[opendtv] Re: NTSC Cutoff Date

  • From: Bob Miller <bob@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 13:32:34 -0400

GerryK wrote:

>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
You are saying that the ATSC digital signal can't be relied upon?

Also there is another Public Safety concern. Four channels in 700 MHz 
have been reserved for Public Safety and can't be used till the 
transition is over. State Troupers and others have witnessed before 
Congress not that people MIGHT get hurt but that people ARE being hurt 
because they STILL do not have access to these channels promised long ago.

Publicly broadcasters show concern for OTA and say that it is an 
important part of their customer base. In some cases it is but as your 
example shows in private they are far less interested in the 
demographics. Broadcasters have told me that no more than 5% of their 
customers are OTA and that they represent the poorest demographic group 
and the least interesting to advertisers.
You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts: