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Digital Switch-Over & Ofcom

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by rogerh, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. rogerh

    rogerh
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    I've just read Ofcoms latest paper on the Digital Switch-Over and it seems to me that they have completely missed the issue of DVD recorders being still sold with Analogue Tuners.
    If some Areas are to have Analogue switched off in about a year then that means that a DVD Recorder with an Analogue Tuner will only be of use for about a year!!!!
    As Ofcom are asking for comments I've e-mailed them and raised the issue that the Consumer is being sold short with built-in redundancy!
    Surely to acheive the Governments' timetable Ofcom should rule that Manufacturers must fit Digital Tuners.
    Can I suggest that if other Forum Members also write to Ofcom - the pressure might get them to take action :thumbsup:
     
  2. Nick_UK

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    It looks like the government want to wash their hands over the whole issue, and are only prepared to make a token gesture of free boxes for the elderly and those on income support.

    Manufacturers only fit analogue tuners because they're cheap. Integrated digital tuners/decoders would cost a lot more.
     
  3. rogerh

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    They may cost more but we are going digital and the receivers need to be provided. It costs the consumer a lot more to buy another DVD Recorder simply because the first one is no longer able to receive a signal.
     
  4. Nick_UK

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    Since there are several different ways that viewers can receive digital TV (Sky, Freeview, cable), it is not practicable to provide a tuner which can cope with all of these. Few people would be prepared to pay the price for a box that would.
     
  5. rogerh

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    I agree. But if the way of receiving a signal is via a set-top box etc. then why fit a tuner at all?
    The consumer should be provided with the receivers to receive the broadcasts (not sold a 405 line TV and told you can buy a box to convert it to 625 lines).
    As to Satellite and cable there are different issues there (such as what's Free to Air etc).
    The Government has a policy of ensuring that everyone who can receive the existing main Terrestial Channels will be able to continue to do so from a Digital Platform. Surely this should include making sure that their DVD Recorders can also receive the transmissions via their tuner?
    The issue is about us being sold built-in rdundancy and the Government, via its' instrument Oftel, acheiving its' timetable.
    Incidently I beleive that there is one Manufacturer (German) who does produce a receiver for both Digital Terrestial and Digital Satellite. I can't see SKY or the cable companies liking that idea!
     
  6. Nick_UK

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    I've answered this already - because analogue tuners are dirt cheap. One manufacturer fits it because all the others do, and they don't want to be seen as inferior. Since most DVD and VHS recorders have video inputs, and Freeview boxes can be had for less than £50 (and the price is likely to drop even further), this is not such a big deal. The real problem is that to watch one channel whilst recording another requires two tuners.
     
  7. rogerh

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    I'm still not with you.
    Are you saying that maufactuers should sell us soon to be useless tuners because the manufacturers' cost is low?
    Surely a manufacturer who wants to lead in a market doesn't just follow the others he aims to be the leader!
    Are you saying that to buy a £50 set-top box to work your DVD Recorder is no big deal? (I think it might be to some).
    Are you saying you want 2 Analogue or 2 Digital Tuners?
    Sky+ has had 2 digital tuners for Digital Satellite for some years now, so I guess you are still talking about DTB, in which case I agree that 2 Digital Tuners would certainly be better than one. But let's get one first!
    I don't see how 2 Analogue tuners would be much good if you live in an Area where the Analogue signal is switched off but I agree that they would be useful as long as they continue to work.
    However if paying for a Tuner which only has a limited life is a reasonable position then I can only beg to disagree.
    It's a DIGITAL future.l
     
  8. Nick_UK

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    I was referring to what the situation will be when analogue is switched off.

    Then, if you want to record one channel whilst watching another, then you will need two DIGITAL tuners when analogue is switched off.

    The price of Freeview tuners is likely to drop in the future. We are quite likely to see twin tuner versions so people can provide a feed to a VCR or DVR.

    If you are the manufacturer of an item, you make it as competitive as you can in the market. If everyone else fits an analogue tuner, and it costs an extra £10 to fit, you fit one too, because if you don't, you could lose sales. Most manufacturers couldn't give a toss about the life expectancy of their products, in fact most build in a degree of obsolescence to aid future sales.
     
  9. Wackojacko32

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    I am not sure this will be the case when analogue signals are swtiched off completely. They will become a necessity to prevent exisiting equipment becoming obsolete so if I were a manufacturer I would try to push prices back up. There is of course pressure from the Govt. and competition but it only takes a few major companies to start increasing prices and you never know.

    Just my opinion :D

    Wackojacko32
     
  10. mrtbag

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    Digital tuners are not generally more expensive than analogue. They are actually a few quid cheaper in the majority.
     
  11. Nick_UK

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    Yes, but it's not just a tuner that you are getting. It's an MPEG decoder too.
     
  12. Boy Lex

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    1 - It's not going to happen. I think it highly unlikely that anyone anywhere in this country will be ready for analogue switch off by 2008. I chuckled to myself watching the news last night and I will personally go out and buy set top boxes for all of wales if they actually do switch it off by then - it just ain't going to happen.

    2 - I agree with Nick. I'd forgotten completely that my DVD recorder has a built in analogue tuner. Why would you waste your DVD recorder on a crappy analogue source?! Manufacturers will put in an analogue tuner because they add about 25p to the price of the unit.
     
  13. mrtbag

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    Agreed, but if you take the product as a whole, the manufacturing costs to build a 28" 50hz basic wide screen telly, does not differ a lot whether an IDTV set or Analogue. You are talking 20 pounds at the most.
     
  14. mw01908

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    Does anyone know what is going to happen to the analogue TV spectrum, when and if it is finally switched off? Oxford is a special case, as they have a station called six TV which is on terrestrial, how would that get put on the oxford MUX would there be any room for it, it may have to stay analogue so a use for peoples analogue equipment after all?

    Anybody for setting up some analogue pirate TV stations?
     
  15. rogerh

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    The Government (NOT you and me) will make megabucks from the sale of the spectrum possibly for future telecoms use etc.
    Your local station will have to go digital to survive (or it could become cable only).
    The number of stations depends on the compression. The BBC, when it took over the "Ondigital/ITV Digital" mess, changed its' own to get better quality and less quantity. Needless to say the commercial operators have so far stuck to "bugger the quality - it's quantity that makes money!!"
    I'm afraid the days of Analogue are ending!
     
  16. Nick_UK

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    A lot depends on whether there will be a terrestrial HDTV service in the UK, or whether HDTV in the UK will be satellite only. If there is going to be terrestrial HDTV, the spectrum released by 625 PAL could provide it.
     
  17. MartinImber

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    If you want terrestrial HDTV I suggest you write to OFCOM and the three main political parties.

    To the political parties - they are prepared to buy votes and say 50% of AVFORUMS members followed this that could be 50,000 voters.

    Lets get writing!
     
  18. cerebros

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    Trouble is, that's 50,000 spread across 659 seats in parliament; that's just under 76 votes per constituency, something which isn't likely to raise much political interest except in the most marginal areas.
     
  19. rogerh

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    Lets get writing Martin!
    I reckon the DTI and Ofcom are good places to go because the Government already has plans for the old Analogue spectrum and it's NOT for HD Tv!
    As to the number of Forum Members being insignificant - I beg to differ.
    The more issues and pressure are applied, then the more politicians have to listen. I think that 50,000 letters/e-mails to the DTI/Oftcom and to individual MPs would certainly cause the topics to be addressed!!
    So Forum Members - GET WRITING!!!!
     
  20. cerebros

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    More would probably be achieved by 50,000 people writing to Ofcom. If it was tried to individual MP's they'd probably just get put straight into the SPAM folder.
     
  21. Nick_UK

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    If you are going to lobby your MP, do it on paper. If it means that much to you, it's worth the price of a stamp.
     
  22. MartinImber

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    Main political parties OK

    So what do we say to to OFCOM and our MPs?

    Who else do we get on side?

    What about the BBC?
     
  23. andyMallion

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    Well Sony have announced that they will no longer produce analogue TV's over 26" for the UK market. So at least one manufacturer has got the message though why they dont put twin tuners in all there TV's is beyond me.

    On the subject of DVD's I wonder how many people have bought DVD recorders believing that, in so doing, they have 'gone digital' :lesson:


    Perhaps we need to engage local radio/press in this debate
     
  24. Rimmer

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    Not sure what good writing to my MP would do. He (or she) would probably reply, "What's an HDTV?"

    One thing's for sure: terrestrial, whether analogue or digital continues to be the UK's number one platform for broadcast TV, but it will become the poor relation unless sufficient frequencies are allocated for HDTV use. By 2012 all the TVs on sale will be HDTVs, and people are simply not going to put up with Freeview quality when they see what is available on Sky and cable. If we are to have a decent HDTV service via terrestrial, most if not all of the current analogue multiplexes will have to be reused if the Freeview service is to be duplicated in HDTV format. No wonder Sky is keen to launch HDTV as soon as possible, given that there is no chance of a terrestrial service for several years (at least), and no announcements from the cables cos for a launch date.

    The BBC plans to transmit all new programming in HDTV in 2010. If they are to make their HDTV service available to terrestrial, they must surely be urging the government to reallocate the old analogue channels for TV use. Channel 4 is also lobbying for this, despite not having expressed any plans for HDTV broadcasts as yet.
     
  25. Starburst

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    The BBC has said they will "produce" all their programming in HD by 2010 so there is no worries that if you not HD you will get no telly:)
    Standard definition PAL broadcasting will be with use for at least another 20 years, I believe 405 line was only phased out a few years ago 25 years after 625line was introduced.

    HD via DTT will be a viable alternative to SD on DTT when analogue shut down has finished and combined with the more modern codecs that will drive Dsat HD it will allow it to be commercial viable considering that the market for DTT is different to that of Dsat and Cable.
    Have no fears, when the broadcasters think they can make money from HD on DTT or that they are losing to much ground to Dsat and Cable they will get the ball rolling but it's all uphill due to the very nature of terrestrial broadcasting.
     
  26. Dutch

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    405 line VHF transmitters were finally turned off in 1985, 21 years after 625 line UHF transmissions started with the introduction of BBC2. I don't believe 625 line transmissions will carry on for 20 years after HD terrestrial starts, which will hopefully be by 2010. The government at the time will be too keen to sell off the bandwidth to make another easy £22 billion like they did with the 3G phone auction!

    Steve
     
  27. Starburst

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    I was close:)

    The use of that new spectrum is of no concern to this or any potential goverment though, infact I suspect that it is more valuable to telecom companies than television companies especially considering the developments in landline IP distribution of digital media.

    Lets hope we are all around to find out what happens:)
     

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