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

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

DTV CUTOVER bill - round 2

The Senate passed a bill on Monday to delay the nationwide switch to digital TV signals, giving consumers nearly four more months to prepare.
The House Did not pass this bill, - the senate crafted yet another. we will have to wait to see what comes of it.

The transition date would move to June 12 from February 17 under the bill that was fueled by worries that viewers are not technically ready for the congressionally-mandated switch-over.

The U.S. switch to digital television signals will be delayed four months until June under legislation that cleared Congress on Wednesday and now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature into law.

Obama supports the delay, sharing concerns that 20 million mostly poor, elderly and rural households were not ready for the congressionally mandated switch.

The bill delaying the changeover to June 12 from February 17 cleared the U.S. House of Representatives in a 264-158 vote and followed Senate passage last month.

Of course now all those dumb ads they wasted time on are now junk due to the date change. but they were junk to begin with, embarrassing us in the business with how hopelessly lame our FCC is.

For Shame and Shame again

About 13 million people hold expired $40 coupons the government was providing to offset the costs of converter boxes needed for older televisions, according to Consumers Union. The government ran out of coupons last month and millions of requests for coupons are pending.

NEWS UPDATE Feb 5 6:30pm - HR 1 Stimulus Bill has DTV Conversion Coupons: $650 million to continue the coupon program to enable American households to convert from analog television transmission to digital transmission. ( it will be Voted in to law tonight )


"We believe it is irresponsible to ask mostly rural, or elderly consumers to reach into their own pockets to deal with this transition when many folks, including the federal government, are making a profit," said Joel Kelsey, a policy analyst at Consumers Union.

Airwaves to be vacated by television broadcasters after the switch were purchased mostly by AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc in an auction that raised about $19 billion for the U.S. government.

Both companies agreed to a short one-time delay and their licenses will be extended under the bill.

For the most part, only viewers with older sets that receive broadcast analog signals and do not get cable or satellite television, must act to prevent their screens from going black after the switch.

Most Republicans opposed the delay, arguing it would create more confusion after years and millions of dollars had been spent by the government and private industry to advertise the February switch.

FCC Acting Commissioner Michael Copps said earlier this week the agency had been working on a "plan B" in case the Congress extended the deadline.

There is some good news i will cover...Later ... DTV new bandwidth usage includes wireless HD and internet provisions.

Friday, January 16, 2009

RIP Circuit City - inventory selloff NOW

Circuit City Gave up , Judges couldnt reconcile the Chapter 11 - no deal going.

A bit of a bummer for locations in where Circuit City was the Anchor presence in BigBox TV sales, but quite frankly this outcome was written on the wall long ago. It seems the cathartic outcome of OBAMA CHANGE is to come clean on your errors and take it on the chin, however that may be, industry corrections are happening everywhere, this will not be the only one. Watching Tweeter's fall from grace hurt a bit, but this one hurts a bit more i think.

Good news for you who have some cash and time and are willing to spend it in closeout sales.


When will the liquidation sales begin?
Liquidation sales begin as early as Saturday, January 17, 2009, and will last as long as it takes to sell through the merchandise at each of the stores. We expect the sales to wrap up by the end of March 2009.

How much will merchandise be marked down, and can customers negotiate prices for the merchandise?

There will be clearance pricing, but specific discounts are not being announced. All sale prices are at the discretion of the liquidator. Prices are non-negotiable and all adjustments must be approved by the liquidator's on-site managers. *
What payment types will be accepted at the liquidation stores?

Stores in liquidation will accept cash, Circuit City gift cards and most credit cards. Personal checks will not be accepted. All sales are final.

Will Circuit City's price matching policy or the 'One Price Promise' apply during the liquidation sale?

Because the liquidation company is in charge of the sales at the closing stores, their policies are in force. So, One Price Promise does not apply during liquidation events, nor does the company's Unbeatable Price Guarantee. All sales are final.

if you can pull it off... MANAGERS DEALS.

Lets say you and a half dozen friends want new TV deals, Get together and then ... talk to the manager, have a huge wad of cash visible, and you will likely walk out with a deal you could not get anywhere else. Anything they have that says LG or Samsung on it is done right for sure, so start there, and they have a huge Sony inventory. So get there early, see what they have, then get on your cellphone, pull a co-op buy together and talk the manager down on a qtty buy. Thats how to get big screens for the price point of smaller ones.

The liquidators went back to MSRP -10-30% so actualy for some items the price tagged is HIGHer than pre-liquidation $$. NOT worth the trip for many items. both BJ's and Best Buy had LOWER prices on some TV's/ unreal. Long lines though, so people were buying some stuff, but i think it was hype-mechanics and not real deals. I didnt see anything worth it, and left.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

FCC and the DTV Cutover - NO ATSC converter for YOU!

This is going to be a bit of a rant... Its just so yet more BUSH administration botched performance in your face that its time to scrape that wound open, clean it out and finally let it heal. or something, anything?

Part of the DTV cutover from NTSC ( interlaced crappy analog broadcast video ) to ATSC ( somewhat less crappy still interlaced digital mpeg video ) is going badly for the FCC. The were offering $40 coupons for every american to get a new tuner for thier analog TV's that use over the air antenna as a source.

They Ran out of money.
And you thought i was joking.

see for yourself: https://www.dtv2009.gov/
Happy New Year. You Lose if you waited... but then again, there were hardly any ATSC tuners to actually buy until recently....

Any requests made after Jan 5th will get at "Raincheck" sort of waiting list response. This shouldnt be a problem actually because its kind of lame to not want a new TV flatscreen anyhow, and prices between 200-400 bucks for a new one are easy to find... however, we are in kind of a cashflow problem here in the states and saving money is smart. So we want our" Free" tuners please... You promised this would not be painful didnt you. You lied didnt you.

but wait... 40 bucks wont pay for the ATSC tuners you can actually buy. So the DTV cutover is not as promised, but is yet another consumer item "Tax". ( Read: ripped off again )

This would not be all that bad except for one thing. THE FCC auctioned off the analog bands freed up by the switch to DTV for BILLIONS. yes they pulled BILLIONS out of thin air. .. and kept it. No Free tuner for you mr & mrs 2009 and cant afford a new TV at the moment.

Blame game time:

This is FCC Chairman Kevin.
Say hi to ths nicely groomed howdy-doody smile here, he is rich and you are not.

he said "I am deeply honored to have been designated as the next Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and I thank President Bush for this distinct privilege."

Here is more info about him ( from the FCC site )

Chairman Kevin J. Martin
Chairman Martin was nominated by President George W. Bush to a Republican seat on the Commission, and was sworn in on July 3, 2001. He was designated chairman by President Bush on March 18, 2005. Chairman Martin was re-nominated for a second term as commissioner and chairman by President George W. Bush on April 25, 2006.

Before joining the FCC, Martin was a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. He served on the Bush-Cheney Transition Team and was Deputy General Counsel for the Bush campaign. Prior to joining the campaign, Martin was an advisor to FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth. He has also served in the Office of the Independent Counsel and worked as an associate at the Washington, DC law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding. Before joining Wiley, Rein & Fielding, Martin was a judicial clerk for U.S. District Court Judge William M. Hoeveler, Miami, FL.

Martin received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Masters in Public Policy from Duke University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Federal Communications Bar Association.

Yes you read that right... Bush pushed him in, he used to be a clerk, worked on the republican campaign effort for re-electing Bush and the Lucky Guy to get gifted such a major role in our economy... boggles the mind. He is a lawyer. Does not know squat about Broadcast Technicals from any educational angle. Basically a dealmaker.

.. SO puleeeze kevin. do this right. You are pinned with your pants down.

Pony up th free ATSC tuners you promised while you were banking BILLIONS of dollars extorted from would be DTV broadcast kings and wireless digital companies. ( one pal of mine inside Cisco said that the FCC broadcast band auction was over 20 Billion that he knew about ) ... i think its more but i am no accountant and cannot prove anything. They can afford it.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Home Page ยท Telecom
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent US government agency, directly responsible to Congress, and regulates interstate and ...www.fcc.gov/ -Filing Complaints

Feel free to waste time here http://www.fcc.gov/
and get a chuckle out of inept website people here: http://www.dtv.gov/

and get on the waiting list here: https://www.dtv2009.gov/

Republicans have been crapping on middle america ( and the world ) for way to long. We know you, and we want you gone. Now is fine with us. Sorry but my appointee for broadcast band bucks bullshit meter went into the red and i couldnt let it slide.

Ok open question to all you readers out there...
does anyone have the grand total of collected $$,$$$,$$$,$$$ that the FCC got for the broadcast spectrum auction for all the newly freed-up channel space that DTV gave them?

Apparently the incoming OBAMA administration realizes all this ( please no comments on that ) and is suggesting that due to FCC funding misfires, and the understanding that middle america is not all Cable network connected, ... a delay in the DTV cutover is now on the table. KUDOS to team OBAMA for pointing that out... I agree... and i think that converter boxes should be covered by the coupons for VHF/UHF local user ATSC needs.

And its not that simple. we just tried one, and found out that the antenna impedance mismatch problems with digital signals is way more vexing than the average user would understand. Its very possible to plug in an ATSC tuner and get practically nothing for an image. When i find a good article DIY on that i will link to it.

Cory ( http://ondrejka.blogspot.com/ ) someone who helped build the Second Life that HD1080i also has a presence in ( and sometimes gets lost there ) noted today jan 13th, that Washpost reported Julius Genachowski is the Next New FCC Chairperson.


"I met Julius in April of 2007, early in the campaign process.

What struck me after we had lunch was:

a) how incredibly smart he was,
b) how quickly he synthesized new information, and
c) that if this was the kind of person Obama was attracting, then he would get my vote!

The Obama team continued to pull in amazing people and the rest is, as they say, history. It is all the more amazing given the many voices and directions percolating within the campaign at that time. Julius was a clearly a huge part of the process of pulling things together. I am certain he will be up to the challenges at FCC."

Ok i envy Cory that he got to meet that person, and i also respect his assessments, so for me anyhow, the light at the end of this tunnel is NOT an oncoming train, but an emergence from the parasitic dark ages of whatever that was we lived through for the past few years.




"With coupons unavailable, support and education insufficient, and the most vulnerable Americans exposed, I urge you to consider a change to the legislatively-mandated analog cutoff date," John Podesta, co-chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team wrote in the letter, which was sent to leaders of the Senate and House Commerce committees.

The government-mandated switch to digital television will free up wireless airwaves for public safety agencies and other advanced mobile services. An auction of those analog airwaves raised $19 billion for the government last year. Congress allocated $1.34 billion to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to distribute converter box coupons.

By early February, projections suggest the number of consumers on the waiting list to get a coupon could climb to 5 million, increasing by hundreds of thousands every day, the letter to Congress said.
Yesterday, Consumers Union urged Congress to delay the transition "until a plan is in place to minimize the number of consumers who will lose TV signals."

Lawmakers are looking for ways to make sure consumers who need coupons get them in time. "But with the date looming, moving the date back certainly warrants further discussion and may be a wise choice," Daniel Reilly, a spokesman for Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, said yesterday.

Ok so it seems the info i had was about right and general knowlege for those in the middle of it.

A quick call to CES ( thanks rad & wingnut ) revealed that there are in fact ATSC cheapo tuners, but the request for subsidy to ramp up production quantity and shipping costs was denied last year and thats why basic fundamental ATSC unbranded tuners is not there. They would rather sell you a new TV.

Rad says that if walmart or the like slapped thier logo on one of the ATSC microboxes, they could have claimed a presence in the solution. Note to Walmart - RAD is usually right. If you step in and solve this then your markting loyalty will be on the top of everyday TV sets across america. ( note to self- buy walmart stock ) Brilliant. Buy him a beer.

Wingnut loves the 3-D Nvidia WOW demo. says Gimme Gimme.