HD1080i De-mystify HDTV 1080i ::: know why before you buy

Thursday, January 11, 2007


The Switch heard round the world....

A new Monster is born. "ATSC"

Ker-thunk goes the analog broadcast TV channels and the end of an era is created as digital takes it's place. Possibly the biggest broadcast event to ever happen, as a mandated change to end over the air television in analog and replace it with digital-only broadcasting... a monster created from the bits an pieces of an already cobbled-together network.

THE ANALOG TO DIGITAL SWITCH is not specifically HD, but it assures that HD has standards that are the same everywhere.

It is ALL channels of broadcast Television. HD is already digital, and its the best of what that has to offer... I have it on good authority that several producers see that as a date to initiate 1080i anyhow. They have been collecting HD shows on the shelf and in the can and building out a full schedule to support that for a couple years now.

US Congress voted on it, passed it... House and Senate tabled, but is going to happen anyhow. ( some citizen groups are planning to sue about it, The UK is having an even tougher time of it, it seems to become a global thing since satellite digital is the way of a lot of this.) Whatever...Our USA FCC decided that they need to re-organize the distribution of broadcast frequency allocations for other wireless purposes, and that comittment will be honored.

This is dragging us all into a situation. We didnt have a voice in how it got the way it is and no voice in how it will change. Meaning: the TV makers in Asia have been handed billions of US dollars to make stuff that deals with it.

Feb 17th 2009 is kind of a calendar-as-dartboard for all this.

Basically the end of NTSC and the beginning of ATSC.

ATSC = The Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc., is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards for digital television. The ATSC member organizations represent the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries. ATSC creates and fosters implementation of voluntary Standards and Recommended Practices to advance terrestrial digital television broadcasting, and to facilitate interoperability with other media.

Note the International nature of this. It will be one of the few events in history that is intended to universally affect a global population of TV users.

The New Digital TV Tuner is also called ATSC, the digital broadcast standard. Regular TV in the usa is called NTSC. doesnt really matter all that much, its a Bunch of numbers, new channels. Juggling act of biblical proportion that will in one day obsolete half century of TV Tuners.

To defray the impending furor, the US Govt thru the FCC have allocated a billion or so to subsidize the making and selling of the new digital tuners needed for the new digital age.... like 50 bucks is worth something in the year of the OX, 2009 is targeted for the consumer. Probably a rebate form you have to fill out and hope you see a check in the mail... right. Some TV station will come up with a "Crisis" name for it, i cant wait, & I will be available for wry commentary interviews.


Prior to that, Cable providers are required to install and enable something called a cablecard...ever hear of it?.. do you have Cable? you will need to know more. Starting July 1 a deadline exists for switching over to new digital cable set-top boxes with slots for removable security/descrambling modules called CableCARDS. It doesnt really do YOU the consumer much good, but it does provision the management of content protection that is demanded by the content owners, who have pressured "the system" and FCC to insitute and implement it.

Motorola or possibly CISCO is likely the maker of your cableCARD. Think of it as your card-sized gatekeeper, the same capacity to list the GUIDE is the one that phones home to the network for fresh info, identifies you, and by definition, every click of yours is unique to that card ID.


Industry executives estimate that the CableCARD-enabled versions of the mal-equipped digital boxes will cost more than $200 each. Someone is making money on that, and someone is gonna pay. Probably you. Right now Comcast is asking the FCC for a waiver of the July 1 2007 date untill a cost effective plan is crafted, since basically they bought Adelphia and took on a huge load of old crap doing it, its a stress point for them. For Inclusion of ATSC tuners in larger HDTV, the must sell date by the FCC is now March 1, 2007. This means that if you buy a large HDTV it may well have both NTSC and ATSC tuners in it, or NTSC and Cablecard Slot, or both.

Since analog shutoff is about 2 years away, and that is easily within the expected lifecycle of your next TV purchase... you need to know this if you have an antenna on your roof that feeds that CRT TV set.


If you have Cable/dish access ( and its your internet connection ) then you will see this Feb 17th 2009 come and go with zero impact, unnoticed, since by then you very likely already getting a digital signal through your subscriber-set-top-box anyhow., HDCP/cableCARD and whatall DRM will be in place.

Over The Air DIGITAL TUNER SET TOP CONVERTER Like this one here...

If you are thinking of getting rid of your old TV , i would have that yard sale soon.


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