Linked by weildish on Tue 6th Jan 2009 17:28 UTC
Editorial If you live in the United States, then it's almost certain you've heard about this big digital switch that public television is making due to a new US law. If you live outside of the US, I bet you've heard of it anyway since we like to let people know what we're up to. The big day that's coming up -- February 17th, 2009 -- that magical date when all television stations will historically abandon the infamous analog broadcasting for greener, digital pastures -- didn't strike fear into the hearts at my household. We rarely utilize the antenna, and then only two to four times a year for a special program. Nonetheless, we got our hands on one of those nifty coupons anyway and went out to purchase a digital converter for the sake of those few intrinsic public broadcats. Read on for the whole story.
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RE[2]: Most TVs won't need one
by konfoo on Wed 7th Jan 2009 07:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Most TVs won't need one"
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OTA watchers get HD-DVD quality movies

Not true. Most stations run a maximum of 720p24 at 12Mbits MPEG2 simply because of transport limitations. There is no way to attain HD-DVD 'quality' since the transport bitrate is limited and can not match HD-DVD or Bluray's bitrate specs.

TV stations pay less money to deliver

You think someone paid for their new digital compression and modulation equipment? Retooling stations costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

HD is higher resolution and bit rate than ANY cable or satellite signal, second only to Blu-Ray.

This comment doesn't even make sense. Nothing prevents distribution of 1080p over satellite or cable except the device decoding the content. OTA, cable and satellite in most cases encode to the same specs (bitrates, resolution, audio channels) for premium channels. Most use the same encoder hardware (e.g. Tandberg)

1080i and 720p are the same bit rate, using the same amount of radio waves

ATSC is delivered in the USA in 6Mhz of bandwidth per station which equates to a transport of 19.393Mbps. You can multiplex as many programs as you want to fill the 20Mbit pipe -- 1080i and 720p are not and do not have to be the same bitrate, nor do they use the same amount of 'radio waves'. Your comparison between resolution, bitrate and radio waves is akin to someone saying that HTML and TCP are the same thing because they ride on the intarwebs. The only match here is the match between RF bandwidth from NTSC to ATSC.

Movies and shows get the 1080i (because they're shot in 24 frames/second anyway, 60/2 is still 30fps) and sports get 720p so you can see the action better.

No no no. Sigh. Please do some research on content acquisition from the source camera to the station and contribution feeds if you want to be informed about this topic, vs. spouting random numbers.

1080p that everybody is selling, is not a valid broadcast spec.

Yes it is. 1080p is SMPTE standard 274M.

Please don't make stuff up, you serve only to confuse the other readers who don't know any better.

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