Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Still Here

      Can't come up with much to say, though.


grich said...

Ok, let me stir up something. Only a couple people will understand, but...what are your thoughts on ATSC3? :)

Our market lights up next week.

Roberta X said...

I don't have a strong opinion on it, other than being in no hurry to replace my home TVs. The display was one of the main limiting factors for analog TV, along with the wretched performance of even the best VHS videocassette. Once digital TV got underway but while analog was still on the air as well, people visiting the transmitter site would see the large, bright, sharp analog professional-grade monitor on a pro demod or incoming line and remark, "Oh, digital TV looks so much better!" when all they were seeing was anlog TV at its best. At home, I mostly stream in SD to my big digital TV and at normal viewing distances it looks wonderful, better than the best analog OTA, cable or satellite picture ever looked. A TV that is natively 1080i or 1080p DTV sidesteps the limitations of NTSC and until you get past 42" screens, you don't need HD unless you are looking at it from a foot away.

So I don't need ATSC3. It's already on the air here; one of the other stations is playing "lighthouse" for the rest of us and we just stream network UHD with upconverted local HD to their 3.0 exciter along with everyone else. I'd go lend a hand of they had major transmitter problems that could be fixed by applying more techs to the job, but what are the odds of that? Slim and none.

Advertisers need ATSC3: it lets them geo-target ads, maybe even address-by-address, and get instant feedback, bringing the advantages of web advertising to a far less fragmented audience. Sports fans need ATSC3, because it will make "the best seat in the stadium" even better, and might finally pay off on ATSC 1.0's promise of multiple, user-selectable camera angles. And so on. Someone like me, who grew up looking at tiny screens across the room and would just as soon listen to old radio dramas, are not nearly as invested once the "gee whiz" factor wears off.

Professionally, I'm all for it. Hooray, progress! Personally, I'm not very invested in it. I'll be retired before ATSC 1.0 is phased out. It may -- or may not -- move TV stations towards a shared-sites/shared transmitters model for their over-the-air streams, perhaps with more redundancy than we presently have, and that will be good for the people at home, good for stations -- and not so great for people with jobs like mine. A remnant will show up once a week to dust the place off and double-check the meter-readings, perhaps, and call the factory for service when something acts up. On the other hand, office printer/copiers are already phoning home on their own for service and supplies, and there's no reason to think TV transmitters couldn't.

grich said...

Our market will be interesting as the lighthouse's ATSC1 channels are all VHF (we're hosting their .1 channel). I'm sure we will get our share of viewer calls, but not as many as the lighthouse. We'll have a 1080i, 720p, and three 480i channels crammed into our stream...statmux will be busy.