[opendtv] Re: News: FCC's Martin Floats Leased Multicast Must-Carry Proposal

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 06:49:03 -0500

At 3:18 PM -0500 3/1/07, Barry Brown wrote:
My question is what's keeping the DBS companies from installing a combo DBS/DT-OTA system, integrating the DT-OTA EPG with the channels arriving via satellite. The customer has no hassle, the sat provider makes better use of spectrum space, and probably still could charge for the service since a completely integrated system would be something of value for their customers.

Actually Barry, they already do this. The HD receivers from both DirecTV and DISH Networks include off-air ATSC tuners, and the ability exists to identify these channels so they appear correctly in the program guide.

DirecTV does not promote this feature as they already offer local signals to 94% of U.S. homes and within a year plan to offer local HD signals to virtually all markets. DISH is more up front about using an off-air antenna and will even seel you an antenna and install it in some markets. What follows is a DISH FAQ on using OVer the Air Antennas.


Over the Air Antennas

1. What is a high -definition (HD) Over the Air antenna?
An HD Over the Air antenna allows you to receive television signals that are being transmitted digitally in your area by local television stations.

2. Where can I get an HD Over the Air antenna?
You can purchase an HD Over the Air antenna from DISH Network (available in select markets only). Your local DISH Network Retailer may offer a discounted HD Over the Air antenna for as low as $49.99, with free Standard Professional Installation for one antenna. Retailers can also advise you on the type of antenna you'll need based on your geographic location.

3. What should I know about where the professional installer will place the HD Over the Air
To improve signal levels, we will install the HD Over the Air antenna high on your home. It will have a better view of the transmitting station and get you better reception. A larger HD Over the Air antenna will be required if you live further away.

4. What channels can I expect to receive with an HD Over the Air antenna?
It depends on where you live. Channel availability varies greatly based on location, visibility and power level.

5. Are the local HD channels offered in 'High Definition' all the time?
Local Broadcast stations may legally choose to broadcast in various formats depending on the time of the day and the programming available. At this time, the FCC does not regulate the resolution of the digital picture they provide. Your local broadcaster's website will display HD programming times.

6. Why do you need my address information?
Your address information is used to provide you with the most accurate antenna recommendation available; there are some areas where you may not be able to get any channels Over the Air, or only one or two. Your address is used, with the transmission tower information to give you the most accurate results we will be able to provide prior to the professional installation. When the installer is at your home, they will inform you of what channels the antenna is capable of viewing.

7. Do all HD Over the Air antennas pick up all TV stations?
No, which is why DISH Network supports several different types of antennas. The antenna that is right for you will depend on what programming you are trying to receive and should be discussed with you at the time of installation.

Customers who own an HD Over the Air antenna:

1. I can't get a local HD channel I used to get through my HD Over the Air antenna
- what happened?
First, determine whether you lost signal from all channels, or just one. If you lose all signals from your HD Over the Air antenna you may need an adjustment from either DISH Network or the Retailer who installed it.

If you lose the HD signal from only one channel, that particular station may be operating using a temporary license and therefore could have moved. Or, if the broadcast power level changed from VHF (very high frequency) or UHF (ultra-high frequency), a different antenna type may be required.

2. Does DISH Network service HD Over the Air antennas?
Yes. If the HD Over the Air antenna was purchased from DISH Network, we will provide service for the first 90 days at no additional cost (excluding any antenna changes at the initial installation). Please call DISH Network to speak to a customer service representative for further details.

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