Please someone explain to me...

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by randySH, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. randySH

    randySH Agent

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    By the year 2009 or whatever, analog TV is dead, right…Digital is required, but NOT hdtv, right?

    Here is what I am asking, I live in an area where the NETWORK AFFILIATES are small outfits as we don’t live in large market, not even in middle market…

    Since the people in their area MUST WATCH their channel to see network programming, what reason do they have to spend all the money necessary to upgrade to Hi-Def?

    I.E. digital requirements that are coming are NOT the same as Hi Def, is that right? ? ?

    Is it possible, even likely that folks who live in small, very small markets may not get Hi Def for many, many years? ? ?

    Appreciate any answers…
     
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Yes, the 100% switchover to digital does not require that all or even any broadcasts be in hi-def. But your concern shouldn't be an issue.

    1. The new digital channels amount to "x" amount of bandwidth. Broadcasters and choose to use that for one channel of the best possible HD, for several channels of 1080i or 720p HD, ED or SD, for text-only subchannels, or for some combination of several of those.

    2. The equipment needed to broadcast in digital costs the same whether the station plans to do 1 or 2 channels of HD or 4 channels of SD. So there is no cost incentive not to broadcast network programming that is delivered in HD at HD resolution.

    3. Some local stations may choose not to spend the money for new sets, HD cameras, etc. to produce HD content of their own, but that's a separate issue from carrying HD content provided by others. So your local news shows may well continue to be broadcast in SD, while Desperate Housewives is shown in HD.

    I assume the stations don't currently offer digital broadcasts. (Stations that are carrying both broadcast their SD service on their original VHS channel numbers, and their HD service on a different channel, typically in the UHF band. When analog service is cut-off in 2009 those original VHF channels will go away and only the digital broadcast will remain. I mention this just to make sure that your local stations aren't broadcast in digital on other channels you're not aware of.)

    Have you tried contacting the stations themselves? Most local channels whose websites I've visited have FAQs on their plans for digital or their current offerings, and/or contact links for e-mail.


    Yes, it is possible that a local station might devote all its bandwidth to digital SD, but not likely for the reasons noted above. I would imagine it will be much easier to get waivers to receive out-of-area network feeds once the digital cut-over takes place. If I have HD receiving gear (which my cable or satellite provider was happy to charge me for) and HD viewing equipment, which I invested heavily in, I think I would have a very good case for being allowed to received the HD broadcast from the network affiliate in the nearest big town, or even the direct network feed, if my local station refuses to carry the HD signal. And for that very reason my local station has an incentive to carry that HD signal rather than lose me and those like me was viewers during those all-important sweeps periods when local ad rates are set. Competition, if nothing else, would be a spur to provide HD as quickly as humanly possible - at least for network content that is delivered that way. The market is a wonderful thing. [​IMG]


    Regards,

    Joe
     
  3. randySH

    randySH Agent

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    Dear Joe: Thanks so much for an outstanding, incredibly informative response !!

    I am a wristwatch enthusiast, TimeZone is my forum, and now I remember what it was like the first time I asked my first automatic vs quartz question [​IMG]

    Your answer gives me new hope! I will check out their websites, I had not thought of that and feel stupid for not having thought of it..

    Now, look into your crystal ball and tell me,
    HD-DVD or Blue Ray [​IMG] which to get?? ?? and when!

    thanks again !
    Randy
     
  4. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    In fact it DOES cost much more for a station to equip itself to broadcast HD digital than it does to do only SD digital.

    In many midsize markets, like mine here in Fresno, the affilliates of smaller networks like WB and UPN have been up and running with digital for a couple of years now but cannot afford the equipment necessary to pass on the HD offerings of their networks. Our Fox affilliate had SD only for almost a year after Fox itself started offering true HD.

    It is perfectly concievable that unless the extra cost of passing on the network HD signal can be brought down considerable some really small markets may suffer a very long delay in getting local HDTV.
     
  6. randySH

    randySH Agent

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    I see two completely different answers here...

    hmmm, wish I knew which was correct
     
  7. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Steve, I'm confused. What additional equipment/cost is involved in retransmitting network HD that would not be required for digital SD? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just surprised to hear it and I can't find anything through a web search because I keep coming up with equipment related to cable HD transmission - which is a whole other issue.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  8. Mike Slade

    Mike Slade Second Unit

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    Steve is correct. Most of the local stations where I live were only SD digital for a period before they did the necessary upgrades to pass the HD signals. Don't know the details of it but there is more needed to pass HD than just digital SD.
     
  9. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    So these channels were running two SD channels - one SD analog, the other digital? Why?
     
  10. randySH

    randySH Agent

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    this is so frustrating, I live in an area of total population under 150,000, all 4 networks are owned by relatively small companies that have absolutely no incentive whatsoever to put in HD ...

    not from what I can tell, I guess if one of them did it that might start the ball rolling

    but I would not be surprised if it took 10 yrs for it to happen in these type of markets...
     
  11. Mike Slade

    Mike Slade Second Unit

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    That is correct. As for the reason why, I'm not actually sure. I would imagine it was cost though and they just had to wait until they could afford everything for HD. Also I think there were mandates for higher markets to be digital by certain dates. I would guess it's easier to just go SD digital first to make those dates.
     

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