[opendtv] Re: NTSC Cutoff Date

  • From: "GerryK" <gerryk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 09:08:44 -0700

Here are two more perspectives on the same question about
shutting of analog NTSC transmitters -

1 - public safety concerns might be raised -
in places like Iowa and Nebraska, the rural farming communities
rely on their analog NTSC broadcasts to provide
long-term, continuing coverage of approach storms
I was visiting there in June and the Omaha TV stations
covered a tornado cell's passage for six hours, uninterrupted,
showing the storm's progress zip code by zip code.
The farmer's wife monitored the broadcasts, and contacted her
husband via cell phone when the storm front started crossing the
Missouri river into southern Iowa, and he headed the tractor in
to the barn, and we took shelter in the storm cellar under their
103-year-old farm house.
If you turn off NTSC, some folks may get hurt.

Second perspective -
a broadcast engineer friend of mine recently took over
the transmitter duties at his PBS station,
because the former, full-time transmitter engineer retired.

He asked for an increase in salary because of the new
responsibilities. He has to manage all of the studio equipment
and operations, and be on call for transmitter outages.
They are installing a new, all-solid-state transmitter and have been told
that it's so reliable there is no need for a transmitter engineer.

The station manager told my friend that
the transmitter wasn't that important to the station anymore,
becuase 85% of their viewers were watching on cable.

So next time his transmitter goes off the air during a lightning
storm, my friend plans to echo back to the station manager
that the transmitter isn't that important.

he'll probably get fired, but, hey
if station management doesn't believe the transmitter
is that important, maybe it isn't.

Gerry Kaufhold in Arizona
gkaufhold@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Willkie" <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 12:48 AM
Subject: [opendtv] Re: NTSC Cutoff Date


> Interesting thought-problem, John.  Of course, there is no way that -- 
once
> shuttered for three months -- an NTSC station post December 31, 2005 would
> be able to resume operations, since it would be a new use of the spectrum.
> (30 day rule: stay off the air for 30 days, and you need to be
> re-authorized.  Stay off the air for 1 year and you lose the license.)
>
> John Willkie
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of John Shutt
> Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 4:15 PM
> To: OpenDTV
> Subject: [opendtv] NTSC Cutoff Date
>
>
> It appears that the only way to truly know how disruptive the NTSC cutoff
> will be is to actually try it.
>
> Why don't we have all broadcasters turn off their NTSC facilities on
January
> 1, 2007, only in those markets where the 85% rule is valid, but require
> broadcasters to maintain NTSC capabilities for at least 90 days, with the
> understanding that they may be authorized to resume NTSC broadcasts for an
> additional period.
>
> Then see how many people scream at their representatives.  If the din is
> overwhelming, then congress can authorize an additional period of
> simulcasting.  If, on the other hand, 3% of the population hollers, then
> congress can decide if freeing up the spectrum has more benefit than
having
> 3% of their constituents upset at them.
>
> John Shutt
>
>
>
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