Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Microsoft Television

DTV Transition Mostly Smooth, Windows Media Center Problems 223

Posted by Soulskill
from the muh-tv-dun-broke dept.
dritan writes "While most of the transition to digital seems to have gone smoothly, those who use Windows Media Center saw their screens go dark. Users are complaining that Media Center did not pick up changes to channel assignments that took place on Friday. Someone forgot to update the static channel lists distributed with the program guide. Users either have to wait for Microsoft to fix the problem, or manually edit the configuration files." Reports indicate that the FCC received upwards of 300,000 calls on Friday from consumers seeking late help with the transition, but they were prepared, with over 4,000 operators available to handle problems. The FCC's DTV website also had over 3 million hits on Friday. Both phone and Internet traffic have now tapered off, and supplies of converter boxes appear to have held out just fine.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

DTV Transition Mostly Smooth, Windows Media Center Problems

Comments Filter:
  • Anecdote (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maxume (22995) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @10:43AM (#28326501)

    One local station was completely dark for about 8 hours, another delayed the switch until after game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals and was off the air for about 2.5 minutes. The third had already switched in February after their analog transmitter blew up (or broke down in some more mundane fashion).

    Still some teething problems here, for instance, guides not matching programming, the SAP being fed alongside the main audio programming, and occasional blank screens. Some stations are convinced that they have to broadcast SD in 4:3 (or they think it will help old people, or something, I wish they would use 16:9).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ken_g6 (775014)

      All my local stations had some problems around that time. On Thursday night, CBS had an audio problem (using the wrong channels from the surround sound, I think, so music came through but voices did not.) On Friday morning, ABC was dropping frames, so movements looked jerky. An analog repeater station also somehow switched from PBS to religious programming for awhile. Then on Friday night, PBS digital, a Spanish station, and NBC all went black for awhile (during the hockey game!) But I think they're all

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Patch86 (1465427)

      I feel that the UK has done/is doing the whole digital switch-over thing better.

      Here, each region (roughly equivalent to each local-news region) has it's own switch-off date, with the whole thing spread over about 4 years (and this in a country with a smaller population, more densely packed, meaning the switch-over would probably be easier anyway). This means that, for one, the broadcasters and government agencies only have to worry about nurse-maiding small numbers of people over at once. For two, it gives

      • by JamesP (688957)

        Don't forget about the whole 'TV Licensing' thing in the UK

      • by Korin43 (881732)
        Doesn't seem that bad.. a few channels switching over slowly and some bad sound? I don't see the big deal.
      • by Pinky3 (22411)

        Why a large, sparsely populated country of ~300 million people would decide to do the switch-over all at once I can't figure out. Maybe THAT'S the easier way and the UK is doing it awkwardly, but it just doesn't seem like that to me.

        The switch over to digital was months ago for most stations in most markets. The only thing that happened on Friday was that the analog transmitters were turned off. I don't know of any channel that turned on its digital transmitter for the first time Friday. The converter boxes worked last week, and they still work now. For those stations who kept broadcasting digital on the same channels as they did last week, nothing changed (digitally). However, I have lost several channels that moved on Friday fro

    • by symbolic (11752)

      I'm wondering now - I have cable, but suddenly started seeing closed-captions for all of the programming. I've checked the TV settings, and the CC is off. At first I thought it was the the age of the TV showing, but now I wonder if it might have something to do with this.

    • Re:Anecdote (Score:5, Interesting)

      by VanessaE (970834) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @03:37PM (#28328413) Homepage

      What drives me nuts is when stations just can't figure out the concept of letting the viewer's receiver and display hardware handle the task of properly displaying the video.

      In my area, two of the 8 or so digital stations are broadcasting 16:9 1080i as their main channel, even when the programming is SD 4:3. They scale the 480-line video up to 1080 lines, add black bars to the sides, and mark the stream as 16:9. My display devices are all normal 4:3 or 5:4 ratio, like the vast majority of others in my area (and across the country, I suspect), so that means my receiving hardware has to add a second set of black bars (to the top/bottom) to resize that "16:9" stream to fit a normal screen.

      Sure I could just use the zoom feature my boxes all have, but that means I have to sit there cycling through several zoom settings every time the ratio changes or I change channels. In a real life setting, this becomes very annoying, so in this most common case, some 20% of my screen space goes unused and the video looks "just OK" because of the doubled scaling (once by the broadcaster, and once by my display hardware). The overall video quality also starts to suffer from compression artifacts (because of the wasted bandwidth from the pre-scaling).

      To make matters worse, this area has frequent inclement weather, which necessitates adding a crawler and radar display over the pre-mutilated video. If I zoom, I'll lose enough of the crawler that it becomes useless.

      To compound the problem even further, the broadcaster will occasionally show a 16:9 program that was already letterboxed before they got their hands on it, which means a third set of bars is being added. In the worst case, 60% of my screen is wasted, the video is blurry from having been scaled down once by the content provider, up once by the broadcaster, and then up again by my display hardware. The crawler becomes almost blindingly sharp at times and more distracting than it should be compared to the rest of the video.

      To top it all off, most of the 4:3 stuff the content providers are sending to the local broadcasters (here anyway) clearly comes from older NTSC video tape, or some other low-quality analog sources, and thus doesn't look any better in digital than it did in analog. What's the point of all this SD-to-HD chazarai when the source looks like shit to start with?

      All I ask is that the content providers and broadcasters start using high-quality media and broadcast the programming in whatever aspect ratio and resolution it was originally meant for, as is usually done with other MPEG2-based formats. If a DVD can switch between 4:3 and 16:9 content freely, why can't a broadcaster do the same?

      I brought this up (using much more pleasant language, of course) with both of the affected stations. I was given an answer more or less equivalent to "Your comment has been noted. Sucks to be you."

      Real impressive people - it really makes me want to watch your stations.

      • I'd be more annoyed if they switched all the time, since my HDTV takes a second to switch modes. Also, my TV seems to record the mode each station broadcasts in, so that would probably confuse the hell out of it as well.

        Sorry that they can't please all the people all the time, but on my old 4:3 TV I have no problem zooming in (and not missing any of the picture.) It sounds like your receiver may be more of the problem if it's cropping part of the picture.
  • It Worked (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Surbius (1133357) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @10:47AM (#28326519)

    I must say, a federal government agency actually worked; albeit to the tune of two billion dollars.

    One can only wonder what one-thousand billion dollars can do.

    [/sarcasm]

    • Re:It Worked (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Skreems (598317) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @11:45AM (#28326779) Homepage
      Since the cost of the transition was financed with a small portion of the proceeds from the sale of the old Analog spectrum, the whole thing was pretty clearly a net gain.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ionix5891 (1228718)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by westlake (615356)

      I must say, a federal government agency actually worked; albeit to the tune of two billion dollars.

      The spectrum sale was quite successful from the government's point of view.

      The migration to digital frees a lot of space for other uses - and the geek - the techie - directly and indirectly is quite obviously one of the prime beneficiaries.

      Since he rarely admits to ever watching broadcast TV - I am not quite sure what he is complaining about.

    • by iluvcapra (782887)
      I think they made something like $18 billion on the VHF auction so they're still ahead. They probably could have done better still if they had made prospective buyers bid a rental fee for the spectrum license, or a percentage of their revenue, and both would have increased the participation of small players, but I guess that's a bad thing to some people.
  • by yourassOA (1546173) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @10:51AM (#28326533)
    This is more complicated than the kernel update I did last night.
    Almost as bad as updating alsa to 1.0.20. (stupid jaunty jackassalope shipped with 1.0.18)
    At least windows is starting to be a real OS with the typing and such.
    • I had a chuckle at the "manually edit" part, as well.

      The fact is, editing by its vary nature is manual, so the modifier is redundant. The shopping list or letter to grandma in Word, or the one-liner email in Gmail are all manually written and manually edited. The only way the process could be automated is if you designed a mechanical robot to press keys on the keyboard for you.

      But if you can build, assemble and program a robot, why not just write a program that can find differences between files, and then

      • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:31PM (#28327125)

        Never mind that I type and edit all day, editing a configuration file or typing

        What they type all day is English. What you're trying to get them to do is type in some weird computer-ese language that they don't understand.

        • What they type all day is English.

          I don't know if I'd go that far...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by value_added (719364)

          What they type all day is English. What you're trying to get them to do is type in some weird computer-ese language that they don't understand.

          Sigh.

          Yes, what they type all day is indeed English (or their native language), but what they use their mouse for (the point of my post) is to click on menus, toolbars and radio buttons in configuration screens that are written in exactly that "weird computer-ese language" you're referring to.

          Now that we both know what we're talking about, how about addressing the act

          • by Blakey Rat (99501)

            Now that we both know what we're talking about, how about addressing the actual points I made, namely that interpreting instructions for the mouse are typically more difficult than "text mode" instructions, an exclusive reliance on the mouse-only method yields few (if any) benefits in the long term,

            Only if you utterly ignore discoverability, and the ability to make use of spatial memory. (Which for normal non-Slashdot people is much stronger than the rote memory used for remembering CLI commands.) Oh, and t

      • by RoFLKOPTr (1294290) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:58PM (#28327279)

        The only way the process could be automated is if you designed a mechanical robot to press keys on the keyboard for you.

        Or if the guide software edited the configuration for you, like it's supposed to. That would be automatic editing, would it not? Last I checked "mechanical" was nowhere in the definition of "automatic", therefore it can, by definition, be carried out by software.

      • by Raineer (1002750)

        I had a chuckle at the "manually edit" part, as well.

        The fact is, editing by its vary nature is manual, so the modifier is redundant. The shopping list or letter to grandma in Word, or the one-liner email in Gmail are all manually written and manually edited.

        If you've ever worked any sort of support you'd understand that a solid 95% of the American public are terrified to edit anything they didn't write themselves. I completely agree that it's very similar to editing that grocery list, and this would even come with directions!

        However, there is a funny thing about directions given to the average person. If they get above 4 or 5 steps (this includes mouse clicks), people see too much and get overwhelmed immediately. I am so blessed as to spend my day job suppo

    • by Bios_Hakr (68586)

      I run a Windows7 Media Center. The "editing" they are talking about was done from the MCE remote while sitting on my couch.

      I had to do the same thing on my standard HDTV. Went into the setup menu and told it to re-detect all the available channels. It took 5 minutes to re-scan and then another 5 minutes of telling it not to add Fox News, Trinity Broadcasting, Home Shopping Network, and other drivel like that.

  • Progress (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @10:52AM (#28326537)

    Now everyone will experience beautiful, high resolution broadcast video of quality programming.

    Ha, ha! Just kidding, I made that second part up.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      It's kind of funny you mention that. Oh that high quality is nice, if you don't mind the blocks, and audio dropping out. For all those years of the CRTC worrying about "Canadian Content" and FTA, the Americans solved the problem overnight.

      My grandmother who lives in the middle of no-where Ontario, about 20mins from any major city, and 1.5hrs from Detroit/Buffalo/Port Huron lost all of the normal stations she used to get. NBC(Erie), ABC(Somewhere in PA) and CBS somewhere, along with PBS(Erie), and Fox(Tol

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by bertoelcon (1557907)
        I live in middle of -no-where Texas and I used the DTV box for several months before the switch, and now my channels have dropped to near no signal since everyone else is using the signal. Last week my average signal was in the high 80%s, now its around 40% if at all. I guess its good I only watch one show and usually watch it later online anyway.
      • She could do what millions of American have done and bought an atsc tuner. Some models have an ntsc passthrough, so that any non digital Canadian stations will still get through.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mashiki (184564)

          Personally it would have been better if Canada had been in the same step as the US and done the transition at the same time. Nope gotta wait another 2 years or so. By that time she'll probably be living in a city instead of out in the middle of no-where. It's not a bad idea, I thought of it but she decided against it. She's as stubborn as I am.

          • The "transition" is more of a deadline. I've been using atsc for several years. In all probability, Canadian stations are simulcasting atsc right now.

    • Living out in the country, I now only get 5 channels. Three are in Spanish, one seems to be non-stop evangelical sermons, and the last one is my local TV station. Also, the image frequently stutters, goes to a black "no signal screen", and comes back a minute or two later. It's completely unwatchable.

      Yes, I've tried getting a better antenna, but website I've checked out indicate I would need a huge, expensive, directional one to have even a chance of getting good signal.

      They've essentially turned off pub

      • They've essentially turned off public television, and sold the profits to the highest bidder.

        I dont buy your argument. They changed the standard, they didnt turn off public access to OTA TV. Yes, there is a period where everything has to get sorted out but in 5 years, the signal strength issues will be sorted out, everyone will have a digital tuner, and the young teenagers who are being roped into fixing grandma's TV won't even remember a time when it was analog.

  • Why can't windows media player scan of channels?

  • And i just thought it was because i had comcast and it rained.. Go figure.

  • by Urban Garlic (447282) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @11:08AM (#28326613)

    I got eight new channels on Friday -- the MHz and ION networks went digital in my area, so now I can watch Bollywood movies, English-language Russian TV, NHK Today, and some Chinese thing, among others.

    These actually can be quite interesting to browse -- the Russian take on the Iranian election was kind of interesting.

    • by Penguin (4919) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @11:55AM (#28326845) Homepage

      I got eight new channels on Friday -- the MHz and ION networks went digital in my area, so now I can watch Bollywood movies, English-language Russian TV, NHK Today, and some Chinese thing, among others.

      These actually can be quite interesting to browse -- the Russian take on the Iranian election was kind of interesting.

      Caveat: These reports origin from foreign dubious sources and haven't been processed by the US News un-bias-o-matic.

    • mhz went all digital a couple of years ago. Since they broadcast four SD subchannels, each with its own content, it made more sense than wasting money on a analog transmitter. The mHz stations in my area have ganged up, so I can choose from eight different foreign language programs.

  • I no longer receive a couple of local channels that were cheap bastards and did not buy a new transmitter, but now I get Green Bay channel 2 and Channel 22 out of South bend.

    The weird part is that there are a couple of stations still broadcasting analog and normal programming.

    • by crazyprogrammer (412543) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @11:23AM (#28326665) Homepage

      The weird part is that there are a couple of stations still broadcasting analog and normal programming

      The countless number of PSAs that aired concerning the DTV transition stated that low power stations would not be affected. Are these couple of stations you speak of major network affiliates for a large metro area or a local community college station?

      • by vitaflo (20507)

        Are these couple of stations you speak of major network affiliates for a large metro area or a local community college station?

        For me these are major networks in a large metro area. That said, all they are showing now are PSA's on the DTV switch (most likely for those who haven't made the switch and don't know WTF is going on). But they certainly are still transmitting on analog.

    • by Megane (129182)

      One local station here is still running the converter box video in analog, and a translator for another local station is still in analog.

      Another local station did a flash cut, for real. I had both channels showing on two different screens, and they both went out at the same time. It took me a minuter or so to convince my cable box to tune into the other channel without doing a rescan, but I'm sure it was quick. And a PBS station in an adjacent market that I've been wanting to receive also did a flash-cut.

    • by Titoxd (1116095) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @02:00PM (#28327667) Homepage
      That's your analog nightlight [wikipedia.org] at work...
    • by Rick17JJ (744063)

      I am still getting 7 analog channels and only one digital channel. I live near Prescott, Arizona and my television signals come from a rural translator station on Mt. Francis, between here and Phoenix. My understanding, is that low-power stations and rural relay stations known as "translators" are not required to make the change.

      One of my two very old TVs has a converter box. With the converter box on, the only channel that I get is the FOX network KSAZ DT 10.1 digital channel. When I connect the rabbit

  • Well Done (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @11:27AM (#28326691) Homepage

    Reports indicate that the FCC received upwards of 300,000 calls on Friday from consumers seeking late help with the transition, but they were prepared, with over 4,000 operators available to handle problems. The FCC's DTV website also had over 3 million hits on Friday. Both phone and internet traffic have now tapered off, and supplies of converter boxes appear to have held out just fine.

    Much of my comment history has been dedicated to chastising the government when they get things wrong. I should also recognize when they get it right.

    Nice work, guys!

  • YouTube [youtube.com]
  • by freedom_india (780002) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @11:53AM (#28326833) Homepage Journal

    ...discussion on something as mundane as Digital TV turn into Microsoft Bashing.
    Its Incredible.
    I mean we are discussing the transition from analog to digital TV and somehow the submitter thought to add his two cents in bashing up Microsoft.
    MythTV has it.
    Ubuntu has it.
    BUT NO! He has to bash Microsoft.
    What an asshole.

    • It is reasonable (Score:5, Informative)

      by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel AT hotmail DOT com> on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:20PM (#28327045) Homepage Journal

      A bit thin skinned?

      First, Microsoft has in excess of 80 to 90% of the market, and Linux is "desktop irrelevant" at 1 to 5%. Given those figures, isn't Media Center the ONLY TV application that matters? If there is a problem, it really only affects Media Center, right?

      So, it's not "Microsoft Bashing". It's simple reporting. And, on a tech oriented website, I would certainly expect some tech slanted coverage.

      • I care less about Microsoft than i care about Apple.
        But that is not the fact.
        90% Windows != 90% Media Center Windows.
        Apple is way more popular as a media center than Windows.
        Ask anyone who bought the Mac Mini.
        Mini too has the same tuning issues until Apple updates the channels.

  • by Zero_DgZ (1047348) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @11:59AM (#28326861)

    I "get" the background and the technological reasons to switch to digital TV and all that. But honestly, how many millions of our tax dollars are being wasted on this "dear god we need to drop everything and help everyone switch because lord knows we can't trust them to handle their own affairs!" game? Seriously. Why should we care? It's only television.

    Having to hear every four seconds about how it's going to be some kind of goddamned tragedy because some portion of lazy motherfuckers sitting on a couch somewhere can't be arsed to replace or upgrade their own equipment (or get someone to do it for them!) when we've been listening to the same goddamned twitter about this switch for three fucking years is really wearing thin. Now we're going to have to hear three more years of whining about how the new digital TV is no good, so-and-so can't get such-and-such channel anymore, and woe is me, my reception sucks now. I have a better idea: Why don't we just turn the whole thing the fuck off? I quit watching TV when I was a teenager and honestly, my life hasn't been any less enriched because of it. I have a TV, but it's an old analog one that I use as a monitor for my game consoles. I don't have cable, I don't have a converter box, and I don't even have a damn antenna for the thing. I don't care, and I don't see why anyone else should care enough to be treating this like some kind of disaster.

    Way back when this digital switchover was announced in the first place I held the vain hope that some portion of people might wake up and decide to do something else with themselves instead of park in front of their (soon to be useless) TV. Like, I dunno. Read a book. Learn some stuff on the Internet. Go the fuck outside for some reason other than to go to work or to the liquor store. Interact with real people. Learn something about the world.

    I don't characterize myself as a very smart person compared to most, and I'm fairly young and therefore am automatically assumed to lack experience. Yet somehow I am continually amazed at the sheer ignorance that many people I meet display about absolutely everything. Science, literature, fiction, history, geography, mechanics, anything. Yet they can recite to me chapter and verse what happened on Survivor or American Idol. The one that gets me is how they can complain to me about the war in Iraq, yet they don't actually know where Iraq is. These are people who are older than me -- people who should be "old enough to know better." Yet the only thing they know about the world is what they see through the damned box at the other end of the living room.

    And it pisses me off. These people don't need pampering. Let them flounder. Maybe it'll force them to learn something about the world, even if it's just some tiny inconsequential thing that they need to hook up to get their fucking idiot box working again.

    • by DannyO152 (544940) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @12:15PM (#28326999)

      It was only nominally about the viewers. The converter box program was so stations and advertisers wouldn't suddenly see a huge drop in viewership numbers, impacting revenues since advertising is essentially charged on dollars per thousand viewers. As the whole DTV thing was an arbitrary government mandate to force an incompatible technology that the market was greeting with indifference, you best be sure that the lobbyists were there saying there had to be some return for the imposed cost. So, the givebacks were multiple channels which could be used for alternate programming (or paid services, ka-ching) and government cooperation in transitioning the audience. Throw in 9/11, as the analog spectrum will be partly sold and partly reserved for emergency services, and, mmmmm, can you smell what the FCC was cooking?

      I did, I thought it stunk, so I gave up the tv.

      • Well over here in Europe we had also the digital switch, but about 3-5 years ago. The converter box program also was in place. But as I see it you cannot switch off old technology without providing the people an upgrade path. And face it in the long run over here everyone is pretty happy with the switch, because they picture quality has improved, and you get more channels for free, and add to that that USB sticks for DTV cost almost nothing so that they become PC standard equipment!

    • DTV is the classic forced update of a technology that had worked just fine for decades.

      They can talk all they like about picture quality (true, if you have a good signal), but the truth is they are forcing the sale of a lot of new hardware, and are making it easier for broadcasters to control what people do with the signals they receive. It's all about control and money. Isn't everything?

      ...laura

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        They are actually forcing people into a choice between spending money and/or effort to watch TV (they DID offer coupons; I didn't even know about the coupon program until after it was over twice (okay, I heard about the extension, but forgot to get one) because I don't actually watch TV. I just thought it would be cool to have one, in case I needed it for my second TV; my new TV has a digital tuner.

      • DTV is the classic forced update of a technology that had worked just fine for decades.

        They can talk all they like about picture quality (true, if you have a good signal), but the truth is they
        are forcing the sale of a lot of new hardware, and are
        making it easier for broadcasters to control what people do with the signals
        they receive. It's all about control and money. Isn't everything?

        ...laura

        Truth is, that you can get away for free with the cupons, which are financed by the sales of the now empty frequencies for other services. Truth is also that you can shove more channels into the spectrum which might save you a cable contract in the long run. Truth also is that the picture quality especially coming from the lousy US NTSC is way better.
        Btw. we over here in europe had the switch about 5 years ago, I have never heard that much of complaining, we also had the cupon project. And no whining was th

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      And it pisses me off. These people don't need pampering. Let them flounder. Maybe it'll force them to learn something about the world, even if it's just some tiny inconsequential thing that they need to hook up to get their fucking idiot box working again.

      Translation: I'm better than them, even though I lack the skills or intelligence to express my point without profanity, rants, insults, and belittlement. Really, I'm better than them! I'll even explain why. Someday. Somehow.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ant P. (974313)

        Translation: I'm better than them, even though I lack the skills or intelligence to express my point without profanity, rants, insults, and belittlement. Really, I'm better than them! I'll even explain why. Someday. Somehow.

        Translation: I'm better than them, even though I have nothing interesting to say, so I'll go insult and belittle someone for their choice of language.

    • they need to hook up to get their fucking idiot box working again

      Oh, I'm sorry... you were doing really well, and you blew it right at the last minute. ;-)

      Any mention of "idiot box" results in an automatic link to this article [theonion.com] and Godwinning of the original post. (^_^)

      • I know it's a joke (duh, The Onion), but being a resident of Chapel Hill, I do believe I met that guy. At least 5 times a day.

        Really, the population here is about 60% (obligatory made up percentage) people who don't watch TV and are (a little too) proud of it. As much as I love the people here, this breed is really f-ing annoying.

        Granted, some of these people are the same people who will light bonfires just to jump over them whenever UNC wins a basketball game - the others are mostly townies who spend "prim

      • I know it's a joke (Duh, The Onion), but living in Chapel Hill (where the "Area Man" is from) I think I met this guy. At least 5 times per day.

        Seriously, the population of "I don't watch TV and am proud of it!" crowd here is a little alarming. And really annoying.

        Granted, these are usually the same people who will start fires on Franklin Street just to jump over them every time UNC wins a basketball game, or townies who get wasted at one of the myriad local bars, so everything with a grain of salt, I suppo

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Because poor people, and non-English speakers, are getting screwed over so that corporations can squeeze some money out of what once belonged to the public.

      It's nice that you don't watch TV. If I were closer, I'd give you a gold star. Lots of other people do watch TV though, and they're pissed about having that taken away for no good reason.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by maxume (22995)

        Mine got better. I had good analog signals for NBC and CBS and FOX but poor reception for ABC (basically, between the transmitters that serve my market). The NBC station now broadcasts ABC on a subchannel.

    • I personally hope the griping about "i don't get reception" or "i wasn't prepared for the switch" stops as well. Hopefully, the self-righteous "I don't even watch TV" crowd will STFU then too.

      It's cool that you don't watch TV. But more than 238,000,000 people do...so, yeah. The DTV switch is kinda important.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by evilviper (135110)

      I'm fairly young and therefore am automatically assumed to lack experience. Yet somehow I am continually amazed at the sheer ignorance that many people I meet display about absolutely everything.

      What's this, now? An angsty teenager who thinks he knows everything?!?!

      I'm SHOCKED! Shocked I say!

  • Thank you, federal government, for imposing on me enough force to guide me in the right direction.
  • by WiiVault (1039946) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @01:20PM (#28327417)
    Here at my house in St. Paul MN I went from having about 18 digital channels before the transition to 12 now. I thought when they dropped analogue most broadcasters were going to boost their power. Instead it seems the opposite has happened, here at least. I'm pretty unhappy that I can't seem to get a signal from towers that are less than 20 miles away. If this is how it will stay than must say I wish we had stayed analogue .
    • by British (51765)

      I'm in St. Paul, and I'm only getting channel 25 & 4 & 23. Oddly enough, the channels I have no interest in watching(spanish language gospel) are the ones coming in the clearest. There seems to be no way to manually set channels myself on this Apex box.

      Oh well, that's why I have cable.

    • I've had about the opposite experience just south of you in Dakota county. On Saturday morning, I had my converter box do a channel re-scan. Most every channel was about 20% higher on the box's signal meter, with TPT coming in at near 100%. However, KMSP (channel 9) completely vanished. I entered tried entering the channel manually, but still nothing. Oh well.
    • by Titoxd (1116095) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @02:12PM (#28327725) Homepage
      Make sure you rescanned the box after yesterday. TV stations were switching from their temporary ATSC frequencies (typically UHF) to their permanent frequencies (which may or may not be the same) throughout the day on Saturday. If it doesn't fix it, check http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/ [fcc.gov] and see if the channels are still available in your area (weak signals will probably will not be received, unless you have a badass antenna)...
  • I call BS (Score:5, Informative)

    by DrJimbo (594231) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @02:09PM (#28327711)
    IIRC, this reason for this forced transition was to get small rural communities to switch over to DTV. I live in rural New Mexico. All our signals arrive here via repeaters.

    Only one out of five stations (ABC) made the transition. NBC simply went off the air (because making the transition to digital would be too expensive). PBS is also off the air but this may be becausetheir repeater got hammered in a storm.

    So right now our local station, FOX, and CBS are still broadcasting in analog while ABC is only digital. The Zenith converter box I got (because it had analog pass-through) does not pass through analog signals without loss so I have to actually replug wires to switch stations.

    For my little piece of rural America, this transition was about as smooth as sandpaper toilet tissue.
    • by Rick17JJ (744063)

      I live near Prescott, Arizona and also get all of my signals from a rural repeater. I am still getting 7 analog channels and only 1 digital channel.

      The FOX network has been available as both an analog channel and a digital channel, for many months now. That is still my only digital channel, despite having had my converter box rescan again to today for new channels.

      Some nearby hills block the digital signal from the Prescott station's transmitter on Mingus Mountain.

      My Magnavox converter box also has analog

    • by certsoft (442059)
      For my little piece of rural America absolutely nothing changed. Still get three craptacular analog translators (Oregon PBS and TWO copies of the same begging for jesus channel).
  • by antdude (79039) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @02:29PM (#28327841) Homepage Journal

    I had most of the channels working on both analog and digital before the change. But now, I lost them due to VHF and DB2 bowtie antenna. Both rabbit ears and bowtie separately can't get all stations like KTTV 11, etc. Funny how all transmitters are in one location but yet I have to rotate, tilt, etc. my Terk rabbit ears. I never had to do that with my DB2 antenna before the 12th. :(

    People think it is my old Air2PC HDTV tuner cards [www.bbti.us] (2005) due to third generation vs. the newer ones. I really don't want to have to spend money to buy new cards nor buy cable/sattelite (subscriptions suck and am not rich). I also can't put an antenna on the roof and in the attic since owners refuse and I am disabled to do it myself.

    Bah.

    • by Pinky3 (22411)

      I had most of the channels working on both analog and digital before the change. But now, I lost them due to VHF and DB2 bowtie antenna. Both rabbit ears and bowtie separately can't get all stations like KTTV 11, etc. Funny how all transmitters are in one location but yet I have to rotate, tilt, etc. my Terk rabbit ears. I never had to do that with my DB2 antenna before the 12th.

      Your digital KTTV was on UHF channel 65; it is now on VHF channel 11. I have lost mine as well. The DB2 is great for all the UHF channels, but not so good for the VHF.

  • Fox has disappeared entirely from Comcast's ClearQAM selection since the switch. At least in Minneapolis. I wonder if they are still carrying it, or are simply encrypting it now (which I'm fairly certain is illegal)? At least it was the only casualty.
    • Re-scan and look for it. I have been dealing with similar issues with COMCAST and the channels seem to move around on a weekly basis.

              Brett

  • by Turmoyl (958221) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @04:46PM (#28329051)
    There's a Windows Media Center? Who knew?!
  • Tinfoil Hat Time! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by macs4all (973270)
    I live in the US State of Indiana, and on Friday morning, in amongst the rah-rah DTV ads, was ONE lonely ad that noted that if you lived in a list of about a dozen Indiana counties, you could expect NO SIGNAL AT ALL when the switchover occurred. here's [theindychannel.com] an article listing at least 7 Indiana counties affected. Curiously, some of the Counties are in Northern Indiana, which is FLAT AS A PANCAKE, so what's with the "terrain" excuse?

    I find it highly suspicious that that ad was:

    1. Not aired until the DAY OF th
  • by WillAdams (45638) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:35AM (#28335035) Homepage

    After the local PBS affiliate reduced their signal strength I had to make an antenna to get a signal:

    http://current.org/ptv/ptv0821make.pdf [current.org]

    Anyone who is having reception difficulties who hasn't tried an antenna specifically designed for digital reception might want to consider it.

    William

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

Working...