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  1. #1
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    Default Digital TV (DTV)

    In the recent months having conversations with people about the upcoming switch over to DTV made me realize how much confusion there still exists. It’s not the scope of this post to provide details on the technical aspects of DTV since there is plenty of information out there about that.

    In the US the change to Digital Television (DTV) is scheduled for February 17,2009 and August 31,2011 in Canada.

    What this means is that on those dates the television stations broadcasting free “ over-the air “ (OTA) signals are to switch off the analog channels and continue broadcasting with the free digital format.

    This will not have any affect on cable or satellite subscribers.


    Analog is the format that television broadcasting has been using since the beginning and the conventional television sets are designed to work with.
    When the switch occurs to DTV a convertor will be required to decode the DTV signal in order to view on a regular TV set.

    In other words you do not have to buy a new TV just a set top DTV box.

    The antenna that may be currently used will still work perfectly fine with DTV … contrary to some marketing hype.

    If the decision is made to purchase a new TV ensure that it has an ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) tuner. This is what is required for the DTV over-the-air (OTA) format.

    Another misconception or confusion is that DTV automatically means that everything will be high definition HDTV …. that’s not true.

    Here are a couple of very good links :

    http://www.dtvanswers.com/

    http://www.dtv.gov/



    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by canuk; 04-28-2008 at 08:33 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Digital TV (DTV)

    do they even have tv in canada??? I thought any canadians with a desire to be on tv came to the states

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Digital TV (DTV)

    Quote Originally Posted by havanagranite View Post
    do they even have tv in canada??? I thought any canadians with a desire to be on tv came to the states
    Not only do they have TV, but they've got the best home improvement show on the planet, The Red Green Show ... Just keep Red away from the case of duct tape.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Digital TV (DTV)

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    Not only do they have TV, but they've got the best home improvement show on the planet, The Red Green Show ... Just keep Red away from the case of duct tape.
    the red green show kind of the canadian version of this old house huh?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Digital TV (DTV)

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    Not only do they have TV, but they've got the best home improvement show on the planet, The Red Green Show ... Just keep Red away from the case of duct tape.
    How do you keep Red away from the duck tape?

    We only get to enjoy this show down here when the local PBS station is conducting one of their beg-a-thons. I love his little sayings.

    "If it ain't broke, you haven't fixed it enough."

    "If women can't find you handsome, then they should find you handy." (or something like that)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Digital TV (DTV)

    Quote Originally Posted by havanagranite View Post
    the red green show kind of the canadian version of this old house huh?
    Tommy is Red's evil twin.

    Quote Originally Posted by keith3267 View Post
    How do you keep Red away from the duck tape?
    You duct tape him to the Possum Lodge.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Digital TV (DTV)

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    Tommy is Red's evil twin.



    You duct tape him to the Possum Lodge.
    hey spruce is the character reds nephew based on canuk??

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Digital TV (DTV)

    Quote Originally Posted by havanagranite View Post
    do they even have tv in canada??? I thought any canadians with a desire to be on tv came to the states
    There are television stations in Canada, but the Ottawa régime operates them under fake Chilean callsigns (ie: anything beginning CB...) so that American viewers won't find out either that they exist or that they will continue transmitting analogue until 2011.

  9. #9
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    Lightbulb Re: Digital TV (DTV)

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    In the US the change to Digital Television (DTV) is scheduled for February 17,2009 and August 31,2011 in Canada.
    Don't tell people that! While it is true for full-power TV stations, letting people know about the different dates for analogue shutdown in Canada and México is only going to interfere with my evil plans to take all the obsolete analogue TV's that legally cannot even be imported to the US and dump them in Canadian retail stores, all hand-picked from brand-name retail chains where salesclerks have a time-proven record of cluelessness. If people walk in with stupid questions like "I hear WPBS HDTV is channel 16.3, does this shiny new TV have a remote control with a '.' button on it so I can tune that in?" they shouldn't be getting straight answers, just blank looks... the blank looks they've come to expect from minimum-wage retail. Let them find out that the two new extra WPBS subchannels aren't on the cable, aren't on the dish and aren't on the already-obsolete brand new analogue idiot box they just forked over all their Canadian Tyre money to buy only *after* it's too late!

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    What this means is that on those dates the television stations broadcasting free “ over-the air “ (OTA) signals are to switch off the analog channels and continue broadcasting with the free digital format.
    US low-power TV, mostly small repeaters, will be around in analogue for a while yet. That, and the border stations, will be a problem for some converters that can't just pass through an analogue signal untouched. Hopefully no one noticed (well, except for the low-power broadcasters themselves, and hopefully their voice isn't very powerful so no one will hear them anyway).

    In the mean time, we have lots of great public service announcements running eighty-four times a week on every US station (including some already-digital channels) to confuse the public by telling them that it's every analogue signal that's being shut down. LPTV? Canada? México? What's that?

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    This will not have any affect on cable or satellite subscribers.
    ...unless they live in some small US city where their local channels just plain aren't on the dish. In that case, bye-bye WPBS-TV. Enjoy watching nothing but Hockey Night in Canada until 2011, eh?

    And yes, I realise that "This Old House" is running PSA's on WPBS-TV claiming "if you have cable or satellite, you're good to go". I'm not sure what they said next, as I was on some digital subchannel and the picture and sound keep freezing every now and then. Hopefully it wasn't anything too important... like instructions on how to install UHF antennas outdoors before winter comes. Nah, they wouldn't have broadcast that. Never.

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Analog is the format that television broadcasting has been using since the beginning and the conventional television sets are designed to work with.
    I think the beginning was a mechanical spinning disc driven by a shortwave radio signal, although that most likely was just an experiment.

    Nonetheless, I trust the local CBC affiliate is now using the latest in 1954 technology - the US analogue Never Twice the Same Colour system but no digital signal and no HDTV. Unfortunately, some darned fool let them know about the 1956 invention of videotape and we've been getting endless reruns ever since.

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    When the switch occurs to DTV a converter will be required to decode the DTV signal in order to view on a regular TV set.
    A converter, or a DTV tuner built into some other piece of equipment such as a DVD recorder (beware - not all models have tuners).

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    In other words you do not have to buy a new TV just a set top DTV box.
    So if I have a pair of new TV's, I shouldn't still need to hold on to one of the converter boxes in order to keep an old analogue VCR still working?

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    The antenna that may be currently used will still work perfectly fine with DTV … contrary to some marketing hype.
    At least it would have worked had so many of our weakest, most distant stations not moved from low-VHF channels way up to the top of the UHF dial. I presume that the "deep-fringe antenna, 100 miles VHF, 60 miles UHF" designation is just the manufacturer's way of letting us know that over-the-air NBC is gone for good. I suppose they can leave it on just long enough for us to see Tina Fey inaugurated as their vice-president (what does a vice-president do?) and then turn it off. Bye, bye NBC.

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    If the decision is made to purchase a new TV ensure that it has an ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) tuner. This is what is required for the DTV over-the-air (OTA) format.
    Pity the vendors aren't required to tell you this - the way they supposedly are stateside. Hopefully Red Green is still on the air in analogue somewhere...

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Another misconception or confusion is that DTV automatically means that everything will be high definition HDTV …. that’s not true.
    So now you get to learn all this lovely new terminology like "letterboxing" and "pillarboxing". Expect a lot of local programming and syndicated programming (reruns of cancelled TV series sold directly to local commercial stations, along with game shows, Oprah and the like) to still be in the old format for a long while yet, basically. At least PBS HDTV is widescreen at all times, which is a good first step.

    When digital TV works, it works well. Still, there are a lot of misconceptions and a lot of unfavourable surprises waiting for viewers this winter. After all, one can only fit so much well-intentioned but wrong-headed info into one half-minute PSA.

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Here are a couple of very good links :

    http://www.dtvanswers.com/

    http://www.dtv.gov/
    ...and, if those fail, try WikiHow: Convert an Old TV Into a Fish Tank - they seem to have the whole thing figured out.

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Hope this helps.
    Actually, some aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen might help... thanks...
    Last edited by carlb; 11-21-2008 at 06:03 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Digital TV (DTV)

    Judging by your rant, you don't like the DTV switch.

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