WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

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WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by Sir Slash » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:33 am

now i have heard 2-3 years ago it was being shut offin 2007, but today i heard it wasn't til 2009... are they really shutting it off, or is it basiclly bluff to enccourage HDTV sales?
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by Roofus » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:40 am

AFAIK, the change-over only applies to broadcast (free, over-the-air) TV. Analog cable TV will likely still be around.
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by Ex-Cyber » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:31 am

Also, you don't actually have to buy a new TV to get the signals; the FCC is expected to be providing rebates on ATSC tuner/converter boxes for existing sets (which is arguably a scam in a larger sense, but a relatively minor one for our government...).
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by JellyWarrior » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:07 am

Sir Slash wrote:or is it basiclly bluff to enccourage HDTV sales?
Actually, I think that saying "OK... on [DATE] we're cutting off analogue TV forever" is a good thing.
Digital TV is far superior to analogue and for the sake of technology development we need them to take analogue away, as I will explain.

Here in Oz people complain about bad digital TV reception and they also complain that analogue TV hasn't been as good since digital TV was introduced. Some people have said to me that they're purposely degrading analogue to make you buy a digital box, which is complete rubbish.

The reason why analogue signals degraded when digital TV was introduced is because they're sharing the signal spectrum between the 2 systems, remove analogue TV and they can utilise their entire licensed broadcasting spectrum solely for digital TV which will improve reception and extend the signal reach.

It's like a vicious circle, many people keep analogue because they believe digital has bad reception, and the reason that digital has bad reception is because people won't give up analogue TV.

The only way to solve a problem like that is to set a rock solid date and say "from this point onwards you can't get analogue TV".
Ex-Cyber wrote:Also, you don't actually have to buy a new TV to get the signals; the FCC is expected to be providing rebates on ATSC tuner/converter boxes for existing sets (which is arguably a scam in a larger sense, but a relatively minor one for our government...).
That's exactly right, "digital TV" isn't HDTV, they also broadcast a standard definition signal that can be shown on any TV.

Giving people a rebate on a digital set top box seems like a very kind thing to do when people have already had years to invest in a digital set top box which costs under $100.

Anyhow, I suggest:
If you watch Free To Air TV (free view / free over-the-air) and don't already have a digital set to box then go out and buy one now, the picture is FAR superior, even on standard definition (and you can still record digital TV with a VCR).
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by Skynet » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:15 am

Hell I got a shitty one a while back from Woolworths of all places for like $69 or something. It works, good reception and would be much better with an external antenna and not just the rabbit ears it's hooked up to. But it's at least a 200% improvement over what it was prior to that.
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by JellyWarrior » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:22 am

Skynet wrote:Hell I got a shitty one a while back from Woolworths of all places for like $69 or something. It works, good reception and would be much better with an external antenna and not just the rabbit ears it's hooked up to. But it's at least a 200% improvement over what it was prior to that.
Yea, one common trap of cheaper boxes is that you can have trouble with the reception because they don't have a good signal booster (or processor, or whatever).

I always hear good things about "Topfield" brand, I know that you can get them from JB, but plenty of other places would have them too.
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by Calavera » Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:12 am

So if I was to buy this Coby DTV-140 ATSC High Definition Set Up Box then my HDTV would display local channels in HD?
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by |darc| » Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:19 am

Calavera wrote:So if I was to buy this Coby DTV-140 ATSC High Definition Set Up Box then my HDTV would display local channels in HD?
Yes, assuming there are HD broadcasts in your area.
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by Specially Cork » Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:23 am

We're doing region-by-region digital switchover starting this year and ending in 2012.

Free-to-air digital through your standard aerial already covers about 75% of the country running simultaneously with analogue and you can pick up a digital TV box for £30-ish. Instead of getting the standard 5 free national channels you get 30-40 plus some basic digital services.

Free Satellite offers about 100 digital channels but is pretty pricey to setup because the equipment isnt subsidised. Pay-monthly satellite and cable has been digital-only since 2001/2002 and both offer hundreds of channels, HD, on-demand etc. Good stuff.

By the way, does Australia still have that rule where a network can only operate 1 channel? I'm sure I read that somewhere... Does that mean the only real benefit of digital TV is picture quality?
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by Veggita2099 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:06 am

Most providers (IE satellite and cable) supply boxes that allow you to convert a digital signal into analog if need be.
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by |darc| » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:03 pm

Veggita2099 wrote:Most providers (IE satellite and cable) supply boxes that allow you to convert a digital signal into analog if need be.

If you're getting free-over-air, you don't have a provider.
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by Code-Red » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:30 pm

I say it's about damn time to get rid of analog.
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by Lartrak » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:33 pm

I must say it does amuse me that if you bought a TV in like 1955 you could still be using it and picking up modern broadcast - assuming the tube was still alive of course.

I do think it is too bad they can't figure out some way to just have both without interference, though. They seem to have managed it with HD radio.

But really, we've had compatible signals for way over 50 years, and a converter for current TVs is hardly expensive. I think they should have mandated a converter to be built into newer TVs some time ago though, so that those with TVs less than a certain age wouldn't have to worry about it.
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by Code-Red » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:43 pm

Lartrak wrote:I must say it does amuse me that if you bought a TV in like 1955 you could still be using it and picking up modern broadcast - assuming the tube was still alive of course.

I do think it is too bad they can't figure out some way to just have both without interference, though. They seem to have managed it with HD radio.

But really, we've had compatible signals for way over 50 years, and a converter for current TVs is hardly expensive. I think they should have mandated a converter to be built into newer TVs some time ago though, so that those with TVs less than a certain age wouldn't have to worry about it.
Is there a reason to keep analog broadcast?

Was there a reason to keep VHS?
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by SinisterTengu » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:53 pm

The people who this affects the most are the ones who live in the middle of nowhere and can't get cable TV, or old folks who just refuse to pay for something they can get for free, so they use analog broadcast. I personally only know two people who actually use analog broadcast instead of cable or satellite (a friend with old parents, and my aunt who lives in an area that doesn't have cable). So all those two people have to do is buy a digital broadcast converting receiver to hook up to their TV, and then get reimbursed from the government for it. Or if they buy a new TV these days, it comes with a QAM tuner built in and they won't even need an external box. Its really not the big deal some people make it seem like..
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by I.M. Weasel » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:55 pm

I cant stand digital 'signal'. Its crap unless you have a powerful tv.

first off, when ever any interference hits the broadcast, you are treated to a 'blocking' of 20-40% of the screen in addition to lost audio. In analog signals, these small disturbances snap a small fuzzy area onto the screen, only partially distorting it, but also retaining the audio. point for analog.

secondly, the curves suck. on many,many broadcasts, every curved line is that crappy, poorly anti-aliased edge with those square edges jutting out. (cant think of the tech terms). A good example is anime. those smooth, simple 1 pixel-ish lines get destroyed by the digital signal. The artists smooth image is turned into a blocky mess.. the artistic value all but gone.

Considering the other replies, it seems like I stand alone. but thats just how it is. Viva la Analog!
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by Lartrak » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:15 pm

Is there a reason to keep analog broadcast?

Was there a reason to keep VHS?
It's still a perfectly acceptable format for time shifting. It's still cheaper than anything else for this purpose, actually, unless you can get a DVR as part of your cable subscription (like I do). I'll also probably have a VHS recorder forever for the back library of films unavailable on other formats.

For pre-recorded programs, as long as it is economical to do so, they'll continue to release VHS tapes on the format. You still can get new films on VHS, ya know, though far, far fewer of them are released on the format now. In any case, the switchover took much longer with VHS to DVD. There wasn't an abrupt cutoff. And it is not like the old VHS tapes stopped working, or they became unavailable to rent right away.

In any case, I don't think the switchover is ridiculous. I just think it would have been preferable if they could have kept the old analog as well.
first off, when ever any interference hits the broadcast, you are treated to a 'blocking' of 20-40% of the screen in addition to lost audio. In analog signals, these small disturbances snap a small fuzzy area onto the screen, only partially distorting it, but also retaining the audio. point for analog.
[/quote][/quote]

I actually agree with this. Digital artifacting is far worse than analog. Poorly mastered DVDs, for example, are far worse than poorly mastered LDs. Even if it is pretty distorted, analog signals are often still watchable. However, I have limited experience with digital over-the-air signals, my experience with digital is largely the digital cable we have. Is that comparable to over-the-air digital broadcast? If so, I will say the quality is quite variable - sometimes lots of macroblocks, sometimes practically none. Curved edges often do have edging problems as well. The signal has better color and resolution though, but I don't consider this an even trade in all cases. We ALSO have analog cable at the same time for the TVs without a set top box, and I generally prefer the look of the standard cable.

However, as I said, I don't know how digital cable compares to digital broadcast. I know the over-the-air HDTV I've seen was a considerably cleaner picture (even aside from the higher res, there were fewer edging problems and macroblocks) than digital cable though, so...
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by JellyWarrior » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:46 pm

I.M. Weasel wrote:I cant stand digital 'signal'. Its crap unless you have a powerful tv.

first off, when ever any interference hits the broadcast, you are treated to a 'blocking' of 20-40% of the screen in addition to lost audio. In analog signals, these small disturbances snap a small fuzzy area onto the screen, only partially distorting it, but also retaining the audio. point for analog.

secondly, the curves suck. on many,many broadcasts, every curved line is that crappy, poorly anti-aliased edge with those square edges jutting out. (cant think of the tech terms). A good example is anime. those smooth, simple 1 pixel-ish lines get destroyed by the digital signal. The artists smooth image is turned into a blocky mess.. the artistic value all but gone.

Considering the other replies, it seems like I stand alone. but thats just how it is. Viva la Analog!
If you had read my first post (4 posts from the top) you will understand why that is. The only way to improve digital is to cut off analogue because the stations have to divide their resources between digital and analogue. The moment that analogue is cut off digital becomes a lot better.
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by JellyWarrior » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:55 pm

BoneyCork wrote:By the way, does Australia still have that rule where a network can only operate 1 channel? I'm sure I read that somewhere... Does that mean the only real benefit of digital TV is picture quality?
They changed the laws earlier this year, now stations can broadcast more than 1 channel, unfortunately they also introduced a lot of changes to media ownership laws too. Before you were only allowed to own one kind of media in any area, either TV, radio or print, it was designed to keep a companies interest in only 1 media. Now you're allowed to own more than one media and corporations are allowed to purchase media companies.

With the new laws the consumer gains by gaining more choice (more channels, content, etc) but the media will become more like the British Tabloids which I think is a bad thing.
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Re: WTF is with the Tv analog signal deal

Post by I.M. Weasel » Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:30 am

JW wrote:If you had read my first post (4 posts from the top) you will understand why that is. The only way to improve digital is to cut off analogue because the stations have to divide their resources between digital and analogue. The moment that analogue is cut off digital becomes a lot better.
No I didnt read your first post, I read the first paragraph but stopped because you had harsh words for analog.....

Although it would probably be a big quality improvement, It still leaves my stance valid. You still need to upgrade to get the best out of it. Makes me think of the vista argument, it will be better, but for many people they are just content with xp.

And digital's big life-long hump is tackling the blocky edged anti-aliasing problem. It has been fighting and improving as the years go on, but when it comes down to it, it is digitals greatest foe/challenge. We are still somewhat far away from having a digital signal produce the kind of smooth lines shows like 'Shin-chan' have.

What can I say...I'd like to have both available in their highest quality.. but if thats not possible.. that sucks! When you have a product that is in like 300 million homes across the countries, that has been reliably used in its current state since the 1950's-60's, change aint going to come easy.
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