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Digital Free (air) TV

 
 
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 09:09 am
Turned on the TV to the Howdy Doody Show this morning. Ever since TV went digital the air channels have been adding on new programming, on special new channels. Thus, we have, Channel 20, 20.2, and so forth. Channels now have add-ons up to eight or ten, but they don't always have any extra at all. At my daughter's home, I asked her to put on one of the added on channels, but she told me they are unavailable on cable. Just the parent channel can be watched.

Air TV seems mostly for older people, I think. There are some programs youngsters may watch, such as The Big Bang, but there is not much I can see they could latch onto.

Cozi TV is on Channel 47.3, in our area, I think. It is the one currently showing Howdy Doody. We have This TV, My TV, Grit, Escape Channel, The TV Movie Channel, Bounce and some I can't recall off the top of my head. They show John Wayne, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, incessantly. One channel shows old romantic movies during the week, but shows Charles Starret (Durango Kid) westerns on Saturdays, along with Audie Murphy and other western stars. Grit shows mainly action movies, although I saw a bit of Shakiest Gun in the West on there the other night. African Queen and High Noon are rerun often. I see Hopalong Cassidy, Bounty Hunter, Burns and Allen, Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason, Danny Thomas, the Brady Bunch, Mr and Mrs North, if I want. Four hours of Maverick, on Saturday evenings. The Monkeys, Bionic Man, Batman, Star Trek, Columbo, Perry Mason - and on and on.

Digital TV is also for minorities. I wish I spoke the languages. Vietnamese, Chinese and Spanish channels are abundant.

Also religious programming.

The Huffington Post does shows on one channel, but none of what I saw caught my interest.

I am happy to be able to dip into the past this way, but I would be happier if they would bring us prime time quality programming.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 1,472 • Replies: 12
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 05:20 pm
@edgarblythe,
when we traveled , we used to pay fr a satellite that gave us mostly cable stations. Now that the free-air stations hve increased exponentially(especially in the last 3 years), weve dumped the satellite and relyonly on the free-air tv using a compound digital ignal enhancing antenna on the RV.
We find the "extra" stations (especially on PBS we can get all sorts of good programming .

I agree that this is a great move forward. We get cable at home ND PY EXTRA for HDTV. When we get all the free-ir channels, they are already HD.
So, in effect, our cable compny tkes the HD , smooshes it down to ratty reception and then makes you pay a premium to return the signal to HD.
Is this a great country or what?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 06:25 pm
@farmerman,
I get to see lots of stuff I missed. My biggest problem is, I can't get a few channels, one being PBS. I have been looking around for a booster that will clear it up. PBS in Houston has two English channels, one Spanish, and two radio channels. Yep; radio TV, with no picture at all.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 06:53 pm
@edgarblythe,
What kind of antenna are you using? I old fashioned roof top aerial will bring in everything with 50 miles with ease and a better one could get you up to 100.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 06:56 pm
@engineer,
I had a rooftop antenna, but it got poorer reception than a little flat one from Walmart. There are 60' trees around me. I think they must block some of the signal.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2014 11:03 am
@edgarblythe,
I don't think that would be a killer. I've seen aerials installed inside attics and they work pretty well. The little flat ones are good for 10-15 miles, but if you are near a big city, that should be fine. Did you say you are in Houston?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2014 11:46 am
@engineer,
I am about thirty four miles from downtown, I think. I can move the antenna around and get more or less channels. The best location is wedged flat against the under sofit of my front porch. At that spot it gives me almost all the channels, clear and trouble free.

A number of the new digital channels are from surrounding towns.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2014 09:28 pm
I'm a sucker for some of the old shows. Last night I watched the episode of Barney Miller, in which one of the officers killed two bank robbers. Despite the fact I had seen it in the original broadcast, and remembered the episode almost perfectly, still, it choked me up to see the man struggling to come to grips. That was a fine series.
0 Replies
 
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2014 10:03 pm
@edgarblythe,
One suggestion/question, edgar.

Do you get our equivalent of freesat over there?

In the UK, we have the choice of freeview (ordinary antennae) or freesat (dish) and both have roughly the same channels.
If you do, then maybe the dish option would pick up more channels.

Mind you, it's the same old rubbish, just more of them.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2014 04:38 am
@Lordyaswas,
I don't intend to pay for a dish service.
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2014 05:13 am
@edgarblythe,
No, it's not a subscription thing, edgar. Granted, you'd have to get a dish and a set top box, but from then on it's totally free.

Maybe it's not available in America, but worth a mention anyway. Maybe there is a similar set up from a different company in the USA.

Here's our one...
http://en.www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freesat
0 Replies
 
Woodworker766
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2014 10:07 am
@edgarblythe,
Don't expect to see many new Prime Time TV programs on any of these channels any time soon.

When we switched to digital TV, the new spec allows for 4 sub-channels on a single frequency. The number is use is decided by the parent station. Each channel allows for a total of one 1080 resolution video stream. So if the parent station wants to broadcast their primary channel in 720p (High-def) that leaves them one other 720p sub-channel or two 480i (Standard Resolution) sub-channels. The sub-channels use the .2, .3 and .4 monikers.

Some of the sub-channels can be found on cable networks too. MeTV for example, is carried on a lot of the Comcast networks. When they do that they are broadcast as a separate channel instead of as a sub-channel though. The ION network has several sub-channels that are common on many cable networks too. CoziTV is also carried on both the Dish and DirectTV sat. systems.

But since the sub-channel networks rely on the local broadcasters from the big networks (i.e. ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX..) for their carrier signal they aren't going to broadcast networks that compete with their own programming. That's why you don't see Prime time TV programs on them.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2014 09:52 pm
@Woodworker766,
My reference to quality prime time shows was meant for the major networks' primary channels.
0 Replies
 
 

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