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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Bay Area NBC [Mar. 2nd, 2005|09:26 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
I can't receive NBC over the air, neither digital nor analog. This puts a serious damper on my MythTV plans, for without NBC I can't watch The West Wing. Sure, I could download it, or even script the downloading of it, but I was hoping this would be 100% legal.

I'm on the north face of the Bernal Heights hill, and NBC is only broadcast from San Jose, some other place more south of San Jose, and Sacramento.

Why can't NBC broadcast from Sutro Tower like everybody else? I'm 2 miles away from Sutro ("Spewtron" ?) w/ perfect line-of-sight and I can get every other network perfectly.

Maybe a roof-mounted antenna would help me get NBC from San Jose. Who would I call about installing that for me? Including running cable alongside the house or whatever, getting it into the living room and/or garage. I'm scared shitless to climb on this roof of all roofs.

The OpenCable "cable card" spec looks interesting, if only there was Linux support for a reader. If that existed, then I'd pay for cable (if it came in HD).

DirectTV options for HD network channels are crap around here. All this stuff about needing to get waivers saying you live where you do so DirectTV will give you access to the feeds from LA or New York, which is all they carry? Screw DirectTV.

In conclusion: need good roof-mounted antenna to get NBC. Hopefully.

Update: Some history.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: henry
2005-03-03 05:34 am (UTC)
recording tv shows and sharing them with your friends is illegal?
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-03-03 05:42 am (UTC)
Who knows? You tell me. The only versions out there don't have commercials, and the networks can't love that.
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[User Picture]From: supersat
2005-03-03 05:49 am (UTC)
Well, as long as it's not affecting their ratings or their ad rates, I doubt they care THAT much. I'm not sure TV show sharing is pervasive enough to even be a blip on the Nielsen Radar(TM).
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[User Picture]From: dakus
2005-03-03 06:26 am (UTC)
I'd guess those who shared via the web are really core demographic and adverts would actually care, if someone could put a number on it. But there's no way to put a number on it because theres no collector of this information. Nielsen isn't even adding DVR viewing scores until Jan of next year.

I noticed a while back when I looked at the successful DL on some of the torrent sites, the stats didn't jive with Nielsen. Which says something...not sure what...but the number of torrent DL's on some shows can get up there.
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[User Picture]From: dakus
2005-03-03 06:14 am (UTC)
They don't own the show, the producers own it...they (NBC) only has broadcast rights. Prolly a 500 page contract saying what they can and cannot do with the show. Usually to air them twice, then the producer get to sluck them thru the syndication channel. Likely they all still believe releasing them into the web would decline the value on the syndication level. Most shows don't make money until this point. At least they didn't use to...

Then there's the whole DVD collection future sales value.

I'm sure we'll see more DRM timelimit stuff. Like SciFi is doing with BSG...kicking and screaming...they are being dragged to the future.

If it were me, I'd be demanding web rights for my whole lineup, if I were running a network, I'd be releasing the hell outta the lineup. I'd be the cool network. Profits come to those with a following. I'd either go down in history or go down in history.
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[User Picture]From: avatraxiom
2005-03-03 08:53 am (UTC)
The issue is broadcast rights, as far as I know. Also, technically the shows are copyrighted by their owners.

So the networks would sue you if you "broadcasted" the episode over the Internet, and the show's producers would sue you if you made a copy without authorization and gave it to another person for free. :-)

That second one might not hold up in court, though.

-Max
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[User Picture]From: newscane
2005-03-03 05:34 am (UTC)
Until about 4 years ago, nobody cared that KNTV was in San Jose. Then NBC got outbid for KRON (the old NBC affil), pulled their affiliation, and came in and bought KNTV. Immediately screwed as many as 400k people who can't pick up the signal, like you. But, there's apparently a fix in the works:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/08/13/BUGTG875U81.DTL

The whole NBC in SF deal has been a big deal for a while in the TV industry trades. I think it was during the 2002 and/or 2004 Olympics that NBC brought in "mobile transmitters" so people in parts of the Bay Area could get their signal.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-03-03 05:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for the link! That's great to hear.... so 6 months from August, eh? So any day now? :-)

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[User Picture]From: newscane
2005-03-03 05:53 am (UTC)
Ha, yeah. 6 months in TV talk sometimes means... well, I don't want to spoil your optimism.

BTW, can you point me in the direction of one/some of your entries where you talk about your home networking setup? I have a box that I do my coding on sitting in my living room, hooked up to the TV and a keyboard for when I need to log on via console. But it's kind of noisy, and I'd like to move it, but I need the console capability (I think). Any suggestions?
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-03-03 07:03 am (UTC)
My machines (Debian clients) netboot off a Linux server (also Debian) in a quiet area. Network is gigabit, though that's not really required.

Google for "Linux Netboot" or "Debian PXE boot" or similar.
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[User Picture]From: christowang
2005-03-03 01:08 pm (UTC)
That's what I'm thinking, most offer HD Packages now. Cablevision offers:

iO now offers up to 16 HDTV channels including HBO, Showtime, NBC, CBS, Bravo, Fox Sports Net New York, MSG Network, FOX Digital Widescreen and more. All in high-resolution, wide screen picture that's up to five times sharper than standard TV.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-03-03 05:46 pm (UTC)
Plus the DVR has a tiny disk.

The Air2PC PCI card can do unencrypted QAM, iirc.
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[User Picture]From: tiff_seattle
2005-03-13 06:59 am (UTC)
Hi there. I hope you don't mind a stranger butting into this thread, but I was just wondering if you know of any other cards that do unencrypted QAM HDTV? I've been looking all over and I can't seem to find a simple list of things like this. I'm planning on building a PVR\Mediacenter type thingie, but I'm not sure if the Air2PC card is my only option.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-03-13 09:15 am (UTC)
The PCHDTV-3000, while unadvertised, can also do QAM with the newer DVB drivers, just being merged into the kernel recently. (not with the drivers that are available on the site)

Or so I read. I haven't tried.
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[User Picture]From: pantsgolem
2005-03-03 05:55 am (UTC)
Well damn, I was just about to give you that link.

Also, I don't speak the TV-broadcasting tech lingo too well, but this thread looks like it deals with what you're talking about.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-03-03 07:14 am (UTC)
But there's this ridiculous process where you have to get waivers from the local affiliates before DirecTV will give you access.... people talk about it on the forums and it looks like a pain.

Still reading, though.... http://www.fcc.gov/mb/shva/
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-03-03 07:21 am (UTC)
Except what I care about is HD signals.

DirecTV requires you have an antenna to get HD local channels:

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/imagine/HDTV_localchannels.dsp

So if I need an antenna anyway, why get DirecTV when I could build my own? $42/month for comedy central only? Not worth it.
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[User Picture]From: dakus
2005-03-03 06:28 am (UTC)
WW was kinda cool tonite.
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From: marcauditor
2005-03-03 09:38 am (UTC)
NBC is a sore subject with everyone in San Francisco. Way out here by the beach, I'm in direct view of Sutro Tower, so I can easily get all of the other channels. Several months ago, KNTV targeted the end of last year for NBC reception in San Francisco, but it obviously never happened, so don't hold your breath. Until NBC's advertisers realize what they're missing by not reaching people here to plug their products, probably nothing will ever happen. Now if all of Manhattan could not receive NBC, you can be sure the advertisers would put pressure on the TV station to resolve the problem fast, or replace a few executives to make it happen.
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[User Picture]From: nick
2005-03-03 02:39 pm (UTC)
So wait... you won't get cable because you can't use your own box, right? But comcast rents their HD DVR for like 5 bucks a month (plus the cost of cable, but come on dude, life without comedy central and cartoon network?), which is a lot cheaper than buying/building a box of your own. Then you get all your HD channels, plus HD espn, discovery, and inhd 1, and 2.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-03-03 05:47 pm (UTC)
It's a small disk, and some channels would still require an antenna to get in high-def, it looks like. Once I need an antenna at all, why pay for anything?
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[User Picture]From: nick
2005-03-03 05:53 pm (UTC)
Uh I don't use an antenna at all... unless the cable offerings differ greatly in the 34 miles between us. But ya, the disk is small... I still use my Tivo for all things not HD (comedy central, espn2, food network, etc.)
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[User Picture]From: erik
2005-03-03 07:18 pm (UTC)
Dude, fear the imposter LJ icons:



Weeeaakkk.
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