Is the switch to 100% ATSC in the USA going to cause a surge in TV demand in 2009? - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:37 PM
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Default Is the switch to 100% ATSC in the USA going to cause a surge in TV demand in 2009?

On September 8th 2008 Wilmington North Carolina will be the very first city in the United States to switch to 100% ATSC digital. At noon on September 8th 2008 all full power commercial TV stations in Wilmington North Carolina will turn off the NTSC analog TV transmissions. Wilmington North Carolina is the test city. Then on Feb 17th 2009 all NTSC full power stations everywhere in the United States is scheduled to be turned off and only broadcast in ATSC digital.

http://www.dtv.gov/wilmington/index.html

The Federal Communication Commission was wise to have a test city to see what will really happen under real world conditions. All consumer electronics manufactories should watch what happens on September 8th and during the several weeks after September 8th. There is a possibility that in the city of Wilmington NC that there may be a shortage of ATSC digital converter boxes and new TV sets as consumers that watch only over the air broadcast channels rush to the stores to buy new equipment. If several stores run out of digital ATSC converter boxes some consumers will choose to purchase low cost TVs between $80-$300 which have ATSC tuners already built in. Others may spend $1,000 or more on a 1080P model. Some consumers that do not subscribe to DVR services will be purchasing low cost $200-$300 DVD recorders with built in ATSC tuners so they can continue to record in 480I quality from the local channels.
If there ends up being a shortage of ATSC digital converter boxes, DVD recorders, and new TV sets with the built in ATSC tuners on store shelves in Wilmington North Carolina then the same thing may occur nationwide after February 17th 2009. Perhaps the digital switch could help jump start the economy as consumers will be required to purchase new equipment if they want to continue to watch their local free broadcast channels. No one knows for sure but several millions of new ATSC digital converter boxes and new TVs could be sold nationwide in 2009 with shortages possibly lasting several months.
Over the years the bandwidth for over the air free TV channels keeps shrinking in the United States. There was a time when older TVs and VCRs went between channels 2-83. Then the FCC shrank the TV bandwidth to channels 2-69. Now when the nation converts to 100% digital ATSC the actual real bandwidth will be reduced again to channels 2-51. Virtual bandwidth with ATSC digital uses MPEG-2 compression with AC-3 with a 8VSB modulation that allows several video and audio channels to be placed in the same space as one NTSC channel use to be located. So with the switch to 100% ATSC we are losing physical bandwidth but gaining virtual bandwidth.
The reason for the switch to the better quality digital ATSC format and the reduction of the physical over the air broadcast TV bandwidth is so the FCC can re-assign the discontinued TV bandwidth for other important things like emergency service communications, etc. If the FCC keeps shrinking the physical TV bandwidth possible in several decades from now there might not be free over the air TV anymore. Many consumers subscribe to cable TV and satellite services because they offer a wider selection of channels compared to over the air free broadcast TV. Of course almost nothing is for free, the advertisers and are tax dollars pays for over the air broadcasts.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:48 PM
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There is a possibility that in the city of Wilmington NC that there may be a shortage of ATSC digital converter boxes and new TV sets as consumers that watch only over the air broadcast channels rush to the stores to buy new equipment.
How many people actually fall into this category these days?

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Many consumers subscribe to cable TV and satellite services because they offer a wider selection of channels compared to over the air free broadcast TV.
That fails to mention that cable/satellite subscribers will be totally unaffected by the change.
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:37 PM
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The biggest item in demand after the United States switches to 100% digital ATSC might be portable handheld color TVs. Some portable handheld color TVs do not have an external antenna input or A/V input to add a ATSC digital converter box. Also even if one can add a external converter box to a select few handheld TVs , the external ATSC digital converter is not practical since the physical size is larger then the TV itself and it requires 120 Volt AC.

Most portable black and white and color TVs will end up in the trash since they are unusable for broadcast TV watching.
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:04 AM
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The biggest item in demand after the United States switches to 100% digital ATSC might be portable handheld color TVs.
Ah, didn't think about that one.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:46 AM
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For a select few portable TVs that have an antenna input or A/V input Winegard has developed a battery operated add on tuner with remote control. This ATSC converter box is bigger then most portable TVs and is not practical for handheld TV's. For most people it would be easier to just purchase a new portable TV or handheld with an ATSC tuner built in.

Dimensions of the portable ATSC converter box (Dimensions 5.5W x 1.75H x 6.5D.
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?PROD=RC-DT09A&xzoom=Large#xview

Then one also needs this battery pack to power the ATSC tuner converter box
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?PROD=RC-BP9V&xzoom=Large#xview
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:22 PM
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News & Commentary
Wilmington Digital TV Switch Upsets Residents
Government offices get hundreds of complaints
By Swanni

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"Bloomberg News reports that federal and local offices were jammed with phone calls from residents complaining that they couldn't watch television. When the switch occurred at noon, analog sets would no longer display a picture on local channels; instead a message appeared saying residents must upgrade to digital equipment.
"Postema said many callers had purchased digital converter boxes, but didn't know how to connect them.
If people didn't believe me before, yesterday's results in Wilmington should be the ultimate persuader. The government spent a small fortune on a PR campaign to alert area residents and they still weren't ready.

Click link to read full article
http://www.tvpredictions.com/wilmington090908.htm
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:02 PM
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Wilmington Firefighters Acting As Digital TV Repairmen
Government offices get hundreds of complaints.
By Swanni

http://www.tvpredictions.com/wilmington091008.htm
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:12 AM
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Wilmington Transition Prompts 1,200 FCC Calls

http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/66532
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:59 AM
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Whats that Lassy, the barns on fire with little Jimmy inside. He's going to have to wait because the fire men are busy connecting DTV boxes.
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P View Post
News & Commentary
Wilmington Digital TV Switch Upsets Residents
Government offices get hundreds of complaints
By Swanni

Quote

"Bloomberg News reports that federal and local offices were jammed with phone calls from residents complaining that they couldn't watch television. When the switch occurred at noon, analog sets would no longer display a picture on local channels; instead a message appeared saying residents must upgrade to digital equipment.
"Postema said many callers had purchased digital converter boxes, but didn't know how to connect them.
If people didn't believe me before, yesterday's results in Wilmington should be the ultimate persuader. The government spent a small fortune on a PR campaign to alert area residents and they still weren't ready.

Click link to read full article
http://www.tvpredictions.com/wilmington090908.htm
Wow, that's depressing but not at all supprising... How the hell could anyone have possibly missed something this big?? Ugh...
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