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OFCOM Sells Off The 800Mhz Band Then The 700Mhz Band - What's Next?


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Old 01-03-2013, 22:09
ntscuser
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So roughly 20 channels in total?
Again, so what?

Not everyone is obsessed with the total number of channels they can receive, especially when most are not worth watching.
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Old 01-03-2013, 22:14
ntscuser
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If you look back he was happy with just BBC 1.
It was just "BBC" in those days. BBC2 hadn't been thought of let alone BBC3, BBC4, etc.

And there were the same number of programmes worth watching back then as there are now except you didn't to go searching for them all over the place.
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Old 01-03-2013, 22:59
jj20x
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It was just "BBC" in those days. BBC2 hadn't been thought of let alone BBC3, BBC4, etc.
Indeed but if I had said you were happy with just the BBC, it could have been interpreted differently.

And there were the same number of programmes worth watching back then as there are now except you didn't to go searching for them all over the place.
Well, there wouldn't be much to search through with just 1 channel.
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Old 02-03-2013, 00:02
chrisy
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I will completely lose all faith in OFCOM if they don't set minimum quality standards alongside a move to DVB-T2 & AVC.
I guess you mean HEVC.

I don't expect to see any move to HEVC except in conjunction with 4K resolution.

a) It causes confusion (look at the NImux "you need a Freeview HD receiver" "but it's not in HD!" "Yeah, but it's DVB-T2 and MPEG4" "I have no idea what you're talking about" etc)
b) By the time DVB-T2/HEVC is available, DVB-T2/MPEG4 will be even more established than it is currently
c) You seem to be suggesting DVB-T2/MPEG4 kit should be obsoleted, perhaps even before DVB-T/MPEG2 ceases broadcasting
d) I'm too tired to think of a 'd'
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Old 02-03-2013, 00:09
DragonQ
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I guess you mean HEVC.

I don't expect to see any move to HEVC except in conjunction with 4K resolution.

a) It causes confusion (look at the NImux "you need a Freeview HD receiver" "but it's not in HD!" "Yeah, but it's DVB-T2 and MPEG4" "I have no idea what you're talking about" etc)
b) By the time DVB-T2/HEVC is available, DVB-T2/MPEG4 will be even more established than it is currently
c) You seem to be suggesting DVB-T2/MPEG4 kit should be obsoleted, perhaps even before DVB-T/MPEG2 ceases broadcasting
d) I'm too tired to think of a 'd'
No I didn't mean HEVC, for the reasons you mention. I meant AVC, considering I said "AVC".

Again, so what?

Not everyone is obsessed with the total number of channels they can receive, especially when most are not worth watching.
You said the system was good long-term planning, but it is clearly inferior to what we have.

We don't have enough HD channels, that's true, but it's nothing to do with the technology, that's just the pay TV model we have.
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Old 02-03-2013, 00:13
chrisy
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No I didn't mean HEVC, for the reasons you mention. I meant AVC, considering I said "AVC".
Apologies, reading too much into your other comments.
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Old 02-03-2013, 00:32
ntscuser
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You said the system was good long-term planning, but it is clearly inferior to what we have.
I fail to see how in any way it is 'inferior'. True it doesn't have as many ancient repeats, shopping, soft-porn and pay channels but I think most of us could live happily without those.

What we have here is ever increasing numbers turning to Sky and Virgin because they are sick to death of having to upgrade aerials and receivers every few years.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:52
jj20x
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What we have here is ever increasing numbers turning to Sky and Virgin because they are sick to death of having to upgrade aerials and receivers every few years.
They are probably turning to Sky and Virgin for a diet of even more repeats and pay channels. Sky and Virgin aren't immune to changes in technology.

I've not needed an aerial upgrade. In fact one of the aerials here has probably been in place since the UK started using UHF (long before I moved here) and works fine with the original internal coax cabling (VHF grade).
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:09
ntscuser
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They are probably turning to Sky and Virgin for a diet of even more repeats and pay channels.
Or simply to get a decent reception of a reasonable number of channels without fear their system will become obsolete after the next game of musical chairs with the channel numbers or interference from 4G mobiles.

I've not needed an aerial upgrade. In fact one of the aerials here has probably been in place since the UK started using UHF (long before I moved here) and works fine with the original internal coax cabling (VHF grade).
Good for you. You probably haven't had to pay to upgrade a receiver which was supposed to be compatible with 8k transmissions but turned out it wasn't either.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:00
jj20x
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Or simply to get a decent reception of a reasonable number of channels without fear their system will become obsolete after the next game of musical chairs with the channel numbers or interference from 4G mobiles.
Early Sky boxes are technically obsolete, also, successive generations of the PVR introduce new features such as HD, MPEG4, internet connections and larger disk capacity. For Virgin Media, similarly the legacy boxes are slow and pretty much obsolete. The original PVRs and are MPEG2 only, so are holding back conversion to MPEG4, they don't have the options / apps available on the more recent TiVo boxes.

We'll just have to wait and see if interference from 4G mobiles will be a major problem. When Tetra was introduced for the emergency services there were scare stories that DTT reception would be wiped out and everyone would have to be issued with filters. In reality it didn't wipe out DTT at all and the vast majority of the population most likely haven't noticed that it was introduced.

Cable will continue to use the same UHF channels as 4G as it is delivered through the co-ax and not over the air. Hopefully the quality and shielding of the co-ax will block any interference but we can't really be certain until 4G services start using the 800Mhz band.

Good for you. You probably haven't had to pay to upgrade a receiver which was supposed to be compatible with 8k transmissions but turned out it wasn't either
A lot of people were fooled into paying for aerial upgrades they didn't really need by unscrupulous installers, that was a problem.

I agree that a lot of legacy DTT equipment was rendered useless with the introduction of 8k transmissions. I didn't have a problem as I had already stopped using a 2k STB when I purchased a HD ready TV. Of course, being HD ready didn't actually mean it could receive the DVB-T2 HD channels when they arrived. However the screen failed while the TV was still covered by an extended warranty. As it was uneconomical to repair it, I was asked to choose a replacement. Obviously I selected a DVB-T2 model, so actually have pretty much avoided any problems with equipment becoming obsolete, more by chance than planning.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:37
Luis Essex
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Well, there wouldn't be much to search through with just 1 channel.
That's the case if someone has square eyes. Radio Times also had listing for the wireless programmes. Wireless services were still dominant and TV was just a bonus if you could afford it. In retrospect the introduction of ITA’s offerings in 1955 was perfect timing. Wartime rationing had finally totally ceased in the previous year and now was the time when the future appeared even more promising than ten years before.

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Old 02-03-2013, 10:52
ntscuser
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In retrospect the introduction of ITA’s offerings in 1955 was perfect timing.
That was botched as well.

An assumption was made that everyone who owned a Band I-only receiver would buy an add-on down-convertor and additional aerial for Band III. In the event I don't know a single person who did. Instead, they waited until their old TV needed replacing and then bought (or rented) a combined Band I/III TV set.

The downside was only mitigated by the fact that most people at the time did not already own (or rent) a TV of any kind so when they eventually did it was already equipped to receive ITV. (We got lucky and moved house shortly after the introduction of ITV and had to buy a new TV anyway).

The exact same mistake was made with the introduction of UHF, 625-lines and colour. Almost everyone waited until their old VHF 405-line monochrome set was worn out before replacing it with a new receiver. That didn't happen until the mid 1970s by which time British TV manufacturers were all but bankrupt..
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Old 02-03-2013, 14:22
DragonQ
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I fail to see how in any way it is 'inferior'.
It is quite clearly technically inferior. Again, the content can be disputed. If we got rid of the shopping and porn channels we could have a nice number of entertainment channels with good image and sound quality. Alas, we do not.

Freesat's good though. I don't know if they have a similar system in the US.
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Old 02-03-2013, 15:45
jj20x
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It is quite clearly technically inferior. Again, the content can be disputed. If we got rid of the shopping and porn channels we could have a nice number of entertainment channels with good image and sound quality. Alas, we do not.
Getting rid of the shopping channels would release a few spaces for extra entertainment channels but it's basic supply and demand. The 3/4 resolution used to cram channels onto the COM muxes shares the cost between more broadcasters. Perhaps the mux operators discovered that broadcasters were willing to pay for a slot at that price point but not pay the larger price needed for a higher bandwidth / quality slot.

The porn channels don't do much for the image of freeview but removing them wouldn't mean more entertainment channels. They only occupy time slots not required by the main broadcasters.
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Old 02-03-2013, 15:49
jj20x
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That was botched as well.

An assumption was made that everyone who owned a Band I-only receiver would buy an add-on down-convertor and additional aerial for Band III. In the event I don't know a single person who did. Instead, they waited until their old TV needed replacing and then bought (or rented) a combined Band I/III TV set.
I'm not sure that it was botched, what other option did they have? Advancements in technology and additional services will invariably mean that new equipment is needed. It's always going to take time for new services to reach critical mass.
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Old 02-03-2013, 16:26
ntscuser
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I'm not sure that it was botched, what other option did they have?
Well for one thing they should not have waited till after the 1953 Coronation before announcing the new network because that is when the vast majority of TV sets in use in the UK at that time were purchased. Everyone who had bought a TV then had in effect been sold a pup.

I'm also unconvinced there was no room for ITV in Band I as flicking through the selector knob every day I was unable to find any signal here on Band I other than BBC Midlands except for a very weak one from BBC Yorkshire. (And we had an unusually high mounted aerial).
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Old 02-03-2013, 17:19
jj20x
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Well for one thing they should not have waited till after the 1953 Coronation before announcing the new network because that is when the vast majority of TV sets in use in the UK at that time were purchased. Everyone who had bought a TV then had in effect been sold a pup.
Which is clearly unfortunate and possibly not unplanned. The industry would have seen this as an opportunity to unload obsolete stock.

I'm also unconvinced there was no room for ITV in Band I as flicking through the selector knob every day I was unable to find any signal here on Band I other than BBC Midlands except for a very weak one from BBC Yorkshire. (And we had an unusually high mounted aerial).
There definitely wasn't room for ITV in Band I. The problem being that VHF coverage areas are vast, with large overlap regions. Your whole region wouldn't only have overlaps with Yorkshire but with neighbouring transmitter areas to the south, east, west and probably other directions between. It was quite a task that the BBC managed to get the coverage they did on the 5 Band I channel slots.

Band III was also used by the BBC to fill in the many gaps where coverage on Band I hadn't been possible.
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Old 02-03-2013, 17:29
DragonQ
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Hopefully the fact that HEVC has no special provisions for interlaced video (it merely supports field encoding) means it'll finally die.
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Old 02-03-2013, 17:56
jj20x
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Hopefully the fact that HEVC has no special provisions for interlaced video (it merely supports field encoding) means it'll finally die.
Yeah, 8K interlaced would be ridiculous.
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Old 04-03-2013, 13:02
lf2k7
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Hopefully the fact that HEVC has no special provisions for interlaced video (it merely supports field encoding) means it'll finally die.
HEVC can handle interlace...

From wikipedia:
"HEVC was designed with the idea that progressive scan video would be used and no coding features are present specifically for interlaced video.[1] HEVC instead sends meta-stream data that tells how the interlaced video is sent.[1] Interlaced video may be sent either by coding each field as a separate picture or by coding each frame as a different picture.[1] This allows interlaced video to be sent with HEVC without needing special interlaced decoding processes to be added to HEVC decoders.[1]"

...but yes, I wish interlace would just die!

Yeah, 8K interlaced would be ridiculous.
4K and 8K UHD are progressive only. Yay for common sense!
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Old 06-03-2013, 13:40
andyhurley
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Band 1 was never sold off to mobile operators. It was discontinued in the UK in 1984 when 405 closed down. Mobile phones did not exist in 1984.
Yeah, Vodafone didn't launch until a whole year later...
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Old 06-03-2013, 13:56
DragonQ
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HEVC can handle interlace...

From wikipedia:
"HEVC was designed with the idea that progressive scan video would be used and no coding features are present specifically for interlaced video.[1] HEVC instead sends meta-stream data that tells how the interlaced video is sent.[1] Interlaced video may be sent either by coding each field as a separate picture or by coding each frame as a different picture.[1] This allows interlaced video to be sent with HEVC without needing special interlaced decoding processes to be added to HEVC decoders.[1]"
It does annoy me when people quote me and then completely agree with what I say whilst implying they are correcting me.

...but yes, I wish interlace would just die!
It should have died with the advent of HD. I can understand that they needed it for backwards compatibility at the start of the transition to digital but there was absolutely no reason for any HD standards to be interlaced. It's incredibly inefficient and if whoever decided these things had realised that, they would've chosen 1080p/50 & 1080p/60 as HD standards (requiring essentially the same bandwidth as 1080i/25 & 1080i/30).
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Old 06-03-2013, 14:20
2Bdecided
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HD started in the US with MPEG-2 and CRTs.

1080p60 requires a higher coded bitrate that 1080i60 using MPEG-2, especially when viewed on a CRT.

Handling the uncompressed bitrate of 1080p60 was considered out of the question. Remember we are talking about 1998...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-de..._United_States

Cheers,
David.
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Old 06-03-2013, 14:47
DragonQ
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1080p60 requires a higher coded bitrate that 1080i60 using MPEG-2, especially when viewed on a CRT.
Does it now? I know this isn't the case for AVC.
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Old 06-03-2013, 19:03
kruador
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Why? Politically? Legally? Technically?
Politically. There would have been a massive outcry if the government had tried to switch off analogue TV transmissions before a majority of consumers had already switched to a digital system, and the pace of voluntary conversion looked like it was going to do most of the rest of the job.

Now, of course, money can often be used to smooth over the issue, or at least offering free replacement equipment. The government did this with the Switchover Help Scheme, paid for by increased television licence fees. Again, the cost of doing it for the next technology change may be unacceptably high - politically - if not enough people have voluntarily upgraded.

You could argue that the mobile phone networks should pay the cost of replacing everyone's Freeview equipment. However, the 4G auction has brought in only two-thirds of the estimated amount - falling over £1bn short - and that included a large chunk of spectrum at 2.6 GHz, as well as the 800 MHz band.
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