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House Votes Against Delaying Digital Conversion

house-of-representativesHouse Votes Against Delaying Digital Conversion When brought up for vote in the House of Representatives, the bill proposing a delay of the digital broadcast conversion from February 17 to June 12, was defeated. It did not receive a two-thirds majority vote, which was needed to pass the bill. The vote was 258 in favor (236-Dem, 22-Rep) and 168 against (155-Rep, 13-Dem). The bill could be brought up again for regular floor vote, in which case, it would only require a majority vote to be passed. The “mostly” democratic support of the bill to delay the conversion is based on the fact that they believe that a large number of households (6.5 million) are unprepared for the conversion, a statistic which is confirmed by the Nielsen Co. These citizens are particularly among the poor, rural, and low-income representation of Americans, who either live in areas that receive major stations through analog signal or can’t afford to purchase the equipment necessary to receive signal after the conversion. The government has made coupons available for $40 toward the purchase of a digital conversion box; however there is currently a wait list of 3.2 million requests. The National Telecommunications & Information Administration is only sending out new coupons as older, unredeemed coupons reach the 90-day expiration. Joe Barton, republican congressman of Texas, is pushing for legislation that will aid in this problem without postponing the conversion. Most republicans feel there is no need to delay the conversion. Those against the bill believe that it would incur heavy costs for public safety agencies and wireless companies who are waiting to use the spectrum that will become free after the conversion. Television stations, as well, would be required to pay more to operate both systems for several more months, an expense that is most likely not built into this year’s budget. In addition, Jonathan Collegio, of the National Association of Broadcasters, has voiced that the Nielsen Co.’s statistic on number of unprepared households does not take in to account those who have purchased a converter box and not installed it; those who have requested, but not received coupons; or those who subscribe to cable or satellite television for their home theater system. The Obama administration has not made a comment in reference to the outcome of the vote.

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February 4, 2009 Posted by | Digital Conversion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

America: Not Ready for the Digital Switch

By Dawn Hatchard

Everyone, in theory, is supposed to be ready for the analog to digital switch for television reception. The big day is slated for Feb. 17, 2009.

The government has been educating Americans with commercials about the converter box, coupons and the deadline since January, 2008. Are you one of the estimated million people who has been procrastinating getting your government coupon for a converter box?

With 10 million coupons yet to be redeemed, there is a lengthy waitlist for the issue of new coupons. Apparently, they have exhausted funding and ran out of the coupons themselves. This may be particularly troublesome for rural low-income families.

If you are simply a procrastinator you have other alternatives. Going without your fix of evening news, daytime court shows or favorite network sitcom may not be necessary.

This could very well be your golden opportunity to update and upgrade your home entertainment experience. Satellite services are more affordable than ever, offering more channels and HD satellite quality for less than you spend a week on your favorite beverages.

Rabbit ears and rooftop antennas may be troublesome to obtain decent reception, not to mention unattractive. Similar reception issues are expected with the new digital system. There may be less fuzz in the picture, but there will be lag and pauses in programming as your converter box searches for a signal.

With satellite services, even the most rural residents get the reception needed to follow HDTV Switchprogramming. The major Satellite television companies also offer free DVR (digital video recording) capabilities built in to their boxes. DVR is the best thing since motion picture itself, trust me on this one. It also happens to be user friendly. You will not be able to imagine how you ever watched TV without it.

January 13, 2009 Posted by | Digital Conversion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Getting the best picture on your HDTV

Have you purchased a new HDTV only to get it home and be disappointed by the quality of the picture? Is it just not quite as crisp, clear, and vibrant as it was at first sight? Is the surround sound puny compared to the boom you felt at the store? If your electronics salesperson did not explain the importance of HD feed alongside the purchase of an HD television, Advanced Technology Services is here now to repair the damage. HDTV and an HD feed go together like bread and butter. You can’t have one without the other and be satisfied.

These six “need-to-knows” will provide answers your problem:

1. An HDTV set requires an HD feed

You won’t get an HD picture on your new set unless you contact your provider for a set-top box and/or a satellite dish upgrade. Be sure to ask about HD-specific plans and the offering of HD channels. If you use an over-the-air antenna, a high-def tuner box may be a necessary purchase.

2. SD is still common for most programs

Most major broadcast networks display news and a prime-time show in HD, but the majority of other programming is still broadcast in standard-def. The SD signal is not able to be converted to HD signal for an HDTV, so these programs must be watched in their original format. Many programs are broadcast secondarily in HD on a different channel from the original. These channels will be found further down the list in the triple digits.

3. An HDTV will display an SD signal with poor quality

Be prepared: The HDTV screen multiplies the low-quality of the SD signal in the same way a low-megapixel picture distorts when you zoom in on it. The small screen size of your old tv hid these imperfections, but your larger-than-life flat screen is meant for bigger and better things.

4. SD screen size is not wide screen like HD

That short and stout picture you can’t get rid of comes from an SD screen size (4:3) that is being stretched to fit an HDTV with a 16:9 ratio. This can be easily fixed by adding sidebars to the SD channels through the settings menu.

5. Proper configuration is essential for HDTV, cables, and set-top box

Even if you have an HDTV and HD feed, incorrect wiring set-up can prevent the HD signal from being viewed as it should be. One of the following 3 inputs must be used: DVI input, HDMI input, or the component video input (RCA type – which is often red/blue/green). Check your television’s display and output settings as well to insure that 720p, 1080p, or 1080i is selected, whichever is correspondent to your HDTV’s resolution.

6. Standard DVDs are not converted to HD by an upconverting DVD player

Upconverting DVD players do not change SD signal into HD, they simply adjust the screen size to 1080i or 1080p. The quality of the picture will not improve just because it is viewed on an HDTV. If the original source is SD, you will be viewing an SD picture. Blu-ray and HD DVD players are the only DVD players that produce a true HD signal.

If you are still shopping for an HDTV, these manufacturers are all producers of high-end sets that will tickle your fancy:

Samsung Mitsubishi Pioneer Pioneer Elite Toshiba

December 31, 2008 Posted by | HDTV | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Analog Signal to Digital Broadcasting

On February 18, 2009, all full-power television broadcasting stations will be required by law to transition from analog signal to digital broadcasting.  The publicity surrounding this changeover has many television owners questioning and needing information from a trustworthy source.  As a family-owned and operated business, Advanced Technology Services feels we owe it to our customers to give you the most accurate information available.  We want to help you make decisions with which you are secure.

First, it is important for you to know that this conversion to digital signal by most stations does exclude some broadcasts.  Those stations who broadcast through low-power (Class A) translators do not fall under this federal mandate, and may continue to operate analog signals until they choose to cross over.  These low-power translators operate in areas where the full-power TV stations are unable to broadcast, sometimes due to the geography and topography of the land.  This is the case for many areas near where we are located in Southern Oregon, such as valleys, mountains, and remote areas.  In these areas, the low-power translators extend the signal from the full-power stations through analog signal.  They may also broadcast shows from smaller TV stations, such as ethnic or religious programming.

For those who live in areas which are service by the low-power translators, an ATSC digital/NTSC analog tuner or a digital converter box with analog pass through will be necessary to continue to receive the analog broadcasts.  Most electronic stores carry these products and can be purchased by using a $40.00 coupon that is now being offered by the government.  Be sure that the box does satisfy the above-mentioned requirements before purchasing.  If the box does not have analog pass through, it will either need an adapted form of wiring hook-up or will need to be disconnected in order to view the analog channels.

More info on this can be found on our website as a motosat dealer we will be bringing you more information for mobile systems in the blogs to come.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Digital Conversion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments