Digital TV Conversion

All things outside of Burning Man.

Postby oneeyeddick » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:52 pm

I still don't understand these converter boxes, luckily I use cable, and plan on keeping it that way.

Someone told me that if I also hooked up a box, that I would recieve additional channels, is this true?

(I have standard cable...no digital crap, and I only get like 22 channels or so)
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Postby jkisha » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:57 pm

Thanks ygmir, but accolades are never necessary or required. :)

I'm not sure if this is a California thing or if it's national, but don't we pay some sort of fee for low income people to get either free or very heavily subsidized phones? I think they are called 'life-line service' or something like that; but I'm too lazy to go check a bill right now.

(Internet search was easier: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/lllu.html, I guess it's national.)

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Postby ygmir » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:03 pm

jkisha wrote:Thanks ygmir, but accolades are never necessary or required. :)

I'm not sure if this is a California thing or if it's national, but don't we pay some sort of fee for low income people to get either free or very heavily subsidized phones? I think they are called 'life-line service' or something like that; but I'm too lazy to go check a bill right now.

(Internet search was easier: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/lllu.html, I guess it's national.)

JK


I don't do it because I have to.........
I always try to give credit and applause when I can.

yes, we do pay a fee for low income power and phone.....
"but, it's not a tax"..........yeah, right.......

again, though, it's not a "right", it's something we as a collective give those who can't afford.......as charity.
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Postby gyre » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:03 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:I still don't understand these converter boxes, luckily I use cable, and plan on keeping it that way.

Someone told me that if I also hooked up a box, that I would recieve additional channels, is this true?

(I have standard cable...no digital crap, and I only get like 22 channels or so)

It depends on whether they put all the local channels on cable.
Most stations are adding sub-channels.
Only way to tell is to check what's on the air.
It is becoming more worthwhile to dx stations again with an antenna.
Instead of an additional one or two, there may be many more to pick up.

I think cable will drop analog channels as soon as they can get away with it.
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Postby ygmir » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:08 pm

gyre wrote:
oneeyeddick wrote:I still don't understand these converter boxes, luckily I use cable, and plan on keeping it that way.

Someone told me that if I also hooked up a box, that I would recieve additional channels, is this true?

(I have standard cable...no digital crap, and I only get like 22 channels or so)

It depends on whether they put all the local channels on cable.
Most stations are adding sub-channels.
Only way to tell is to check what's on the air.
It is becoming more worthwhile to dx stations again with an antenna.
Instead of an additional one or two, there may be many more to pick up.

I think cable will drop analog channels as soon as they can get away with it.

We're encountering an issue in my area with digital broadcast.
If you use an antennae, the digital signal may not be strong enough to reach and, work.......
A lot of people are starting to experience "drop out" during test broadcasts, and, the tv station is saying no one thought of the fact that outlying areas may not work. With digital, it's "all or nothing" as far as picture.....IIRC.
with analogue, a weak signal still gives you something, at least.
we're 60 plus miles from the nearest broadcast station......so, any tress or whatever and we're out of luck. I also understand it's mostly "line of sight" reception......

any thoughts?
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Postby littleflower » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:11 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:I still don't understand these converter boxes, luckily I use cable, and plan on keeping it that way.

Someone told me that if I also hooked up a box, that I would recieve additional channels, is this true?

(I have standard cable...no digital crap, and I only get like 22 channels or so)


i'm not sure where you are, but here in los angeles i got a bunch of new channels ... the pbs stations all have 4 sub stations, and all of them come in ... it's pretty cool. the downer, though, is if a station doesn't come in well you don't get a little static ... it freezes.
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Postby jkisha » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:17 pm

littleflower wrote:i'm not sure where you are, but here in los angeles i got a bunch of new channels ... the pbs stations all have 4 sub stations, and all of them come in ... it's pretty cool. the downer, though, is if a station doesn't come in well you don't get a little static ... it freezes.


Is that with an antenna?

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Postby ygmir » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:20 pm

jkisha wrote:
littleflower wrote:i'm not sure where you are, but here in los angeles i got a bunch of new channels ... the pbs stations all have 4 sub stations, and all of them come in ... it's pretty cool. the downer, though, is if a station doesn't come in well you don't get a little static ... it freezes.


Is that with an antenna?

JK

Is that what tim ohara asked uncle martin?........
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Postby oneeyeddick » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:21 pm

Looks like I am going shopping to see what Reno has to offer in the line of these so-called sub-stations, thanks everyone.

(I knew there was a reason I still look at Eplaya)
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Postby littleflower » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:22 pm

jkisha wrote:
littleflower wrote:i'm not sure where you are, but here in los angeles i got a bunch of new channels ... the pbs stations all have 4 sub stations, and all of them come in ... it's pretty cool. the downer, though, is if a station doesn't come in well you don't get a little static ... it freezes.


Is that with an antenna?

JK


yes, with an antenna ... i spaced out .... sorry!
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Postby gyre » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:33 pm

Power levels and antenna configurations are still being played with and tuner quality counts for a lot, as usual.
The Channelmaster CM-7000 is supposed to be one of the better at reception, but a full hidef tuner of high quality would do better.
You might want to wait until the changeover to see if things change.
A good directional antenna or a set of yagi antennas should give you 60 miles if you don't have mountain issues.
Some boosters will still be running on analog channels, if you are in such an area.

The only change I see in antennas is more attention being paid to the higher frequency channels which will be in more use.
They do make an add on setup for those with very good antennas now.
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Postby ygmir » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:35 pm

we have tons of mountain and heavy tree issues.......
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Postby gyre » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:59 pm

You should be able to get comparable reception to what is available with analog with similar equipment now, probably better.
Many stations will be asking for power increases.
So if a signal was available from a direction, adequate antennas should pick it up in digital too.

If you live where you can set one up, I recommend a C band/Ku dish.
http://skyvision.com/index.html
There are many free channels with mpeg and you have a la carte choices with C band or you can get everything dirt cheap compared to other pay TV plans.
http://skyvision.com/programming/alacarte.html
http://skyvision.com/programming/digital.html
Quality is better than anything else too.
This is how your TV stations and cable get their signals.
http://skyvision.com/store/mpeg_store.html
The Pansat receivers are recommended for free and wild feeds.
That guy that picked up the spy plane on the nato channel was hunting for wild feeds on a similar setup.
http://skyvision.com/store/advancedhobbyist.html
Channel List
http://skyvision.com/pages/information_ ... vguide.htm
Free To Air Channels
http://skyvision.com/pages/information_ ... _east.html
http://skyvision.com/pages/information_ ... _west.html
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:39 am

The word is that full-power analog signals will cease to be.

Does that mean that people can pick up analog equipment cheap nad run their own pirate TV stations?

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Postby gyre » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:52 pm

There is already a lot of high quality processing and recording equipment on the block.
This can be very useful.

About the only analog signals will be those coming out of the Pay TV dvrs.
This is intended to block use of HTPCs (Home Theatre Personal Computers).
These signals can already be hacked, but I recommend boycotting anyone not providing cards for computers (Comcast is one to stay away from) or digital access.
The purpose is only to prevent access to home recording, i.e. taking away our vcrs.
Maybe this is why the conversion does not take this into account?
Besides recording, this complicates all use of the signal and reduces quality.

Tell hollywood, if you can't record it, you won't pay for it.
This is the organization representing the adversarial approach to the consumer by some companies in hollywood.
http://www.mpaa.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPAA
The current Chairman and CEO of the MPAA is Dan Glickman. MPAA members include the "big six" major Hollywood studios, which are:

1. The Walt Disney Company
2. Sony Pictures
3. Paramount Pictures Viacom—(DreamWorks owners since February 2006)
4. 20th Century Fox (News Corporation)
5. Universal Studios (NBC Universal)
6. Warner Bros. (Time Warner)

The MPAA administers the voluntary film rating system. MGM was an MPAA member until 2005, shortly after Sony Pictures Entertainment's failed attempt to buy that studio; it ended in a partly Sony-funded acquisition. Lions Gate also joined the film rating system, but was not in the big six. Neither is The Weinstein Company.

As part of its campaign to stop copyright infringement the MPAA is fighting to stop the sharing of copyrighted works via peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. The MPAA's anti-piracy campaign has gained much publicity and criticism.

I would add that nothing they have done to harass the consumer has had any effect on piracy to this day.
It has cost consumers additional millions in unnecessary equipment, if not billions.
I believe it reduces their income and I want to reduce it further until they serve the public, rather than declare war against the public.

They have also forced a generation to learn to hack all copy protection.
It's sort of like the 55 mph speed limit.
That created a generation with contempt for all traffic rules, including non-profit safety related issues like stop signs.

Try to buy direct from film producers whenever possible.
The MPAA wants to charge for every minute you watch a movie you own and they have tried to pass laws for this.
Some dvds have this software in place already, but it has not been allowed yet.

If the monolithic, anti-consumer distribution groups in film and music aren't fed, they will vanish.
They produce nothing and are unnecessary now.
Good riddance.
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Postby chiefdanfox » Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:37 pm

jkisha wrote:So if I don't have and can't afford a TV set the government has to buy me one so I can stay informed and be safe???? I'll take one for the living room and one for each bed room--can I have cable with showtime and HBO too please?

I can MAYBE understand the reasoning for a phone, but not a TV set.

JK


It is my understanding that since the public owned the frequencies that are being sold to private industry. A trust fund is provided, which will be funded (partial?) through the sale of the bandwidth, to supply DC boxes to fixed income, lower income, and other needy people. These boxes are being provided (two to a household) so they can retain access to some the information that used to be broadcast, for free, under public trust law. It isn't a privilege. The public has a prescriptive right to the access of that information, and the broadcasters have a legal duty to provide a public service. It is part and parcel with owning a broadcast franchise. I am sure the day radio makes the same conversion, similar boxes will be provided.

Since it was decided that the public at large would benefit by the sale of these frequencies, but the individual would suffer under the burden of penalty (buying a new television...back to prescriptive rights), the coupons are provided through the Commerce Department. It isn't really charity to take someone's possesions, place them on a high shelf and then sell them a discounted ladder so that they may retrieve them.

All of the libertarian soapboxing aside, there is a public trust and welfare side to this, there were public hearings on this, and the public decided the benefits outweighed the costs. Whether one likes it or not is one's own business/soapbox.

No you don't get one for every room, and HBO doesn't broadcast public safety announcements, unless of course you watched the Sopranos and concluded, "Stay the fuck out of New Jersey."
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Postby jkisha » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:39 pm

chiefdanfox wrote:
jkisha wrote:So if I don't have and can't afford a TV set the government has to buy me one so I can stay informed and be safe???? I'll take one for the living room and one for each bed room--can I have cable with showtime and HBO too please?

I can MAYBE understand the reasoning for a phone, but not a TV set.

JK


It is my understanding that since the public owned the frequencies that are being sold to private industry. A trust fund is provided, which will be funded (partial?) through the sale of the bandwidth, to supply DC boxes to fixed income, lower income, and other needy people. These boxes are being provided (two to a household) so they can retain access to some the information that used to be broadcast, for free, under public trust law. It isn't a privilege. The public has a prescriptive right to the access of that information, and the broadcasters have a legal duty to provide a public service. It is part and parcel with owning a broadcast franchise. I am sure the day radio makes the same conversion, similar boxes will be provided.

Since it was decided that the public at large would benefit by the sale of these frequencies, but the individual would suffer under the burden of penalty (buying a new television...back to prescriptive rights), the coupons are provided through the Commerce Department. It isn't really charity to take someone's possesions, place them on a high shelf and then sell them a discounted ladder so that they may retrieve them.

All of the libertarian soapboxing aside, there is a public trust and welfare side to this, there were public hearings on this, and the public decided the benefits outweighed the costs. Whether one likes it or not is one's own business/soapbox.

No you don't get one for every room, and HBO doesn't broadcast public safety announcements, unless of course you watched the Sopranos and concluded, "Stay the fuck out of New Jersey."


Thanks for the explanation CDF.

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Postby Elorrum » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:00 pm

I watch "free t.v." it is more t.v. than is good for me to be honest. With rabbit ears, and the converter box, now my reception is greatly improved and I even get a few more channels. The major networks, about 5 pbs stations plus a few local stations. I do think the govt. should subsidize the converter boxes to prevent all the t.v.s that wouldn't work otherwise from polluting the planet. That just makes good civic sense. I'd be interested to know just how many televisions will be thrwon away, or recycled (which means they get shipped somewhere to be thrown away, after their poisons are released)

I don't know if it is a right or privelege for me to use what is basically an advertising delivery system. Somebody pays somebody (what's this rumor about the citizens of this country owning the airwaves?) for the use of that system to advertise their product, and I won't pay to see that.
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Postby gyre » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:29 am

It looks like they are using the conversion to eliminate home recording.
Many, or maybe all vcrs with digital tuners will NOT record after the change.
And it is being said that tape manufacture will cease.
Since the demand has not dropped, this is clearly unilateral.

Welcome to the sixties, with no easy way to make a copy to watch later.

Until they back off, I urge everyone to boycott the companies involved, to the degree that is possible.
This may be why almost all dvd recorders no longer have DVRs built in.

Hidef broadcast may be the biggest step backwards for the consumer since the electric mass transit system was destroyed.
I don't believe it is an accident that the converter boxes have been botched so badly and not compatible with the equipment.
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Postby gyre » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:20 am

oneeyeddick wrote:I still don't understand these converter boxes, luckily I use cable, and plan on keeping it that way.

Someone told me that if I also hooked up a box, that I would receive additional channels, is this true?

(I have standard cable...no digital crap, and I only get like 22 channels or so)

This link pulls up all the local digital signals over the air and the clear digital signals on cable that you can read with a QAM tuner.(without a dedicated cable box- needed for encrypted channels.)
Note that it does not show distant signals that may still be picked up with an adequate antenna.
You may be able to get those with the right zip codes.
http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun/channels
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:44 am

Does this mean that we will have even more channels and even less to watch?

The good stuff is moving to the internet anyway:
http://www.tilzy.tv/
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Postby gyre » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:04 pm

Coming up now.
Only 4 stations left analog here.
Many things will change after the switch, so don't panic at first.
Two stations here are moving to original frequencies.

You can re-order expired cards still.
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Postby Elorrum » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:12 am

I got my coupons and box in October. It's nice that the stations I do receive are very clear. I made a bow tie antenna from internet/make instructions that worked better than my indoor rabbit ears. What I do not like about digital is that if the signal is less than perfect, you get nothing watchable. With analog, I was content with some snow. As long as audio was continuous, I could keep watching. With digital, it's not watchable at all unless it's perfect.

Now here's what I do not understand. Some days I get a lot of channels, then as I am watching, with no change in my set up, the signal goes away. Some channels are strong one day, and "NO SIGNAL" on another day. I scan frequently, and wonder at how some channels come and go. How does this work? With no analog to fall back on now, channels I could switch back to analog for.. mainly the major networks, I am stuck with a limited UHF selection. I am thankful that 3 PBS signals are good, so I've got enough to watch. I want to watch basketball tomorrow night, and don't think it's going to work. My next "fix" will involve placing the antenna outside my apt., and get the compass locations of the signals I am missing.

It's free god damn it.
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Postby gyre » Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:10 am

People with PO boxes can apply now and anyone with expired coupons can re-apply, as can anyone who hasn't applied , until July 31st, or when they run out.
I urge anyone who hasn't applied or re-applied to do so and give the cards away, if they don't need them for themselves.


It's a little sad that the old Stromberg-Carlson can't work the way it was intended anymore.
I'm trying now to find 12 volt boxes for my little portable Farnsworths.
Out of boredom and a bit of nostalgia, I turned on one of the portables and ran through the channels.
To my shock, I found four stations running.
Two were programs saying that if you're seeing this, you forgot to get a converter box and you're a big loser.
One was about Jesus.
And one was RCG network out of Saltillo.
Will we still have analog TV now that there is no more analog interference here, just from other countries?
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Postby SilverOrange » Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:25 am

I've got two coupons that I'm not going to end up using. If anyone needs them send me a pm. I'd be more than happy to send them on to you.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:32 am

A friend of mine showed me a bar in San Francisco where EVERYONE had their backs to the wall. It really freaked me out.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Postby Monkeypoo » Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:13 pm

I still say that DTV = Delightfully Tasting Vaginas.
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Postby gyre » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:45 pm

So, is anyone else picking up analog mexican tv on the old Farnsworth?
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Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:12 pm

What's an antenna?

We got cable!
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Postby gyre » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:21 pm

Apollonaris Zeus wrote:What's an antenna?

We got cable!

An antenna is what the cable company uses to pick up a high quality signal so they can process it and compress it, and then send the crappified result out over the cable to you.

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