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Analog-Digital-HDTV transition

This is possibly the best explanation of what it all means that I've read yet. Although the article is a few months old, the change is due within two years, and many people are confused with what will display on their current tv's and what needs to be done to correct it. This is a pretty straight-forward and easy to understand explanation.

Switching signals: TV about to go digital


I know positively that I have on 13-inch tv that's analog but daisy chained to my DirecTV hookup for my 48-inch screen tv in the livingroom (which I have no clue about and will have to get out the manual to know). I have another 'relatively' new tv upstairs (27-inch that I also have no clue about....finding manual) hooked to a separate DirecTV receiver.

I'm assuming, from what I've read in this article, that DirecTV will have to provide me (for a fee, I'm sure) with converter boxes in order to switch the signal to digital. If I read this article correctly, even the analog tv's will still show a picture with those converters, it just won't be as clear as it would be if the tv itself was also digital. So I won't have to purchase new tv's for the house if I have the converter boxes from DirecTV.....which I think is what the panic is all about with people I've talked to. Have I misunderstood what I read?


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I think you read it correctly

In reply to: Analog-Digital-HDTV transition

It will be interesting to see whether satellite/cable providers will sell the converters or rent them. Depending on the ultimate cost it may make more sense to just replace the analog TV(s).

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I think the only people

In reply to: I think you read it correctly

who will be forced to purchase new tv's are the ones who don't have cable or satellite service....with just an outside roof antenna, the signal won't show up on the older analog tvs they probably still have just to watch local stations without the razzle-dazzle of cable stations. I can't get radio stations or cell phone signals at my house let alone tv stations so I'm satellite tv all the way here. I'll never have cable, dsl, or anything modern here...it took 15 years to get caller ID for crying out loud. And our local banks are just now installing ATM machines (none will take a deposit...cash out only types) and one just now announced finally that you can now bank online with them. (not my bank for years because even their ATM card could only be connected to a checking account and not tied into the savings account...you had to physically go to the bank with a paper passbook to do any savings account transactions) lol


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Cable would be a step DOWN from satellite

In reply to: I think the only people

Just my opinion.

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where you live sounds nice. sorta back to the future.

In reply to: I think the only people

I am about 60 mi from nyc. from some of the hilltops you can see the upper third of the manhatten skyline. always reminds me of looking at the 'emerald city' from the 'wizard of oz'.

when I first moved in there was no cable or sat-tv. my little antenna looked like a rusty coat hanger. nature was co-operative and I had a clear shot down river, through the hills to the empire state bldg where broadcasts were transmitted, then to wtc, now back, I think, to esb.

I could only p/u the four nets and one pbs. cable monopoly arrived and I went with that including box for premiums. they switched to digital boxes 2yrs ago, and I had problems because they are more sensitive to signal strength and if there is any deterioration in the coax, forget it. the main cable is fibre optic at the poles but coax to the home. the new boxes never worked and they replaced my drop twice. goodbye digital back to their analog. at an unspecified time they sent a signal out on their cable and all analog boxes became useless. 'magic or silver bullet' is the common term.

no real problem except for the premiums, my tvs are cable ready. then they started a new ploy and turner classic movie channel, free, became digital requiring a digital box which between two tvs is an additional $10 a month. funny how they didn't digitize the other 40 channels that I consider worthless. hmmmmm. goodbye ted.

verizon fios is on the poles now and they are awaiting the appropriate approvals from our town. that system is 100% fibre optic into the home. I am drooling, can't wait to give an appropriate 'you' to cablevision.

too many trees here for sat-tv unless I install a 75ft tower. if I was younger I would look for a surplus fire watch tower, that would be fun to have.

you might be lucky to live in analog environs, it is getting harder not to be digitized.

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(NT) And I thought [I]was in out in the sticks!

In reply to: I think the only people

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Humm..Digital change, but does not have to be HDTV , right?

In reply to: Analog-Digital-HDTV transition

from what I have been reading.

Think more info should be coming down the pike before long as there is still a lot of blanks as far as I'm concerned.

The quoted article says:

"Sets that only pick up an analog signal over the air will need a set-top box to convert the new digital signal to analog. The legislation that mandates the digital conversion includes subsidies toward helping consumers buy the converter boxes."

(MY comment): Well, I would take it that every TV set that doesn't have digital will need some sort of box to convert the digital signal to analog. So this would probably be 90% of the owners of TVs.

Article also says:

"But even with the box, analog TV sets won't display the better picture and clearer sound that digital television (DTV) offers. For that, viewers will need a DTV set or a DTV receiver and digital display monitor."

"Some consumers currently have on their TV the new high-definition television (HDTV) -- a type of digital TV service that offers super-sharp pictures and sound in a widescreen format."

"Viewers with cable TV also may need extra DTV equipment to view the new digital format, and those with a satellite dish may need special equipment to view HDTV programs, according to the FCC, which advises subscribers to contact their providers for more details."

Ok, its been quite a few years since I've had cable TV, but thought the signal was digital like my current Dish Network Satellite is digital and comes currently through a box.
So, it has been explained to my understanding:

(1) If I don't have a DTV (digital TV) and view over the air (with antennas) then I'll need a
a set-top box to convert the new digital signal to analog.

(2) With my Dish Net Satellite set-top box on my current TV the picture will be the same as now, but not have the better picture and sound that a digital television (DTV} set would have.

(3) My Dish Network system (and I assume the Direct TV system) currently comes with a box that converts a digital signal to analog to my analog TV. It has not been explained enough, even in the article that another box would be needed, unless you wanted
special equipment to view HDTV programs.

This paragraph in the article leaves something to be desired:

"Viewers with cable TV also may need extra DTV equipment to view the new digital format, and those with a satellite dish may need special equipment to view HDTV programs, according to the FCC, which advises subscribers to contact their providers for more details."
So...cable TV may need extra DTV equipment (it's not digital??).
Satellite TV is assumed to not need special equipment except to view some programs in high difinition (HDTV) instead of regular TV.

None of my TV's and I also have a 42" Plasma TV are with HDTV, but hooked up to Dish Network Satellite system. From what I'm reading....I would not need anything unless the digital signal is a special type from the current digital signal being converted.
Wish this would be explained by these notices and if a different digital signal...seems all that is needed to run our current Satellite non digital TV is another box...eh?

Me, and millions of others have no intention of buying a new TV unless the current ones blow up or expires due to old age. Wink

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my non-tech knowledge learned from installers

In reply to: Humm..Digital change, but does not have to be HDTV , right?

of cable and my days as a telephone installer.

how my cable co works:

signals are received from satellites at cable co. they are transmitted over cable to homes

they have replaced all copper wire mains from cable co with fibre optic. still copper coax to home. right now they are sending parallel signals: digital and analog. they are no longer sending analog signals for old analog boxes. cable ready tv receives all but premiums. new digital boxes are required now to receive premium channels.

once the law goes into effect. analog ends. then I will need the digital box for all channels. then customer decides whether to upgrade to digital tv. I personally have held off all purchases until the rules go into effect. if I was forced to replace a device because it is broken, I would buy the cheapest catv ready. they are well under $200 now.

one of the main differences with telephone is the 'dedicated pair/line' to the home, a private line. cable mains are tapped into for each home, but you are sharing the same signal, a 'party' line, which is boosted for distance, etc. that is why you can 'steal' cable and will not be easily detected. you would still need a box of some kind for premiums but they are readily available black market items.

one of the interesting things about copper coax is that all channels are on the one conductor. they 'reside' on different layers that are not visible to the eye. think of it as concentric circles where ch2 is the center, and like the rings of a tree, different channels are on each ring expanding to ch 100. that is why a cable subscriber may receive the lower channels 2 thru 7, not receive 8 thru 19, receive/not receive various channels if the copper conductor has deteriorated due to ice, a squirrel bite, etc. I used random channel numbers as examples.

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