Not Sure Where This Fits In - Printable Version

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Not Sure Where This Fits In - NickHedge - 05-24-2010

I just had the most interesting conversation and I wanted to post it to get some feedback. I really don't think this would fit in under any of the other areas so I stuck it here.

When you live on the road, out of motels you really don't realize just how out of the loop you are until you try to communicate with the rest of the world.

I'd say its been about 3-4 years since I have "rented" a place outside of a motel room that requires a lease or an agreement of some sort. I really don't like doing that since motels offer everything a single guy needs all in one package. No deposits, credit checks, etc.

But I realized today what a difference 3-4 years can make in a person's life.

I was washing my laundry for the week and the head housekeeper walks in and we start chatting. I ask a little bit about the area and what rent is like and how much it would cost to actually move into a place with deposits and the like. She starts telling me the details and I ask her about cable, satellite, internet, etc and she waves the questions away with the statement that all you have to do for television is to go down to Radio Shack or some place like that and buy "the box". Pay your $50 dollars and hook it up and voila you are ready to go. You get plenty of channels and no monthly bills!!!!

I stop dead in my tracks and look at her and ask "why are there no monthly bills? Who is this service through"? She looks at me and smiles and says "It's the box". I'm like "yeah and......."?

She went onto say that there is no bill, no cable, no satellite, no nothing, just "the box". She could not expand beyond that point. She is 21 years old and the head housekeeper and a drone. I knew not to push the point, but I was stunned. I mean in a motel you don't think about things like that because the TV is already provided. I knew not to go any further.

What really caught my attention was the fact that she mentioned that the channels were "layered". That was the term she used. I asked her what that meant exactly. She said: "Well, you know, you have like channel 4 and then you have channel 4.1, 4.2 and like that. It's easy once you learn how to get around". Who has channels like that? It's not cable, not satellite, so who OR WHAT the hell is it?

I remember all the hulaballoo about the "box" or the converter box if you will. The certificates to get them and the big extension last year for everyone to get one because analog was going away and HD was taking over. But NO ONE OFFERS anything for free in this world. NO ONE. But it never mattered to me because I didn't have to worry about it.

I realize I am behind the times here and obviously quite out of the loop and maybe that is a good thing and then maybe it's not. But can someone explain what the hell "the box" really is and how it works and why isn't anyone paying for this (besides the one time purchase fee of the box).

This blows my mind.

RE: Not Sure Where This Fits In - groen2 - 05-24-2010

i am guessing she means digital television. just like the old UHF where it was not encoded so you don't need a satelite or decoder. We call it freeview in the UK but it is correctly known as DVB.

RE: Not Sure Where This Fits In - NickHedge - 05-24-2010

What I didn't mention in my original post was that she did say something about having "rabbit ears" on the television. I was asking a question about "the box" and never came back to the rabbit ears. I thought rabbit ears were a thing of the past.... Why would someone need them with HD? The whole conversation was weird.

RE: Not Sure Where This Fits In - Easy Skanking - 05-24-2010

What the housekeeper was attempting to describe was a converter box so that analog TV's can receive the current HD broadcasts. The FCC finally implemented the plan they have been pushing for at least the last 12 years. They required that all terrestrial over the air TV broadcasts were to be shifted to new allocated bandwidths for High Def digital broadcasts. After a certain date, the analog broadcasts were to be stopped requiring everyone that wanted to watch broadcast TV to get a box for their analog TV or buy a new HDTV with HD receiver built it.
The channel layout allows sideband channels like she was saying. Channel 4 , 4.1, 4.2 and so on.
They receivers do work with old rabbit ear antennas but not very well. They really need HD antennas as there is pixellation and dropouts whenever there is any significant cloud cover.

All of this was claimed to be for allowing more broadcast space for over the air TV. What this has done is allow the FCC to auction off more bandwidth and cause more people to have to buy new hardware in order to be brainwashed by TV and to cause TV stations to have to buy new HD broadcast gear or not broadcast at all.

As I have been in the A/V biz for a long time, I have seen the FCC do this over and over with every band of broadcast frequencies. Radio, performance wireless audio gear and now TV.

RE: Not Sure Where This Fits In - FastTadpole - 05-25-2010

Quote:They receivers do work with old rabbit ear antennas but not very well. They really need HD antennas as there is pixellation and dropouts whenever there is any significant cloud cover.

Yeah I'd hear of this a couple of years ago, in certain markets you can intermittently get up to 22 'free' channels. I think you can get ~5 round my neck of the woods with the rabbit ear method.

RE: Not Sure Where This Fits In - Deathaniel - 05-25-2010

crazy part is with the world going digital now post chaos when you find a tv and power source and plug it in theres still no channels so much for emergency broadcast systems, when i herd bout the switch i just shook my head as absolutely stupid so now if you don't pay cable you won't know whats going on even in your own community....

but sure makes censoring what each region of the world gets access to for television and news...