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


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Old 24-02-2013, 00:26
ntscuser
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If the cable was already in there, then distribution costs would in fact be cheaper
But the cost to the consumer won't be.
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Old 24-02-2013, 01:20
jj20x
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Yet we still have what is known as freeview lite were only 3 muxes are able to be seen... WHY?
Because the commercial mux operators are happy to fund 80 transmitters covering the vast majority of the country. They are not willing to fund the network of infill transmitters covering small areas, some with a coverage of less than 500. It is a commercial decision, the PSBs use the full network with all relays for their multiplexes.

We were told that after the DSO ( digital switch over ) that power on the digital muxes would be at the same as old system, but no they are still no were near the power of the old system, so that people are still having to have power amps to get a good signal for all local muxes that do not break up in bad weathers or passing transport etc..... WHY ?
The power was set at a level to match the required coverage area. Increasing the power unnecessarily means the signal can cause interference in other areas operating co-channel.

The Low space on DTT has given us channels that need to sell space and time to make money and this means shopping & betting all over the EPG and many adult channels at night on public TV system.
Not low space, the excessive space not wanted by the mainstream broadcasters.

We have HD Digital mux made out of the six old muxes that are too high price for channel 5 HD to join even after bidding was opened..... WHY?
If they bid, it wasn't too expensive. They just got a better deal for providing the HD channel exclusively on pay tv platforms.

OFCOM has just said that it will allow bidding for two muxes on space form our old national TV channels on DTT.... BUT for HD only and for TV companies only to have them for 5 years only after they spend Millions on bidding and changing Transmitters......WHY would any company at this time spend so much ?
The BBC, Channel 4 and Arqiva actually support this.

Freeview should have10 muxes for SD services and 4 HD muxes and plans for 4XHD/superHD mux and plans to drop some space from SD services as HD items become normal for all UK.
That would be a lot of shopping channels. As much as you might wish for it not to be the case, mainstream broadcasters simply don't want to operate that many FTA channels. Advertising revenue is finite and simply wouldn't support that number of channels.
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Old 24-02-2013, 01:54
ntscuser
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Advertising revenue is finite and simply wouldn't support that number of channels.
That's true, but if subscription channels were banned from showing paid commercials, there would be more advertising revenue available to free-to-air channels.
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Old 24-02-2013, 02:44
jj20x
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That's true, but if subscription channels were banned from showing paid commercials, there would be more advertising revenue available to free-to-air channels.
It would but it's not going to happen, it would make subscription channels too expensive.
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Old 24-02-2013, 17:46
ntscuser
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It would but it's not going to happen, it would make subscription channels too expensive.
There are also many vested interests who would prevent it from happening.

For me the rot set in when Band 1 was flogged-off to mobile operators, it being by far the best waveband for indoor reception.

Since then it's been a gradual erosion of the spectrum allocated to free-to-air broadcasts.
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Old 24-02-2013, 20:45
Winston_1
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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.

The TV network was never intended for indoor reception. Use an outside aerial.
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Old 24-02-2013, 22:18
jj20x
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Band 1 was never sold off to mobile operators.
At least they reused some of Band III for DAB...
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Old 24-02-2013, 22:57
ntscuser
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At least they reused some of Band III for DAB...
Useless where I live unfortunately, there's no FM radio signal here either.

We did have an excellent Band I/III distribution system here at one time but it was disabled by the aerial contractors when 405-line TV ended.

When I raised this issue with the housing association and with the residents association they looked at me like I was from a different planet or something.

We do have a very strong Band V signal (from a DAT75 mounted on the roof) but only in one room on one side of the house. Structural issues make it very difficult to run an extension lead to any of the other rooms.
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Old 24-02-2013, 23:56
jj20x
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When I raised this issue with the housing association and with the residents association they looked at me like I was from a different planet or something..
Yes, in an age where fibre optic is becoming the norm, VHF distribution systems are well past their use by date.
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Old 25-02-2013, 00:11
ntscuser
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Yes, in an age where fibre optic is becoming the norm, VHF distribution systems are well past their use by date.
I first raised the issue of a lack of VHF/FM signal here over twenty years ago. I can at least get some radio stations now via the Freeview box.

FtC suffers the same problem here as Freeview, works only in one room on one side of the house, the side nearest the trunk cabling under the pavement.

Fortunately for me the twisted-pair line enters from the other side of the house so I'm able to get some TV and radio programmes via the internet.
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Old 25-02-2013, 10:30
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But within a few years the number of people who don't want an internet connection is going to be small enough that it can be ignored.
Some OfCom documents tentatively suggest 2030 as a realistic date for IPTV replacing terrestrial.

It's about cost, availability, reliability and (for the PSBs at lest) "universal" coverage.

In all these discussions, it's worth remembering that the UK is almost unique, in the combination of a very strong state broadcaster and the dominance of terrestrial reception (in terms of percentage of TVs served by terrestrial).

People's use habits continue to surprise and defy prediction. Predicting the future is notoriously difficult.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 26-02-2013, 00:41
Colin_London
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Why should they be forced? Many will be elderly or disabled and have neither the resources to pay for a connection nor the inclination to learn how to use one.

Why for that matter should the rest of us be forced to piss about with an internet connection when all we want to do is switch on the TV and watch the programme of our choice?

And of course once the telecoms companies have a monopoly of the TV service they can charge us as much as they want to use it.
So the broadcasters should be forced to continue to maintain a network of 1154 transmitter sites even when a fibre passes everyones door??

Even my 95 year old grandfather uses the internet now - as the years go by there will be fewer and fewer old people who won't want it.

And it will get to the stage when it will be cheaper for the broadcasters to pay to convert the hold-outs to IPTV than to maintain the transmitters, even if they don't use any other services off the fibre. Public Service obligations would reduce the charge to poor people in these circumstances.
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Old 26-02-2013, 01:21
jj20x
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So the broadcasters should be forced to continue to maintain a network of 1154 transmitter sites even when a fibre passes everyones door??
Although not much help to anyone with a touring caravan or, say, an HGV driver staying in the truck overnight.
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Old 26-02-2013, 01:38
ntscuser
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So the broadcasters should be forced to continue to maintain a network of 1154 transmitter sites even when a fibre passes everyones door??
That will never happen. There will always be people for whom the internet is not an option just as there will always be people for whom terrestrial reception is not an option.

Of course if the plum frequencies hadn't been sold off to corporate gangsters there would not be a need for so many relay sites.

Even my 95 year old grandfather uses the internet now - as the years go by there will be fewer and fewer old people who won't want it.
And there could be more and more young people who don't as the novelty wears off.

And it will get to the stage when it will be cheaper for the broadcasters to pay to convert the hold-outs to IPTV than to maintain the transmitters, even if they don't use any other services off the fibre. Public Service obligations would reduce the charge to poor people in these circumstances.
Wot, you mean the same way the utility companies charge poor people less for gas, water, electricity, etc? When did that happen?
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Old 26-02-2013, 03:25
jj20x
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Of course if the plum frequencies hadn't been sold off to corporate gangsters there would not be a need for so many relay sites.
Which plum frequencies?

That amount of transmitter sites is needed because of the large number of infill relays needed to cover areas where the terrain makes coverage from the main transmitter sites difficult or impossible,
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Old 26-02-2013, 03:34
ntscuser
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Which plum frequencies?
Bands I and III for starters.

I also note that at my local transmitter (Sutton Coldfield), the COM muxes have been allocated the plum out-of-group frequencies at the lower end of the spectrum whilst the 'community' channels have been allocated the dog frequencies at the higher end of the scale:

http://www.ukfree.tv/txdetail.php?a=SK113003

That amount of transmitter sites is needed because of the large number of infill relays needed to cover areas where the terrain makes coverage from the main transmitter sites difficult or impossible,
Only because coverage is very much worse at UHF frequencies than at VHF frequencies.
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Old 26-02-2013, 04:35
jj20x
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Bands I and III for starters.
That's nonsense, there isn't enough bandwidth on the old VHF TV frequency bands. Even for 405 line monochrome TV there was only enough capacity for 2 analogue channels. The move to UHF was needed to add extra channels such as BBC 2 and to provide extra bandwidth for 625 line colour tv.

It does raise the question of who are these "corporate gangsters" you think the VHF bands were sold to?

I also note that at my local transmitter (Sutton Coldfield), the COM muxes have been allocated the plum out-of-group frequencies at the lower end of the spectrum whilst the 'community' channels have been allocated the dog frequencies at the higher end of the scale:

http://www.ukfree.tv/txdetail.php?a=SK113003
On the Sutton Coldfield transmitter, the analogue channels were Ch46 (BBC1) Ch40 (BBC2) Ch43 (ITV) and Ch50 (C4). In line with international frequency planning, these channels were allocated to the PSB muliplexes, with channels 40, 43 and 46 coming from the former analogue channels.

The COM muliplexes on Sutton Coldfield were inserted on channels 39, 42 and 45. In other words the adjacent channels to the PSB multiplexes.

They are adjacent to each other, NOT as you claim, on "plum out of group frequencies". At many sites, the COM multiplexes have to operate at low power but at Sutton Coldfield, all multiplexes operate at the same power level of 200kW.

Only because coverage is very much worse at UHF frequencies than at VHF frequencies.
Yes, VHF coverage is better but there was never enough bandwidth to accommodate the range of multiplexes we currently have on UHF.
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Old 26-02-2013, 06:57
mossy2103
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So the broadcasters should be forced to continue to maintain a network of 1154 transmitter sites even when a fibre passes everyones door??.
Broadcasters no longer maintain the transmitter sites.
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Old 26-02-2013, 08:03
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Assuming a move to DVB-T2.... UK DTT can give about 250Mbit/sec of uncontended AV content to 93+% of UK population (and half that to 98.5+%) - I cannot see the Telcos/ISP achieving that very soon!
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Old 26-02-2013, 08:21
mossy2103
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Assuming a move to DVB-T2.... UK DTT can give about 250Mbit/sec of uncontended AV content to 93+% of UK population (and half that to 98.5+%) - I cannot see the Telcos/ISP achieving that very soon!
And that delivery system (if not the content) is free to the end-user - no upfront rental charges, no daily allowances, no data caps or traffic management.

And is perfect for broadcasting where the vast majority of programme content is one-way, not requiring a return path.
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Old 26-02-2013, 08:30
ntscuser
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That's nonsense, there isn't enough bandwidth on the old VHF TV frequency bands. Even for 405 line monochrome TV there was only enough capacity for 2 analogue channels.
Which is still one more than the first place I lived in Britain and two more than many people in Britain are able to receive properly today.

The move to UHF was needed to add extra channels such as BBC 2 and to provide extra bandwidth for 625 line colour tv.
There is no reason why the VHF channels could not have been run alongside the UHF channels after 1984, either upgraded to 625-line colour with FM audio or reserved for future use.

Of course if the government hadn't botched the restart of TV broadcasts in 1946 people could have been watching 625-line or 525-line colour as early as 1955.

It does raise the question of who are these "corporate gangsters" you think the VHF bands were sold to?
I regard any business which is licensed to use frequencies previously reserved for public service broadcasting as being 'gangsters'

On the Sutton Coldfield transmitter, the analogue channels were Ch46 (BBC1) Ch40 (BBC2) Ch43 (ITV) and Ch50 (C4). In line with international frequency planning, these channels were allocated to the PSB muliplexes, with channels 40, 43 and 46 coming from the former analogue channels.

The COM muliplexes on Sutton Coldfield were inserted on channels 39, 42 and 45. In other words the adjacent channels to the PSB multiplexes.

They are adjacent to each other, NOT as you claim, on "plum out of group frequencies". At many sites, the COM multiplexes have to operate at low power but at Sutton Coldfield, all multiplexes operate at the same power level of 200kW.
I thought it was clear from the table in the link I posted that I was referring to the proposed new COMs 7 and 8.

Yes, VHF coverage is better but there was never enough bandwidth to accommodate the range of multiplexes we currently have on UHF.
But one or two multiplexes with decent reception is better than none. I speak from experience as up until a couple of years ago I was only able to receive one multiplex but it carried almost all of the programmes I was interested in at the time so it was no great hardship.
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Old 26-02-2013, 09:30
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But one or two multiplexes with decent reception is better than none. I speak from experience as up until a couple of years ago I was only able to receive one multiplex but it carried almost all of the programmes I was interested in at the time so it was no great hardship.
You You You - It's not about you, its all about the UK population.
The first thing to do is to exclude ones own problems and make suggestion from an 'overview' or 'for all' position.

It is not possible to cover every single household with terrestrial TV (nor is it with fibre, cable, satellite or 4G broadband). But very few can't get at least one type of digital signal.

The UK PSB coverage is officially 98.5% - but with good aerials and new amplifiers and receivers the coverage is more like 99.x%.

Lars

PS! The VHF band I is not included in the GE06 ITU agreement nor are DVB-T/T2 tuners required to cover Band I. Most countries has one DTT mux 'layer' allocated in GE06, but the UK wanted to use more DAB and private mobile phones in Band III.
It is very expensive to request new VHF aerials, for just one VHF mux (with only 7/8 UHF capacity).

Sweden has one hybrid VHF/UHF mux - se-mux7. The VHF channels are only used in border areas where UHF channels are not available. Only around 40% of households need a VHF aerial in Sweden.
Finland has no DAB allocations. This has allowed Finland to use 3 VHF DTT muxes using SFN.
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Old 26-02-2013, 09:49
ntscuser
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You You You - It's not about you, its all about the UK population.
The first thing to do is to exclude ones own problems and make suggestion from an 'overview' or 'for all' position.
Which is exactly what I was doing!

Many people in Britain would be envious of the reception I get today but that doesn't stop me being aware of the problems they have.

It is not possible to cover every single household with terrestrial TV (nor is it with fibre, cable, satellite or 4G broadband). But very few can't get at least one type of digital signal.
Especially if they pay for it, but this is a forum for Freeview.

The UK PSB coverage is officially 98.5% - but with good aerials and new amplifiers and receivers the coverage is more like 99.x%.
Yes provided they live in a property where they can mount an external aerial at least 30 feet above the ground but that is not an option for many flat dwellers.
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Old 26-02-2013, 10:21
Winston_1
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Band 1 has problems with sporadic E interference throughout the summer so is not really suitable for DTT. Band 3 is OK however, and Australia uses it for DTT quite successfully with UHF for relays.
Multichannel analogue on VHF was done in the US, Canada, and Japan. Basically you use every other channel and in an adjacent area you use the alternatives. It results in serious co channel problems outside the main TX areas however.
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Old 26-02-2013, 10:49
ntscuser
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Multichannel analogue on VHF was done in the US, Canada, and Japan. Basically you use every other channel and in an adjacent area you use the alternatives. It results in serious co channel problems outside the main TX areas however.
And now the USA uses a mixture of high-end VHF and low-end UHF for DTT which can be pulled-in on a set top aerial in most locations (although it's not recommended).

The low-end VHF channels have been sold off though and experience suggests that once a channel is lost to public service broadcasting it is lost forever.
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