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  • NPR report about digital TV

    Just listened to a story on NPR Radio about the lack of extra channels
    carried by stations after the digital switchover.

    Interestingly the NPR satellite feed for Europe carried the story "live" but audio held up on their site for another two hours.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=112039215


    Hugh

  • #2
    In this 37th-ranked US market there are only three of our eleven full-powered DTV stations without any subchannels (and the only local LP DTV on so far has 4, tho 3 with CBars). Being where we are, a good many of those subchannels are directed at Hispanic audiences. Personally, I'd rather have at least one with a local weather radar display than some super "narrow casting" to the fringes of a some target group like NPR often caters to.

    73, Pat - WA5IYX

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by pjdyer View Post
      Personally, I'd rather have at least one with a local weather radar display than some super "narrow casting" to the fringes of a some target group like NPR often caters to.
      I thought the point of the report was that you could have both a weather,narrowcast channel(s) and more on one DTV transmission which is what was originally promised.

      Hugh

      Comment


      • #4
        To Pat, I only wish I could lend you one of our weather subchannels. We have 2 for Miami & 2 for West Palm Beach!

        cd

        Comment


        • #5
          I got the impression that the FCC Commissioner was denigrating subchannels being used for weather radar and old movie/TV fare vs giving voices to the "forgotten". It was/is a condition of most (exclusive, monopoly) CATV franchise permits that they offer a "public access" channel that various "disenfranchised" groups can use as a soapbox. This seems to be similar thinking being applied to OTA DTV subs.

          73, Pat - WA5IYX

          Comment


          • #6
            The only thing that puzzles me, is that in this market #11 or 12, that there's NO RTV (RTN) affiliate, or This TV, or Dot 2 affiliate.....I love classic TV, and here, the "forgotten" niche is the over-55.....sigh

            Just like SA, I assume, if you habla espanol, you are in for a treat our local OTA TV. Two English channels have SS subs (2 PBSs & 2 others) *plus* the traditional SS channels. Ay, caramba.

            cd

            Comment


            • #7
              This market (inspite of the metro area of well over 1 million for the past few census counts) ranks so far down because in this state there are vast underpopulated zones between the cities. There are far fewer folk beween here and El Paso (included) - 500 mi - than in this city.

              Here it's WOAI-DT-48.2 MX (news), KLRN-DT-9.3 VM, KSAT-DT-12.2 LATV, KHCE-DT-16.4 TBN Enlace (also on a LPTV analog), KWEX-DT-41.2 KNIC (which is DT-18 itself!) and a few other Hispanic analog LPTV plus KVDA-DT-38.

              I'd actually "discovered" the This network on KPRC-DT-35.2 in April and was pleased to see it (more reliably ) appear on KCWX-DT-5.2 here in July.

              73, Pat - WA5IYX

              Comment


              • #8
                Pat, I'd happily offer you an extra weather channel. Both 6 and 10 here have them, as does 69 in Allentown. One is really quite sufficient.

                At this point co-owned CBS 3 and 57 do not have subchannels, nor does Fox 29. Channels 6, 10, 12, 17, 35, 48, & 57 have multiples. 39 and 69 in Allentown have multiples. 51 has none. 61 and 65 have multiples.
                Russ Edmunds
                15 mi NW Philadelphia, PA
                WB2BJH -- Grid FN20id

                2 ) SDRPlay RSP1a SDRs, Onkyo T450RDS,
                Yamaha T-80 & Conrad RDS Manager;
                Yamaha T-85 & Conrad RDS Manager;
                all w APS9B @ 15'
                Insignia NSHDRAD2 w/ whip.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think I read somewhere that CBS-owned stations, at the present time, do not offer subs. Here, DT 4 & 33 (at par with Philly's 3 & 57) are in the same boat.

                  I wrote RTV about getting an affiliate, but no reply. What I really need to do here north of Miami, is to get a state-of-the-art V/U outdoor antenna to catch WTVX 34, of which 34.4 is RTN. Easier said than done, in a mobile home park!

                  cd

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Correct - no ( or perhaps almost all ) CBS owned TV's do not.
                    Russ Edmunds
                    15 mi NW Philadelphia, PA
                    WB2BJH -- Grid FN20id

                    2 ) SDRPlay RSP1a SDRs, Onkyo T450RDS,
                    Yamaha T-80 & Conrad RDS Manager;
                    Yamaha T-85 & Conrad RDS Manager;
                    all w APS9B @ 15'
                    Insignia NSHDRAD2 w/ whip.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In the days when all cable systems were analog, there may have been a time when systems did not have enough bandwidth for the channels, but in the digital age? B***S***! Most cable systems are not carrying any subchannels because they want to starve subchannels off the air, so that people will need to subscribe to their systems to get more than five channels.

                      This was also true during the years that must-carry was abolished - many cable systems dropped local independent commercial stations, even though they would continue to carry ethnic and religious stations. Independent stations started dropping like flies.

                      A more legitimate concern the cable guys have is that if subchannels are given must-carry, the station owners would pack on the subchannels and used the whole schedule to sell infomercial time. Us DXers actually saw independent stations switch from old movies to infomercials the moment must-carry was revived. Some rule has to be carefully drafted that would provide for subchannel must-carry, but discourage infomercials by allowing cable/satellite providers to substitute their own programming (paid or otherwise) over a subchannel while said subchannel is running an infomercial (the American version of "simsubbing").

                      To be sure, I have seen some DTV subchannels being carried on cable as well.

                      One other frustrating thing is that I have never seen subchannels in the TV listings in newspapers and/or their weekly TV supplements (keep in mind at least 39 million people have CECBs!).

                      Another odd thing is the wide disparity from one market to another in the use of subchannels. They are common in small markets, where they sometimes offer major networks. In larger markets, things differ. Milwaukee is chock full of them, Cleveland had none until recently, and still very few. The Scripps-owned ABC affiliate in Detroit has RTV and automated weather, but the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate in Cleveland has none.

                      And what about Univision. Certainly they consider their sister network, TeleFutura, to be an OTA network, having several stations OTA, but in markets where Univision only owns a Univision station, they don't used their unused bandwidth for TeleFutura, they have Univision in SD with a null packet bigger than Univision itself.

                      Another concern of mine is class A digital stations. Without must-carry, there's almost no way they could ever be viable - but the airwaves could be filling up with them, even to the extent that they block future full-service stations from being built.
                      Last edited by ; 08-26-2009, 07:04 PM. Reason: separated paragraphs

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In the days when all cable systems were analog, there may have been a time when systems did not have enough bandwidth for the channels, but in the digital age? B***S***! Most cable systems are not carrying any subchannels because want to starve subchannels off the air, so that people will need to subscribe to their systems to get more than five channels.
                        This was also true during the years that must-carry was abolished - many cable systems dropped local independent commercial stations, even though they would continue to carry ethnic and religious stations. Independent stations started dropping like flies.
                        A more legitimate concern the cable guys have is that if subchannels are given must-carry, the station owners would pack on the subchannels and used the whole schedule to sell infomercial time. Us DXers actually saw independent stations switch from old movies to infomercials the moment must-carry was revived. Some rule has to be carefully drafted that would provide for subchannel must-carry, but discourage infomercials by allowing cable/satellite providers to substitute their own programming (paid or otherwise) over a subchannel while said subchannel is running an infomercial (the American version of "simsubbing").
                        To be true, I have seen some DTV subchannels being carried on cable as well.
                        One other frustrating thing is that I have never seen subchannels in the TV listings in newspapers and/or their weekly TV supplements (keep in mind at least 39 million people have CECBs!).
                        Another odd thing is the wide disparity from one market to another in the use of subchannels. They are common in small markets, where they sometimes offer major networks. In larger markets, things differ. Milwaukee is chock full of them, Cleveland had none until recently, and still very few. The Scripps-owned ABC affiliate in Detroit has RTV and automated weather, but the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate in Cleveland has none.
                        And what about Univision. Certainly they consider their sister network, TeleFutura, to be an OTA network, having several stations OTA, but in markets where Univision only owns a Univision station, they don't used their unused bandwidth for TeleFutura, they have Univision in SD with a null packet bigger than Univision itself.
                        Another concern of mine is class A digital stations. Without must-carry, there's almost no way they could ever be viable - but the airwaves could be filling up with them, even to the extent that they block future full-service stations from being built.

                        Comment

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