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Comment: Re:Use an antenna. (Score 1) 578

by Trip Ericson (#46205185) Attached to: US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online

FCC rules only allow for stations in the DMA to be provided, but the stations and DMAs are actually assigned by Nielsen. Don't ask me, I think it's stupid too. In certain, select cases, the FCC has overridden Nielsen and assigned certain stations to other markets, for example where a station can't compete in the market it's located in due to poor coverage of that market, but as a general rule, it's up to Nielsen who is assigned where.

So are you in New Hampshire but in the Portland or Burlington DMA then? The law was changed not too long ago to require the carriage of statewide PBS networks for all customers in a state, but if they don't carry a good news or affairs type program, that doesn't really help. And, of course, NHPTV is now run out of the WGBH studios anyway.

Comment: Re:Use an antenna. (Score 1) 578

by Trip Ericson (#46195259) Attached to: US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online

Sounds like you're in that part of southern Vermont that's part of the Boston market. Am I in the right ballpark?

In your case, you're right. There was a time, probably in or before the 1970's, when people either invested in huge antennas to get what they could get or invested in CATV, but those people watched Boston, and thus that area is now considered to be in the Boston DMA. In fact, that area used to have a full-power repeater station, WRLP-32, which rebroadcasted the signal of WWLP-22 in Springfield, MA. But everyone watched Boston, they made no money on it, and they shut it down in 1978. And so now it's almost impossible to get more than one or two stations in that area. (I think WEKW in Keene, NH might be doable for PBS without too huge an investment, depending on specific location, but that's basically it.)

Many other rural areas do still have translators, like rural Utah and much of the west. Even in urban areas, I've spoken with plenty of people who either don't know OTA TV exists anymore, or who assume it won't work for them, and in large part it's because of buying crap equipment that's sold at Walmart.

(For the record, the FCC does not assign the DMAs, private company Nielsen does. There are many people, myself included, who hate this and wish it was done differently. I need to write a white paper about the market ranking and assignment system I use on my website, and then see if I can get the FCC to adopt it.)

Comment: Re:Use an antenna. (Score 1) 578

by Trip Ericson (#46194829) Attached to: US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online

Very large parts? There are definitely areas that don't, particularly in Alaska, but I would argue that more than 99% of the population has access to OTA HD signals. But, those people have to invest in the right equipment to do so and not expect to plug in an antenna that would be outperformed by a paper clip and still get good reception. (Misinformation from the Walmarts of the world is responsible for a lot of that.)

Disclaimer: I work for the FCC on matters of OTA digital TV signal propagation and interference. I also run a website about OTA TV.

Comment: Re: Why (Score 1) 578

by Trip Ericson (#46194761) Attached to: US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online

If you're that close and over flat terrain, you likely don't need something 25 feet up. You probably just need something in the attic or, possibly, attached to the side of the house, and the FCC overrides local government laws and HOA requirements for those. Search for "OTARD" on your favorite search engine. Feel free to contact me via the contact info on my website if you want more information on that or on local station availability or antenna recommendations.

+ - Ask Slashdot: What's there to like about the BETA?-> 7

Submitted by Narnie
Narnie (1349029) writes "I come to /. not for the nearly interesting pseudo-tech articles, but for the lively, self-moderated discussion. Today I'm bit surprised to see every discussion summarized to fuckbeta. Popping up all over the place there's discussions about beta and even alternatives being revived and created. As I tend not to RTFA, I haven't sampled the beta myself. So, I ask you guys, what's there to like about the BETA and what's there to loath?"
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Comment: Re:Fix HD First (Score 5, Informative) 559

by Trip Ericson (#45223115) Attached to: 4K Ultra HD Likely To Repeat the Failure of 3D Television

MPEG-2 is compressed by definition; an uncompressed HD picture is something like 1 Gbps. Confetti, for example, looks awful no matter what the source, because it's hard to compress.

The only reason MPEG-4 isn't supported in ATSC is because it didn't exist when the standard was written! MPEG-4 is actually now in ATSC, but is not a required part, so no receivers support it and no broadcasters use it except in rare corner cases.

And it's only 18.2 Mbps if there are no other services on the OTA channel; some stations in smaller markets now cram 3 HD services into the 19.393 Mbps channel, which is an average of about 6 Mbps per video channel when you take into account audio and overhead. Most other stations run at least one SD channel in addition to the HD channel, many run more than one. Others are doing Mobile DTV which eats into the bandwidth available. The bitrate of a single HD feed averaged across all OTA stations in the US and Canada is something in the neighborhood of 13 Mbps in MPEG-2.

Obligatory disclaimer: I used to work for a broadcast TV company heading up our broadcast TV engineering projects. I now work for the FCC on over-the-air digital TV matters. In my spare time, I run digital TV website RabbitEars.Info.

Comment: Re:So Is This For Licensed Or Unlicensed Use? (Score 4, Interesting) 107

by Trip Ericson (#38487878) Attached to: Television White Space Spectrum Approved For Use By FCC

When spectrum is unlicensed, it can be used for both commercial and non-commercial uses. My ISP operates its end-user links on 900 MHz unlicensed spectrum, but its backhauls are on highly-directional 2.4 GHz unlicensed links. That, of course, does not mean that 2.4 GHz cannot also be used for wifi in the home, or that 900 MHz cannot also be used for cordless phones. (In fact, I had to replace one of my cordless phones when I got my Internet connection because the two would interfere badly. If the phone was on the exact same frequency as the Internet, it'd knock the Internet out, but if it was merely adjacent, I would hear modem sounds on the phone.)

+ - LulzSec members revealed by "LulzSec Exposed"?->

Submitted by
mlauzon
mlauzon writes "The antics by LulzSec over the past few weeks may have attracted a bit too much attention, at least for those involved in the group. Their veil of anonymity and fearlessness may be finally crumbling. Some unidentified individuals are taking matters into their own hands, feeding LulzSec a taste of their own medicine — revealing the identities of (suspected) LulzSec members to the world.

A new blog, LulzSec Exposed, began its first day on Blogspot with a mountain of IRC chat logs and personal information for a handful of LulzSec members: Kayla, BarretBrown, Joepie, Nakomis, and Topiary. Of these persons, Topiary admitted to being part of LulzSec via their official Twitter page. Three of these persons are from the United States, while one is from Sweden and one from the Netherlands. Mr. Brown has also contributed to various publications, including the Huffington Post and The Guardian.

Amongst the blog posts, there is also evidence that suggests some of the LulzSec members used to be part of Anonymous, based on similar IRC nicknames they use.

LulzSec has, not surprisingly, mocked the accuracy of the posted information. Despite that, the confident public face they put on while revealing their exploits on their site and in explaining their antics may be one giant facade, as members are being extra cautious thanks to the extra scrutiny they now face from the general public and authorities alike."

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Microsoft

+ - FTC Approves Microsofts takeover of Skype->

Submitted by
BigCorona
BigCorona writes "The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said today that it has approved Microsoft's $8.5 billion cash takeover of voice and video-over-IP provider Skype. Microsoft officially announced its intent to acquire Skype back on May 10 and, since then, users have been taking to Twitter to blame Microsoft for Skype's intermittent service. The criticism, at least in that sense, has been a bit preemptive. At least, it seems, until today. Now, with Reuters report that there has been antitrust approval of the deal, users shall soon be able to turn to Microsoft when asking questions of Skype's sometimes-spotty service."
Link to Original Source
Apple

+ - Editing HD Video: Linux vs iMovie->

Submitted by dmbkiwi
dmbkiwi (1790234) writes "Yesterday, my kids were making a home movie to send to my mother in law. They'd made up some songs, which I'd recorded and were shooting the video to go with them. I suggested that they should edit the video in iMovie on my macbook pro. I figured that they should be able to cope fine with it — they've used macs at school to edit video and together with the "legendary" ease of use and "just works" approach of Apple software, it should be no problem. Sadly, they never got to try."
Link to Original Source
News

+ - Comcast Response to Bloomberg: Pre-Filing Notice->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Comcast issued a pre-filing response to Bloomberg’s Neighborhooding complaint, which was subsequently filed with the FCC on June 14, 2011, where the operator spelled out its interpretation of the FCC Order regarding the above Neighborhood condition. Although it respects and values its existing relationship with Bloomberg, it emphatically disagrees that any concerted effort to neighborhood news channels has taken place, either before the NBCU merger, or after, for that matter."
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