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Are you all ready? Digital switch over.

by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 11, 2009 8:01 PM PDT
It happens today June 12.

In fact, for many states I would guess it has already happened by the time I've posted this.

"So here we are, less than a day away from the final transition. And despite months of public service announcements and more than $2 billion spent by the U.S. government to help people prepare, millions will still face a blank screen when they hit that little power button on their TV remotes starting Friday at 12:01 a.m."

Is "12:01 am", midnight + 1 minute? I can never work that out.

We've been staging this in the UK. Some areas have already made the switch, but others, like my own region, don't do so until 2010/2011. I'm ready though!

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Wasn't the switch already pulled
by Steven Haninger / June 11, 2009 8:46 PM PDT

earlier in the year? Well, it was delayed but we were ready. No paid cable here...rabbit ears on the old Sony. The 50 dollar black box works fine.

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Difference is...
by EdHannigan / June 11, 2009 9:17 PM PDT

as of today the analog signals will all be switched off. Many areas have had the digital signal on for a while coexisting with the analog.

Glad I have satellite TV and don't have to hassle with it.

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Analog was supposed to go in Feb. but
by Steven Haninger / June 11, 2009 9:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Difference is...

too many weren't ready so it was postponed until now.

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RE: I can never work that out.
by JP Bill / June 11, 2009 9:36 PM PDT

one of my pet peeves also.

24 hour system works better, no confusion

0001 = 1 minute after midnight

1201 = 1 minute after noon

2359 = 1 minute before midnight

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(NT) Yep, I agree. Much easier.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 12, 2009 2:32 AM PDT
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After 20 years in the military,...
by Paul C / June 13, 2009 8:27 PM PDT

...my wife and I still find ourselves using the 24 hour clock. We also tend to write dates in the way the military does (date, month, 2 or 4 digit year) rather than the American civilian way (month, date, 4 digit year).

When we were stationed in Germany, we felt right at home, as the Europeans use the same method.

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What's the rush....
by Willy / June 11, 2009 11:15 PM PDT

My home isn't ready but I really don't care. I've already setup others to be ready after they got their box and new HD antenna.

The funny thing is I had the cards to get the box for myself. By the time, I went to the store, the cards were 1 week too old. Regardless, I had other means to watch TV. I do more book reading and go through the DVD/VHS collection once the change is made. I always had bad TV reception anyways, but its summer and I'll be outside more often. Maybe its time for a new TV anyways but I really like mine its worked well for over 15yrs.. -----Willy Happy

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I know some people who don't even have a TV...
by EdHannigan / June 11, 2009 11:57 PM PDT
In reply to: What's the rush....

They seem fine with it. I couldn't live that way.

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If you've bad reception on analog
by Roger NC / June 12, 2009 12:03 AM PDT
In reply to: What's the rush....

you're probably going to be worse off not better on digital.

Analog you would get snow or static with a weak signal. Digital it is or it isn't. Weak signals will cause freezing, pixilation, and blackouts. We're already seeing it, even on cable since local channels on cable are picked up by antennas and fed into the cable system.

And one thing not being mentioned a lot is most stations range will actually decrease a bit with the transition.

Irritatingly here, there are two cbs, nbc, and abc stations available on cable. One in NC, one in Virginia. However, due to FCC rules during most of the day, anytime they're carrying network and not local programming, one is blocked out. Infringement on assigneded area coverage or something. Funny thing is, we had both all the time until a sometime last year. If one station went out, we could switch. Not anymore.

I predict many of us who are rural, farther away from the towers, are going to be unhappy with the change.


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The change
by Willy / June 12, 2009 5:42 AM PDT

Yeah, I've seen the break-up of HD, etc.. So, I was;t in a rush. I hope to have sat. pr cable some time when funds available. They never know where I am via my address. -----Willy Happy

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The cable company should
by Angeline Booher / June 12, 2009 6:50 AM PDT

..... have the means to boost the signal. There are a certain number of homes on a "neighborhood". And my street got a heavier cable and a neighborhood boost because of the increase in uses- TV, internet, HD TV, and some phone.

Yours might be poised to start the upgrading, as well.

Speakeasy Moderator

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New TV= no box needed.
by Angeline Booher / June 12, 2009 6:44 AM PDT
In reply to: What's the rush....

Just the right kind of rabbit ears.

In my area, users will be able to get more channels.

Speakeasy Moderator

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Problem with a new TV...
by J. Vega / June 12, 2009 7:49 AM PDT
In reply to: New TV= no box needed.

I just got done with "fixing" a new Digital TV that someone lost their ability to watch when the actual switch over occurred. The problem was although it was a digital TV it was watching the old analog signal. The simple cure was to do a new automatic search for channels, it was showing the old analog signals that it found with the original setup. A new setup channel search found and locked onto the new signals. I just thought I'd mention it as others may have a friend call mentioning that although their new digital TV was working, it just stopped after the change over. Running another automatic channel search may cure their problem as it did in the case of the set I just looked at.

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I've seen it recommended that people scan...
by EdHannigan / June 12, 2009 9:20 AM PDT

every few days after the changeover.

And most battery operated portables won't work at all.

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Scanning has been stressed.
by Angeline Booher / June 13, 2009 3:46 AM PDT

.... as necessary for both newly purchased digital TVs and those that are using a box.

Also the right antenna.

Speakeasy Moderator

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Still using Comcast Cable
by PudgyOne / June 13, 2009 7:56 AM PDT

No box and still get everything like we did before. Seems like nothing changed.


Lancaster, Pa area

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Of course...
by EdHannigan / June 13, 2009 8:50 AM PDT

Cable and satellite customers are not affected, You are already digital.

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They first said that
by PudgyOne / June 13, 2009 9:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Of course...

we would need a box to get digital but that has changed as we do not have a box hooked up to the television we were using and it still worked.


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Isn't there a cable box?
by EdHannigan / June 13, 2009 11:56 AM PDT
In reply to: They first said that

I am unde the impression that all of Comcast's stuff is digital.

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No there isn't
by PudgyOne / June 13, 2009 12:11 PM PDT

I have only one box in the living room and I thought I was going to have to get a box or buy a new telivision for the bedroom but they must be sending the analog signal through the cable so everyone can still watch.


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Not understanding you...
by EdHannigan / June 13, 2009 12:37 PM PDT
In reply to: No there isn't
I have only one box in the living room What box would that be? Does it connect to all TVs? Again, it's my understanding that if you have cable or satellite the changeover to digital should not affect you.
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I have
by PudgyOne / June 13, 2009 12:48 PM PDT

a box from Comcast in the living room connected to only that television.

The cable runs through the house and I only have the cable wire connected to my analog television and all the channels are still threr, without a box connected to it. So Comcast must still be sending analog signals through the cable wires in our area.

Will find out soon enough as we will be moving to another location in the near future.


That's why we didn't pursue the matter at the present time.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 13, 2009 7:17 PM PDT
In reply to: I have

Wasn't it the case 'many' years ago, before digital, that tv channels could be supplied direct to homes thru' cable?

I never had it in the UK myself but I believed we just called it cable tv here.

So do you have a digital box for your living room tv and a separate system of cable tv throughout the rest of the house? I thought that had died out, Happy


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Don't know about Comcast
by Roger NC / June 19, 2009 12:38 PM PDT

but I do know here (Mediacom) and another company in nearby town, old tv's will work on cable without a box for the "family cable" channels.

Of course, that means the cable company is converting digital back to analog for their cable.

When we got a HD tv a couple of years ago, regular cable was terrible looking, worse than with old tv. We had to get a cable box (and pay more) to get a better picture.

Also, the cable company puts all the HD broadcast in the upper channels that you cannot get without a cable box, even those public stations that simutaneously do HD with regular broadcast.

The package I ended up getting included cable box that was tuner/DVR, what HD channels (non-premium) they have, and interactive TV guide.

I moves last fall, and am curious to to what antenna reception here would be with a good antenna. I hope to find someone in my neighborhood who is watching now off just a rooftop antenna of any type, to see how good the reception is. I'm not planning to give up cable since I also use it for internet service, but I am curious.

Several of the guys at work who live in this area have a satellite service and use a "halo" antenna for local reception. It seems to work well. But since it's designed to fit on the satellite dish, I'm not sure it doesn't interact with the metal in the dish and wouldn't work properly without a dish.


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I think what it is...
by EdHannigan / June 19, 2009 9:25 PM PDT

is that the switchover to digital involves over the airbroadcast signals only, so if a cable company is putting an analog signal through their equipment it would stay the same. This is according to my son who is more techie/geeky than I am.

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That sounds right to me.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 20, 2009 12:18 AM PDT
In reply to: I think what it is...

As my poor over-worked brain understands it, the reason for the digital change over is because the old/current analog airwave transmissions take up too much bandwidth, enough for only 4 or 5 channels at a time.

Switching to digital airwave signals greatly reduces the bandwidth for each channel, and so expands the possibilities for more channels through the roof-top aerial.


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I does make available more bandwidth, but
by Roger NC / June 20, 2009 2:10 AM PDT

as I understand it here in the US, some of (or maybe all) that freed up bandwidth is going on the government auction block.

And they've already promised new blocks for law enforcement and emergency response institutions, since right after 9/11.

So that is part of the push toward digital broadcast conversion.

At least that is my impressions.


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Sounds like what I think I understood
by Roger NC / June 20, 2009 2:13 AM PDT
In reply to: I think what it is...

Different from digital only of course is the HD signals many tv stations are now simo broadcasting.

I think you can get those with a good antenna and HD tuner/tv if you're within the range of those stations.

On cable of course I have to subscribe to their HD service and box if I want the HD channels.

(Shrug) That's just the way it is. One of the decisions people have to make choosing between antenna, dish, and cable or combinations of those services.


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There is another complexity to it.
by Bill Osler / June 20, 2009 2:40 AM PDT
In reply to: I think what it is...

Although what you said is correct, there is another trend in the cable industry that complicates the picture.

The federal rules do not require cable companies to stop offering analog programming, but the same bandwidth problems that affect broadcasters are cropping up for cable companies.

You may have seen those ads that talk about services like having caller ID show up on your TV when the phone rings while you are watching TV? That kind of service apparently takes bandwidth, just as other interactive services require bandwidth.

As a result, some of the cable companies are also switching from analog content to purely digital content. Their subscribers may require set top boxes even with newer TVs. For example, I have a new Samsung LCD but I still have to have a cable box to receive ANY content from my cable company.

I don't know, but I would guess that some of these companies timed the switch over to coincide with the broadcast change so that some of their customers would think there is a connection and that the cable box is required by government regulators.

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Our Comcast Cable setup is...
by PudgyOne / June 13, 2009 8:12 PM PDT

outside, cable into the house, then splits off to 4 areas of the house.

The televisions that we're using are already cable ready(from the older days)but they're analog.

The wires are split off in the basement and go in 4 different directions.

Two of the televisions were cable ready and connected directly to the cable wire with no box.

One television is connected to a cable box that we got from Comcast Cable, then connected to the television. This television has extra channels that they have including Comcast on Demand.

The last television is a LCD Digital television recently purchased.

We were first told that some channels, like Game Show Network went to digital, so we would not be able to get these channels. So we went to the cable office and picked up a converter box. That's where the box came into play. I was watching television and the one station said they were switching right after the noon news broadcast(30 minutes) and I see that channel is still in the lineup, so Comcast is actually still sending the analog signals through the line.

My guess is that they know that people do not all have the boxes and if they switch over, then they will have MANY people requesting boxes and/or people will be complaining that they don't have cable and want CREDIT, revenue they DON'T want to lose.


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