Thread: Why *should* free-to-air TV become obsolete?

    • 4 years 24 days ago
    • Posts: 74782
    Alright, I know this sort of has nostalgia associated with the topic. Now I am a fan of free-to-air digital broadcasting via HD antenna. I love the business model. Now, I hear people pandering the prospect of free-to-air becoming obsolete because of cable and sat TV. But why should it? If it serves a local purpose (which cable isn't that good with), why ditch it? Or am I wrong and is local broadcasting just evolving as usual?
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      • 4 years 24 days ago
      • Posts: 1260
      FtA is all great & wonderful, in theory....
      In practice it's just useless. The broadcast networks don't have jack shit to watch. I honestly can't remember the last time I watched anything on ABC/NBC/CBS (although I have a holiday special on DVD-R from 2007, so that seems to have been the last time. Prior to that, it was probably the mid-90s), the only thing I watch on fox is simpsons & family guy (and family guy also airs on CN). Once in a while I watch a science-y show on PBS. Other than that, broadcast networks are a complete waste of time (and I can easily do without the 2 or 3 things that I do wind up watching on FOX and PBS).
      Essentially, broadcast TV has become like AM radio, a complete waste of the airwaves.

      The new digital subchannels that have come out since the conversion (like MeTV and RTV) improve the situation (in theory), but are reliant upon local broadcasters to pick them up. In my area, nobody does. Not one single major network here has any such subchannels. One independant broadcaster did spring up to broadcast some, but his signal is so pathetically weak that it's unwatchable if you're more than 10 feet from the broadcasting antenna.
      This brings up another problem with broadcast TV in the modern age, digital broadcasts. Digital broadcasts are an all or nothing proposition. When they work, they work great. When they don't work perfectly, they're unwatchable. With analog broadcasts, a show was still watchable, even with 80% or more interferance. With digital broadcasts, just 2 or 3% is enbough to make it unbearable, due to the stuttering, freezing, and outright blacking out.
      signature*WARNING: The above post may be highly opinionated, read at your own risk.

      Gee Caspah, you're a twicky one!
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        • 4 years 22 days ago
        • Posts: 3805
        I disagree. I primarily watch the networks. They get more ratings than paid TV, so the quality is better. The only exceptions are the subscription channels that don't share the profits with other networks.

        I still like regular television, but there may come a day when you pay for everything. But on that day, I expect them to stop using commercials for advertising revenue.
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          • 4 years 22 days ago
          • Posts: 4598
          I still watch a lot of shows on the 4 major networks. Here in Houston counting the sub channels I get about 70 stations on my outside antenna (more at night when conditions are favorable for tropo). Most of them are Spanish and religious. A bunch of them show infomercials. Once in awhile I'll do a scan and will be be like "cool a new channel" and it ends up being "mas espanoles mierda" or " and god said...." I know Houston has a lot of Latino's, but how many people really watch religious programing? Most of it is some preacher on stage bloviating. The quality looks and sounds really poor too. I'll always come across one that will show a windows desktop or have a loud buzzing sound (meaning something screwed up). DVR FTW!
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            • 4 years 21 days ago
            • Posts: 419
            Analog TV signals in Aussie are already obsolete and are now being switched off & replaced with the digital signals. So that means either many old CRT type TVs will either be retrofitted with digital components or thrown in the dumps!
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              • 4 years 21 days ago
              • Posts: 1974
              If stations are still making money they have no reason to close. As usual, people who lack perspective think that just because something is useless to them it must be useless to everybody.

              Who are these people "pandering to the prospect" seaners, and what are they saying? And why would anybody listen to them?
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                • 4 years 21 days ago
                • Posts: 591
                Free-to-air TV is still prevalent. I still have some great channels on my antenna TV, though I have digital cable. But there's really nothing much for anyone aged 7-13 unless you have cable. My local channels carry good programming and they even syndicate with US channels.
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                  • 4 years 21 days ago
                  • Posts: 591
                  Quote by Drahken

                  Essentially, broadcast TV has become like AM radio, a complete waste of the airwaves.


                  Not in Canada it's not. AM is used for the most important news stations.
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                    • 4 years 18 days ago
                    • Posts: 74782
                    Quote by randomuser2349
                    Free-to-air TV is still prevalent. I still have some great channels on my antenna TV, though I have digital cable. But there's really nothing much for anyone aged 7-13 unless you have cable. My local channels carry good programming and they even syndicate with US channels.

                    I assume you have children, do you? I agree that there is almost NOTHING for anyone aged 7-13. I am not acting like some over-protective parent or something, but they used to do it for all ages back in the 90s, 80s and 70s. I just fear that the demise of regular TV, however, is too soon into the future now. Why is it called progress when you have to eventually pay for everything?
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                      • 4 years 18 days ago
                      • Posts: 1260
                      If you get some of the new channels like meTV or retroTV, some of them have 7~13 content (PBJ TV is particularly good for that, it's essentially a broadcast version of cartoon network).
                      signature*WARNING: The above post may be highly opinionated, read at your own risk.

                      Gee Caspah, you're a twicky one!
                        • 4 years 17 days ago
                        • Posts: 74782
                        I actually just checked and it appears I have a PBJ broadcast station in my area. I actually typed out a suggestion for them to add additional later 80s and early 90s shows to their lineup.
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                          • 4 years 15 days ago
                          • Posts: 591
                          Quote by Drahken
                          If you get some of the new channels like meTV or retroTV, some of them have 7~13 content (PBJ TV is particularly good for that, it's essentially a broadcast version of cartoon network).


                          Except I'm Canadian. I do get some signals from the US but that's it.
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                            • 4 years 15 days ago
                            • Posts: 1270
                            Uh... News?!
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                              • 4 years 14 days ago
                              • Posts: 1260
                              Uh... Online?!
                              Online news=No only having it available at a few specified times per day, no having to wait for them to waddle through dozens of crap stories while teasing you with the one that you actually want "coming up later", more up-to-date news, and you can get it from the same source (if that's important to you) by going to the TV channel's website.
                              signature*WARNING: The above post may be highly opinionated, read at your own risk.

                              Gee Caspah, you're a twicky one!
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                                • 4 years 14 days ago
                                • Posts: 591
                                Quote by Drahken
                                Uh... Online?!
                                Online news=No only having it available at a few specified times per day, no having to wait for them to waddle through dozens of crap stories while teasing you with the one that you actually want "coming up later", more up-to-date news, and you can get it from the same source (if that's important to you) by going to the TV channel's website.


                                Except online news doesn't give off that "HEY LOOK OVER HERE BREAKING NEWS LOOK NOW NOW NOW!!!!". When online, usually it takes time for them to write the article and (most of the time) won't give you live at-the-second footage.
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                                  • 4 years 14 days ago
                                  • Posts: 1260
                                  They don't do that on TV any more than they do online. The only time you get live coverage on TV is if it's something massive like 9-11, but then all the online outlets will have even more immediate coverage of such events. TV news only gives you coverage at about 3 predetermined times of day, whereas internet news gives it to you shortly after it happens.
                                  Internet news also covers more events. I have never seen a TV news item which wasn't online, but I've seen a number of online ones which weren't on TV.
                                  As far as writing the articles, they have to write the content for the TV news too (they don't just silently show footage you know, the anchor yakks about it, from the briefing/script they give him/her). ..And as for footage, just go to the TV station's website & you'll find the exact same footage that they have on their broadcast.
                                  signature*WARNING: The above post may be highly opinionated, read at your own risk.

                                  Gee Caspah, you're a twicky one!
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