USA Switchover today

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by mike7, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. mike7

    mike7
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    Whilst the UK switchover is dragging out over several years the USA has switched off all analogue services today all across the country in one go. Not a bit at a time as we are doing. They acknowledge that some people will have difficulties but seem to have put in place subsidised boxes and advice etc.

    I have never understood why the UK policy is to drag the whole thing out for so long. I feel this has just added to peoples confusion about the whole process.
     
  2. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    They had subsidies for STBs in the form of vouchers (which could be used at various places including Walmart.
    A fair bit of discussion about this in the USA MPEG/DVB satellite forums (of which I am a member).
    (Satellite Forums: Part of the ZForums Network.)

    Chris Muriel, Manchester
     
  3. Geofbob

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  4. stockyvillage

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  5. Isobutane

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    It suprises me how quick the USA has been in rolling out digital TV, and switiching off analogue. The US are usually behind the times when it comes to these sort of advances, they're generally very "tranditionalist" for lack of a better word. For example, their mobile phone technology and operator services, plans, etc are miles behind what is offered in Europe.
     
  6. mike7

    mike7
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    The US have a long established 'culture' of cable viewers so I expect that made switch-over a lot easier. Other countries have already done the switchover in one go without too much fuss. Still hard to see why the UK is making such a dogs dinner of it. My experience is that people are running around getting 'digital' aerials, new Tvs and worrying about dishes. In many cases all that is needed is an aerial check and a set-top box together with a reassurance that digital signal levels will be stepped up considerably on switch-over.
     
  7. Cliff

    Cliff
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    The change is even more dramatic in the US because many folks will still have a 4:3 set. They never really had standard def widescreen so the take up of 16:9 sets was low.
    Even now, much of the output on the main TV stations is still 4:3 format. Lots of news items are actually 4:3 and transmitted with black bars on either side. Just watching this mornings news (CBS) which was a 4:3 picture in 16:9 format. Only the bottom scrolling news bars stretched over the full width. Funny.

    Not in U.K. now
     
  8. Geofbob

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    I would have thought the US was ahead of us when it comes to rioting on the streets. The point is that most of those Americans left with blank screens have only themselves to blame - and the same goes for UK viewers in the same situation. (In fact, on both sides of the Atlantic, some viewers may prefer to wait until after switch-off before they buy new equipment.)
     
  9. figoagogo

    figoagogo
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    Its mad that the USA is still on 4:3 for a lot of stuff.

    As for an instant switch, or gradual - at least in the UK they have given people plenty of time so there is little excuse when the signal does eventually go off.
     
  10. funa

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    USA is an example of how switch-off should be done. If you understand why we are switching to digital then you know that in this process a subsidy is essential. Mainly for end users (viewers) but in some cases also for broadcasters.

    Check this movie: USA switch-off
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  11. mike7

    mike7
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    Loved the Video ...It's a classic !!!
     
  12. RecordablDVDfan

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    Yes it should be all in one go with DS...cost and sesonal reasons is what I read but this seems just an excuse other countries have gone totally DTT like Germany last year. What is also a joke is that many small relays will only get a half-freeview service. Even freeview HD will only be 720p, I'm sure the states and Australia have 1080i/p terrestrially. Planty of money about but being mis-managed as usual
     
  13. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    I don't believe any country has (or plans to have) 1080p transmissions terrestrially - for reasons of bandwidth and relaed equipment and distribution costs.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester
     
  14. Sky Bloo

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    The decision on whether to put 6 multiplexes at the relays was taken by the mux operators. They didn't think the MASSIVE extra investment was value for money, when you may only pick up an extra few hundred households per relay.
    Its just business sense I'm afraid.

    This country will end up with 1100 relays after the switch over, I'm guessing that there aren't enough transmitter engineers in the country to do all 1100 in one day. Add to that the complex nature of the national TV network, proximity to mainland Europe's TV networks and the geography of the UK and you can see how these things take time.
     
  15. RobertinHerts

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    But the wrong terminology has been used in the promotions. With a few exceptions it's not changing from Analogue to Digital overnight. The digital transmissions don't switch on on the advertised date but have been available for years. We here all know that but the general public don't all realise it.

    Robert
     
  16. RecordablDVDfan

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    Germany have turned off all analogue last year and a bigger country than hours so many more relays to deal with. Taking time is saving costs obviously. As for not having enough engineers get some from other countries ! No we are behind again with technology and we don't need to be. There's nothing unique about our tranmitter system I would think, what has proximitry got to do with it, juts the same situation for all other neighbouring European countries

    You say only a few 100 per reply but if you multiply that many times over it must be a few million which will loose out on a full freeview service no ?
     
  17. Ravi007

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    Its defo a cost saving exercise rather than the initial worry of how many peope will lose tv service!
     
  18. mike7

    mike7
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    I think you've really hit the nail on the head there Robert. Many people think they need a new TV. A lot are still coming to terms with the concept of 'widescreen'. I think a lot of customers think once they have a HD Ready set they are instantly watching HD tv. They seem totally unaware that you need additional boxes to get a HD signal into the TV. When you consider all other aspects of the equation, HD ready, Full 1808 HD, Freeview, Freesat, Analogue, Digital, Blu Ray, HD Freeview, PVRs, so-called HD aerials etc is it any wonder people are confused. Ask around and you will find that there is a strong feeling that you need a 'flat screen' LCD or Plasma to get Digital. Hence the reason why tips are full of perfectly good LCDs.

    An earlier switchover would have prevented a lot of this confusion. Whilst we know that a £30 box is all that is required in most in cases to equip your average Tv it is in the interest of the trade to persuade people they need a new television.

    A bit of honesty about the aerial situation would also not have gone amiss. It is only when you read the small print that it is explained that signal strength will be increased on switchover. Just look at the number of postings on the Forum about arils, airials, aerils or whatever people think they are, and how often there is an expectation that plugging a dish directly into a Tv is going to solve the problem. There are firms making a small fortune in my area flogging 'digital aerials' when its quite possible to get a decent picture now with a loft installed set-up. The government generated publicity on the whole project is obviously not getting home to people. They've spent a furtune on it and a lot of stuff produced has never seen the light of day. Too late to go back now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009

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