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Digital TV Transition Date Approved - stop using analog signals in 2009
PCWorld ^ | Grant Gross, IDG News Service

Posted on 02/09/2006 3:33:18 PM PST by Calpernia

WASHINGTON -- Legislation requiring U.S. broadcasters to abandon their analog spectrum, opening up the "beachfront" spectrum to next-generation wireless services and emergency response agencies, is headed to U.S. President George Bush to be signed into law.

Late Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a large budget reconciliation bill that included a deadline of February 17, 2009, for broadcasters to stop broadcasting analog signals and move to digital television (DTV).

The House approval came after the U.S. Senate in December amended other parts of the House-approved budget reconciliation bill conference report. The final bill includes up to $1.5 billion in funding to provide two $40 vouchers per household to use toward the purchase of digital-to-analog set-top converter boxes. TV owners receiving over-the-air analog signals on older TV sets will need the converter boxes.

The legislation directs the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to begin an auction of the cleared airwaves by January 28, 2008. The High Tech DTV Coalition, made up of 18 IT companies and trade groups, pushed for a DTV transition deadline to free up the spectrum for new services such as mobile broadband, mobile video and WiMax.

Part of the spectrum will also go to help public safety agencies better communicate with each other.

(snip)


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS: analog; broadcast; digital; digitaltv; legislation; nomorerabbitears; technology
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1 posted on 02/09/2006 3:33:19 PM PST by Calpernia
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To: Calpernia

What exactly is DTV? I know what WiMax is, but what's DTV?


2 posted on 02/09/2006 3:36:32 PM PST by benjibrowder ("America is always more secure when Freedom is on the march"-George Bush, Jan.31, 2006)
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To: Calpernia
harumph.... should have forced digital radio first.
3 posted on 02/09/2006 3:37:49 PM PST by taxcontrol
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To: LibreOuMort

Here it comes ping


4 posted on 02/09/2006 3:37:54 PM PST by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† | Libs: Celebrate MY diversity! | Iran Azadi 2006 | Is it March yet?)
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To: Calpernia

bump


5 posted on 02/09/2006 3:38:37 PM PST by VOA
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To: Calpernia

FREE MONEY PING!


6 posted on 02/09/2006 3:39:03 PM PST by Revolting cat! ("In the end, nothing explains anything.")
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To: Calpernia

So...will my regular old TV still work in 2009 or not?


7 posted on 02/09/2006 3:41:23 PM PST by Gator101
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To: Calpernia
We'll then have 500 channels and nothing on. Progress!
8 posted on 02/09/2006 3:41:26 PM PST by Revolting cat! ("In the end, nothing explains anything.")
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To: Calpernia
The final bill includes up to $1.5 billion in funding to provide two $40 vouchers per household to use toward the purchase of digital-to-analog set-top converter boxes.

Un-Freepin' Believable!

9 posted on 02/09/2006 3:42:09 PM PST by iPod Shuffle
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Gator101

nevermind...I missed the part about the converter.


11 posted on 02/09/2006 3:42:29 PM PST by Gator101
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To: Gator101

Nothing changes as long as you have cable or satellite.


12 posted on 02/09/2006 3:42:30 PM PST by RWR8189 (George Allen for President)
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To: Calpernia

Just in time for the NEW administration to catch the blame when millions of grannies and people on fixed incomes watch their screens go blank and are told they must pay thousands to watch tv again. Brilliant!


13 posted on 02/09/2006 3:43:10 PM PST by Tall_Texan (Hey Libs! - Remember how conservatives looked during Clinton? Guess what you haters look like now?)
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To: Revolting cat!
What was the line from Pink Floyd's The Wall?

"I've got 13 channels of shit on the TV to choose from"

 

14 posted on 02/09/2006 3:43:30 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny (Women were put on Earth to look hot. Men are here to be stupid about it.)
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To: RWR8189
Nothing changes as long as you have cable or satellite.

Not quite true. Lower end cable plans often do not require a converter box.

15 posted on 02/09/2006 3:44:00 PM PST by iPod Shuffle
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To: Calpernia
Legislation requiring U.S. broadcasters to abandon their analog spectrum, opening up the "beachfront" spectrum to next-generation wireless services and emergency response agencies, is headed to U.S. President George Bush to be signed into law.

WOW!

I'm so glad that Congress has solved all out country's problems so they can focus on our TV reception!

Would someone point out the part in the Constitution that allows congress to tell broadcasters HOW they must send out their signals?

16 posted on 02/09/2006 3:44:09 PM PST by MamaTexan (It's supposed to be *fly-over* country....not SCREW-OVER country!)
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To: Gator101

Hard to say, but probably. You will most likely need to buy a converter, though.


17 posted on 02/09/2006 3:44:10 PM PST by rawhide
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To: Calpernia

The sane response to the utterly unoriginal knee-jerk reaction to the spending bill is this: gummint requires, gummint pays, end of discussion!


18 posted on 02/09/2006 3:44:11 PM PST by Revolting cat! ("In the end, nothing explains anything.")
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To: Gator101
So...will my regular old TV still work in 2009 or not?

If your cable company choses to still provide analog cable signal you will be OK, and if they don't they will provide you with some kind of converter box.

If you don't have cable, then you can probably buy a broadcast converter box, but it would probably be half the price of a new TV.

19 posted on 02/09/2006 3:44:11 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (California bashers will be called out)
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To: benjibrowder

No more rabbit ears.


20 posted on 02/09/2006 3:44:42 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: dropandgimme20
Any word on whether this will make the quality of the programs any better?

The TV has a control called "brightness" but it apparently doesn't work.

21 posted on 02/09/2006 3:44:52 PM PST by Tall_Texan (Hey Libs! - Remember how conservatives looked during Clinton? Guess what you haters look like now?)
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To: Gator101

No. No more Analog broadcasting.


22 posted on 02/09/2006 3:45:18 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia
Part of the spectrum will also go to help public safety agencies better communicate with each other.

Cool, I can crank my home AM and FM transmitters to 100 watts and not P.O. my neighbors.......life is good......I Heard It on the X.......

23 posted on 02/09/2006 3:45:32 PM PST by Decepticon (The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day (NRA)
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To: iPod Shuffle

Analog cable doesn't go over the airway.

And its been my understanding that this only effects broadcast tv.


24 posted on 02/09/2006 3:46:26 PM PST by RWR8189 (George Allen for President)
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To: benjibrowder
DTV->Digital TV. HDTV is High Definition (digital) TV. The new signals sent over the air or over cable are digital instead of analog. As long as you have a decent signal level, the picture and sound is digitally perfect. SDTV signal at 480i are essentially identical to standard analog TV in quality. Higher resolutions of 720i and 1080i are available. LCD style displays prefer a progressive (write the screen one time per frame instead of two interlaced images on a CRT). The 480p, 720p formats look better on a digital display device. 480i means 480 horizontal pixels. 1080i has 1080 horizontal pixels. The standard analog display uses a 4:3 aspect ratio (4 wide : 3 high). New widescreen digital display prefer 16:9 (16 wide : 9 high). The 1080i will be 1080 wide X 608 high.

Digital transmissions occupy less bandwidth than the analog signals. Many more channels can be packed into reduced frequency spectrum.

25 posted on 02/09/2006 3:47:34 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: Calpernia
The final bill includes up to $1.5 billion in funding to provide two $40 vouchers per household to use toward the purchase of digital-to-analog set-top converter boxes.It would be interesting to see who manufactures these set top boxes that the vouchers qualifies for. A must be "Made in the USA" provision would be nice.
26 posted on 02/09/2006 3:48:33 PM PST by operation clinton cleanup
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To: ElkGroveDan

The feds are going to subsidize at least a portion of the cost of the converter box.


27 posted on 02/09/2006 3:49:14 PM PST by RWR8189 (George Allen for President)
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To: benjibrowder

http://www.dtv.gov/


28 posted on 02/09/2006 3:49:54 PM PST by mpreston
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To: Gator101
This is just the elimination of the old broadcast signal to the big TV antennae on the roof. The TV stations want to stop having to do that, and rightly so. Why is there still a law that says they have to broadcast anything?
29 posted on 02/09/2006 3:50:14 PM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: mpreston

Thank you for that link!


30 posted on 02/09/2006 3:50:39 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: RWR8189

Yes, only broadcast. Right now all broadcasters use the NTSC standard to broadcast but come 2009 they'll switch to ATSC which is the digital format.


31 posted on 02/09/2006 3:53:44 PM PST by Bogey78O (<thinking of new tagline>)
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To: HairOfTheDog
This is just the elimination of the old broadcast signal to the big TV antennae on the roof. The TV stations want to stop having to do that, and rightly so. Why is there still a law that says they have to broadcast anything?

? They don't, they can give up their portion of the broadcast spectrum, and all the advertising revenue, at any time. The Fed will then sell that analog bandwidth to the highest bidder......for billions......

32 posted on 02/09/2006 3:53:56 PM PST by Decepticon (The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day (NRA)
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To: Calpernia
Kewl!


33 posted on 02/09/2006 3:56:30 PM PST by GalaxieFiveHundred
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To: Calpernia
Late Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a large budget reconciliation bill that included a deadline of February 17, 2009, for broadcasters to stop broadcasting analog signals and move to digital television (DTV).

Which either means they continue using the existing UHF/VHF bandwidth, just changing what and how they transmit over it...

Or all of your local (free) network channels will be going off the air February 17, to broadcast exclusively via some form of satellite or land-line (copper/fiber).

34 posted on 02/09/2006 3:57:33 PM PST by Alex Murphy (Colossians 4:5)
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To: Calpernia

So retailers can add $40 to the price of the converter boxes, huh?


35 posted on 02/09/2006 3:58:27 PM PST by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: dropandgimme20
Any word on whether this will make the quality of the programs any better?

Your TV does does come equipped with a control marked "brightness", but mine never seems to do anything....

36 posted on 02/09/2006 3:58:49 PM PST by Alex Murphy (Colossians 4:5)
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To: HairOfTheDog

Now there's a law that says I have to pay for TV if I want to watch it? Guess I have to give it up. Good heavens. I knew it was coming, but I thought there would be an escape clause of some kind.


37 posted on 02/09/2006 4:01:06 PM PST by Rte66
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To: ElkGroveDan
If you don't have cable, then you can probably buy a broadcast converter box, but it would probably be half the price of a new TV.

Depends. You can get tube HDTV's that have the HD tuner built in. I got a referbed 32" tubr HDTV for $299 and it works like a charm.

Of course I assume that when they talk about DTV, they are actually talking HDTV as we know it now.

38 posted on 02/09/2006 4:02:25 PM PST by SengirV
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To: iPod Shuffle

Signal-wise, Digital cable is crap and most satellite channels are crap.

But there's no other choice for those of us who live far away from a major city, so we live with it and grunt.


39 posted on 02/09/2006 4:02:59 PM PST by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: Rte66

Welcome to the modern age....


40 posted on 02/09/2006 4:03:06 PM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: Calpernia

You can still use your rabbit ears for HD signals.


41 posted on 02/09/2006 4:03:30 PM PST by Doohickey (If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice...I will choose freewill.)
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To: savedbygrace

What's wrong with the signal on digital cable?


42 posted on 02/09/2006 4:04:18 PM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: savedbygrace

I don't have any problems with my DirecTV at all....


43 posted on 02/09/2006 4:04:56 PM PST by MikefromOhio (Brokeback Mountain: The ONLY western where the Cowboys GET IT IN THE END!!!)
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To: benjibrowder
What exactly is DTV? I know what WiMax is, but what's DTV?

Says in the article. It's digital TV.

44 posted on 02/09/2006 4:05:15 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (Proud to be a cotton-pickin' Republican on the GOP Plantation)
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To: Decepticon

I don't get it then, so explain it to me.

Local channel 4 - the ABC affiliate, for example... could stop broadcasting signal today and be cable only if they want?


45 posted on 02/09/2006 4:06:09 PM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: Gator101
So...will my regular old TV still work in 2009 or not?

You will still be able to use it with a set-top converter box, connected to a digital TV antenna.

46 posted on 02/09/2006 4:06:45 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (Proud to be a cotton-pickin' Republican on the GOP Plantation)
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To: Rte66
I knew it was coming, but I thought there would be an escape clause of some kind.

Yea, no more 1 hour sitcoms with 35 minutes of commercials...no more cnn,abc,cbs,nbs,pbs liberal talking heads....no more channels, except the ones you are intersted in (as it should be, no more bundling of channels). This is the death knell for the MSM, watch this get fought tooth and nail by the big conglomerates that have crappy viewer ratings.....imagine if the big three had to compete....with cable...on cable.

47 posted on 02/09/2006 4:08:33 PM PST by Decepticon (The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day (NRA)
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To: iPod Shuffle
Not quite true. Lower end cable plans often do not require a converter box.

Whether you're on cable or satellite, and receiving locals from either one, when the local stations switch to digital only, you can still receive them from your cable or satellite company without the need to purchase a separate digital to analog converter. (assuming you decide to stick with the analog TV set beyond the 2009 cutoff).

48 posted on 02/09/2006 4:09:21 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (Proud to be a cotton-pickin' Republican on the GOP Plantation)
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To: HairOfTheDog

I was posting in a hurry and I didn't choose the best phrase. I mean the video image you see on your screen. The MPEG2 compression leaves tons of artifacts, and looks lousy.


49 posted on 02/09/2006 4:09:59 PM PST by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: savedbygrace

I have no complaints with the picture quality on my satellite system. DISH Network's signal looks about as good as DirecTV and a helluva lot better than cable.


50 posted on 02/09/2006 4:13:18 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (Proud to be a cotton-pickin' Republican on the GOP Plantation)
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