Scary news about the analog TV phaseout!

Peter Q. George
Fri Feb 1 15:08:19 EST 2008

The main problem with these new converters (just like
when UHF was a new additional expense back in the 50's
and 60's) is that, more times than not, they're numb
as hell.  OTA (over-the-air) Digital TV simply
requires a strong signal and most times, the
top-of-the-set rabbit ears or the UHF loops simply are
not enough to do the job, unless you're within the
near field of a station's footprint.  There are still
going to be some people out there (especially in THIS
economy) who simply cannot afford cable or satellite
service.  Many of these viewers depend on the
translator service for their television.  When DTV
becomes mandated for the translator service, many
folks will be out of luck.  

On another note, I'm amazed on how some stations are
reverting to their original analog VHF-lo channel
assignments after operating their DT's on UHF.  WRGB
in Schenectady, NY is doing just that.  Considering
the hilly terrain of the area of Upstate New York and
Nearby Massachusetts.  VHF-lo will not work with DTV
very well.  It's been proven by several stations. 
They'd be better off with a UHF translator from Mt.
Greylock.  Oh, well.

--- Scott   Fybush <> wrote:

> Maureen Carney wrote:
> > Here's 2 additional down sides not mentioned:
> > 
> > 1) If you have an older TV you won't have the
> plugs to connect the
> > composit or component wires. There is an external
> connector, and that
> > will run another $15-35 .
> > 
> > 2) The digital box and the external connector both
> need to be plugged
> > in. More $$$ in electricity and the pain of using
> an additional
> > outlet (someone might trip on cords) or getting an
> outlet multiplier.
> > 
> > 
> > These are things most of us take for granted -
> having access to
> > equipment, the money to buy it if we want it and
> the knowledge of how
> > it goes together.
> I didn't find the Newburyport article to be entirely
> accurate. The price 
> of the converter boxes is already coming down. The
> Sling/Echostar box 
> will be on the shelves soon at a suggested retail
> price of $39.99, which 
> means it will effectively be free with the $40
> coupon, give or take a 
> few bucks in sales tax.
> The boxes approved for use in the coupon program are
> required to have 
> NTSC RF outputs, so no additional "external
> connectors" will be needed 
> beyond - MAYBE - a $2 balun to convert the 75-ohm
> coax connection to a 
> 300-ohm twin-lead connection for really old sets.
> I think, but don't know for sure, that the approved
> boxes will also 
> include a convenience outlet for the TV set to be
> plugged into.
> Really, it's hard to imagine how the whole program
> could be made much 
> easier for the consumer, short of TV stations
> sending engineers to 
> individual homes to get everything working. (And at
> least at WXXI here 
> in Rochester, I wouldn't rule that out if the need
> arose!)
> s

Peter Q. George (K1XRB)
Whitman, Massachusetts
                           "Scanning the bands since 1967"

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