International HDTV options - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:07 PM
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Default International HDTV options

A thread about the international differences in the format war mentioned HDTV options overseas which got me to thinking about it, so I'm starting a non format bashing thread to discuss. Here's what was mentioned "over there."

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Originally Posted by cazeo View Post
- Digital television is also booming through ADSL connections. FYI, all the French internet providers are offering what we call “Triple Play” options, which is : digital TV, unlimited phone calls and High-Speed internet connections for 40 $ / month. High Definition signals are not the rule and besides a couple of channels, we’re still having fun in 576i.
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Originally Posted by Merlins View Post
For Internet connection I guess we have the same price model as in France. Several companies offer tripel play (internet, TV and telephone) for about $40/month.
I've been reading a bit about DTV lately and this is something I'd be very interested to hear more about. Here in the US high prices have in part led me to drop my land line (phone) and cable TV (I watch free broadcast TV which has improved tremendously here.) Not much I can do about overpriced internet... yet.

I am curious, how is DTV (and HDTV) developing outside the US?
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:13 PM
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The main broadcast of HD in the UK is through Sky, who broadcast sports, some movies, National Geographic and Discovery in HD. Apart from that the BBC are also doing a trial. Sjy HD launched in time for the World Cup last summer and take up has been very strong. Personally I'm waiting for prices to come down before getting it myself - it's just too pricey! £300 for the box and then an extra £10 per month on top of that!
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Tejstar View Post
The main broadcast of HD in the UK is through Sky, who broadcast sports, some movies, National Geographic and Discovery in HD. Apart from that the BBC are also doing a trial. Sjy HD launched in time for the World Cup last summer and take up has been very strong. Personally I'm waiting for prices to come down before getting it myself - it's just too pricey! £300 for the box and then an extra £10 per month on top of that!
Various satellite and cable options in the US offer limited local channels depending on the carrier, but are starting to offer a handful of cable channels as well. There is talk that this will continue to improve over the next coulple of years, but for me it is also too pricey, especially considering what I can get for free.

I'm a big fan of ATSC. Here in the US it is really improving. I live 20-30 miles from NYC and get 8 or so channels in 720p or 1080i over the air. I read in another thread that you don't have HD available in the UK over the air. Do you have any digital broadcast television available? I read Europe is using something similar to ATSC called DVB and Japan is using ISDB.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:14 PM
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The UK has been using DVB for about 8 years, so many digital channels exist here OTA. Where I live, my tuner picks up about 75 channels, but it is dependent on your location.

The BBC HD channel that Tejstar mentions is running on a trial basis and I can tune to it and record the channel, but currently have no method of playing it back. It's encoded as AVC with Dolby Digital soundtrack.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:37 PM
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Wow, 75 channels! Braodcasting for the last 8 years!

I get 20+ stations (including ones like weather channels, kids networks, learning channels, etc.) in the New York area OTA plus a few that are spanish or korean. From what I've heard that is pretty good for US standards, as some other areas haven't made as much of a switch. I imagine the number will go up once the ATSC completely replaces the NTSC in 2009.

It's interesting that the UK is so far ahead in terms of OTA DTV but not OTA in HD. Here we have the 4 major networks, the 2 not so major networks, and at least one (I have two) PBS stations in HD (though with the exception of PBS, not all the programming is in HD.)

An encoded OTA signal is something I hadn't heard of. What do you use to record? I can't record in HD, in fact I still use a VCR to record. All the HD capable DVRs are either REALLY expensive (and are rare) or seem to be for Cable and Satellite carriers only.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:56 PM
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Note that those 75 channels include some radio stations and interactive information stations, as well as some duplicates because my tuner picks up some stations from two transmitters. You can see the full listing in the Wikipedia article . How many of them are worth watching is subjective

Only 1 of those channels is high-def, so it's a little behind in that respect, but high definition TVs were late to this market, stalled by the technology transition from analog to digital a few years back. Also, there is the cause of diminishing returns, as most people here don't have a large TV and lose the opportunity to really see how good HD programming can look.

My digital tuner is an Elgato EyeTV Hybrid with a Mac and it works really well.
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