Terrestrial Television

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iMacZealot, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #1
    My family has a giant Mitsubishi rear projection 52-inch HDTV in our basement with everything on it, including a DVR and a few thousand channels on digital cable. It's a great TV experience. However, right now, I'm in my bedroom, and I'm stuck with terrestrial television signals on my 13 inch RCA. It's alright considering how much I use it, but there isn't much on it. Besides the six big networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, CW, and MyNetworkTV), all there seems to be is PBS, MTV3, and Spanish or Gospel programming. Why is that? I wonder how many people watch those other stations. I wonder why there aren't more. Do you have more in your area?

    I also don't know what I'm going to do when DTV comes around next year...
     
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #2
    For DTV all you'll need is a converter box. Furthermore, the government will help buy it for you: https://www.dtv2009.gov/
     
  3. iMacZealot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #3
    Right, but our house has more than two terrestrial signal TV's, so I'm not sure if it'd be worth the $60 for me.

    Still, why is broadcast TV so bad?
     
  4. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #4
    Why not just extend the cable to your room.

    Broadcast TV is a dyeing breed, no need with cable and satellite. The FCC only regulates that the major locals CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, CW, FOX, and maybe a spanish or 2 be available over the air so why have more. Most smaller markets don't have many channels anyways. If you live in a big city you will get more. Plus independent channels that might be in your area aren't required to have a lot of wattage so you might not be able to pick them up.
     
  5. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    Agreed. With most cable companies, there's no additional monthly charge to add another TV (for analog, you would have to pay for a digital box if you wanted it, but analog cable isn't going anywhere after February 2009). They'll just charge you a fee to come out there and hook it up, or if you're a bit of a handyman, you could do it yourself. Although I'd recommend having them do it so they can make sure signal levels are good and install any amplifiers if needed, since splitting a signal will reduce its quality.

    It depends on your company, but with most companies, the installation charge isn't much at all (I want to say it's about 25 bucks with Charter, but I could be wrong on that, the last installation we needed in our house, I did myself, so it's been awhile). It's likely cheaper than a DTV converter box, and you'll get all your basic cable channels too. Since you'll definitely have to spend some cash in preparation for the DTV switchover, I recommend spending it on cable.
     
  6. HDhead macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    #6
    The main thing to remember is that over-the-air DTV is going to be free while cable or satellite will remain subscription based. So, if you're contempt with watching whatever local channels you receive in your market you may as well get (up to) $80 from the government and purchase a converter box or two.

    If you want to watch non-locals you'll need to get cable or satellite.

    Another thing about DTV is that High Definition is part of the spec. If you get a new TV with an ATSC tuner you'll be able to watch Hi-Def for free.

    Some low power stations are exempt from the February 2009 deadline. If you're in a small market you may still be able to watch the local low power station after the DTV switch.

    This article outlines the basics of the DTV transition.
     
  7. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    That's B.S. Why should taxpayer money pay for people to watch television?
     
  8. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #8
    To move everyone forward. Analog broadcasts are how old now? Besides, entertainment isn't the only thing on TV these days. Heck, my favorite shows are educational (Mythbusters, Naked Archaeologist, etc).
     
  9. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #9
    Because the government is the one forcing analog broadcast off the air?
     
  10. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #10
    Free HD over the air is awesome. No sense paying for cable when 98% of the channels aren't used. If only they broadcast NESN and ESPN over the air then I wouldn't need cable at all.
     
  11. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #11
    Which is why cable companies need to go to a pay-per-channel basis. All I watch are the broadcast channels, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Discovery, MSNBC, and the occasional USA, TBS and TNT, and even less occasionally MTV when Jackass and Beavis and Butthead reruns are on. Yet, to get those, I have to pay for 5 billion other channels I have no interest in, never have, and never will watch.

    If individual channels are a logistical nightmare, then at least split it up into packages that I can get. For example, move all the home shopping channels into a Home Shopping package, all the sports into a Sports package, all the comedy into a Comedy package, and so on. Then I can pick and choose which packages I want. Charter does this with the expanded digital channels to a small extent (I think there's the family tier and the sports tier, plus HBO, Cinemax and all that), but for the basic cable channels, it's either all or nothing.
     
  12. HDhead macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    #12
    Because the government will make far more money auctioning off the vacant frequencies then the money spent for $40-80 handouts. Besides, advertising is a big business and TV is an integral part of it.
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    Public safety. TV is a major source of news and information especially in the event of a natural disaster or other catastrophe.


    Lethal
     
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #14
    The argument that is made by the cable co's is that alacart will force the small networks out of business as they won't get viewership. The FCC wants alacart but the cable industry is holding back.
     
  15. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #15
    Because otherwise they'd just waste it all on missiles and stuff.
     

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