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Tablo had expected to be launching their 3.0 compatible DVR this spring, but the current status is "delayed because of evolving DRM broadcast rights". Apparently, broadcast station owners have announced their intent to encrypt their signals. Which begs the question, why does a free OTA signal need to be encrypted? Does this signal the beginning of the end for free OTA?
 

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Yes. I have an HDHomeRun Flex 4K. And use it with my Plex DVR. But because of the AC-4 audio issue. Where the vast majority of devices cannot decode it. And with it also not working with Plex. I don't record any of the five ATSC 3.0 channels broadcast here in the DC area.

Plus, since they are all sharing the same frequency. The quality is basically the same as their ATSC 1.0 counterparts. So there would really be no advantage for me to be record the ATSC 3.0 broadcasts anyway.
For me, channel 4 (WRC)'s ATSC 1.0 signal comes from a slightly different direction than the other DC stations, and it's always been marginal. But the ATSC 3.0 version is solid.

I use Channels DVR with the HDHR, with Apple TV as the client, and I have no issues with AC-4.
 

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Tablo had expected to be launching their 3.0 compatible DVR this spring, but the current status is "delayed because of evolving DRM broadcast rights". Apparently, broadcast station owners have announced their intent to encrypt their signals. Which begs the question, why does a free OTA signal need to be encrypted? Does this signal the beginning of the end for free OTA?
Originally they were only talking about using DRM for premium OTA programming you'd have to pay for (authorized via your local tuner's internet connection) and not for all of their programming. We'll see. There's a lot of potential evil in 3.0, including privacy issues (via that internet connection). The industry and regulators are way behind in developing standards and limits for this.

As I understand it, the Silicon Dust HD HomeRun Flex 4K is ready for that DRM, but only with their own software. I don't have a lot of hope that Channels DVR will ever do the same, given that the HDHR Prime for CableCARD supports DRM channels only with HDHR software while Channels DVR only gets non-DRM channels from that device.
 

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What I read didn't indicate if that meant all of their content, or just some of it. And I didn't really dig into it. The only thing Tablo said about it was that they would have bake the decryption keys into the hardware at the factory, and couldn't do it later by firmware update. Thus the delay.

Edit: Spelling
 

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I am using a EVOCA Scout box. I live 14 miles from 4-ATSC 3.0 channels all coming from the same antenna and channel RF34. ABC and NBC are pretty solid. Fox and CW (Nexstar owned) are solid sometime and freeze and lock up at other times. Not sure what the issue is because it happened on two different EVOCA Scout boxes. I believe it might be an issue with the Nexstar stations. I have moved my Televs DigaNova Boss antenna higher and repointed it with little improvement on those two channels.

I think the picture is clearer then ATSC 1.0 but it seems more susceptible to breakup/lockup. Also I notice descriptive audio on Fox ATSC 3.0 broadcasts and no way to turn it off.

It could also be that the Evoca boxes are not as robust as some of the others on the market.

It also could be that ATSC 3.0 is experimental and not ready for prime time yet.
 

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It also could be that ATSC 3.0 is experimental and not ready for prime time yet.
I think this is a lot of it. Station engineers are still getting their feet wet with ATSC 3.0 and, to be honest, hardly anyone is watching those broadcasts yet. So this is the time to experiment with the wide range of parameters and features available to them within the 3.0 spec to figure out how they want to implement things long-term.
 

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Yes, but that main signal could be at 480p. Nothing says it has to be in HD. Then you would need to pay for 1080p/4K.
While it's possible they would charge for 1080 HD, I don't think it's likely. As mentioned in the video, 4k might be another story.

I think we're down to 2 of the major network locals airing in 1080i here in Louisville. A couple never were. Others have downgraded to 720p in favor of more subchannels. I doubt most viewers have even noticed.
 

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While it's possible they would charge for 1080 HD, I don't think it's likely. As mentioned in the video, 4k might be another story.
Yeah, agreed. If you really want to ponder a worst-case (yet plausible) scenario for OTA, how about the following. ATSC 3.0 adoption and usage never really takes off among OTA TV viewers. Major MVPDs like Comcast, Charter, DirecTV, YouTube TV, etc. are unwilling to pay more to carry enhanced 3.0 versions of locals, so it doesn't bring in the higher retrans fees that broadcasters hoped for. Broadcasters find better ways to monetize their OTA spectrum than free TV. So they consolidate all their video broadcasts on a couple of 1.0 towers (everything in widescreen SD) and a couple of 3.0 towers (main channels in HD, everything else in SD). They use the rest of their 3.0 towers for commercial datacasting and other non-TV uses (i.e. the stuff that Sinclair/Nexstar joint venture BitPath is trying to do). Meanwhile, we continue to see ever more high-value high-quality content -- eventually even including NFL games come 2033 (when the current broadcast contracts lapse) -- shift from broadcast networks to direct-to-consumer OTT services such as Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video, Disney+, etc.
 

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I have 6 stations in my area broadcasting new gen signals, which include all four networks. What NextGen tuners are even available now?
I've been using an HDHomeRun Flex 4K since the beginning of the year. It has two ATSC 3.0 and two ATSC 1.0 tuners. But, here in the DC area, the 3.0 stations have the same quality as the 1.0 stations. And my Plex DVR can't work with the AC-4 audio yet. Like most devices. So there is no reason for me to record the ATSC 3.0 channels.

I also use three HDHomeRun Prime boxes on FiOS. One with a cable card and the other two without. So it looks like the local OTA stations on the other two. So the Plex DVR has ten tuners to record from for the local content. And then three for cable channels from the Prime I use with a cable card.
 

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Yeah that would be a pretty bad use case. I really don't think stations that adopt 3.0 are going to continue broadcasting in 1.0 any longer than they have to, because of cost.
But the thing is, they can't pull the plug on those 1.0 towers as long as a big chunk of their OTA viewers are still watching those broadcasts and not the newer 3.0 broadcasts. And there's ZERO chance they would shut down those 1.0 stations so long as any existing retrans contracts with cable providers (MVPDs) remain based on their 1.0 stations. Those retrans fees are how they make the bulk of their money. (It's possible, though, that those agreements might be amended so that, instead of the original 1.0 feed, the stations provide their 3.0 feed or perhaps some feed that doesn't actually exist as an OTA broadcast, IDK.)

So the next question, is "How long might we reasonably expect it to take for a sufficient portion of TVs actively used for OTA viewing in the US -- let's say 85% of them -- to have been replaced/upgraded to be 3.0-compatible? Given what I've read about TV replacement cycles, and the relatively slow speed with which TV manufacturers are incorporating 3.0 tuners across their TV model lines so far, my educated guess is that we wouldn't see that threshold hit until maybe 2030. Now, that could potentially be hurried along if the US government got involved by issuing a mandate that all TVs sold must include a 3.0 tuner and also by providing consumer subsidies (as they did in the NTSC to ATSC 1.0 transition) for upgraded external 3.0 tuners to encourage viewers to make the switch. But I don't see either happening.

So my best guess is broadcasters will be stuck running on both 3.0 and 1.0 at least for the rest of this decade. Unless, of course, they just give up on 3.0 before them, which I wouldn't say is probable but I would say is plausible.
 

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I also use three HDHomeRun Prime boxes on FiOS. One with a cable card and the other two without. So it looks like the local OTA stations on the other two. So the Plex DVR has ten tuners to record from for the local content. And then three for cable channels from the Prime I use with a cable card.
Are you hearing about plans for Verizon FiOS to drop QAM-based TV? They just introduced a new 2 Gig fiber service in NYC and it uses a new ONT and gateway which do not support coax TV or MoCA. Verizon is telling those customers that TV service will become available at a later date but it's not clear whether they mean FiOS TV via IPTV/OTT or maybe just Verizon selling and billing for YouTube TV (although I think that may already be an option).

One person posting on another forum was under the impression that FiOS TV would switch from QAM to IPTV, although he wasn't sure of that. Also possible, I suppose, that Verizon does like Comcast and operates their cable TV service both ways, via QAM and managed IPTV, with some homes/devices receiving one version and some the other. But given that FiOS TV continues to bleed subs and is now down to about 3.65 million, solidly behind YTTV and Hulu Live (each with an estimated ~4 million), I question whether Verizon would bother doing that. Most other former Baby Bell telcos have stopped selling, or even completely shut down, their own cable/IPTV service (e.g. AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier). And Verizon is clearly hot for third-party national OTT services with their upcoming +Play streaming aggregation/billing platform. Seems the most likely scenario is that they keep selling FiOS TV but only to those addresses that continue to have the old-style ONT. Or perhaps they completely shut down new sales and only allow existing subs to keep it.
 
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