Analog set useless in future???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul Fa, Dec 10, 2001.

  1. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi all,
    I've been getting a lot of confusing information regarding what will happen when the broadcasters actually switch over to sending HDTV. Will they support both the NTSA and the new HDTV standards together for a while to allow consumers to gracefully adopt the new standards? Will all analog sets like my new JVC AV32D502 be obsolete - no picture/poor picture?? I can't believe the level of disinformation out there! Please help clear up the picture![​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. DanP

    DanP Agent

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    Well alot of em already have switched over to sending H/DTV and are still sending out NTSC also. So this *is* the transition period. Sets wont be obsolete though if you really dont want to upgrade. You'll just eventually need a digital tuner to decode the signals, but it will have RCA and s-video outputs to connect to analog tv's..downconverting the signals to regular old resolution.
     
  3. BradZ

    BradZ Stunt Coordinator

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    Dan P is right. Your new set will not become a paperweight. If and when the switch is finally thrown and no more analog signals are being sent you'll have to get a converter, which should be pretty cheap by then. Think of it like a satellite receiver or digital cable box which converts a digital signal to analog (not the same as HD to analog- but an easy way to think about it.)

    In fact, you can already do this- if you buy an HD decoder and set it to output to the s-vid or composite outs you can watch downconverted HD on your analog set. It won't be HD, but the signal will be as good as dvd- ie. much better than standard cable. There's really no reason to do this now since the STBs are so expensive and it would only get you a couple of channels which are being simulcast in SD.

    This is what most all of us will have to do anyway- while we may have or buy a new HD set for our main viewing, we all have little tv's all over the house- we'll have to have a converter for the tv in the bedroom, kids room, wherever.

    Don't worry about your set, it will give you many years of pleasure, but in 5 years or so you'll want to replace it so you can enjoy HD.
     
  4. VicRuiz

    VicRuiz Second Unit

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  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    The transition is occuring in stages, large markets first, then smaller ones.
    One thing not mentionned previuosly is that NTSC transmissions will not be turned off until 2006, or until at least something like 90% of the viewers in a given market are capable of receiving the digital signal, whichever comes last. I'd look for those digital-to-analog boxes to cost less than $100 or so long before 06. They won't have to put out 1080i, so should be cheaper than current stbs.
    HD channels downconverted to 480i look at least as good as dvd, so even analog sets will have very nice pictures.
     
  6. VicRuiz

    VicRuiz Second Unit

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  7. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I think the discussion at AVS has largely overlooked political realities.

    Even if the 85% were achieved, that would still leave 15% unserved by digital and left in the dark. No politician is going to infuriate 15% of the populace---and while the US citizenry is not motivated to vote by the economy, international relations, corruption and the like, shutting off their TV would fill those voting booths in a BIG hurry.

    Besides that, have you taken a look at who's in the White House? The FCC is part of the executive, and they're still on a deregulation kick. No way, no how, is the FCC going to do anything to enforce the 2006 date.

    Sorry if this has veered into verboten politics, but I can't see any way to discuss this without touching on the subject.
     
  8. DarrellP

    DarrellP Stunt Coordinator

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  9. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Nowadays, to receive over the air HDTV on a digital TV set too, you still need to buy a set top box HDTV tuner/decoder. These boxes all have an NTSC output for analog sets. If your TV does not have a video in jack, you will need to connect your VCR in between (simplest solution).
    Also, as long as you have a working DVD player or VCR, you can continue to play disks and tapes on your analog set.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  10. Chris Llana

    Chris Llana Auditioning

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    At this late stage of the transition period to DTV, I cannot imagine why anyone would go out and spend good money on an NTSC set, unless all of their old ones were completely dead and they only had $300 to spend. By May 2003, all TV stations in the U.S. will be broadcasting all of their programming in both digital and analog---that’s 100 percent coverage. NTSC transmissions will STOP in 2006 or when 85 percent of consumers have sets that are capable of receiving digital, whichever comes later, although this may be changed by Congress. The remaining 15 percent won’t be left in the dark, they’ll just have to buy a D/A set-top box (or a digital set).
    When the plug is pulled on analog, all TV broadcasters will return those analog channel frequencies to the government, which in turn will auction them off for $billions to politically powerful companies wishing to use them for all sorts of other wireless services. There is HUGE pressure on politicians to turn over that spectrum for other uses and to reap the billions of dollars in non-tax revenues.
    The FCC proposed regulations last year, still pending, that would require TV manufacturers to install digital tuners in their sets, a requirement likely to be phased in, big sets first.
    The new generation of 8-VSB digital tuners (look for product at the January CES in Las Vegas) are much more sensitive than the last (able to pull in weak channels), and vastly superior in multi-path interference rejection. They also use fewer chips, making them cheaper.
    Will analog sets soon become obsolete? That depends on your definition of obsolete. A new analog TV set should function reliably for at least 15 years, and with a D/A converter box, will be able to receive digital transmissions for its full life. But while the rest of the country is watching 1080i widescreen programming starting NOW, the analog guy will be watching 480i, either letterboxed or with sides chopped off, for the next 15 years. Is that obsolete? Decide for yourself. If your old NTSC set is still working, why buy more of the same?
    The FCC put out a consumer DTV transition bulletin in 1998. The transition schedule for broadcasters is:
    “5. When will broadcasters begin providing DTV service?
    Local broadcasters will be initiating DTV service at different times. A station may begin DTV service as soon as it has received its FCC permit and is ready with equipment and other necessary preparations. The FCC has established a schedule by which broadcasters must begin DTV service (absent extenuating circumstances that may affect individual stations). This schedule requires that stations affiliated with the top four networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) in the 10 largest markets begin service by May 1, 1999. Stations affiliated with these networks in markets 11-30 must begin service by November 1, 1999. All commercial stations must begin DTV service by May 1, 2002, and all noncommercial educational stations must start by May 1, 2003. A number of stations started DTV service in November of this year.”
    For the full bulletin, see: http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineeri.../nret8015.html
    Chris Llana
     
  11. MichaelG

    MichaelG Second Unit

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  12. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Paul:

    The funny thing is when analog TV signals get "shut off" in future, the analog TV owners may be even happier than they are now. Why? Well, they will have to use a digital to analog signal converter. That converted signal has a good chance of looking better than the regular analog signal we get now, maybe close to DVD quality. See, good news!

    Something also funny/not so funny. HD signals may be encrypted in near future causing all types of incompatability for HDTV owners. There is talk of scrambling HD CHannels like HBO & Showtime. And if this happens, most of HD sets sold to date may NOT be able to play those channels at HD resolution. Basically, HD sets that can't play HD material. Doesn't that stink?

    This is one of the reasons why my new set is NOT an HD one, and I couldn't be happier with its performance. If you can, grab a copy of Feb2002 issue of Stereophile Guide to Home Theater and read editorial by Joel Brinkley. I have much respect for the man. He seems to be one of the only A/V journalists that is still consistenly keeping us up to date on the details of all the nasty HD politics.

    Rich B.
     

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