No More DTV coupons left

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Bigglez
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Re: Coupons

Post by Bigglez » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:10 pm

evahle wrote:Anyway, I figured out that the additional stations are really extra channels that the main stations are using. Example: channel 10 now has 3 channels. Really great for work!
A DTV OTA signal occupies the same RF specturm as the
NTSC SDTV analog signal that it replaces.

A DTV signal, as for a satellite transponder or cable
TV headend channel, produces a 19.6Mbits/sec data
stream.

How that is used is entirely up to the service provider.

The bandwidth allocation is dynamic, and often changes
during a single broadcast. Four SDTV programs can
fit into one stream, so existing stations can have
multiple channels. PBS has been using these channels
for alternative programing for some years on
their DTV feeds.

Welcome to the new age of overwhelming choices!

Funny thing. We "Tivo'd" The 31st Kennedy Center
Honors and watched it later. The local news that
aired after the program was without sound from
the studio (the intro had theme music) on the HDTV
feed. After about 30 seconds someone switched to
the SDTV feed, with sound! The picture was
notably softer, but the studio is still in 4:3 aspect
and on HD has side graphics to fill the HD 9:16 aspect.

As we had extended the DVR event recording I
have this technical drama on disk for review.
During those first few minutes I'm sure the local
control room was in a panic as they tried to
isolate the no-sound problem. LAter they switched
back to the HDTV feed with sound.

farsideeng
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Post by farsideeng » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:02 am

Hi! I also got two coupons early on. Took 6 wks to get them. Unfortunately, I did not kin the expiration aspect and they both expired 6 wks after I got them. Discovered this when I went to use them.!
And then I couldn't re-request more.

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Bob Scott
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Post by Bob Scott » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:05 pm

farsideeng wrote:Hi! I also got two coupons early on. Took 6 wks to get them. Unfortunately, I did not kin the expiration aspect and they both expired 6 wks after I got them. Discovered this when I went to use them.!
And then I couldn't re-request more.
Why do they expire before February? What reasoning is this?

Bigglez
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Post by Bigglez » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:11 pm

Bob Scott wrote:Why do they expire before February? What reasoning is this?
To prevent theft or abuse.

The coupons have a face value of $40 and were
mass-mailed. The funds supporting the coupons was
reserved, and expires after ninety days.

When the allocated funds were used up no more
coupons could be issued.

It was expected that consumers would get the coupons
early, and buy the boxes long before Feb 09.
First come, first served!

Jim Barrett
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Post by Jim Barrett » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:49 am

Here in Wisconsin they say we have the highest percentage (20%) of OTA- only viewers in the nation. Lots of rural area and cheap people.

I understand and have found through my own experimentation that the type of antenna isn't important. The RF is RF and almost any tv antenna will work if you have a signal available.

I have cable but am getting a box because during bad weather the cable signal drops out & it's nice to have a backup to tell me it's snowing outside.
My mother-in-law has one TV in her living room connected to basic cable & a DTV box on the TV in the bedroom.

I also think I understand that most DTV signals are presently being broadcast at a reduced power level and will increase their signal level when the switch over occurs.

This transition is being poorly handled but there are a lot of political and economic tamperings going on, few of them in the public's best interest.

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Janitor Tzap
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Post by Janitor Tzap » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:26 am

Since the topic has drifted a bit, from Coupons to Antenna reception.

Is anyone using one of the So called "Smart Antennas"?
It was my understanding that these were phased array antennas that are Micro Processor controlled.
Thus, they automatically switch arrays for the best signal.

I'd like to know if it is any better than a UHF Directional, or an Omni Directional Antenna?


Signed: Janitor Tzap

Bigglez
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Post by Bigglez » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:24 am

Jim Barrett wrote: Here in Wisconsin... Lots of rural area and cheap people.
When I lived in Rockford, Illinois I heard worse complements!
Jim Barrett wrote:I understand and have found through my own experimentation that the type of antenna isn't important. The RF is RF and almost any tv antenna will work if you have a signal available.
Passive antennae can be made directional (Yagi array)
which helps with separation of unwanted channels or
interference. The problem with the original UHF
band plan was the very wide frequency spread.
This compromises antennae design, which could be
higher gain for narrower bandwidth. The log-periodic
and bow-tie are flat over a wideband (good) but
have lower gain (bad) compared to a Yagi.

I agree that the average TV signal strength is
high enough to swamp out antennae design
differences, leading everyone to think all antennae
are 'best' in their hands.

If you've seen the Youtube bow-tie construction
you might have noticed the finished antennae is
lobed behing the TV set, not even facing the Tx!

Pity that the same video didn't compare their
new design to conventional rabbit ears, or even
an unmodified metal coat hanger. (Or, a plastic
one for that matter).

Active antennae may have a lower noise
figure amplifier than the TV (plus the cable loss is
cancelled by the headend amplifier). Some active
antennae require DC power from the DTV box (and
at least one model branded GE provides this power).
Jim Barrett wrote:I have cable but am getting a box because during bad weather the cable signal drops out & it's nice to have a backup to tell me it's snowing outside.
With analog you can unplug the antenna and see snow...
Jim Barrett wrote:I also think I understand that most DTV signals are presently being broadcast at a reduced power level and will increase their signal level when the switch over occurs.
Yes. To have concurrent service some DTV signals
were on low power 'temporary' transmitters. These
can move to the assigned analog channel and full
power when analog service is turned off. The DTV
signal has a different mean signal level compared
to analog, so I'm not sure if an existing analog Tx
can be used for DTV service. I think it is left to the
stations to decide how and when to move. I wonder
if old analog Tx will show up on eBay?

There are other RF services that will continue to use
the new spectrum until a DTV signal is present. (Radio
mics, etc. ironically used heavily by TV stations!).
Jim Barrett wrote:This transition is being poorly handled but there are a lot of political and economic tamperings going on, few of them in the public's best interest.
Do you have any proof, or are you guessing?

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haklesup
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Post by haklesup » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:53 am

I suppose if they didn't expire, the program would have dried up even sooner, then some boneheads would get it in their mind to sell the $40 coupons for $10 on eBay.

I hope I do get them. I have a friend who gets her TV OTA. Right now, near downtown San Jose, she gets only 4 very fuzzy stations with set top rod antennas. Really can't do much worse unless she gets nothing OTA from digital. I likely plan to build that bow-tie antenna for her, it would be a good test considering the dismal NTSC reception at that location.

Speaking of antennas, Did you know that the leading cause of brain injury for men over 40 is falling off the roof. She is not getting me up there for a roof antenna, no way.

That bow tie design is so simple and cheap. one could build 4, nail them to each side of the house and use an A/B switch indoors to select the best one for a given channel. We'll see how just one goes first assuming I can get a box without overpaying.

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reloadron
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Post by reloadron » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:21 pm

According to the evening news, there is now a big push to extend the deadline beyond 2/17/09. Just a blurb I heard this evening so I have no clue how much truth there is to it.

Ron

Robert Reed
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Post by Robert Reed » Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:10 pm

Reloadtron
This is what the Obama aminisration wants to do when they take office. Has something to do with the poor economy and for people that can no longer afford cable because of it.S Supposed to delay it another 6 mos. This whole DTV thing has been and is one big fiasco!!!

Bigglez
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Post by Bigglez » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:09 pm

haklesup wrote:I suppose if they didn't expire, the program would have dried up even sooner, then some boneheads would get it in their mind to sell the $40 coupons for $10 on eBay.
Well, that would be illegal.

Image

Image

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reloadron
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Post by reloadron » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:21 am

Robert Reed wrote:Reloadtron
This is what the Obama aminisration wants to do when they take office. Has something to do with the poor economy and for people that can no longer afford cable because of it.S Supposed to delay it another 6 mos. This whole DTV thing has been and is one big fiasco!!!
Fiasco would seem understated. :smile:

What I seem to be seeing is plenty of people who with the converter box just can't get the signal. Mostly fringe areas. This proposed delay would do nothing for them. Well other than delay the fact they will lose OTA transmission.

Ron

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haklesup
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Post by haklesup » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:05 am

What I seem to be seeing is plenty of people who with the converter box just can't get the signal. Mostly fringe areas. This proposed delay would do nothing for them. Well other than delay the fact they will lose OTA transmission.
Given that after the turn off, many stations will adjust power and signal pattern this may be especially true. It won't make a difference to my friend who gets terrible analog reception anyway, it can't get much worse for her.
Well, that would be illegal.
Never stopped the homeless from selling unused bus transfers. And don't tell me no one ever sold a time share vacation certificate. Though eBay would likely block that, Craig's list does not seem to care.

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Bob Scott
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Post by Bob Scott » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:20 pm

I assume bow tie antennas are directional? How do you aim them? Is it a vertical array of "bows"? (yagis are horizontal)

Bigglez
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Post by Bigglez » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:55 pm

Bob Scott wrote:I assume bow tie antennas are directional? How do you aim them? Is it a vertical array of "bows"? (yagis are horizontal)
The bow tie antenna is a phased array of dipoles. They are
usually placed against a ground plane, which makes the
antenna directional (main lobe front, small lobe to rear).

More 'ties' more gain. It is broadband (good for UHF TV)
covering 3:1 range.

The Bi-conical antenna is omni-directional, without
the ground plane, and with cones insead of dipoles.
It is often found in EMI/RFI testing as it is non-directional
(when parallel to the source).

A Discone replaces one cone with a disc (or several
stubs in a circle), and has 10:1 bandwidth (!!)

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