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Old 01-27-2009, 11:22 PM   #1
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Default USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

Saw today or yesterday the February drop dead date for digital OTA broadcasts in the United States has been delayed to June 12 2009. A 4 month reprieve if you haven't added an ATSC capable HDTV or a digital converter box to your entertainment systems.
LInk to a CBC article...
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/01/27/tv-switch.html
I think I mentioned they were running out of Federal funding for the converters a while back in my Pleasure Way
installation posting, and that appears to be the reason for the delay.

Mike.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

Thanks for the info Mike. I still have to figure out what to do. My TV has an analog tuner.

I stumbled upon this Consumer Reports review of converters: http://www.consumerreports.org

I don't see many converters available here. Future Shops lists only one.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

You've got options, although I agree there doesn't seem to be much of a push to provide either
converters or 12V Tvs with built in ATSC tuners in Canada yet.
There are a couple of threads on here with info from my trials and tribs trying to find an ATSC
converter in Canada, particularly in Ontario.
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=924
I wound up going to a place called Nutech Electronics
in St. Catharines, where I also got my LED bulbs for the interior lights. They actually monitor
their email address, which sold me on them.
I bought the Artec T3A ATSC tuner (around $100C) which has worked pretty well so far.
It's only shortcomings might be that it only scans for channel numbers up to 69.
I don't know if there are digital OTA channels above that number, but I suspect there are.
It also doesn't have an "analog passthrough" to switch from analog to digital and back depending on where you are.
I had to install 2 extra A/B switches and cables as a work around. And it works!!
Davydd and a couple of others on here have mentioned the Digital Stream converter (it's in the list of
converters you found), but I haven't seen any follow up comments from anyone regarding it's performance.
Same link as above.

A second option might be to swap in a Jensen Marine/RV TV with the tuner built in. I asked about retail locations
out here in Ontario where I could look at them, and pricing on 2 of their models the JE1508 and JE1908. According
to their website they have built in ATSC tuners and run off dual power 12V DC or 110V AC. Unfortunately, they
were unwilling to answer my questions as they cited an agreement with forum admin not to solicit on this forum.
See my thread in the Jensen/Voyager section.
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1133

I'd be inclined to have a look in the States next time you're down there and see what's available.
I had a look at the link you posted. Not sure how useful it is, as it lists my box as not having an
aspect ratio button on the remote, which is true, but you can adjust it via the on-screen menu,
so that bit of info might be misleading. I wonder if they actually tested each box listed?

Anyway, good luck, you've got some extra time now,
Mike.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

I am tempted to just buy a new TV but I don't want to spend the $400.00 for the cheapest model. (GST, PST & $25 recycling fee get added to the price here)

A converter would cost 1/4 of that.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

If the tube in your van is decent, HD or just really good picture quality, I'd probably go with
the digi-box myself. It's just a bit more work than swapping in a new TV. At least for me it was.
I guess if you get one that has the analog passthru and possibly a greater range of channels,
it would be easier to install. Plug and play.
Know anyone in the States that's eligible for a coupon, but isn't likely to use it? Just a thought.

Good luck,
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

"Saw today or yesterday the February drop dead date for digital OTA broadcasts in the United States has been delayed to June 12 2009."

uh, not a new "drop dead" thing..

(except for occasionally watched vehicle tvs, I'm having a hard time believing there are still people who haven't prepared for this digital mandate)
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

DTV delay... delayed? House votes down DTV postponement

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news

Quote:
Broadcasters and viewers have had February 17, 2009 circled on their calendars for some time. That's the day analog television broadcasts are supposed to become a thing of the past in the US. Earlier this week, the Senate approved a delay of the DTV transition to June, but what's going to happen now is anyone's guess after the House rejected the delay Wednesday.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

What can I say? Better get a move on!!!!
I think they got the $650M for more coupons approved, didn't they?
I wouldn't bet on the delay delay being final anyway. Obama wants the delay, or so I've read.

Thanks for the update though, guys!

On a totally unrelated note, Jensen got back to me and said they don't have any "retailers" in eastern Canada at all.
I've asked where they do have retailers and am waiting to hear back. Also asked for a MSRP list for all their products.

UPDATE: Looks like if you want to get a Jensen TV as a way of getting a dual powered ATSC capable solution for the DTV cutover, you'll have to buy an RV or Boat that already has one in it. Apparently they aren't into retail but concentrate on supplying RV and Marine manufacturers with units to install at the point of origin (i.e. RV factory?). I wasn't aware of this aspect of their business. Too bad, some of their stuff looks good. Here's the latest reply I got from them.....

"Our products are primarily developed for and sold to OEMs for the various industries we serve. Such as RV and Marine. The best way to get your hands on one of our televisions is to look at one in an RV. We really don't have a dealer network set up with retail outlets either in Canada or the US.

Darrell Robinson
Product Applications Specialist
ASA Electronics
800.688.3135 ext.145
DRobinson@ASAElectronics.com"
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

As of Fri. Jan 30 - as far as I can figure, the Senate has fast track approved a slightly modified version of the original delay to June 12 2009 bill. The House had adjourned before they could have a look at it , and will have to have a look at it again next week, so the delay of the delay, may be delayed, if they approve it this time around.
Stay tuned!
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

wull, for those of us that are already "set-up", both at home and in the Van, it doesn't really matter
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:55 AM   #11
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

Copy that, Whiskeyecho.
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:46 AM   #12
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

Hey Mike.
Quote:
I wound up going to a place called Nutech Electronics
in St. Catharines, where I also got my LED bulbs for the interior lights. They actually monitor
their email address, which sold me on them.
Saw the Artec at Nutech for $99, but was working in Fonthill at a job site and found Pro Hardware there that had them for $69. Tiny unit works great but only has Composite and Coaxial outputs. Hooking up to a HD TV without an ATSC tuner would be a waste, as it converts HD and SD channels to only SD analog. Still I get more channels than before, even Canadian channels. Can't recall if there are any analog stations left that don't transmit in digital also.

Like analog TV, this new digital OTA transmissions are directional, so you need a turn able antenna. My new trailer's Winegard Antenna is perfect for this, but at home you would still need a rotatory antenna. For the trailer 19" and 22" HDTV are running $250 - $350 and should have ATSC Tuners
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Old 02-04-2009, 01:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

Pro Hardware in Fonthill?????? I pass thru there about once a month, on my way to the Falls.
Wish I'd known. Is it on Hwy 20 or a side street? Canboro maybe?
Did they have any 1156-1157 replacement LED bulbs too by any chance? I got them
too at Nutech. Not cheap, but I'm guessing they'll outlast the van. Replaced all my
interior lights, the range light, and the porch light. When the weather gets better,
I'm going to do the door/step wells lights.
I couldn't find out much about ATSC tuners 6 months ago when I started looking
into it, and when I found the Artec T3A Pro at Nutech, I just bought it.
I've used it on our last 2 trips south of the border, and it's performed pretty well,
the pic quality is great, although it does tend to pixillate if the digital signal is weak.
It doesn't have an analog passthru so I had to add a couple of extra switches and cables
in case I'm in an area where analog is the only signal around (in spite of the US cutover
to digital, there will still be analog available in some small audience areas as far as I know).
I have a 2002 RT 190 P with a built in antenna. I think it's actually built into the roof,
so I don't have any control over the direction, other than to move the van around.
If you're thinking about getting a digital converter, see the consumer report link from
markopolo back farther in this thread. It covers a lot of models and manufacturers.
I was considering installing an HDTV with ATSC built in, but I don't have a built in inverter, so
dual power source is a must for me, if I'm not hooked up to shore power. It's gotta have
12V DC power input or it won't work for me. I looked into Jensen, but they seem to supply
RV manufacturers, and don't seem to retail their stuff, so that didn't help much.
I'm still looking. Maybe in the States in March I'll find something larger that will replace the
Panasonic that came with the Roadtrek. I would like a larger screen and maybe LCD.

Thanks for the info though. It all helps.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskyecho
wull, for those of us that are already "set-up", both at home and in the Van, it doesn't really matter
It does matter a little. The broadcasts at my home that have already switched over to digital especially high definition are vastly superior to analog. So those lazy whiny unprepared laggards who convinced our government to delay are delaying my enjoyment of superior broadcasts for four more months.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

It's called Beamer's Hardware and TV on Pelham RD. Just turn at the light in Fonthill and it's up about a half a block. 1156 & 1157 LED should be available at Canadian Tire (maybe in the Hot Rod section), also at Automotive Warehouse, again in the Hot Rod section. Of course they're not cheap.

It appears in the St. Catharines, Falls area, we get Buffalo, Toronto and Hamilton all in digital broadcast, plus some channels both as HD and SD. Can't remember if ch 5 Toronto came in, didn't get it at the campground, but I think I got it at home. Last summer I used 4 element UHF ant. on a couple of old but heavy 1" dinning tent poles. I tie wrapped it to the camper so I could turn it for best reception. This year the new trailer has a built-in Winegard Antenna with amp, and this seems to work very well. May be worth adding to the camper as the UHF is big and a pain.

Not sure when Canada is forcing the changeover, but I noticed the US stations were running EPG (guides) but the Canadian stations weren't.

A little fun to play with , but the DVD doesn't have commercials.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

Thanks, I know where that is, for future reference.
CTC only had colored LEDs when I started looking last summer. I paid about
$12 each for 8 of them, but if they last like they're supposed to, they'll outlive the van.
I've gotten quite a few channels in the area just west of St. Catharines where we live.
Sometimes it changes if I'm on top of or below the escarpment. I wish I could get some
of the specialty channels OTA. That would be a real bonus, but not likely. Oh well.
davydd, I feel for you. The digital signals are pretty spectacular compared to analog.
Not my idea to wait, I just noticed the headline and report the news.
And, I'm digital ready too!!!!!!
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

The local station in Fort Myers, NBC-2, announced last night that it will go digital next week, despite what Washington decides.

Apparently stations can decide to switch early, apparently some have switched already!
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:40 PM   #18
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Default Re: USA delays cutover to digital only OTA transmissions

I think it got re-delayed, but not certain.
I think a lot of stations have already cut over, and we were able to
get a few near the major cities last year in October and November.
Hope to be watching more US digital TV soon.
Maybe in a week or two, I sincerely hope, as I'm sick of the relentless snow and cold of this
winter season. We still have 2 month old snow on the ground here!!! I'm sure it was freeze,
snow, thaw, freeze, snow, thaw, last year.
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