• 08-01-2004, 04:38 AM
    grampi
    Some thoughts and questions about HDTV
    Since I have DirecTV service, I went to their site check out what they have available for HDTV service. I was shocked to find out they only have 4 channels available in HD. I'm guessing cable TV doesn't have many more HD channels available either. I'm puzzled as to why HDTV is taking so long to get going. It's been around for several years now and yet hardly any channels are broadcast in HD, and HD receivers still aren't built into the TV's. I wonder if there isn't some sort of "catch 22" going on between the HD industry and consumers? Is the HD industry holding off on expanding the market until consumer demand increases? Here's how I look at it from a consumer standpoint. I'm not paying an additional $10.99 a month, plus several hundred dollars for an HDTV receiver to get only 4 channels of HDTV. That would be ridiculous. Now if say around half of DirecTV's channel line-up was broadcast in HD, that would be a different story. Any thoughts on why HDTV is taking so long to get rolling?
  • 08-01-2004, 07:32 AM
    jasmit
    Sound and Vision Magazine did an informative piece on HDTV in their Feb/Mar 2004 issue. It contains answers to some of your questions.

    http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/art...&page_number=1
  • 08-01-2004, 08:02 AM
    grampi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jasmit
    Sound and Vision Magazine did an informative piece on HDTV in their Feb/Mar 2004 issue. It contains answers to some of your questions.

    http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/art...&page_number=1

    This may have vaugely touched on some of my issues, but it didn't really address why the HD industry is taking so long to really get the HDTV ball rolling.
  • 08-01-2004, 11:56 AM
    N. Abstentia
    There are not enough consumers who own HD sets yet, so the TV stations are not willing to spend the money to convert over to HD so there is not much HD programming available yet.

    On the other hand, consumers are not buying HD sets because there is not much HD programming available.

    See the dilemma?
  • 08-01-2004, 12:40 PM
    AVMASTER
    i couldn't tell you why there's only a few HD channels from Directv but i'm sure it will increase soon; alot of satellite receivers can pull in OTA HD from local broadcasters, if your receiver has this capability just connect an outdoor antenna. Also check out new satellite service VOOM, they claim over 20 HD channels
  • 08-01-2004, 03:19 PM
    grampi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    There are not enough consumers who own HD sets yet, so the TV stations are not willing to spend the money to convert over to HD so there is not much HD programming available yet.

    On the other hand, consumers are not buying HD sets because there is not much HD programming available.

    See the dilemma?

    Something's gotta give if any advancements are going to be made.
  • 08-01-2004, 05:11 PM
    N. Abstentia
    It's just like SACD/DVD-A

    We: "Make more SACD/DVD-A's!!"

    They: "They are not selling enough to make more"

    We: "Make more and we can buy more. Not everybody likes soft pop and classical. Give us some Rush. Some (more) Yes, Who, Zeppelin. Give us some Genesis. Duh!"

    They: blank stare
  • 08-02-2004, 07:31 AM
    topspeed
    I could be off my rocker (again) but I swear I read something about there being a government mandated time limit where broadcast stations had to have HD equipment in place. In fact, it was sometime this Summer. Anybody else read anything like this?
  • 08-02-2004, 01:33 PM
    grampi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by topspeed
    I could be off my rocker (again) but I swear I read something about there being a government mandated time limit where broadcast stations had to have HD equipment in place. In fact, it was sometime this Summer. Anybody else read anything like this?

    I could off my rocker too, but I think that mandate only applies to local broadasts. I don't think it applies to satellite or cable broadcasts, which is what I spend most of my time watching.
  • 08-02-2004, 03:28 PM
    woodman
    Ol' rockin' chair's got ya, speedo ...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by topspeed
    I could be off my rocker (again) but I swear I read something about there being a government mandated time limit where broadcast stations had to have HD equipment in place. In fact, it was sometime this Summer. Anybody else read anything like this?

    First off, there is no government mandate that would require broadcast TV stations to ever transmit HiDef programming ... ever! The only mandate is that they convert their transmissions to the new DTV (Digital TeleVision) format, which includes HDTV but also includes some 14 other forms of DTV - with differing scan rates and resolutions that are not HiDef at all.

    Secondly, the date when all analog NTSC transmissions were to be cut off was to be January 1st, 2007 - but that date had already been scrapped as being unrealisitic. There currently is no set date for the transition to be completed, but instead has been tied to the requirement that 85% of the TV homes be equipped to receive digital broadcasts. No one can predict with any certainty just when that will occur. My best guess would be sometime in 2009 or 2010.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by grampi
    I could off my rocker too, but I think that mandate only applies to local broadasts. I don't think it applies to satellite or cable broadcasts, which is what I spend most of my time watching.

    Of course the "mandate" only applies to OTA broadcasting - the FCC has no jurisdiction to mandate anything regarding so-called "cable channels".

    As to why there aren't more HDTV signals available on satellite TV - other replies here have pretty much nailed it for you. It's strictly a "chicken and egg" scenario ... a real "Catch-22". The bottom line is that it will just take time - more time than people such as yourself wish that it would, but we have no real say in the matter. It's gonna require more people owning HiDef sets and screaming for more HiDef programming to bring about the desired result.

    And dat's da troot.

    great grampa woodman
  • 08-02-2004, 03:44 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by topspeed
    I could be off my rocker (again) but I swear I read something about there being a government mandated time limit where broadcast stations had to have HD equipment in place. In fact, it was sometime this Summer. Anybody else read anything like this?

    TS -

    Not off your rocker at all. The mandate, as currently written, is for all over-the-air broadcast stations to transition over to digital broadcasts by the end of 2006. Obviously, given that a lot stations have yet to introduce digital broadcasts, that ain't going to happen and I think some more recent action pushed back the mandated conversion date back to 2009 or some other later date. However, the transition from the broadcasters' end is further along than some of us might think. In the Bay Area, I think nearly all of the local TV stations now broadcast digitally, as do most of the stations in L.A. Keep in mind though that the mandate for DIGITAL broadcasts does not necessarily mean that the broadcasts must be in HD. It's like Directv's music channels that broadcast at a lower sampling rate than the 44.1/16 resolution used for CDs. It's digital music, but not full resolution.

    But, I think the biggest challenge with the digital transition will center on what to do with those millions of TVs still tuned to over-the-air analog channels. As of now, I don't see any inexpensive converter out there than will keep those thousands of portable TVs and Watchmans from becoming obsolete once the DTV transition is completed and the analog broadcasts get cut off. There was a move in Congress last year to prod the transition along by mandating that all TVs sold starting sometime in 2006 be sold without analog tuners, and I think it went further by mandating digital source inputs as well (i.e. no composite, S-vid, or component video). That bill didn't go very far, but it points out that a lot of forces are out to claim most of the VHF/UHF bandwidth for other uses. We may not see it now, but that day of reckoning is coming when analog TV broadcasts cease.

    Here's a list of the digital TV stations currently broadcasting (yes, it's already come to Visalia)

    http://www.nab.org/newsroom/issues/d...tvstations.asp
  • 08-03-2004, 02:26 AM
    grampi
    If any progress is going to be made, I think the industry is just going to have to move ahead. I doubt too many consumers are going to be willing to committ the kind of money it takes (i.e., buying special equipment, paying additional charges for HD service, etc.) when you can only get 4 channels of HD. People aren't going to be willing to pay for all this stuff, then wait around for the industry to expand. It'll have to be the other way around.
  • 08-03-2004, 11:55 AM
    lattybuck
    Remember when?
    Anyone here remember the "Beta vs VHS" argument and the associated FCC regulations/rules/standards that were proposed and never passed? I know it shows my age. And I know higher definition TV is an eventuality. But this all looks very much like the same soup as the old video tape arguments I heard years back. A lot of the old TV sets have got to die off before too much really happens me thinks.
    That said I plan to buy an HDTV this year or next mainly for the HDTV DVD's that are coming out now.
    Take care all