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davidh
February 27th, 2007, 11:13 PM
I don't care about big screen TV or HD, but I'm still wondering about this stuff.

I understand that broadcast TV is supposed to go 100% digital in about 2009.

Will there be adapters so old TV's can receive digital?

How much will they cost?

Or would it be cheaper just to buy a digital small screen TV ?

Will there still be any non-digital (analog) broadcast TV, e.g. emergency broadcasts for disasters?

In general, will analog stations that come in poorly now appear better or just croak after they convert to digital?

Will digital broadcast radio receivers be able still to receive analog radio broadcasts ?

If a digital broadcast radio station could and would be in the regular AM or FM freq. bands, then what would you hear in the way of noise/sound with an old analog receiver on the same freq. ?

DH

Gary Maltzen
February 27th, 2007, 11:25 PM
Will there be adapters so old TV's can receive digital?Currently available; see http://www.digitaltv.com/In general, will analog stations that come in poorly now appear better or just croak after they convert to digital?See for yourself?
In MSP several local stations are already broadcasting both analog and digital; all you need is an external antenna (to receive digital).
After the digital deadline you can expect the analog signals to disappear; who wants to maintain the old equipment?
Rather than appearing as snow, noisy digital signals will cause patchwork errors.

davidh
February 28th, 2007, 07:46 AM
Found this on eBay with current bid at $80

"Up for bid is a new in box never used US Digital HDTV Receiver/Tuner Model DB-2010 put out by Hisense. This comes complete with Remote, batteries and all the cables you will need to hook it up with. This item is compatible with all 18 ATSC digital TV formats and delivers theater-quality widescreen pictures and digital surround sound on a HDTV monitor. It is also compatible with most standard analog TV's. You can enjoy DVD quality television right now. This US Digital receiver is USDTV ready. When USDTV becomes available in your area you can also get your favorite cable channels for a fraction of the cost of cable or satellite. A VHF/UHF antenna is necessary for operation. THIS ITEM WAS PURCHASED NEW FROM WAL-MART."

Couldn't tell from the photo if it had old fashioned coax connector in addition to RGB RCA connectors.

So I have about 2 years to decide if there's anything still worth watching on TV to make it worth spending even that amount.

DH

davidh
February 28th, 2007, 07:46 AM
New price was $198

davidh
February 28th, 2007, 09:13 PM
I went to a local Radio Shack today. The salesman said that they have not yet begun to stock DTV receiver tuners yet. But he said that when they become available, a gov't rebate may pay for most or all of the cost. So, I guess it's better to wait unless one particularly wants broadcast DTV or HD TV.

DH

Judy G. Russell
February 28th, 2007, 09:22 PM
I went to a local Radio Shack today. The salesman said that they have not yet begun to stock DTV receiver tuners yet. But he said that when they become available, a gov't rebate may pay for most or all of the cost. So, I guess it's better to wait unless one particularly wants broadcast DTV or HD TV.It's a sure bet I'm going to wait. I don't see that there's enough worth watching on TV anyway!!

Lindsey
February 28th, 2007, 10:03 PM
It's a sure bet I'm going to wait. I don't see that there's enough worth watching on TV anyway!!
Ain't that the truth!

--Lindsey

davidh
March 1st, 2007, 12:20 AM
It's a sure bet I'm going to wait. I don't see that there's enough worth watching on TV anyway!! I like NOVA, Frontline, American Experience, Ken Burns, etc. on PBS.

It's perhaps a sign of the times (of instant gratification) that science has to be highly dramatized for people (perhaps esp. youth) to hold the eyeballs long enough to distract them from the remote control for a couple minutes.

If TV contributes to epilepsy and ADHD in todlers, it's probable not doing a lot of good to baby boom brains either.

Maybe that film CLICK made a valid commentary in addition to amusement (BTW I haven't been to a theater in years).

DH

davidh
March 1st, 2007, 12:38 AM
I'm thinking that I might try naturalreader to make mp3's of text articles so I can convert text articles to voice to listen to on my MP3 CD or DVD player (to save my eyes too).

http://www.tapcis.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=25532#poststop

Anyway our ancestors became human by talking and listening to friends and family for at least 200,000 years, so if humanity is worth surviving there is probably something really cool about the auditory channel as opposed the "one for all 6 remote control" channels.

DH

Judy G. Russell
March 1st, 2007, 11:33 PM
I like NOVA, Frontline, American Experience, Ken Burns, etc. on PBS.I also like stuff on History, Biography, Animal Channel, etc. ... but it still isn't enough to make a major expenditure worthwhile.

Judy G. Russell
March 1st, 2007, 11:34 PM
Anyway our ancestors became human by talking and listening to friends and family for at least 200,000 years, so if humanity is worth surviving there is probably something really cool about the auditory channel as opposed the "one for all 6 remote control" channels.Have you ever sat and listened to some of the old radio broadcasts? They were really spectacular. And they made you work your brain as you conjured up images of what those Martians looked like and...

davidh
March 2nd, 2007, 07:13 AM
I also like stuff on History, Biography, Animal Channel, etc. ... but it still isn't enough to make a major expenditure worthwhile.
I understand that many HDTV's will work as PC monitors. So if your PC monitor breaks in the next 2 years, you could buy a HDTV.

I might rather get a crank operated computer or shortwave radio, that would work after a big hurricane or WMD attack. Or save electricity and read more quality literature, when you get tired of cranking it up.

DH

P.S. Stop using pesticides on the lawn. Plant root crops with the grass instead, for the next famine. Stop polluting the aquifers.

davidh
March 2nd, 2007, 07:23 AM
Have you ever sat and listened to some of the old radio broadcasts? They were really spectacular. And they made you work your brain as you conjured up images of what those Martians looked like and...

I thought that recently published research about schizophrenics tending to have problems with recognizing tone of voice and wrong notes in music was interesting.

Perhaps the increasing human isolation encouraged by nuclear-only families, single parent families, virtual reality, video games, other high-tech entertainment will help increase the need for more psychiatrists and mind drugs.

DH

davidh
March 2nd, 2007, 07:37 AM
I forget. Maybe it's a pull cord like on a lawnmower on those new tablet [?] computers being developed.

DH

davidh
March 2nd, 2007, 07:44 AM
Maybe we can wear "smart helmets" that will interpret the world for us and play "appropriate" background music to accompany our lives so that we can dramatize our lives like "prime time" TV. Do soaps have music too?, don't know. If so, should have choice to switch flavors on helmet controls. e.g. prime time vs soaps flavor. etc.

DH

Judy G. Russell
March 2nd, 2007, 02:21 PM
Perhaps the increasing human isolation encouraged by nuclear-only families, single parent families, virtual reality, video games, other high-tech entertainment will help increase the need for more psychiatrists and mind drugs.In some ways, probably yes. But in others... I'm not sure. It seems to me that we can now live where we choose and still have rich friendships and support from folks who share our interests and problems because we have high-tech options. So I'm not entirely sure that it's all a negative (many people in the past, I suspect, felt utterly isolated within families and communities that shared few if any of their concerns).

Lindsey
March 2nd, 2007, 10:28 PM
I also like stuff on History, Biography, Animal Channel, etc. ... but it still isn't enough to make a major expenditure worthwhile.
Especially since you can get so much of that stuff on DVD.

--Lindsey

davidh
March 3rd, 2007, 03:12 PM
http://www.conformity.com/enews011206/Article2.html

Looks like maybe a $40 rebate.

A sales clerk at Target today was extremely absolutely non-committal. The digital question probably comes up so seldom nobody needs to know bout it.

Maybe I'm on the tail of the trailing edge and everybody has cable and satellite already and nobody cares about broadcast anymore.

But maybe somebody will want to watch TV on a portable outdoors ?

DH

P.S. Got a DVD "make room for daddy" for 50 cents today at Dollar Tree.

Dan in Saint Louis
March 3rd, 2007, 06:22 PM
Maybe I'm on the tail of the trailing edge and everybody has cable and satellite already and nobody cares about broadcast anymore.Local experience has been that the picture quality of HDTV over the air (OTA) is better than cable or satellite.

Judy G. Russell
March 3rd, 2007, 07:53 PM
Especially since you can get so much of that stuff on DVD.Hmmm... I'll have to see what the library offers on DVD. I hadn't thought of that...

davidh
March 4th, 2007, 04:47 AM
A sales clerk at Target today was extremely absolutely non-committal. The digital question probably comes up so seldom nobody needs to know bout it.


Maybe pretending ignorance is company policy to reduce chance of being sued, if they happen to be selling non-digital-enabled broadcast receiver sets now (when it's less than 24 months to go?) and that act turns out to be illegal?

So I gather the main motive of Congress was to free the bandwidth for government use, etc., not to provide HD TV capability for the masses, but they can SELL it both ways.

Since 80%+ USA consumers are non-broadcast OTA receivers they will probably have to put up with *downgraded* (non HD) entertainment for considerably longer than 2 more years, I'm guessing, even if they have HD TV sets, unless they rent or borrow HD DVD's.

DH

davidh
March 4th, 2007, 05:09 AM
Hmmm... I'll have to see what the library offers on DVD. I hadn't thought of that... Our local libe still has a lot of VHS tapes.

I don't know if VCR's still have rubber belts in them, but it's probably a good idea to run a tape thru your VCR once a month, I'd think, to keep the rubber from "setting"? Repair charges might exceed the cost of a new player?

In my local area, there are at least 3 educational TV channels (2OTA,1cable): local school district/tech schools, state junior college, state university. I think tapes and DVD's for many of their courses (such as Annenburg/Annenberg?) may also be loaned (past tense of verb "lend" should be avoided nowadays for political correctness?) at local public libe. I like Eugen Weber [UCLA?].

DH

P.S. If one expects to live 30 more years (not me), what the heck format media can one buy for which you can get the player repaired or replaced then? Books? Sheet music?

I once tried the free browser based Sibelius digital sheet music karaoke player. Neat.

davidh
March 4th, 2007, 05:34 AM
P.S. If one expects to live 30 more years (not me), what the heck format media can one buy for which you can get the player repaired or replaced then? Books? Sheet music?


My Mom's friend, bought a pocket digital (30MB?) memo recorder (or whatever you call them) and then bought a new table top stereo FM AM CD audio cassette player recorder. So we started going to stores like Circuit City or CVS pharmacy to see if they had blank audio cassettes. Something to back up the pocket thingy. No luck. Finally found some at Walmart. I think dollar stores still have them too.

Judy G. Russell
March 4th, 2007, 09:31 AM
I don't know if VCR's still have rubber belts in them, but it's probably a good idea to run a tape thru your VCR once a month, I'd think, to keep the rubber from "setting"? Repair charges might exceed the cost of a new player?Hmmm... I hadn't thought of that... (I keep telling myself I need to transfer stuff to my hard drive...)

P.S. If one expects to live 30 more years (not me), what the heck format media can one buy for which you can get the player repaired or replaced then? Books? Sheet music?That's a really serious problem for digital photographers. How do you ensure that an image can be preserved?

Lindsey
March 5th, 2007, 09:55 PM
Hmmm... I'll have to see what the library offers on DVD. I hadn't thought of that...
Or if not the library, you may be able to find it for rent at Blockbuster or somewhere. There's a ton of television stuff available now on DVD, especially the stuff that has aired on PBS.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
March 5th, 2007, 10:21 PM
Or if not the library, you may be able to find it for rent at Blockbuster or somewhere. There's a ton of television stuff available now on DVD, especially the stuff that has aired on PBS.I hadn't even thought of Blockbuster. I'll have to check that out too.

Jeff
March 6th, 2007, 12:59 PM
I hadn't even thought of Blockbuster. I'll have to check that out too.

I believe that Blockbuster mails now, just like Netflix. However, the last time I looked Netflix's web site was a lot more searchable than Blockbuster's.

- Jeff

sidney
March 6th, 2007, 03:13 PM
That's a really serious problem for digital photographers. How do you ensure that an image can be preserved?

Once you can easily afford a disk that will hold all of your digital images (and music and other records) you know that you can double your amount of storage every 18 months or so for the same price and reformat everything to the latest thing before the old format becomes completely obsolete. You just have to make sure that you never use a proprietary file format that is at the mercy of the whims or fortunes of a single company.

-- sidney

Judy G. Russell
March 6th, 2007, 07:40 PM
Once you can easily afford a disk that will hold all of your digital images (and music and other records) you know that you can double your amount of storage every 18 months or so for the same price and reformat everything to the latest thing before the old format becomes completely obsolete. You just have to make sure that you never use a proprietary file format that is at the mercy of the whims or fortunes of a single company.The hitch is that a digital "negative" tends to be in RAW format (and you want that, because it preserves the maximum information in the image file, before it's processed), and knowing what you'll be able to use to extract it from RAW... well, that's problematic. It isn't just the format -- it's the software. Will it be able to run on whatever OS exists in the future?

I'm hedging my bets by saving files in multiple formats, but the best alternative to RAW is TIFF and those #$%@# things are HUGE.

Lindsey
March 6th, 2007, 11:14 PM
I believe that Blockbuster mails now, just like Netflix.
I believe you are right about that -- I think I remember seeing something on the television to that effect. But if Netflix is more easily searchable, that's a very big plus! (Whatever did we do before there were search engines?)

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
March 6th, 2007, 11:52 PM
I believe that Blockbuster mails now, just like Netflix. However, the last time I looked Netflix's web site was a lot more searchable than Blockbuster's.Thanks, Jeff. I'll take a look!

Mike
March 7th, 2007, 01:01 AM
Besides, Netflix does not have a reputation for Bowdlerizing the videos, unlike the B-word.

Lindsey
March 7th, 2007, 01:09 AM
Besides, Netflix does not have a reputation for Bowdlerizing the videos, unlike the B-word.
Oh, yeah? I didn't realize that! That is will worth remembering!

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
March 7th, 2007, 07:31 AM
Besides, Netflix does not have a reputation for Bowdlerizing the videos, unlike the B-word.Aha! I wasn't aware of that!

sidney
March 7th, 2007, 07:48 PM
The hitch is that a digital "negative" tends to be in RAW format

Ooh, I forgot about RAW! That falls squarely into the realm of proprietary file formats that I cautioned about. I don't understand why camera manufacturers have to keep their RAW formats a secret. There is open source software for processing RAW, dcraw (http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/) which handles this list of cameras (http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/#cameras). I suppose you can snapshot a copy of the source code to have around in the future when you want to access your RAW files after the camea vendor has stopped supporting it.

jdh
April 17th, 2007, 02:58 PM
When the change to digital television or ``DTV'' occurs, viewers who don't have digital-compatible televisions and use traditional antennas won't be able to view broadcast TV signals unless they have a digital converter box.

Congress has set aside $1.5 billion to help subsidize the purchase of those boxes, which are likely to cost at least $60 each. Every household will be eligible to receive two coupons worth $40 each to buy them.

With the deadline less than two years away, concerns have been growing that not enough people are aware of the switch-over or what will need to be done to make sure their sets still work.

Digital TV signals have higher image quality and enable stations to broadcast more than one channel on the same frequency. They also take up far less spectrum than traditional analog signals.

However, many are concerned that not enough is being done to prepare for a smooth switch-over. Digital converter boxes aren't in stores yet and aren't likely to go on sale until next January, about a year before the change.

http://channels.isp.netscape.com/tech/story.jsp?floc=FF-APO-1700&idq=/ff/story/0001%2F20070417%2F1408073857.htm&sc=1700

It will be interesting to find out if the converters will have V-chips in them. Perhaps that's already covered in USA federal law?

Most commercial stations seem to broadcast a mixture of trash, sewage, and poison most hours of the day, so I usually keep my V-guide set at TV-G and TV-Y.

DH

jdh
April 17th, 2007, 03:07 PM
The FCC has adopted rules requiring all television sets with picture screens 33 centimeters (13 inches) or larger to be equipped with features to block the display of television programming based upon its rating. This technology is known as the "V-Chip." The V-Chip reads information encoded in the rated program and blocks programs from the set based upon the rating selected by the parent. [News Release on TV Set Requirements and Ratings]

Pursuant to the Commissionís rules, half of all new television models 13 inches or larger manufactured after July 1, 1999, and all sets 13 inches or larger manufactured after January 1, 2000 must have V-Chip technology. Set top boxes that allow consumers to use V-Chip technology on their existing sets are now available.

http://www.fcc.gov/vchip/

This does not appear to say anything about V-chip's in DTV converters.

DH

Dan in Saint Louis
April 17th, 2007, 03:09 PM
Digital TV signals have higher image quality and enable stations to broadcast more than one channel on the same frequency. They also take up far less spectrum than traditional analog signals.
Digital TV CAN have superior picture quality UNLESS the station has chosen to rob bandwidth from the main program and devote it to the secondary (and 3rd, and 4th) program streams. The total bitstream is about 19 Mbps, and it provides a great picture. Stealing any of that bandwidth to support secondary channels results in less picture definition and/or chunky "block-ups" when the remaining bandwidth is inadequate to keep up with the action.

HDTV digital television in its full-bandwidth 19 Mbps form uses the same 6 MHz bandwidth as analog TV.

jdh
April 17th, 2007, 03:36 PM
Stealing any of that bandwidth to support secondary channels results in less picture definition and/or chunky "block-ups" when the remaining bandwidth is inadequate to keep up with the action.


I see block-ups now and then. Mainly on CTN and PAX networks (in Tampa Bay area) with analog TV and indoor rabbit ears antenna.

I wonder if that type of problem currently is related to a bad feed or bad media they're passing along or if it's related to problems in the local station's actual over the air broadcast transmission or both?

DH

Dan in Saint Louis
April 17th, 2007, 04:57 PM
I see block-ups now and then ... I wonder if that type of problem currently is related to a bad feed or bad media they're passing along or if it's related to problems in the local station's actual over the air broadcast transmission or both?
Block-ups or "macro-blocking" just mean the bitstream is not sufficient to keep up with the video. I would guess it would be less likely the source material; and more likely either bandwidth-robbing to support a subchannel or distortion of the received signal due to multipath reflections. Because the demodulation scheme depends on both the amplitude and phase of the carrier, reflected signals that distort that phase angle really wreak havoc.

LOTS more here (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=10311584&&#post10311584).