TV stations/service ?

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by Mathematics!, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Mathematics!

    Mathematics! Thread Starter Senior Member

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    I am thinking about canceling or getting rid of some of my Comcast services.

    Basically TV
    I have found that most of the TV stations I can get thru the internet for free
    using Windows Media Center , or other internet sites.

    What I am curious of is if I cancel my TV services completely will I get some standard free channels available for everybody no matter what?

    Does antenna/air wave broadcasted TV shows equal coaxial cable broadcasted TV shows? Or are there more channels available from one then the other currently ?

    Note : I am not talking about in theory which media air or coaxial supports more stations.
    And I am not asking if the air or coaxial cable has better quality/clarity over the other.
    I am asking weather you use air/antenna or coaxial cable if one has broadcasted different stations that you cann't get with other?

    Question 2
    Does the TV / cable company have to provided any of the free air channels thru there coax cable for free?
    Or in general you can only use the air waves/antenna to get any free stations if I cancel my TV services

    Question 3
    Who is responsible for providing TV thru the air are these comcast company or the FCC ,...i.e what company is responsible for broadcasting TV over the air in certain locations? ( is the same coax cable providers responsible for the TV thru the air channels)
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  2. Phant

    Phant New Member

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    Last I looked Comcast requires basic service to get any other program service from them (except for internet or phone).

    #2 Comcast gives nothing for free.
    If you have a HD TV or a HD tuner you may be able to get TV stations with an antenna. Try antennaweb.org to see what you may be able to get in your area.
    Note that indoor antennas are unlikely to give acceptable results regardless of any claims to the contrary.

    #3 Neither. Each TV station is a company.
  3. Jimmeh30

    Jimmeh30 New Member

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    Digitech (now DGtech) gave me some rubbish answer that the reason why my digital set top box was loosing all it's presets every morning at 1am (if turned on at the time) was because I was running it off rabbit ears. (even though the picture is crystal and never suffers pixelation)

    Total rubbish, as is the set top box.

    I get crystal clear reception from a pair of rabbits ears on all available channels, in fact, I get better reception and more channels from those un-amplified rabbits ears than I do from the roof mounted antenna (admittedly it's an old analogue antenna, but still).

    Also, I live in Aus. maybe it's different in other countries, but this standard "if you don't have a digital antenna....." answer to end users, is total rubbish in most metro areas. If the signal is strong and contains few reflections, there's no good reason for dumping an extra 200 on an antenna when the one installed already will most probably suffice. :)
  4. Phant

    Phant New Member

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    No such thing as a "Digital" antenna. HD TV signals (at least in the US) are located in the low part of what was called UHF. An antenna for UHF works just fine.
    For most people multipath and building materials cause lots of issues with indoor antennas, but yes it is possible to use rabbit ears.

    PS: The explanation you got on your tuner is just what you say it is.
  5. Mathematics!

    Mathematics! Thread Starter Senior Member

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    So ESPN owns a channel , Disney owns a channel etc...

    But the TV providers like comcast who strung the cable wires on the tele pole or under the ground to the homes ,...etc are responsible for broadcasting those stations thru the cable to customers. Correct? I am just curious who is responsible in broadcasting those same channels thru the area. Is it the same guys that broadcast TV down the coax cable to you that broadcast thru the air the TV stations at least in your local area. Or are they completely different company.

    Because I have to say why are some of the air channels free when the exact same coax channels are not?
    I would imagine channel owners like NBC or CBS and show makers would be upset at haveing there stuff freely distributed thru the air?

    Question 2
    Is the companies that own a channel /channels (espn,disney ,...etc) own all the shows on these channels? Basically my understanding we have the TV providers that broadcast the channels , we have the channel owners which don't broadcast the channel just own them if I am correct / are different then comcast,...etc , and we have the show owners the ones that make the shows that a particular channel owner hosts and particular TV providers broadcast.

    So the chain is something like this actors,directors create show ---> owner of a channel pays them to host the show (if it is good they say yes and pay)
    ---> the channel owners tell comcast/TV providers to broadcast there show ----> comcast/TV providers broadcast the channel to there customers.
    But I am probably off on who is the customer of who / who is paying who in the chain it seems like both are supporting one another to some extent so both are paying one another. Though if anybody knows more about the breakdown please explain
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  6. bretm

    bretm Member

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    Through an antenna, the only channels you will receive are your local TV stations (e.g. old VHF channels 2 through 13 and UHF channels in the US). But now the signals are digital, and sometimes more channels than before. E.g. if you got channel 13 before digital, then now you might get channel 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, etc., from their over-the-air broadcast.

    Shows from ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX etc. ("the networks") are broadcast by their local affiliate stations in your area.

    Subscription channels like ESPN or Disney are not generally broadcast through their air as normal TV signals. Instead, they make distribution deals with cable companies and satellite companies to broadcast their content, and you will not be able to receive them "over the air".
  7. Mathematics!

    Mathematics! Thread Starter Senior Member

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    And who are these local affiliate is these the local comcast/verizon companies or are they different from the "normal " tv providers

    Basically what companies provide these free air tv stations and do they own the equipment they use to broadcast it. Or are they leasing it from a verizon or comcast company
  8. bretm

    bretm Member

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    They're just your local TV stations. For example, in Seattle the biggest local stations are KOMO (4), KING (5), KIRO (7), KCTS (9), KSTW (11), and KCPQ (13). KOMO is owned by Fisher Communications and is affiliated with ABC, KING is owned by Belo and is affiliated with NBC, etc. CBS actually owns KSTW, so sometimes it's more than an affiliation relationship.

    Generally they own their own transmitter equipment, including the main tower antennae. Cable companies just pick up the over-the-air signal and rebroadcast it over cable, with permission. In the US, the local station can require the local cable companies to carry their signal, in which case they can't charge the cable company any money.
  9. Mathematics!

    Mathematics! Thread Starter Senior Member

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    so correct me if I am wrong the cable providers are just re-transmitting the free air stations by catching the air wave transmission from the local TV stations and rebroadcasting them down there coax cable.

    But they must be doing more since they have there own channels as well or channels you cann't get with air correct?
    Or maybe they are all in the air with the correct encryption/decryptions equipment in theory dunno

    Question 2
    Is can a particular house or area have more then one cable provider that they can choose from?
    I have called alot of cable service providers the top ten or 20 and they all believe but aren't fully sure that a house or place can only have one cable provider to choose from. Defined by which one owns the cable lines on the pole near you... Is this definitely true. ( no 2 cable providers can service the same area ?)
    I know you can choose some time other service providers instead of cable in area like dsl or other provider techology... but
    I am only concerned about multiple cable providers.... so if one didn't like there cable service they would be stuck with that cable service provider if they wanted to use cable as a means .... Is this true definitely


    Question 3
    Same question 2 but for DSL providers the same way can there only be one choice for a customers dsl provider the owner of the lines on the poles ? Or can there be more options in terms of multiple dsl providers to choose from?

    If the answer to questions 2 and 3 are yes you can only have one then if you are in a bad area you could have a 12/13 rate provider like Frontier and then you would be limited to what they can provide which I am beting is alot slower then 30Mbps ...etc
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  10. bretm

    bretm Member

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    Yes, the cable company just receives the signal and rebroadcasts it over cable. Sometimes they use antennas, sometimes they use satellite dishes, sometimes they use fiberoptic connections, etc. It depends on how close they are to the source and what business arrangements they make with the content providers.

    A particular area can have more than one cable provider, but this is rare. It cost them a lot of money to build into a new area, and it's a lot less cost-effective when they have to deal with competition. So generally there is only one choice for cable in a given area. It's not a law of physics or courts, it's just an economic effect.

    It used to be that cable was for TV and phone lines were for phones. Therefore, many places have both services. Now that cable companies are also phone carriers and phone companies are also content carriers, you will generally have exactly two choices for TV and internet in your area: cable company vs phone company, e.g. Comcast vs Verizon in my neighborhood.

    For TV you also have various satellite dish options. But for wired service, you often will be stuck with those two choices.

    DSL is just the specific technology that phone companies uses to implement a digital network (e.g. internet) on top of the existing phone network infrastructure.
  11. Mathematics!

    Mathematics! Thread Starter Senior Member

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    I understand your point. But if in theory there was 2 different cable providers in one area. would that mean if you lived in that area you would beable to use either one?

    And also if there where 2 or more providers for cable in that area would that mean they would have to both run separate wires to all the area they are servicing house and telephone poles? I.E on the tele poles would there need to have 2 separate wires for each cable company or can they share the same lines for 2 different cable companies? ( I am think yes they would have to have separate lines run for each cable company in that area to some extent but not sure if it would be the whole way or if there is some shared lines at some part of the network while connecting the houses )

    Question related
    The reason why I ask is it seems with mobile phone now a days the cell towers are shared so where ever you are if you have sprint or at&t ,or somebody else they all go thru the same cell towers? So kind of curious who owns the cell equipment or who pays who ?


    When you say existing phone network infrastructure are you referring to DSL using the POTS landlines to transmit digital internet , phone , and TV ( so essentially this method is just dial up on steroids )
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  12. bretm

    bretm Member

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    Yes.

    Maybe. That's up to them. If they come up with some profit sharing arrangement, or if one of them obtains carriage rights on the other's equipment through a law suit or other means, then there might not be separate hardware.

    But honestly I'm not familiar with how this works. Everywhere that I have lived has only had one cable provider.

    It's true that many cell towers are shared by different carriers. Anybody with land on a hill and suitable zoning laws can try to lease it out to cell companies. But they're very particular about their locations so it's probably not a reliable money-making strategy. But a suitable location is probably suitable for multiple carriers, so sharing happens a lot. But it's not universal.


    I'm referring to the landlines, but these aren't "POTS landlines". The POTS signal and the DSL signal share the same lines. The DSL digital signal is modulated to an analog signal using a higher frequency carrier. Then a low-pass filter can extract the POTS signal and a high-pass filter can extract the DSL signal.
  13. Mathematics!

    Mathematics! Thread Starter Senior Member

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    Yes ofcourse but what I am getting at is they use the same line.
    So if I got dsl service they could/I could hook up all my land line phone jacks directly like the way my OLD POTS service was hooked up or must it go thru the dsl modem for the phone part? I know the internet would obviously need the modem. But would/could the phone part just be hooked back up exactly like the POTS way since they are using the same lines (really don't see the issue either way). The phone part should be the same as the POTS in theory unless they are just digitializing my analog voice thru there dsl modem first before sending?

    If that is correct then the only difference between the POTS phone landline old service and the phone part of dsl is that the former digitalizes the voice signal before sending so the transmission is completely digital. And the later one "POTS" one is digitalized in the middle somewhere between them and me .... so it starts out analogly and gets converted into digital.

    If my thoughts are correct
    This is essentially the only difference between POTS and DSL phone is an DAC/ADC as well as maybe some noise filtering for better clarity (but in theory not really necessarily for a function conversation) ?


    And I have to say I am in complete agreement with you for the rest of the stuff... I really was amazed when I found out I am restricted to only one cable provider and one dsl provider. And they say its not a monopoly ;)
    Me I have to say I could give a **** if it was or wasn't a monopoly as long as there prices where cheap or free and not controlling/privacy issues LOL
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  14. bretm

    bretm Member

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    Yes, you could connect a POTS phone to the line, but a low-pass filter is recommended.

    Who says that? Most public utilities are monopolies.

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