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Old 01-10-2009, 08:19 AM   #15
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Many stations have already converted and let go the lease on their analog towers.
Neil, how will they transmit the digital signal?

Also, the converter coupons have run out and the conversion date is independent of the coupons. But, it seems the incoming administration is of the belief that tooo many of our citizens have been stymied by the Bush administration. They claim the government has NOT warned the public properly. Of course, the fact that they have been running tests, have run PSA after PSA and had crawls on countless shows warning of the uncoming change is apparently too technical for the average voter.

Even my 73 YO sister who has the technical ability of a turnip figured out how to get the coupon, buy the box and install it (a whole 2 connections). She now gets twice as many stations as before.

Sad state of affairs when a large percentage of the population can't read simple instructions!
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by hamguy:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Many stations have already converted and let go the lease on their analog towers.
Neil, how will they transmit the digital signal?

Also, the converter coupons have run out and the conversion date is independent of the coupons. But, it seems the incoming administration is of the belief that tooo many of our citizens have been stymied by the Bush administration. They claim the government has NOT warned the public properly. Of course, the fact that they have been running tests, have run PSA after PSA and had crawls on countless shows warning of the uncoming change is apparently too technical for the average voter.

Even my 73 YO sister who has the technical ability of a turnip figured out how to get the coupon, buy the box and install it (a whole 2 connections). She now gets twice as many stations as before.

Sad state of affairs when a large percentage of the population can't read simple instructions! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Many stations have multiple towers and are running both a digital and analog tower along with their repeaters. When transition occurs those stations will decomission the analog towers. They may in some of the larger market install additional synchronized repeaters to regain a 2% loss of viewers due to the lack of fringe area reception that was available with the analog but not with digital.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:47 AM   #17
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A note: If you were used to watching one TV show on your analog TV and recording another show on your VCR. You will need 2 of the converter boxes. One for the TV and one for the VCR, otherwise you cannot watch one show and record another.

This is also relavent for those people who have upgraded their TV, but the VCR is still analog. The VCR will not be able to record a different channel than the digital TV is tuned to.

There are VCR's with ATSC tuners, but I doubt many people have them.

Depending on your situation, your cable or satelite provider may have insulated you from this.

I don't know if many people have noticed, but there has been a steady erosion in the ability to watch and record different TV channels. Most set top boxes do not allow this, some DVR also do not allow it, with the conversion to digital TV it will get even worse.

Note also, that Comcast is in the process of moving its distribution network to all digital (except for the super basic service). This will complicate things even more.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:35 PM   #18
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As you say it, ma & pa stations may be going off the air. BTW, they don't have to convert. Most colleges and universities do not have to convert. If they are a small local station, no conversion necessary.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:33 PM   #19
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"Many stations have multiple towers and are running both a digital and analog tower along with their repeaters. When transition occurs those stations will decomission the analog towers. They may in some of the larger market install additional synchronized repeaters to regain a 2% loss of viewers due to the lack of fringe area reception that was available with the analog but not with digital."

Why would you need or even want a separate tower? Both signals depend on, essentially, line-of-sight transmission and I would think you would want the same coverage with the digital mode as w/analog. There is no techinical reason I can think of why you would need separate facilities.

My ham station can transmit both, in fact, both simultaneously.

Also, I have not heard that the digital signal has lesser coverage at all, actually I understand the contrary. In fact, the batwing ant on my RV gets FAR more signals on my digital TV than by analog alone and from much farther away. E.g., I get 3 solid signals from Tucson on digital but only 1 weak, snowy one on analog.

What am I missing?
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:59 PM   #20
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Originally posted by hamguy:
What am I missing?
You're missing the fact that the station had to get a temporary license for the alternate frequency they're transmitting the digital signal on. The tower complex they were using may or may not have had the technical capacity to transmit on yet another frequency, at a reasonable power level. Multiplied by the number of stations already transmitting on that antenna complex.

I know that the Sutro tower in San Francisco added additional emitters on the lower half of the tower for the additional transmissions. They did not have the same emission pattern as the original emitters on the top. Also, most of the temporary transmitters were on high UHF frequencies, rather than the lower VHF that many of the stations were using. Which also precluded using the same antennas.

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Old 01-12-2009, 04:58 PM   #21
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I say, go ahead and do it at this point. Another thing this country needs to do is ditch the Inch-Pound system and go metric like the rest of the world.

Ken
Ken, why do you think we should go to the metric system? It sure caused alot of problems when they talked about it before (Mixed size nuts and bolts-sure was a PITA until you figured out which models and years used what where.)

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Old 01-12-2009, 05:21 PM   #22
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I connected my first converter to my 12 year old's tv last evening. (The child is 12 years old, not the tv.) I first found I had a bad A/C outlet and had to move to another. Then the batteries in the remote were weak. Then I got the thing working, but only got about half of the stations she used to receive. To be sure, there were some added channels such as a 2nd and 3rd public station, but I lost ABC and FOX and had to really finesse the antenna (amplified rabbbit ears) to receive NBC. Then I found the audio was very low on a couple stations and I had to max it on the TV to hear it across the room.

Since Kenya only watches the kids shows on PBS, and we have most sets on satellite, there's not a lot lost yet. Next step is to try it on my batwing in the M/H. So far I'm impressed with the quality of signals on stations that are viewable, but not happy with the lost stations or the marginal signals that continually break up. Best I can tell, there is no way to use one remote to control both the tv (on-off-volume) and the converter.

I'm in an urban area and expected great things. So far I am disappointed.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:16 AM   #23
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HI again, Joe,

Is 'emitter' a term used for digital transmission antennas only? The scenarios you posit seem speculative and not necessary. I suspect many/most TV stations can accomodate an additional antenna system, especially considering the analog antenna will be freed up after February. Then they can easily switch to that antenna.

I am not sure but I suspect the FCC will not require different signal patterns when switched to digital.

I had a digital packet radio system operating from my home for about 7 years. It was transmitting on ~145 mHz and linked to two other systems on 440 mHz.

Here in the Phoenix 'Valley of the Sun' we have mountains blocking signals. We had a bunch of problems with the links due to 'refraction' around the mountains and multi-pathing (signal bounce) which confused the receiving system.

The signal strength was great but the fact that the receivers could see 2 signals coming in with just a tad of time shift caused by the different paths, nade it hard to maintain a link. In fact, I ended up moving the antenna off the actual heading and used the bounced angle instead. Lots of fun.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:43 AM   #24
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FlyingDriver,

I thought the channel/frequency allocations for digital are the same as analog, just narrower. What frequency is channel 3 e.g., on now?
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:04 AM   #25
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This LINK will show the frequencies, power, antenna patterns and coverage areas .
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:11 AM   #26
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So if I understand all this correctly , if both of the televisions in our trailer are digital flat panels I won't need the conversion box, is this correct. Or because we have a bat wing intenna we are required to have the conversion box even if we have the digital tv. Set me straight guys. Thanks
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:25 AM   #27
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Scott if both your TVs are digital, you need to do nothing. Batwing will pick up the digital signal, and digital TVs will use it. Enjoy.

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Old 01-13-2009, 10:30 AM   #28
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Scott, if you have flat screen digital TVs you are set... no converter box is needed. You ONLY need the converter box if you have a older analog TV.

Your current bat wing antenna will work fine with the digital TV. There are less than honest advertisements out there promoting a "digital antenna". There is no such animal. An antenna is basically a piece of wire cut to a length that happens to be resonant at the receiving frequency. Whether the incoming signal is analog of digital, makes no difference to the antenna. It is the TV that receives the signal that needs to be able to handle the digital or analog signal.

As an example, my short wave radio is capable of operating in CW (Morse Code), upper or Lower side band, and any one of a number of digital modes...all on the same antenna. The antenna is tuned only for frequency.

Truth is I can cut a piece of 300 ohm twin lead antenna wire to a specificied length and wire that to the TV through a 300 to 75 ohm matching transformer and receive the digital signals.

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