the opposite, in fact) and the whole question of antenna installation should have been addressed ages ago.

There is a need to get better information out to homeowners about the capabilities and limitations of this system... especially as they need to be aware of the whole question of what sort of antennas to install, where to place them and how to install them in order to get the most out of the new signal instead of watching this winter's television freeze dead in its tracks. A key opportunity was missed here.

Certainly other nations (such as the UK) are taking a more cautious approach, replacing analogue with digital one community at a time and investing far more into public education about the digital transition. Pity we didn't take the opportunity to learn from them.

I have my digital televisions up and working; currently I see seven local channels of digital TV from a town about forty miles distant. When it works, it's great. Installed and deployed properly, the quality images the new technology can provide are impressive. It's not just a question of switching the new TV from WPBS 16.3 HD to an analogue channel and asking "how did we ever watch this rubbish?" but more one of switching from PBS-HD to a plain old DVD player and noticing how much worse the DVD looks compared to the free over-the-air HDTV signals.

So am I for or against the digital transition? Dunno... you tell me.

canuk
Re: Digital TV (DTV)
carlb wrote:

Don't tell people that! While it is true for full-power TV stations, letting people know about the different dates for analogue shutdown in Canada and Mexico is only going to interfere with my evil plans to take all the obsolete analogue TV's that legally cannot even be imported to the US and dump them in Canadian retail stores, all hand-picked from brand-name retail chains where salesclerks have a time-proven record of cluelessness. If people walk in with stupid questions like "I hear WPBS HDTV is channel 16.3, does this shiny new TV have a remote control with a '.' button on it so I can tune that in?" they shouldn't be getting straight answers, just blank looks... the blank looks they've come to expect from minimum-wage retail. Let them find out that the two new extra WPBS subchannels aren't on the cable, aren't on the dish and aren't on the already-obsolete brand new analogue idiot box they just forked over all their Canadian Tyre money to buy only *after* it's too late!

There are television stations in Canada, but the Ottawa régime operates them under fake Chilean callsigns (ie: anything beginning CB...) so that American viewers won't find out either that they exist or that they will continue transmitting analogue until 2011.

What the.... :confused:

BTW ... it's "Tire"

Quote:

US low-power TV, mostly small repeaters, will be around in analogue for a while yet. That, and the border stations, will be a problem for some converters that can't just pass through an analogue signal untouched. Hopefully no one noticed (well, except for the low-power broadcasters themselves, and hopefully their voice isn't very powerful so no one will hear them anyway).

In the mean time, we have lots of great public service announcements running eighty-four times a week on every US station (including some already-digital channels) to confuse the public by telling them that it's every analogue signal that's being shut down. LPTV? Canada? México? What's that?

The information is available ..... however it is relayed is another matter ... in one the links provided mentions the LPTV exemptions.
It seems there is a need to research and educate yourself as to what's what.

Regardless of what antenna and how it's configured or what set top box .... I know I won't be concerned getting feeds from .... say Minneapolis .... let alone Mexico.

Quote:

So if I have a pair of new TV's, I shouldn't still need to hold on to one of the converter boxes in order to keep an old analogue VCR still working?

Well .. if you've made the change to new technology TV's and are still using the old VHS .... then sure.

Quote:

Nonetheless, I trust the local CBC affiliate is now using the latest in 1954 technology - the US analogue Never Twice the Same Colour system but no digital signal and no HDTV. Unfortunately, some darned fool let them know about the 1956 invention of videotape and we've been getting endless reruns ever since.

Enjoy watching nothing but Hockey Night in Canada until 2011, eh?

Since we don't make the switch until 2011 .... I guess we'll sit back and watch how things work out for you.

Meanwhile ...... by the glow of our tube driven 1950's technology we'll be stuck with watching endless reruns and Hockey Night in Canada.

canuk
Re: Digital TV (DTV)
carlb wrote:

I disagree with the way it was handled. I think that it should not have been done at all for low-VHF channels (2-6) because the signals are just not getting out as far. If a station that used to be barely watchable a hundred miles away now drops off the face of the map in a little over half that distance (and such is the difference between analogue VHF and digital all-or-nothing UHF) the limitations need to be addressed. I think that forcing broadcasters to build digital stations by 1999-2003 but not requiring that new TV's be able to tune those stations until 2005-2007 also showed a lack of foresight (didn't we already see this bit of déjà vu before in the 1950's and 1960's with TV's being manufactured to only tune the first dozen of eighty-two channels?) and the underpowered transmitters in use on many digital stations aren't helping matters. (One station out here went from 1700kW analogue to 100kW digital, one channel away - while a direct watt-for-watt comparison isn't very meaningful, guess which version of their signal gets out further...)

I think some serious blunders were made in terms of informing the public as to what's going on. The approach of relying primarily on twenty or thirty-second public service announcements has resulted in most knowing of the US digital transition but has created more misconceptions than it has resolved. PSA's claiming "if you have cable or satellite, you're good to go" should not be running in communities where the local stations are not on the satellites. Digital TV is also not going to magically turn a mess of fading and multipath interference into watchable video (quite the opposite, in fact) and the whole question of antenna installation should have been addressed ages ago.

There is a need to get better information out to homeowners about the capabilities and limitations of this system... especially as they need to be aware of the whole question of what sort of antennas to install, where to place them and how to install them in order to get the most out of the new signal instead of watching this winter's television freeze dead in its tracks. A key opportunity was missed here.

Certainly other nations (such as the UK) are taking a more cautious approach, replacing analogue with digital one community at a time and investing far more into public education about the digital transition. Pity we didn't take the opportunity to learn from them.

I have my digital televisions up and working; currently I see seven local channels of digital TV from a town about forty miles distant. When it works, it's great. Installed and deployed properly, the quality images the new technology can provide are impressive. It's not just a question of switching the new TV from WPBS 16.3 HD to an analogue channel and asking "how did we ever watch this rubbish?" but more one of switching from PBS-HD to a plain old DVD player and noticing how much worse the DVD looks compared to the free over-the-air HDTV signals.

So am I for or against the digital transition? Dunno... you tell me.

It sounds like you are somewhat bitter and frustrated with the switch.

carlb
Re: Digital TV (DTV)
canuk wrote:

Well .. if you've made the change to new technology TV's and are still using the old VHS .... then sure.

I'm using a pair of Viewsonic N2201W's, which are 1050 x 1680 LCD flatpanels with built-in DVD players. They do provide video output jacks, but only for the disc player, not the ATSC tuner, and the built-in disc unit has no ability to record.

Pretty much any of the PSA's will tell me that, if I'm watching using a digital TV, I should be unaffected... without mentioning VCR's or other non-display/recording devices. Not CECB-free yet...

bsum1
Re: Digital TV (DTV)
carlb wrote:

I'm using a pair of Viewsonic N2201W's, which are 1050 x 1680 LCD flatpanels with built-in DVD players. They do provide video output jacks, but only for the disc player, not the ATSC tuner, and the built-in disc unit has no ability to record.

Pretty much any of the PSA's will tell me that, if I'm watching using a digital TV, I should be unaffected... without mentioning VCR's or other non-display/recording devices. Not CECB-free yet...

And you're patching a VCR to this equipment?
The question is why?

keith3267
Re: Digital TV (DTV)

VCR's not withstanding, I have an analog DVR. It does require a converter box but I have to remember to set the channel on the converter box before the program comes on. I have lost the TV Guide feature on that box, which was my favorite feature, but I have come across a new converter box sold through Dish Network that will work the the DVR's G-Link. It will also download the new digital TV guide onto the old DVR. Its called DTVpal plus and costs about $70. It is eligible for the coupon. I haven't got one yet but will soon.

It will also work with any VCR that is G-Link enabled.

G-Link was the infrared think that you plugged into the back of the VCR and pointed at the cable bos to get it to change channels when it was time to do a programmed recording.

Forgot to add, this only works for OTA, it does NOT work with Dish Network, go figure. The also have an HD DVR for OTA only that costs $250. I just got mine. It will also control the old DVR but only if I disable all the features I paid for and use it as a converter box only, thats not going to happen.

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