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Can anyone recommend links to a good, practical user-friendly explanation of the analog-to-digital conversion? I've been trying to understand it and have a hard time getting through all the techno-babble.

The FCC page, frankly, is the worst.

(And it really wouldn't hurt if Tivo had something on the FAQ's page explaining how it will affect Tivo users.)
 

· Well-Known Mumbler
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Cable users: No effect (yet).
Satellite users: No effect.
Over-the-air Antenna users: The digital stations are (almost all) on now. The analog stations are going away in 2009. Old analog-tuner TVs can pick up the new digital stations via a set-top-box. (The Tivo S3 or HD is one such box.)

That's it in a nutshell. I could add lots of details, but the above is what you really need to know.
 

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wmcbrine said:
Cable users: No effect (yet).
Satellite users: No effect.
Over-the-air Antenna users: The digital stations are (almost all) on now. The analog stations are going away in 2009. Old analog-tuner TVs can pick up the new digital stations via a set-top-box. (The Tivo S3 or HD is one such box.)

That's it in a nutshell. I could add lots of details, but the above is what you really need to know.
So after the cutoff date, I can continue with my current lo-def DirecTV service and won't lose programming? That's good to know...I have to replace a LOT of TVs. :D
 

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Sbmocp said:
So after the cutoff date, I can continue with my current lo-def DirecTV service and won't lose programming? That's good to know...I have to replace a LOT of TVs. :D
Yes, ONLY those who get their signal from broadcast antennas will be affected by this directly.
 

· TiVoPlantation Owner
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Anybody
believe that cable operators will gladly bear the cost of converting local broadcast digital to analogue?

There is money to be made in converting customers to digital set top boxes and 'upgrading' them to new more profitable tiers. Even if they 'give away' the first box to each customer they will certainly make it up on renting additional boxes within the home. The free ride of additional outlets is probably over. It makes a lot of sense to convert to digital and gain network bandwidth while doing the analogue conversion at the consumers TV sets.

All this profit available, and the ability to place the blame on the government when customers complain. Priceless...
 

· Astute User
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The digital TV transition has nothing really to do with HD, its about shutting down analog and moving frequencies around to they can sell some off. HD is something broadcasters can choose to use their digital broadcast for.

When whatever feed you get shuts off their analog, you will get (or have to get, if the case may be) a digital tuner, which will have outputs to support even the old DuMont (RF modulator perhaps required), and downscale and HD for display on and SD set..

If you have digital TV of any sort now (digital cable, IPTV, satellite), you are there already.
 

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tomm1079 said:
ok since i havnt paid attention to this how will it affect the series 2 DT. Right now i have a DT getting 99 and below. Will it in turn become a single tuner since i have to use a box
You'll only need a set top box if/when your cable company stops sending you the analog signals
 

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JJ said:
Anybody believe that cable operators will gladly bear the cost of converting local broadcast digital to analogue? There is money to be made in converting customers to digital set top boxes and 'upgrading' them to new more profitable tiers. Even if they 'give away' the first box to each customer they will certainly make it up on renting additional boxes within the home. The free ride of additional outlets is probably over. It makes a lot of sense to convert to digital and gain network bandwidth while doing the analogue conversion at the consumers TV sets. All this profit available, and the ability to place the blame on the government when customers complain. Priceless...
Absolutely on-target. We already know that one of the advantages of forcing use of digital STBs for everything beyond digital broadcast channels, as permitted by the regulations, is that the cable system can readily count the number of outlets (sometimes overestimating, but that's the customers' burden to prove), and the fact that it is standard practice to charge extra for each digital outlet. The cable systems are going back to the model that they started with, which is a much more sustainable model for the industry (so that should spark perhaps a bit more interest in terrestrial competition), and provide a means of finally curbing cable theft once and for all.
 

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Yes, the Series2 -DT will in effect become a single tuner when they turn off analog and you need to use a digital STB.
 

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classicsat said:
Yes, the Series2 -DT will in effect become a single tuner when they turn off analog and you need to use a digital STB.
Btw, when my/your/our cable companies turn off analog, would those 'converter' boxes be able to convert it back to analog? Or do those only work for OTA? *Could* they be made for cable too even if the first revs aren't?

That way with a TiVo DT, a cable box, and a converter box, you'd still have 2 tuners (although it'd be starting to get a bit complex).
 

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fredct said:
Btw, when my/your/our cable companies turn off analog, would those 'converter' boxes be able to convert it back to analog? Or do those only work for OTA? *Could* they be made for cable too even if the first revs aren't?

That way with a TiVo DT, a cable box, and a converter box, you'd still have 2 tuners (although it'd be starting to get a bit complex).
The converters you refer to will convert a single digital channel off the RF spectrum into a single analog composite audio/video feed.

For the TiVo to work the way we're used to it would need to have a RF feed with analog channels (ie all 99 channels).

Not sure I'm making sense. The difference is which analog you're talking about; analog RF channels or analog composite audio/video.
 

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For cable, the "convertor" box will be a cable box. There is no consumer level solution to change all the digital channels in one go to analog, especially for sub $100 boxes.

The OTA "Convertors" will in effect be cable boxes without security, and minor changes to account for an OTA vs cable source.

IOW, yes, in effect they convert digital channels to analog, but just one channel at a time, and the one channel would be CH 3 or Ch 4, from the built in RF modulator.
 

· TiVoPlantation Owner
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I would expect
OTA converter boxes to be similar to the old Voom (without sat input) or USDTV boxes. Basically accepting the OTA RF signal and outputting a variety of video options. Formatting the signal to pan-scan letterbox or zoom as options of choice.

Unfortunately Series2 Dual Tuner models will only have one tuner active since it has only one IR shooter. Although this assumes that TiVo will accomodate users by adding codes for these products. Precedence in not on our side since TiVo only supports Voom as a Motorola 'Dish Network' box and USDTV OTA converters was never supported. I ran into that immovable stone wall with TiVo and thier firm policy of not supporting OTA converter boxes.

Maybe TiVo will change this policy sometime in the future, but history is absolutely not on the users side here...
 

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Ah, okay. I see how that the converter boxes will only decode and output one channel at a time. I figured the tv would still due the tuning on the analog end, but I see now that many of the converter box pictures show a remote with them.

Let me ask this though, a tv with a digital tuner can tune them itself right? So if cable switches to all-digital, would a S2DT-"digital" (which I realize doesn't exist yet), or a TiVoHD maybe, be able to tune the digital cable itself, and thereby still have 2 tuners?

Or would the cable all-digital stations be encrypted (even the lower ones), unlike the OTA? Or does it depend on how the cable company implements it?
 
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