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Old 11-04-08, 08:33 PM   #1
RubenX 
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A Federal Communications Commision Rant

This whole change to digital signals is a waste of time and money. Who watches over-the-air TV anyway? And THAT is the whole change... over-the-air signals which use to be analog, are gonna be digital now. That's all. There was NOTHING in the law about cable TV signals. Ohh but sure enough, cable providers are using the thing to stick it to customers and kill analog cable service. "It's because of the digital change by the FCC" they say... bulls't!

But it doesn't end there. The legendary Hauppauge PVR-500, the holy grail of Linux based DYI video recorders has been killed by the FCC. The federales say that it's an analog only card, therefore it must die. They've forced Hauppauge to manufacture a new breed of "hybrid" cards that support both the old analog AND the new digital standard. WTF? Now we have to deal with a new card that haz no f'king drivers. And even if the drivers are ever made, we gonna pay for a digital capture card that WE WONT USE!

Why we won't use the extra features u say?

Everything worth recording will come on digital cable, yes. BUT it will come ENCRYPTED! Meaning you still have to use your cable box to decrypt the signal and get it out of the cable box and into the capture card using what? an analog input. Why FCC is forcing mah to buy a digital capture card? you got me. It's stupid.

FCC want's everything to be digital and modern? Well tell you what... start by letting manufacturers sell digital capture cards equipped with the cable card slot so we could slide it into our PVRs and put in the cable card just like the tivo dudes do. Then we could be truly digital. And also tell the cable company that if they don't want ppl building their own PVRs, they gonna have to do better than 2 tuners with an 80GB HD. 2 tunners for God's Sake! 80 crappy Gigs! What a Ripoff! A family of 4 usually has a minimum of 8 favorite shows that air simultaneously at prime time. Gimee 10 tuners, a terrabyte, media streaming and then we could talk.

/rant off

*Me goes back to his IR Blaster setup Manual*
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Old 11-04-08, 08:38 PM   #2
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Time to turn off your tv and go for a ride. BTW I am 41 and have not had cable (or any pay type tv) since I moved out of my parents house when I was 18. Don't really miss it I guess.
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Old 11-04-08, 09:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
... Who watches over-the-air TV anyway?
People like my parents, who would rather read than watch the tripe served up by most cable channels. Also people with lower incomes.

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And also tell the cable company that if they don't want ppl building their own PVRs, they gonna have to do better than 2 tuners with an 80GB HD. 2 tunners for God's Sake! 80 crappy Gigs! What a Ripoff! A family of 4 usually has a minimum of 8 favorite shows that air simultaneously at prime time. Gimee 10 tuners, a terrabyte, media streaming and then we could talk.
I just upgraded my TiVo HD to have 580GB. It's still two tuners, but that's fine for my wife and me. We only ever have 2 shows airing simultaneously. And from what I've read, my TiVo HD supports 16 exabytes of expansion storage. I'm pretty sure that 580GB will last me for now, especially since I can transfer it off to my home computer, either PC or Mac. And TiVo and Netflix are currently beta testing streaming movies for their subscribers.
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Old 11-04-08, 09:15 PM   #4
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I think there's a pretty large percentage of people who don't pay for TV out there.
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Old 11-04-08, 10:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
This whole change to digital signals is a waste of time and money. Who watches over-the-air TV anyway? And THAT is the whole change... over-the-air signals which use to be analog, are gonna be digital now. That's all. There was NOTHING in the law about cable TV signals. Ohh but sure enough, cable providers are using the thing to stick it to customers and kill analog cable service. "It's because of the digital change by the FCC" they say... bulls't!

But it doesn't end there. The legendary Hauppauge PVR-500, the holy grail of Linux based DYI video recorders has been killed by the FCC. The federales say that it's an analog only card, therefore it must die. They've forced Hauppauge to manufacture a new breed of "hybrid" cards that support both the old analog AND the new digital standard. WTF? Now we have to deal with a new card that haz no f'king drivers. And even if the drivers are ever made, we gonna pay for a digital capture card that WE WONT USE!

Why we won't use the extra features u say?

Everything worth recording will come on digital cable, yes. BUT it will come ENCRYPTED! Meaning you still have to use your cable box to decrypt the signal and get it out of the cable box and into the capture card using what? an analog input. Why FCC is forcing mah to buy a digital capture card? you got me. It's stupid.

FCC want's everything to be digital and modern? Well tell you what... start by letting manufacturers sell digital capture cards equipped with the cable card slot so we could slide it into our PVRs and put in the cable card just like the tivo dudes do. Then we could be truly digital. And also tell the cable company that if they don't want ppl building their own PVRs, they gonna have to do better than 2 tuners with an 80GB HD. 2 tunners for God's Sake! 80 crappy Gigs! What a Ripoff! A family of 4 usually has a minimum of 8 favorite shows that air simultaneously at prime time. Gimee 10 tuners, a terrabyte, media streaming and then we could talk.

/rant off

*Me goes back to his IR Blaster setup Manual*
TV sucks in general.

Not worth getting mad over.
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Old 11-04-08, 10:32 PM   #6
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Digital broadcasts over the air are already happening at the same time as the current analog, they just pull the plug on the analog broadcasts on 02/17/2009 at 11:59 p.m. your local time.
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Old 11-04-08, 10:33 PM   #7
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Digital broadcasts over the air are already happening at the same time as the current analog, they just pull the plug on the analog broadcasts on 02/17/2009 at 11:59 p.m. your local time.
But they also pull the plug on the PVR-500 and that's what fired me up.
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Old 11-04-08, 10:34 PM   #8
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I take it those can't be fed through a DTV set-top box?
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Old 11-04-08, 10:38 PM   #9
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I take it those can't be fed through a DTV set-top box?
Yup... dual analog tuners with mpeg hardware built in, s-video and dual rca inputs. Supported everywhere with solid linux drivers available for free.

Thanks to the FCC it got replaced by the HVR-2250 hybrid version... new chipset, no drivers.
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Old 11-04-08, 10:39 PM   #10
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I'll give you the second half of your rant (other than give it time and the useful products will find their way into service again), but the digital conversion makes far more efficient use of the TV spectrum, which frees up a gigantic slice of bandwidth for other purposes. The useful electromagnetic spectrum is a limited and generally exclusive commodity. We're talking about literally billions of dollars worth of wireless capacity, even after the government sets aside a big block for their use and accounting for the use of digital TV.

It may be contentious and a pain in the butt, but Congress decided several years ago the value of forcing the opening of more bandwidth for private use was overrode the value of retaining the status quo.

It's also technically a little more than just changing to digital. The transition allows quite a few (minor, in my opinion) new features, like different formats and additional metadata beyond closed captioning and content ratings.
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Old 11-04-08, 10:43 PM   #11
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Maybe someone will make a DTV set-top box without the built-in tuner, which will effectively replicate your analog antenna, that would allow your current setup to keep working. I take it the DTV boxes being sold now have their own tuners, so you have to keep your old analog tuner on channel 3 or something like that?
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Old 11-04-08, 10:48 PM   #12
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Nah. I was there working for cellphone industry when we were changing from analog to digital cellphones. The FCC didn't care about the spectrum we were saving. In fact, they screwed us over with bigger taxes on the digital frequencies that forced us to pass those taxes right to the customers. Even tho, we were doing the "right" thing.

/conspiracy theory on
IMHO, the FCC is doing all this in league with cable companies, RIAA, the film industry and all those other big guns to screw us over and nickel-dime us.
/conspiracy theory off
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Old 11-05-08, 06:26 AM   #13
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Who benefits?

Not broadcasters- they have to invest millions in new equipment

Manufacturers of that equipment and TVs benefit
FCC benefits- They'll auction licensing for the old TV frequencies

Look for campaign contributions from manufacturer companies and
possibly wireless comm companies who wanted to use the analog
TV-range frequencies.
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Old 11-05-08, 06:47 AM   #14
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japan already made the switch to digital a few years ago.
same sort of arguments.
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Old 11-05-08, 08:40 AM   #15
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Who benefits?

Not broadcasters- they have to invest millions in new equipment

Manufacturers of that equipment and TVs benefit
FCC benefits- They'll auction licensing for the old TV frequencies

Look for campaign contributions from manufacturer companies and
possibly wireless comm companies who wanted to use the analog
TV-range frequencies.
The auction for the old frequencies already happened, raising about $20 billion. A chunk of that cash went to pay for the set-top converter box coupons.

Read about it here.

And to the OP: who still watches OTA television? Plenty of people. I do, for one. And it has little to do with income; plenty of well-to-do folks simply don't like the idea of paying a subscription for TV.

I'm happily receiving digital OTA; it's a great improvement of the analog broadcasts in my area. I now have 7 channels of PBS, a 24-hour local news channel, and a 24-hour weather channel.
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Old 11-05-08, 11:34 PM   #16
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Who benefits?

Not broadcasters- they have to invest millions in new equipment

Manufacturers of that equipment and TVs benefit
FCC benefits- They'll auction licensing for the old TV frequencies

Look for campaign contributions from manufacturer companies and
possibly wireless comm companies who wanted to use the analog
TV-range frequencies.
Believe it or not, the manufacturers actually were one of the biggest original protesters of mandating the switchover, because it didn't give them any choice in the matter. Part of the preparations for it was a mandate against selling TV's without a digital tuner after a certain date that varied by screen size. That's partly why you used to see so many flat screens sold as "monitors." They couldn't advertise them as TV's since they didn't have tuners. They also took advantage of it to advertise 42" monitors for $2000 and upsell customers to 42" TV's for $2500, etc.

The other groups that benefit are the companies that get the old analog spaces, and the consumers who get to make use of new services or products it's now possible to offer on the old spaces.

Wireless bandwidth is a limited commodity, like oil. Everyone benefits from using it efficiently.
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Old 11-06-08, 08:28 AM   #17
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I love my satellite. I dropped Comcrap a few months ago, never looked back.
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Old 11-06-08, 09:14 AM   #18
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I just had an online chat with my cable provider, Charter. They told me that their Expanded Basic channels (which is all their current analog channels) will still be provided in analog for 3 years after the Digital Transition. I'm using a PVR-350 on the family PC, and I want to build a dedicated HTPC, but not it it becomes useless in Feb, 09. For 3 more years, I think I'll proceed and build it from a cheap PC from craig's list.
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Old 11-06-08, 09:50 AM   #19
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I just had an online chat with my cable provider, Charter. They told me that their Expanded Basic channels (which is all their current analog channels) will still be provided in analog for 3 years after the Digital Transition. I'm using a PVR-350 on the family PC, and I want to build a dedicated HTPC, but not it it becomes useless in Feb, 09. For 3 more years, I think I'll proceed and build it from a cheap PC from craig's list.
Some words on the cable switchover to digital: Cable companies are required to provide at least the broadcast channels in analog until at least February 17, 2012. The FCC is meeting again in 2011 to decide if this should should be extended or not.
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Old 11-06-08, 10:08 AM   #20
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Yeah...but
http://www.businessweek.com/technolo...s+%2B+analysis
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Old 11-06-08, 10:09 AM   #21
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I now have 7 channels of PBS,
You have PBS? We don't They're still broadcasting analog. Which sucks.
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Old 11-06-08, 10:27 AM   #22
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You have PBS? We don't They're still broadcasting analog. Which sucks.
You have simply not experienced Antiques Roadshow until you experience it in high definition.
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Old 11-06-08, 11:35 AM   #23
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The govt wants all that old bandwidth. New revenue streams.
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Old 11-06-08, 12:24 PM   #24
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broadcast and cable TV is a gigantic and total waste of time. have fun with it.

too bad society practically revolves around it.
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Old 11-06-08, 12:50 PM   #25
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I'm one of those people who are antenna only. And I'm not one of those foo-foo readers or outdoorsy people. I watch an unhealthy amount of TV and am proud of it.

I've got a TiVo HD expanded to 1TB. I watch just about every main stream network comedy and drama. I get my fair and balanced news from PBS who treat is so clinically that it is, well, just news.

I have a Roku (Although my TiVo will soon do the same thing) and get unlimited VoD movies for $9 per month. Add that to my $12 per month Tivo and it leaves me about $30 or so dollars to spend on DVDs and other Paid streaming.

Cable and Sattelite are SO 20th century.

Give me Hulu, netflix, a TV connected PC, and a Tivo, and I'll show you that I can get everything you would on Cable only cheaper.

Oh, and my HDTV signal is uncompressed and breathtaking.
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