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Why Digital TV Sucks

April 27, 2005

Well, the oft-promised “end of Analog TV as we know it” is once again upon us, as Congress decides whether to keep or extend the current due date of New Year’s Eve 2006. MSNBC (hardly a disinterested party) hashes out some of the issues here.

“Congress, however, left itself a loophole in the 1996 legislation, and could actually let the cut-off date slide by. But powerful lobbyists now are pressing legislators to set a “date certain” for the analog lights-out. The debate over when to throw the switch is a strange brew of big money, high technology, homeland security and a single, unanswerable question: just how angry are the couch potatoes going to be? It’s also a textbook example of why the future almost never happens as fast as technologists promise.”

Of course, what they don’t mention is that all of this would be much more palatable if they weren’t trying to control the way we watch television by shoving various DRM schemes down our throat.

I’m all for digital TV. Heck, I don’t watch a single TV signal here unless it’s been mangled by at least one CPU after it’s come into the house. If it all arrived digitally, that’d be even better — it’d make it easier to slice it and dice it and watch TV the way I want to watch it.

The problem is that the content producers have figured out that if the signal is digital, then THEY can control the way I watch it (no slicing, no dicing, no damn julianne fries either) as long as they can encourage / bribe / strongarm the government and the equipment manufacturers into thinking they have the God-given right to control how we consume content, and handing all the controls over to them.

I suspect somewhere some of these clowns invision some sort of Clockwork Orange-esque scene where we’re all strapped to chairs with our “glassies” prized open and forced to watch inane commercials until blood, spinal fluid and credit card numbers spew from our every orifice.

Thus we have the DMCA, the Broadcast Flag, DRM schemes out the wazoo, and our civil servants being recruited as Hollywood’s enforcement arm, paid by us.

Digital content is like starting a relationship with a hot supermodel, only to find that she’s a card-carrying facist with more baggage than a suitcase store.

You know what, if your revenue models are antiquated and you are rapidly being disintermediated by technology, then change your business model — don’t offer me a handful of “features” with fifty thousand feet of strings attached and then ask the government to make sure they all stay knotted.

There have been a million good suggestions as to how Hollywood (and the music industry, but that’s another rant) can embrace these changes and make more money then ever. If they don’t want to take any of them, then fine – they can sit there and become extinct for all I care.

In the meantime they can leave those analog signals right where they are. Pretty soon someone will get a clue and come up with a digital distribution mechanism that doesn’t suck, and doesn’t treat us all like were kleptomaniac fifth graders, and it will all become moot anyway.

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Comments

121 Responses to “Why Digital TV Sucks”

  1. Zaphod Beeblebrox on July 9th, 2005 6:40 pm

    Digital TV sucks for one simple reason: when the weather gets bad, my digital receiver sends a blank screen to my TV that says “Acquiring Signal.” The picture on my old fashioned, analog TV with rabbit ears just gets a little fuzzy. I live in Florida and the weather gets bad a lot.

  2. Dave on September 11th, 2008 11:16 pm

    DTV is a pile of crap that flies won’t even land on!!! The television industry is going to hell in a hand basket and no one seems to care. The DTV audio is more quiet and I have to crank up the volume on my tv just to hear it at the level it was on analog. Like Zaphod said, when the weather gets bad, or in my case when it gets to be about 9:00 in the morning and all the yuppies are firing up the cell phones and every other radio transmitting device, the signal goes completely out. This is going to cost a lot of people their lives just because these assholes want to sell you a new tv. I think we all ought to band together and not watch tv until they resolve ALL the issues. I despise the way marketers rush out a product without working out all the bugs.(i.e. cell phones) They need to turn the crap up and boost the signal so that rural areas are not left out in the cold. Even if you think we’re “hicks”, we are still people too and have rights. Also, I have an avid knowledge of electronics and am fairly smart in a lot of areas and I have lived in a lot of cities and there are smarter “hicks” around here than most of you I-phone carrying, cafe latte sucking, wall street journal reading, yuppie dill holes! (yes you DTV engineers) Thanks to metaphoriclabs.com for letting me get this out and I am glad to see other people are not liking this forced change.

  3. Budro on October 1st, 2008 7:34 pm

    It’s sort of like what happened to much of shortwave radio. Analog works so well, that the government has now claimed a ton more bandwidth for their personal use.
    DTV sucks horribly. If you live more than 40 miles from town you will be out of luck for getting any channels without erecting a 50’+ tower in your back yard.
    I live less than 15 miles from a local TV station that supposedly broadcast digital.
    With a roof high antenna I can’t get any digital signal, I have to use about a 35′ tower to get this channel.
    One useless thing about the digital converter box is the aspect ratios. Few of the digital channels fit my 4:3 TV. Trying to adjust the aspect ratio with the converter box is a joke, most channels will tell you the aspect ratio can not be changed.

  4. Budro on October 1st, 2008 7:42 pm

    I swear the following is true :

    One funny thing that happens when the signal is low, the audio gets out of sync with the picture. The audio gets slowed to where everyone on TV sounds like Satan..
    Yup, the Devil…

    DIGITAL TV IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST !!

  5. D-cat on October 5th, 2008 11:05 pm

    What’s truly sad is the original article was written over 3 years ago, and now as this 2/17/09 deadline approaches, the technology has not improved in this time one iota, and people are just starting to come to this realization in the mad rush.

    I have managed to get amazing distance results using a 2′ section of tin foil as a V deflector behind my UHF loop on the rabbit ears.. about 64 mi.. however, all the problems previously mentioned are still true. Even in the same city over 60 mi away, I have to make adjustments to watch the other of the two stations I get from there because the slightest angle off and the signal goes from 23% to zero. This is also true of a couple of local stations broadcasting DTV. Then there’s the interference and atmospheric shift factors which can be detected, often identified, and sometimes corrected in analog that there is no way to detect (the type) and correct in digital.

    Simple fact is if your SNR (Signal-Noise Ratio, signal quality as related to the strength of signal vs. strength of interference) drops below 12%, the picture will be choppy and unreliable, below 10%, you’re done- no picture, no sound. This is actually built into the specs (which is better than the 50% originally speced for analog, but at least analog is still viewable with reduced quality outside the spec range) to try to make up for the distance loss in the all-or-nothing nature of digital. Dave is absolutely correct about the interference swamping to signal in the day… I have a hard time pulling in my local PBS station in the afternoon, I’m watching TV from another state at 3am. I have a half dozen other ways I could put it, but I think you all get the idea.

    I’m currently researching antenna designs with hopes of coming up with a design that’ll actually work for me. What has become all too clear is that digital is so noise sensitive that an omni is out of the question, I have to use a directional antenna (which sucks when viewers of different TVs want to watch different channels). I live in an apartment, so an outdoor antenna is not an option and I have a real space crunch issue. Wal*mart doesn’t sell true smart antennas yet (if ever) and the current commercial set top type antennas are entirely insufficient, so I’ll need to come up with my own custom design, probably involving two antennas in phase pointing in different directions where the majority of the stations I want to pick up are.

    The converters themselves are another complaint. My analog TV doesn’t keep displaying a dialog box every time I lose and regain signal, it’s tacky and annoying to what you’re trying to watch, so why does my converter box do it with no option to turn it off? What if I want to record something on Austin City Limits? I don’t mind if the picture blocks up for a second and comes back, but I do mind that stupid dialog box that pops up blocking half the picture for the next five seconds reminding me that I’m watching the show I was just watching. Dear RCA and any other manufacturer that does this, I can understand the dialog boxes on for extra information as a default, but they are intrusive to recordings or just general enjoyment of what’s supposed to be improved definition broadcast. Please give me the option to disable the f’n dialog boxes on signal restore. Thank you.

    AFA aspect ratios are concerned, I have no complaints, I just set the option to letterbox, and I have no stretch issues. SDTV broadcasts still fill the screen, HDTV broadcasts are letterboxed just like most of my DVDs, and 4:3 TV programs on a HDTV channel appear in a smaller box, but still crisp and sharp and I get to see what my TV margins usually cut off, so, as I said, no complaints. Good job.

    DRM? Analog hole! :) I don’t anticipate any issues physically recording over-the-air broadcasts other than the aforementioned occasional dialog box on glitch. Legal is a little more gray… While defeating digital copy protection, even in simplest form, is illegal per DMCA, I argue that the signal is already cleared by the licensed converter box; once the signal is sent out of the box in analog form, the DMCA should no longer apply. Classic copyrights for broadcast recordings still apply though so no distributing copies over the net or the local fairs or whatever, okay?

    Dear commercial television antenna manufacturers,
    The most significant and urgent complaint about the DTV switchover is the difficulty in reliably pulling in digital signals. I think the FCC mandated a reasonable and technically feasible SNR, but I’m disappointed that actual antenna technology hasn’t greatly improved since the 70’s… probably because the great majority has been fed with cable or satellite dishes since. However, there are some of us poh’ folk in boonieville living on roads with no cable and can’t afford the dish. Since the majority of DTV will be located in the low UHF band, we should be able to come up with an effective indoor antenna design on a flat rotary panel (internally directional, probably classic yagi) about 25″ across, which is a full wavelength on CH14, and about 1 1/4 on CH33. It should have an electric motor for aiming that can be controlled either manually by something like a classic rotor box UI or automatically through the smart antenna interface which some converter boxes (like my RCA) already support. The interfaces and designs have already been developed, this is just a smarter assembly of technology we already have, therefor it should NOT be very expensive… I’d think between $50 and $70 would be reasonable to start. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    The whole DTV switchover is a bitter medicine being crammed down our throats for BS reasons I suspect were made up by MPAA lobbyists for DRM purposes. I’m sorry, but increasing the number of radio frequencies available to emergency responders is not going to avoid another Katrina style rescue disaster, but rather by adding more resources to manage, would likely make it worse. What we need in that field is better protocols to manage the data and available resources in the first place. Only then might more bandwidth be effectively usable. I do appreciate the government’s $40 coupon program which has allowed me see first hand what we are in for this February. It is the spoon full of sugar we need to curb some of the financial issues that those using rabbit-ear TV often have anyway. The remaining quality issues however must still be addressed if there is not to be a major uproar from us “hicks” come Feb 17, 2009.

  6. Rick Soriano on November 5th, 2008 3:53 pm

    Signal reception sucks, if you are watching TV on a windy day you’re out of luck
    after 8PM all the cellphones are being use and the signal sucks and start to go away. Don’t even think about using the microwave either.
    The rabbit antenna (which is suppose to be “digital”) does not work either. Only few channels have strong signals, after you have spent 30 minutes moving the antenna around the other channels get desincronized and viceversa.
    At any rate TV converters are a waste of money too many issues and the quality is not as you could expected.
    An outside antenna is expensive and many places you can have one.
    I had a roof top antenna for analog TV viewing after January 2009 it will have no use, I was able to pick up 10 channels crisp clear 60 miles away with DTV it won’t happen.
    If you dont get cable service and pay the exorbitant cable fees you’ll be spending your life playing with the antenna…

  7. Daniel Faulk on November 17th, 2008 11:34 pm

    I don’t watch much tv so I won’t be messing with this digital crap, I’ll just play video games for entertainment. But lately I’ve been thinking about this whole thing, I mean if they can force people to get this stupid antenna just to watch tv, what can they force you to do just to buy or sell. I really think the mark of the beast is very soon. Jesus Christ is the way.

  8. jesuschrist on November 25th, 2008 6:29 pm

    Digital sucks….I can’t get one digital channel even though I got all other channels. When I switch from antenna to rabbit ears I could only get Fox. And it was all distorted and blocky with the voice all weird. It says their was a 12% picture signal. I don’t care about Fox either way , cause that channel is for red neck Christian retards who need people to tell them how to live and think. Stupid Christians! I really would like to get abc for Charlie Gibson news. What are people going to do when a tornado hits. Who ever thought of digital tv was retarded!

  9. Mark Smith on December 15th, 2008 6:08 pm

    okay so we all can agree the reception sucks. does anyone know of a solution to this problem?

  10. Jeff Carlson on December 29th, 2008 9:51 pm

    Digital TV blows even via cable delivery, the data gets so majorly compressed and degraded.

  11. joe on January 6th, 2009 3:06 pm

    i’m glad i’m not the only one experiencing these problems. after sinking about 130 bucks into the neccessary conversion (after the gov. coupon) for the box, the gold plated coax cable, and the pricey indoor/outdoor radio sack antenna, my rig only works about half the time. of course all the channels broadcasting evangelical ministries and programs en espanol all come in crystal clear. what ever america can do to avert “terrorism”…oh well, i guess i’ll just bend over and take it again.

  12. James Stein on January 15th, 2009 1:28 am

    Yes, DTV is going to suck. I live in southern Wayne county (still the same county as Detroit), but when I tested the digital converter box, I lost HALF the broadcast stations!! Goodbye to CBS, PBS, CW, MyNetworkTV, and CBC (yes, I am across the river from Canada). I really cannot afford cable by itself, and because I am somewhat rural, I do not have the option of bundling services (believe me, I have checked). I guess on the bright side, I now receive channels 4.1-4.3 and 7.1-7.3. BFD! So, when the analog signal ends on Feb. 18, 2009, so will my TV entertainment. I will watch videos, DVDs, play video games, be on the internet, or chatting with friends on the phone. Fine with me!

  13. David Shook on January 15th, 2009 2:06 pm

    Boston DTV Converter box party. Going to miss my brothers and sisters that will no longer receive the signal because of geographical locations even with the help of a SETI , search for extraterrestrial life, antennae. This is wrong on so many levels, even the disappearing constitutional one. The timing is perfect, already cutting costs any way possible. Senior citizen are just royally screwed, suckered into buying a converter box, that costs how much more then the coupon which may never come, which may or may not allow them to watch their current favorite channel. Let’s hope they extend the deadline, so the converter boxes make a quick trip to the landfills. Off to find a way to collectively protest against the sons of Wall Street.

  14. jeffld on January 22nd, 2009 7:29 pm

    There are many great posts about this issue. I got one of those cheap digital conversion boxes and it turned out to be garbage. Just like everyone else said above, the weather has a major impact on the quality.

    Then I got a new Digital video record that had a digital tuner in it and the quality is good. rain or shine. I’m thinking that the cheap digital converter boxes are the cause of many of the problems that people are experiencing.

    I still don’t like the drm garbage. I cannot write a show that I want to watch again later to dvd. I can only save it on my dvr hard drive.

    jefflds last blog post..Jan16_0001.jpg

  15. Chuck Lawson on January 22nd, 2009 8:03 pm

    There IS a lot of quality difference in digital tuners. Hooked to the exact same antenna, I’ve got some that pull in 20% more channels (and have about 20% less rain fade) than others.

    Antennas have a lot to do with it too, though — the same antenna that did okay for you for an analog signal may suck for some or all of the HD signals from the same stations. This is particularly true as many VHF stations are actually broadcasting their HD signal on UHF, or vice-versa.

    This is coming (if not next month, then soon enough), and people can either get ready for it, or do something other than watch TV.

    If you’re inclined along the do-something path, then you’ll need to be prepared to get a decent converter box (or a new TV), and possibly replace your old antenna (and quite possibly the antenna cable as well).

    If you are within about 50 – 75 miles of the broadcast tower, you can probably get an good antenna for $100 or less — go to antennaweb, put in your address and see what class of antenna they recommend, and where you need to point it. A quick trip to Amazon will get you consumer reviews of the various antennas and an idea of what you’ll need to spend on the one you choose, even if you don’t choose to order it online.

    I get my locals in HD from my satellite service, but frankly the over-the-air broadcast is cleaner and less compressed. I’m looking to upgrade my antenna in the next few weeks, and may go with one or two HDHomeRuns to get DVR capability without running into so many DRM issues.

  16. SH on January 25th, 2009 9:06 pm

    The guy dissing Christians seems to have a very uneducated view of who they are and what they believe. Either that, or he/she is purposely trying to irritate people, which is ignorant in itself.

    Anyway, from what I have seen of DTV, I really don’t like it. You walk into a store that has 20 DTVs on the same channel, and any time something moves quickly on screen, there is this weird blur that wouldn’t be on analog. You know it’s not just the TV, since they are all showing the same thing. I don’t know if digital video works the same way as digital audio, but from what I’ve learned, analog audio recordings have a higher sample rate per second than digital recordings. The reason why digital recordings supposedly “sound better” is because the signal you do record is preserved more cleanly and you can manipulate it any way you want without losing quality, while still preserving the original recording. HOWEVER, it still does not match the original sound as well as analog. Sorry, if that does not make sense to those not technically savvy (not like I really am), but I just wonder if digital video is the same way.

  17. whatever on January 26th, 2009 3:30 pm

    I’ve had “the box” since November. Everything everyone has said about the weather messing things up is true — even if the all that’s happening is just the wind blowing. It’s insane. And several times a day whhile I’m watching the sound goes completely out and I have to power off everything. I live in tornado alley and I am really worried when storm season comes.

  18. MTil77 on January 27th, 2009 5:58 pm

    You have to think that either all the complaints are going to have an effect on the problem being fixed or it’s just a conspiracy to get people to have to spend the money on getting cable (the latter is probably the correct answer). The government gets everyboby to spend all this money on the convertor box only to find out that the boxes suck and then they’re forced to buy cable because they can’t deal with it anymore. It’s a big money making scheme.

  19. S Tre on January 28th, 2009 6:12 pm

    Yep. ooooooh if only the #*&#&* digital AUDIO would just work when the picture screwed up due to weather. I can get digital PBS. That’s it. (yeah, I live in the woods) Digital, crappy, choppy PBS. Heck I can tune in 4 channels with acceptable reception using a coat hanger and some foil stuffed in the back of an old portable black and white TV. Can’t say it enough though.. the crap audio hurts me most.

    e mor. I mea. If or w. dnded wi. F. . . . . pen u.. . . the. .. . . wi..

    Drives me nuts.

  20. Randy Cutler on February 1st, 2009 6:52 pm

    Digital TV sucks ! I am watching Super Bowl XLIII on WHDH Boston 7-1 HD and the
    action during critical plays turned to blips on the screen. The analog signal on WHDH 7 is flawless. Digital sucks! Our government Sucks! and the evil greedy
    bum special interest groups representing the cable an d satelight corporations
    Suck! They all want to kill free TV!

  21. Martin Wolf on February 3rd, 2009 7:34 pm

    Well I have got about 8 hours time and $120 into trying to get my 89 year old parants TV set up and I can tell you don’t waist your time or money. They live in town and get all the old channels nice and clear. The best signal with there same anntena was 25%. So I went to Radio shack and purchase a $90 super duper high tech replacement. It worked worse. Took it back and bought a big long range anntena from Lowes. Now we get 60% signal when dialed in the best I could on a clear day. Well they don’t get channel 10 ( opb ). FUNNY, They are the ones telling everyone how great this shit is and now even the sound has a buzz to it and the picture is only fair. This is total crap! call your cable company NOW! – We are!

  22. Great Z on February 4th, 2009 6:55 pm

    Ayuh, we use our television mostly for weather related reasons during storm season. Analog worked great. Digital disappears at even the slightest hint of wind, rain or storm. I guess we’ll just go back to the days of hiding in the storm shelter til the sun comes out again. Our internet is satellite, so it is useless in storms too. Welcome to the 10th (oops, I mean 21st) century.

    A cell phone can receive a crystal clear call from around the globe. You’d think that by now, the technology would be there to broadcast signals over the air and receive them, reliably. Oh, I forget, there’s no money in that for anyone, is there. Well, they aren’t getting my $50 a month just to watch for tornadoes.

  23. Chuck Lawson on February 4th, 2009 7:18 pm

    I grew up in “tornado alley” (the northern end).

    Back in the early ’60s, I remember my parents (and everyone else) having a battery operated transistor radio to listen to storm warnings (since the power was often the first thing to go, whether a tornado was coming or not).

    I still live in “tornado alley” (the southern end), and I still keep a radio (and a fresh 9 volt battery or two) for that very same reason.

    Total cost — less than $20.

  24. JD on February 15th, 2009 8:19 pm

    What a bunch of whiners with loaded diapers! DTV works great if you have a decent television set to begin with (don’t waste time with a converter box and an old, analog set – all junk to begin with — buy a new DTV instead), a decent antenna (big, outdoor antenna pointed the correct direction, that is less than 5 years old with fresh coax that is properly grounded) and transmitters less than 60 miles away (not sure? check antennaweb.org first.) Most of you are using old antennas/coax/analog TV’s and those junky converter boxes instead of using this opportunity to R/R rooftop antenna and reciever equipment. I’m in central CA, bought 2 new DTV’s (Sanyo 26-ers and they work GREAT) and replaced the rooftop antenna and coax. I get excellent reception 24/7, storm or no storm. Couldn’t be happier.

  25. Karen Impson on February 23rd, 2009 3:21 pm

    Who came up with this BS. We went from 11 chanels in the bedroom to 3 & zero signals in the living room. Some great improvement. What chanel does come in has a slow blip every now & then. This is a government plot to force us to buy new TV’s & hook up to expensive cable.

  26. erin on March 8th, 2009 11:42 am

    digital sucks.
    1. some channels come in, sometimes
    2. need 10 t.v.’s with 10 antennas pointing in all different directions to watch different channels
    3. costs over $100. to get all setup, just to get pissed off later, breakdown and buy cable or satelite.
    4. its a forced stimulus package for the cable/satelite providers.. and also for us to get out and spend our money

  27. Maximus on March 23rd, 2009 3:26 pm

    I haven’t been able to watch tv for two days :…{
    Stupid DTV

  28. jim on March 23rd, 2009 4:49 pm

    our area just had a tornado and we got absolutely no reception!my little girl was scared and i had no idea what to tell her!the dtv conversion is the governments way of saying that we don’t care about the citizens,just themselves and they are really finding more ways of controlling us!i am so pissed that i can’t take it!if they had problems with their own communications,why not fix them?i know,lets force it on the people as we only care about us not the tax payers!so they gave us what didnt work for them and gave us their problems by taking what has always worked for us !now i fully understand why the country is what it is now…broken!because our government couldnt even fix their own communication problems!so they shoved it down our throats and as usual,passed the problem onto us!way to go!and to close,if i wanted digital tv ..i would have gotten cable or sattelite?keep up the lousy work and who knows,maybe they might get it right someday!thanks for the vent!i needed it!

  29. Chris on March 23rd, 2009 6:31 pm

    I think it makes more sense that cable companies have pushed it through. They tried to make local TV suck in order to drive people to cable (no sports, crappy sitcoms). Now what happens is DTV is sometimes unwatchable. This will either cause people to spend money on antennas and once that doesn’t work, they’ll give up and fork over 100 dollars a month to comcrap.

  30. sean on March 26th, 2009 3:40 pm

    DTV is a scam sponsored by YOUR government and the stuck up lobbyists

    Watch:

  31. Larry on March 29th, 2009 8:23 pm

    DTV sucks so bad!!! Hey their is a upside I’m reading more books due to the fact that I can’t stand TV anymore and just shut it off.

  32. E Kiczula on March 30th, 2009 7:23 am

    Since upgrading our tv set and recorder to digital we find that the signal fades and the picture locks up or completely dissapears. This is so aggravating that we now either rent videos or shut the tv off altogether and find other things to fill our time.

    We miss analog tv!!!!

  33. Julie on April 23rd, 2009 7:46 pm

    Thank you all very much, I couldn’t agree more! And don’t forget that if you live in a rural area, there’s even more reasons why DTV sucks. We used to get thirteen channels that came in great. Some had a little snow, but all were watchable. The stupid converter box decided that most of them weren’t coming in because the signal was “too weak”. Now, I’m lucky if I can get four channels. Still, I see it as kind of a blessing because all the sleaze and commercials were making me sick anyway. And, I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay money for satellite dish because that programming is the biggest bunch of garbage I ever saw. Plus, I think the satellite and cable companies helped stage this digital transition so they could force all of us to subscribe, so why give them money?

  34. Martin G. on May 2nd, 2009 11:20 am

    This new TV is going to give me a heart attack! I am stroking out trying to watch a show that used to relax me. I get bits and pieces of the news and I am going mad messing with the antenna! This is another example of how the government doesn’t know what the hell they are talking about!

  35. ghost rider on May 9th, 2009 11:57 pm

    as i sit here waiting for this &&>/@@ dtv to unfreeze i wonder when the us goverment is going to pull their head out of their a–?? i live in a rural area and what stations i received before some goverment idiot decided to make this switch law i now dont get. went out and bought one of those dtv antennas and guess what? aint worth the used toilet paper i flush every morning. now i know why the 40 dollar coupons came about.

    tomorrow morning all this crap will be in the dumpster. NO TV IS BETTER THAN DICK TV.

  36. Jackie on May 12th, 2009 1:57 pm

    We live in the country , we have had dish tv, It cost too much so we went back to just the antenna . We have the analog to digital box , nothing. This whole area in southeast Oklahoma except for people who have dishes are without tv signals of any kind. These are old folks cant even get the news or anything else. The people in town are fine they can get cable. We cant we are lucky to have phones and dial up. I think the government is sneaky and I dont trust a damn thing they say anymore. I dont care if I have tv or not . We only hear what they want us to hear anyway. People that have access to tv dont spend a lot of time trying to learn anything anyway. I wish whomever started all this had it shoved where the sun dont shine. Yes , I know there are errors in punctuation here Im in a hurry and I dont care , u can read it. Thanks for a way to say what I think.

  37. Jackie on May 12th, 2009 3:21 pm

    Hey JD if you can afford all that crap , more power to ya bubba. Some of us folks dont have it to spend and you may not either if we keep on the way we are . You ever heard recession, depression?

  38. AC on May 23rd, 2009 2:54 pm

    The solution to the DTV fiasco is to get postpone the DTV transition until a functional, fault-tolerant, DTV implementation is available. I suspect that such an implementation will never be available, and sticking with analog is our best option. DTV is so ridiculously unreliable, that is is effective unusable and utterly worthless. The people behind DTV should be (at a bare minimum) tarred and feathered, and forced to run a gauntlet while blindfolded, with their ankles bound.

    I live in the LA area, and DTV just doesn’t work a large portion of the time – and it appears to be getting progressively worse as the transition date approaches. The FCC is a broken agency that needs to be replaced.

  39. Rick D on June 2nd, 2009 9:57 pm

    Digital has sucked since they converted cell phones to it. When they converted ten years ago you lost about 30 miles in range. But then the FCC has forgotten that TV, Cell phones, and radio are all emergency notification systems. This lack of concern for safety is just unbelivable.

    In my case Comcast in Washington converted to digital (you could get a ‘free’ digital box) and get about 20 new channels for free. However as more people have changed over the quality of the digital signal has degraded. In fact is now so bad I’ve had to disconnect the digital box and go back to analog cabale -which still works and does not have any pixelation.

    FYI – the main reason for the change over (cell and TV) is that the FCC then sells off the bandwidth to private companies NOT to improve your TV viewing experience. Remember when all TV stations had to have fair and balanced news reporting or they would not get their broadcast license renewad? So much for journalism or an informed public …

    On the positive side you can now watch most new TV shows on your computer, so who actually needs a TV?

  40. Government Lies on June 7th, 2009 2:27 pm

    I am completely convinced this whole DTV transition is a scam to not only steal, yes I said steal, our money but to also have control over us. But I won’t be too harsh on our wonderful government. I mean they were nice enough to help us pay for the newly required converter boxes by instituting the $40 coupon program. Oh wait, I forgot, we already paid for those boxes through our taxes.

    So not only are WE paying for this coupon program, but they are also taking away our ability to timeshift record by instituting DRM into the digital frequencies. No longer will we be able to use our perfectly working VCRs to record programs for later viewing. That is where the control issue comes into play. It’s the same exact thing they’re planning on doing with internet. Believe me people, it’s coming. The internet 2.0 is on its way and is already in the design phase. They’ll have control over all the content. It will pretty much be the end of user generated content. Look it up. You might be surprised.

    All I can say is speak out…LOUDLY. Sign petitions..START petitions. Complain to your local news. Tell everyone you know to complain. If enough people make their voices heard, they have no choice but to hear us. Write en email to your local representative.

    Just remember. Our government answers to us. Use your voice and your vote.

  41. Lou D on June 9th, 2009 2:31 pm

    Anybody know of any formal groups out there try to block the transition from analog TV to DTV?

    I’m happy with the reception I get from analog and it gives me much more choices since only the strong signal stations come in with the DTV converter box.

    Why can’t they leave both systems for us who simply don’t want it meaning the TV would brocast in both?

    Also, if the federal government wants to force all citizens to switch, the costs of buying conversion equipment should be FREE……not $40 coupons. Why should those of us who don’t want it be forced to pay for it?

    I’m upset about the whole thing & when I look on the internet, I can’t even find any groups protesting it. That’s shocking considering how many people are upset with it.

    Lou D.

  42. Don Hain on June 11th, 2009 6:48 pm

    DTV is the greatest thing since peanut butter, I love the little squares and losing all the channels we did have. WHO’S the idot that came up with this

  43. Matthew on June 12th, 2009 7:35 pm

    MY DTV sucks becouse its always cuting out. The DTV box gets super hot. and the range of the signal has about 75 Miles less range..

  44. John on June 13th, 2009 8:45 pm

    Wow this is great get abc clear as day!! Oh but nothing else this blows

  45. jade on June 13th, 2009 11:04 pm

    DTV is THE worse thing in the history of television. I live in Los Angeles and can get three to four channels tops…on a good day. As for those, the picture is crystal clear…for about 2 minutes, then it becomes choppy, distorted and completely unwatchable. My signal NEVER goes above about 61% (at best). Depending on which station I’m trying to watch, I spend half the episode adjusting the antenna to try to get it to stop messing up so I can watch the damn show. I am so disappointed. All I want to do is watch Law & Order on NBC and it’s impossible. This is pathetic. I live in a MAJOR metropolitan city, not some rural dusty town 80 miles from where stations are located. Which, still leaves me at a loss as to why the gov couldn’t just make it optional, or make it so the converter box worked as a cable box that doesn’t require an antenna.

    And the only advice the stupid f–ing FCC gives me is “check the map and point your antenna in the direction of where stations are broadcasting from” or “make sure your antenna is uhf AND vhf.” (mine is…not one iota of difference. And the all time worst “rooftop antennas substantially increase signal” well you don’t say? Guess wht FCC I live in a three story apartment building and I can’t just arbitrarily climb up there and install one. This is bull. This is absolute BS.

    I’ve scanned about 4 times today alone and each time I’m left with fewer and fewer channels. Who knew that the days of snowy picture would seem like a luxury. Even with the fuzzy screen, at least I could watch channels 2-58 w/o having to adjust the antenna EVERY time I changed the channel.

    I simply cannot begin to understand the justification behind this other than this being a government induced stimulus for cab/sat providers to significantly boost revenue.

  46. Eric on June 14th, 2009 10:17 pm

    This is ridiculous. I get the box, only to find that my previous RF cable doesn’t fit into it. So I went out and got a new cable. This one fits, but I only get ONE station and it’s freakin’ PBS which I NEVER watch anyway. No more Fox, no more CBS, no more NBC (I never got ABC before so I was actually excited that I might actually get to finally watch it, but no). This absolutely sucks…..at least I spent about $70 so I could watch shows I don’t care about and telethons trying to get me to part with more of my money. I’m already longing for the days of fuzzy analog television. It’s absolutely ridiculous, I haven’t watched TV for almost 3 days because I CAN’T!! Why can’t they give us a choice, why are forced to pay for something that works worse than when it was free? This really pisses me off, I wanna watch Seinfeld.

  47. bryan guthrie on June 16th, 2009 8:34 am

    With analog I received eleven broadcast channles, 3, 4, 7, 11, 15, 30, 32, 40, 41, 58, 68, Now can only get three. Seems to me its just another big scam from the pay tv thieves and liars. They said dtv is better. The lied. They took eight channles from me. That makes them Liars and thieves. LIARS AND THIEVES.

  48. Frank Hall on June 16th, 2009 12:57 pm

    All the DTV stations will have to boost there signal output up to 10 times more then before, just to reach the people they had before?
    Not good, I will never pay a cable company or any others just to watch TV.
    most of it stinks any way`s
    Thanks

  49. USA on June 18th, 2009 1:13 am

    Bring back ANALOG.

    DTV SUCKS and is A scam.

  50. Kari on June 18th, 2009 11:36 am

    You got that right DTV Sucks.

    I dont get channel 4, 5, or 8. Or 13 OR 21. and every other channel, well every NEW channel is Spanish. I dont speak spanish. and Im not very fond of religious people yelling at me 24 hours a day ether.

    Good Job Goverment, ruin another good thing AGAIN.

  51. neverend on June 18th, 2009 4:13 pm

    DTV sucks. It will continue to suck and drive millions to tears from now on. the truth is that you have to go cable or satelite and spend the cash to watch commercials. You’ll get your channels but you got to pay. We own the airwaves? A bridge in Brooklyn is up for sale if you’d like to make offers. Remember P.T. Barnum – “A sucker is born every minite!” – well, a P.T. Barnum is born every other minite to enjoy the meal. Sorry folks, you can cry but that bodily function is now digital.

  52. Lonnie on June 19th, 2009 6:52 pm

    Well i pick up more channels now…But none worth watching…1 nbc,and 7 pbs channels…Gah!!!

  53. Snedge on June 20th, 2009 11:49 am

    I am sure it’s a way to force me to pay for a signal.
    DTV is so nerve racking to watch….I don’t.

  54. tim on June 25th, 2009 12:44 pm

    Seriously good rants on this page. My rant is that after Comcrapp cable advertised “we’re ready for the future, sign up now and you will be ready when the switch happens” The bitch is that after they sucked everybody in they then pulled their own digital conversion (advertised as “seperate from the government mandated switch) which then dropped channells 31 thru 71, effectively down grading your service package, unless of course you get “their” converter box (the regular dtv boxes don’t support pay cable services) and pay for the “upgrade package” to restore what you already had. Well out goes the cable, and off goes the tv. My next move is to call my Oregon senators Ron Wyden (503) 326-7526 and Jeff Merkeley (503) 326-2900 and really let them know just how stupid this BS is and that they better get craking on getting us back to analog or they are going to loose my and many other votes. For those of you in Washington State, your senators are Patty Murray (360) 696-7796 and Maria Cantwell (360) 696-7838. Tell them that “WE THE PEOPLE” are going to be heard and they are supposed to be our voice. If they wont speak for us then we will replace them with someone who will. Come on people MAKE SOME NOISE., besides, what else are you doing, surely not watching TV

  55. Stephanie on June 28th, 2009 12:39 am

    DTV truely stands for the death of TV especially for those struck hard by the economy I wasted my tax return on purchasing a tv that is dtv ready and two different antennas and still only get 4 channels clear enough to watch so my warning is don’t bother spending any money on it because the only channels you will get are not worth the money. And the converter box for an old tv only gets me one channel wow thats 40 dollars well spent by the goverment . I am a single mother with a very limited income. I can’t spend money each month for satalite tv because I live in a nieghborhood that doesn’t have the option of cable . So it is the death of TV for me I have sunk close to 300 dollars on crap that is suppose to make dtv work but it is nothing more then a scam. So to all you who advertise with tv you may want to look someplace else for your advertising because you are not going to reach your viewers oh and all these more channels they speak of are all spanish channels like we need 20 spanish speaking channels in an english speaking country and guess what those are the only channels that never friggen loose signal !!! oh and the other channels are nonstop commercials so where is this great deal we were suppose to get , better picture doesn’t do you a damd bit of good if the signal is interupted by everything and I mean everything anything metal and it is gone to blue screen . A car drives by and bye bye signal , lift your hand up no more picture , frog farts outside your window no more picture . Also I thought analog was no more but every christian brodcast and all the spanish channels are still broadcasting on analog so what was the purpose of it all. Let’s see how crappier we can make life for those who are finacially unable to pay out the ass for some once free entertainment.. I SAY WE ALL JOIN TOGETHER IN A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT AGAINST THE GOVERMENT AND BUSH BECAUSE FRANKLY I AM SICK OF BEING THE ONE IGNORED SIMPLY BECAUSE i DON’T MAKE WHAT THESE GREEDY JERKS IN CONGRESS MAKE. IT ISN’T WE THE PEOPLE ANYMORE ITS WE THE RICH AND HOW WE CAN MAKE LIFE EVEN MORE MISERABLE FOR THE POOR AND THE ELDERLY .

  56. tim on June 29th, 2009 10:22 pm

    SO WHY HAS GOD TAKEN ALL THESE FAMOUS ENTERTAINERS TO HEAVEN LATELY ? BECAUSE HE CAN’T GET HIS DTV TO WORK EITHER

  57. Chuck Lawson on June 29th, 2009 10:25 pm

    lol… Are you sure it isn’t because he finally saw how some of them looked in HD?

  58. Cheryl on July 3rd, 2009 6:30 am

    I give up. I’m fed up. Don’t think, for one minute, that upgrading to satellite will be an improvement. I’ve had satellite for 6 years, and live out where we can’t get cable or any other high-tech service here. We have telephones, roof-top antennas, and satellite TV. That’s it. I’ve already been financially RAPED once, when I had to buy a contract for a half-ass air card for the computer. Dialup was so painfully slow that it took my daughter all night to complete one, simple research assignment for school. Although we complain about the price of satellite service, we want to watch TV. HOWEVER, the satellite service, which sucks during windy or bad rainy weather anyway, really truly sucks now that the switch to DTV has happened. Pictures are pixelated more often than not. Sound is gets distorted (buzzing and metallic sounding) as if it, too, is pixelated. Sound is quite often uncoordinated with programming. Colors are even distorted, which NEVER happened before the switch. Now, when the picture starts to “act up,” I have to look at pixelated people with green and red makeup! They look and talk like friggin’ aliens now. If I have to cut something from my household budget to save money, satellite is the first to go. I will miss my favorite cable stations and ABC the most, but it’s more aggravating than relaxing these days. We also had to buy a converter box and DTV antenna for my daughter’s HDTV in her room (without satellite service) but only picks up a couple of crappy DTV transmissions. ONLY SOMETIMES. So, is there anything we can do? Sure, turn off the TV. Cancel your accounts. Write to the government. Spend more time with family. Go outside. Bird watch. Start a hobby. I have just bought my first horse, and this will encourage me to spend more time working with her. I need the exercise anyway, and I guess I could use the energy constructively instead of using it to swear at the television and bitch about the switch. DTV can kiss my butt! It’s such a waste. Gone are the good ol’ days, my friends.

  59. Carter on July 6th, 2009 10:08 pm

    I tried. I REALLY tried! According to TVfool and FCC database I should get all the San Francisco and many others. About 32 total. So spent $200 on a CM4228 top rated antenna, rotor, Low-noise CM 7775 amplifier, and installation at 35 feet elevation. I was so impressed. I scanned and got 34 channels and the quality was amazing. HD is better than Dish Network! BUT………. my signal fluctuates from 75 down to 50 then gone…nothing then back up to 80 then gone. On good days days I get a great signal on some channels but most are gone 50% of the time.
    Was going to cancel Dish but this Digital signal Reception is too flakey. It was a total waste of time and money. I’m taking it down and selling it to someone else who wants to try.
    All I can say is GOOD LUCK! Bottom line is we’ve been screwed!

  60. Bozo22 on July 8th, 2009 4:56 am

    DTV is a bust:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xkm7I7SAbC0
    posted about 1 year ago, and it still does not work today, after they blamed the customer for not having the converte box hooked up right, not having a “good” antenna … blah blah.

    THIS IS A REPUBLICAN TAX INCREASE!

  61. vince on July 11th, 2009 6:17 pm

    I bought the dam converter box, only to be told I had to buy a new antenna, only to get a few channels SOME of the time. This shit blows so I’ve had this garbage 6 months, the cutoff date passes and now I got 0 channels. What a bunch of crap it TRUELY IS. Im kinda glad though, because theres nothing but shit on the TV nowdays anyway, and besides, I got high speed internet and REFUSE to EVER pay for cable TV. So now my household is TV’ Less, and I must say…it’s very peaceful. I think they done me a big favor! So thanks dumbases for the unintentional consequences, they have actually improved my homelife!
    IF YOU HAVEN’T BOUGHT THE JUNK YET THEN DONT!!! ITS A RIPOFF!!! And a COMPLETE WASTE OF MONEY!.

  62. Chuck Lawson on July 11th, 2009 9:21 pm

    Keep it civil. Racist, homophobic and completely profane comments will be deleted. If they keep up, I’ll close the topic to further comments.

    It’s just television, people. If you say you don’t miss it, then fine, keep a civil tone.

  63. Kate Liger on July 13th, 2009 6:57 pm

    Downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Dish Network DVR got fried during some home re-wiring so I’m experiencing our DTV for the first time.

    Fairly new flatscreen TV… newer antenna.. but the only channel we get is Fox. Every other channel says “no signal”…. … and why is there no signal again?

    I was very impressed by the HD picture of the Fox channel. It actually looked better than the same channel from DishNetwork.. but the good-impressions faded fast after a few minutes of watching.

    As I speak, “House” is breaking up in both picture and sound. pixelating, and cutting out during less-than convenient times. This is crazy..

    I know i need to watch less TV.. but seriously, if the governement has an agenda, it needs to just be honest and say “look, we can’t afford to give you free TV anymore. Sorry” but it is too much of a pansy to do that. And that’s not the real reason anyway, as many of you have mentioned, there are crooks behind this and all have the same motive.. $*ca-ching ca-ching!%$

  64. a person on July 15th, 2009 1:36 pm

    Digital TV is a big fat fraud to get us all to sign up and pay for cable. I went from 25+ analog stations all watchable down to 7 digital stations that get all pixelated and messy and are totally unwatchable. Every antenna I’ve tried, it says 0 channels found too. Can’t get even a SINGLE CHANNEL!!! NOT EVEN 1!!!! I will NEVER pay for cable either. I work hard for my dollars and the last thing i’d do is pay to watch advertisements and all the crap on tv today. If I want to watch shows or movies, I use the internet, and for music, I use my computer or the radio. Just wait until they screw up analog radio and the internet, then the shit’s gonna hit the fan. Signs of the times? you betcha. Tell me why, I was once able to pick up television stations from over 50 miles away with a piece of wire sticking out of my tv, now, I need to spend 300+ dollars on an outdoor antenna setup just to watch the local news.

    DTV can kiss my behind, as well as all the other idiots who mandated this change!!!

  65. Luke on July 20th, 2009 2:51 pm

    where the hell are my 500 channles that were promised to me, because I heard I would be getting alot more channles than I already have wich I have to admit is true but its only like 2 more and they never have anything on at all I heard about something called tivo where you pay 12.95 a month but the recivers cost alot. But if your interested than you can go to tivo.com, I personally hope someone take’s care of this mess, stupid government scam.

  66. Boo on July 20th, 2009 3:43 pm

    > where the hell are my 500 channles that were promised to me

    They’re on your 40 acres. Next to the mule.

  67. dante on July 21st, 2009 11:40 am

    Question:
    Will congress proposed health care reform be as successful as this DTV transition or just as big of a fiasco???

  68. tim on July 22nd, 2009 10:04 am

    I’m 52 years old and today I’m surfing the web, going to the art gallery with my mom, then out to lunch. I really like this dtv switch, it gives me so much more time to get out and enjoy things.
    Has anybody tried any solutions like investigating who passed this law and voting them out of office, or maybe looking at a co-op cable company to put up some copetition to comcast. I really like the idea of a class action law suit but has anyone even talked to a lawyer? There are lots and lots of contingency lawyers out there. Just some thoughts.

  69. tim on July 24th, 2009 10:20 am

    okay so I took my own advice and looked for but can’t find the web site to find out who voted for the dtv bill. All I can find are the ones for who voted for the extension of the conversion date. Any help? Mr Lawson?

  70. USA on July 28th, 2009 11:02 pm

    The goverment should have ran parallel Analog and digital for 6 month to a year.
    I got a Terk HDTVa $80 anntenna that has a 45 mile range and can get 75 % of the channel I had before. They need to increase the power of the digital signal.

    DTV still Sucks.

  71. Jamison on August 7th, 2009 11:10 am

    I hate digital tv with a passion, why everyone thought analog tv was obsolete is beyond me, in analog the tv could recieve half of the signal and you could watch your favorite tv show just a bit fuzzy, but now with digital, its 100% or nothing. AND THE ONLY REASON WHY THE QUALITY LOOKS BETTER IS BECAUSE THE ONLY CHANNELS YOU HAVE ARE THE ONES THAT ARE FULLY RECIEVED!!!! in other words, your channel is a little fuzzy, you dont get to see it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I live out in nowhere of Iowa, and i get ***** for channels……….DTV sucks big horse ****!

  72. Katie on August 10th, 2009 11:13 am

    DTV Sucks. Half the time the local channels cut in and out. We live in the country & no cable is available. We got Direct TV years ago plus an antenna for local channels. Never had a problem until the switch to digital. We don’t want the added expense of local channels on our satellite bill. If it doesn’t improve, we’ll just not watch local TV.
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Family Picture =-.

  73. Mate0 on August 19th, 2009 2:24 am

    I hate everything about this dtv crap. I can no longer watch FOX or yet FOOTBALL at that. And I simply can not afford cable right now. So I am forced to do without or watch at somebody elses’ house which is absolutely ridiculous. Another goverment controlled entity. Socialism is on the rise. Pretty soon, they’re going to have us all dressing the same and finishing up each others sentences.

  74. nano on August 30th, 2009 11:55 am

    DTV reception sucks!! I’m not getting cable or 100 foot antenna.

    And the point also is the government sold the PUBLIC airwaves to private companies. I want the spectrum that was used for analog to continue to be used for analog tv. And if others want dtv, they can have it, but give us back the system that worked fine, and supposedly is owned by us.

    CONTACT YOUR REPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. Philip on September 15th, 2009 6:35 pm

    WOW!! I knew that I wasn’t the only one having problems.
    DTV sucks soooooo bad I can’t stand it. I still use my rabbit ears and a so-called converter box and can get an 80% signal (no wind) on some chanels and nothing on others, and I live in east Dallas. I can’t understand why this was forced on us without any type of control in place to make sure it worked right.
    All my inquires to local tv stations and fcc have been ignored. I know they know there is a problem.
    I would like to follow the money and see where it leads, I bet that a lot of people (politicians) got even richer by passing this stupid law. The cable companies throw a ton of money at them just so they can rip off a ton more of our hard earned money. I never had a problem with analog, I have had nothing but problems with digital. I wish the people had a voice in the gov. so the people could stop this type of gov. greed and coruption.

  76. Al on September 19th, 2009 11:36 pm

    If you think over the air DTV is a problem, wait until AM/FM radio makes the switch to “Digital HD” radio….It’s such a dud that they can’t sell the over priced “HD” radios because the stations do not get the same coverage area as the analog signal gets….and in the AM broadcast band at night, the digital “hash” carried by one station will wipe out the station above or below the digital signal….a real suck system….as for “DTV”, its main purpose was to help the cable/sat. tv companies pick up more customers and at the same time open up more former analog TV channels so the FCC can sell these channels to the cell phone companies for 2- way video use….Don’t you get it yet??? It’s all ABOUT THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!

  77. Marlene Reaves on September 29th, 2009 12:25 pm

    DTV sucks so bad here also. I live in a large metro city and I bought one of those boxes with a government coupon and even when using rabbit ears I get absolutely no reception. One channel does come in but it tiles so bad like cable did with their digital crap. This was one of the worse moves ever made by the government. I feel like we are living in a communist country and we are dictated on what we can buy use sell and even watch.. TAX PAYERS MONEY HARD AT WORK….

  78. chasity on September 29th, 2009 7:56 pm

    i hate it. dtv sucks. when a car drives by nothing. in the afternoon or evening, nothing. why get rid of analog? are they mad? its bad enough we can’t afford food on the table, duh we can’t afford cable either. what the fuck why get rid of a good thing

  79. Rick on September 30th, 2009 11:37 am

    Digital TV ? It doesn’t work ! It’s SO frustrating while trying to watch a program and the audio and picture starts breaking up. Our solution to the problem is to NOT WATCH as much TV and that’s a good thing !

    Most of what is offered is just JUNK anyway. It’s taken me 45 years of viewing to figure that one out ! Sports, reality OR games shows, and way to much advertising ! The news seldom gets their stories and facts right when a story first breaks.

    We were sold the goods on, we need a converter box. Did that. Then we were told we need a new antenna for better reception. Did that too. It works some time. Then again, the old antenna works some time too.

    We had cable TV for a few years. We cut that cord because of COST, lack of good programing and WAY to much re-run material.

    We bought a new digital TV. It sill has the same loss of signal and drop outs. Renting OR buying DVD movies seem to work very well. So, that’s what we do with our TV now. No sports, no advertising, and no more drop out. Works for us…

  80. James @ Digital Cable Converter on October 10th, 2009 2:26 am

    This DTV is a disaster. I was able to get more channels with my old roof top analog antennae then I can with my digital one. Then if I do get a channel in I have to hold the new digital antennae in one hand and stand on one foot and hold it just right or guess what the picture cuts up or the sound delays. The weather seems to affect it a lot worse then the old analog as well. Like if it is a bright sunny day out. Just not a very happy camper with the whole chang

  81. mgarren on October 14th, 2009 8:27 pm

    for both my house and my parents, the conversion to digital has been nothing if not disastrous when it comes to reception. Even if it is a perfectly clear day, reception is bad at best. We live next door to each other and yet they can receive more channels than i generally so. I usually get all the PBS channels but only 1 ABC channel if I’m lucky.

    I wish we had analog back!
    .-= mgarren´s last blog ..Threadless Tshirt Giveaway at jaypeeonline.net =-.

  82. Dave on October 16th, 2009 8:43 pm

    Ok, this is awesome. I have been complaining a bout this for a long time now, since the switch. I have buddies that have cable, direct tv, dish, and all the good stuff. I cant afford that, had to cut back on things that I could just to keep afloat. The kids go from being able to at least watch pbs, and some cartoons on saturdays, to now watching me move antennas all over bending them in directions that they should not bend. And the end result is abut 5 god channels a mexican channel, and the rest all no signal. I mean this is retarted. at least with analog if the channel wasnt in clear, grab some tin foil and you at least could make out the pitcher. I hate it, nothing good about it. I even bought the new space ship looking antenna for 50 dollars and still nothing. BS. This is week 6th of the nfl and I cant watch any games, they can take this and shove it up there back side. thanks
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Threadless Tshirt Giveaway at jaypeeonline.net =-.

  83. sean on November 8th, 2009 8:23 am

    of course all the spanish channels come in blasting but the american channels are all weak and blocky

    fiasco at it’s finest

  84. tom on November 21st, 2009 5:30 pm

    I want to thank RCA, the FCC, and all the over-the-air stations for forcing DTV down our throats. With all the money and effort spent changing over to digital you’d think you’d be reading front page articles about how wonderful the future is, how much improved television has become over the 60 year old technology.

    Instead all you hear is how awful it is. I live in the heart of Silicon Valley, yet I often can’t get the major stations. The reason I want to thank the FCC is because their program has broken me of the television habit. Now I read books, search the internet for interesting news and science sites, and play games. It is all much more interactive and uses my mind more.

    I don’t know if this was their intention, but it worked. Goodbye mindless muck from Hollywood along with all the brain sapping advertisements!

  85. Billy on November 23rd, 2009 12:13 am

    Well LA-DE-FREAKIN-DA!!!!!

    Digital TV is just down right shitty.

    I was able to get more channels in with Analog. Why change something that works? Why not at least give the consumers the choice of both?

    I was actually using the Digital TV thing before the date where they shut off all analog signals. It was quite nice. I had quite a few new channels along with my regular broadcast channels. My box was reading at about 18%-24% and it was great. Clear picture, lots of channels…nice!

    NOW, I only get a few channels in at a time…even if I’m able to fool with my antenna and get 41% (which is quite rare), I still only get a few channels and/or a lot of bad reception where I can’t even watch because it “digitizes”. (I don’t know if that’s the real word for it, but that’s what I’m calling it.)

    Normally I only get about 20%….but 41% and I can’t get anything in???? That’s a crock of shit.

    I refuse to pay for a better box, or a better antenna. Why spend another $200, when it probably won’t help at all?

    The government (and I HOPE they are reading this) is forcing us to buy Cable or Satellite television just to get our regular channels in. Bastards!!!

    Even in I decide that it’s going to cut down my television watching….I still have to pay for Internet just to get my news.

    F-ing Government!!!!!!!!! That’s right, I said it…come and get me you Dicks!

    I’m bent over the couch right now so you can screw me some more!

  86. Deborah on November 25th, 2009 10:45 am

    I’m so relieved to find this website. I have spent many hours trying to figure out how to get a signal using my very old antenna in the attic. I now have duct tape patching up the ceiling where I was standing while trying to force the new coaxil cable down the wall where the old wire currently is. (Couldn’t do it because of insulation blocking the path.) Now I’m thinking, I could run it through that new crack in the ceiling and down through a register…

    But even if I did that, it probably wouldn’t make a difference.

    I just keep saying to myself, “my government at work.” IF we all billed the government for the time, expense and creative energy we’ve spent trying to get the signals from our “public airwaves,” we could afford to hire lobbyists to get analog back!

    Anyone ready to march on Washington?

  87. Snarf on November 27th, 2009 8:34 am

    In Connecticut we have a good amount of stations…so I thought, this shouldn’t be hard…

    Well, after futzing for a good few hours, I’m able to pick up two decent channels, using a 20-dollar Phillips antenna — finally.

    However, its interesting that I’m able to pick up TWO spanish and ONE chinese speaking channels with news and shows, crystal clear — yet I’m hard pressed to get any sort of native-tongue news outlet that I was able to in the past (i.e. FOX, ABC) without the digital ‘stuttering’ and bad signals or NONE at all! I also get a half dozen ‘useless’ channels that really add no value to the viewer, that is, unless I buy a Sham-Wow.

    From reading several forums, other folks seem to have this issue as well – where are the basic VHF channels we would normally get?

    I think this is some sort of scam to force the rest of us to turn to cable. F-that. I’ll be splicing my neighbors cable before I shell out money…

  88. Chuck Lawson on November 27th, 2009 9:19 am

    > where are the basic VHF channels we would normally get?

    That’s actually one of the major factors here; UHF carries digital TV better than VHF, and most digital TV antennas only help with UHF channels.

    In Dallas, all but one of the (traditionally) VHF channels are actually using UHF for the digital broadcasts. The remaining one (the local ABC carrier) is broadcasting HD over VHF, and is the channel I can’t get (across town from the transmitter) for love nor money.

  89. Billy on December 20th, 2009 12:41 am

    Hell, changing to Cable doesn’t work. I’m up here in the twin cities with comcrapst. All of the digital channels phase from clear as a ship in a bottle to a shitstorm of pixels. But I have not watched T.V. for a good 3 months now, and I can say, Do we even want it back? Is it worth bringing back the old Analog configurations just to have this thrown over again in the name of efficiency and new channels. After the switch, we lost around 30% of the old channels and gained 2 or 3 new foreign channels that I can suffer through. It’s also to comcrapst’s appeal that it’s now littered with “DT” channels. These channels are not even suitable for viewing. The audio is so choppy and the picture fluxuates like a shipdeck at sea during a hurricane. We shouldn’t have to suffer through this, I Pay comcast for entertainment, not this crock of bull.

  90. Scott on December 26th, 2009 10:47 am

    I live in an apartment complex where all the buildings 3-stories tall and I live in a 1st floor apartment on the side of the complex farthest from where all my local channels are being sent from. Just people walking past my apartment is enough to cause pixelization of the picture and loss of audio sync. Despite that, I’ve gone from 8 to 28-30 channels clearly received (for the most part) on my 6-year old 27″ standard format TV. But I’m only about 15 miles from the transmitters. Initially, I was using a 15-year old di-pole antenna (aka “rabbit ears”). However, being an Electronics Hardware Engineer, I decided to do better without buying some over-priced, over-hyped, useless HDTV antenna that is being hawked to the unsuspecting nowadays. The solution I found to the space-hogging “rabbit ears” was a hand-made “Fractal” Antenna. Now I get the same quality reception, that I was receiving from the “rabbit ears”, from a small 7x5x4 inch box. And I don’t have to constantly adjust the positioning when I change stations. The same might be very helpful to those who have found, like me, that those new fangled HDTV antennas are crap. Apartment dwellers should notice marked improvement. As an FYI, the RCA DTV converter is crap. So, I took it back to Walmart and got the Zenith DTT901. It gives me better reception and doesn’t have the nagging channel info pop up everything time you lose and regain a signal like the RCA unit does. It cost a little bit more than the RCA but was well worth it.

  91. Scott on December 26th, 2009 10:57 am

    Oops, forgot to mention that there are step-by-step instructions for how to make a “Fractal” antenna. And before you scoff and think it’s a joke, you cell phone antenna is a fractal antenna. Anyway, here is the webpage for how to make the same one that I built for myself.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/How_to_make_a_fractal_antenna_for_HDTV_DTV_plus_/

    Or simply google for “fractal antenna”.

  92. BRITTNEY on January 11th, 2010 9:48 pm

    Digital TV sucks balls…you never cansit and watch a TV show because over half of the show cuts out it is bull shit. Once again the government has interfered with the commonwealths lives and f***ed up royally

  93. Brian on January 17th, 2010 11:00 pm

    Who do I yell at to get my damn TV to work!

  94. KATHY =( ^-^ )= on January 23rd, 2010 6:34 am

    I believe the Government got together with the Pay Cable Companies,and made a deal to pass on the extra cash from new ‘forced” customers that could not receive programs in a decent manner.. That is a big way to make money for the cAble companies,and I think that getting together with the Government to go Digital was a way of forcing most people to “give up” and come to the dark side of Paying Cable,and the Cable Companies pass on to the Government some money for bring in more customers.. So but if I was truly evil. I would think it would be a great way of getting more customers by forcing others to have to get Cable so they can see their programs in a decent manner.. Greedy,scumbags..

  95. A Whiner on January 27th, 2010 7:41 pm

    To those assholes that say we are all whiners. I went out and got one of these GD DTV’s and it did not change the signal at all! Many people cannot even afford these new TV’s. Te fact of the matter is that the government knew about all these problems b4 they released this crap! Released…WTF does that mean anyway. They did’t release anything, THEY forced the POS down our throats like they do everything. WTF happened to For the People, By the People?? You want to call me a whiner, I say Fuck You and Fuck your government you POS!

  96. Jason on February 28th, 2010 7:09 pm

    DTV sucks so bad. i got my converter box and an expensive 360 degree “smart antenna” for it. I live in the austin texas city limits and get a 90 % signal strength and 2% quality so it always locks up ever 5 seconds. cannot even make sense of the show on. Analog was soooo much better. Fucking government pieces of shit. bring it back! and you wonder why so many people hate you. you make such stupid ass decisions that you think are good. Ive seen redneck fucks in the woods that are married to their cousins that are smarter than you.

  97. Jeanette on March 4th, 2010 10:24 pm

    When the digital conversion came, the screen went black at my house. I was addicted to the news, if nothing else, so we got ourselves a converter box. Where there was fuzzy analog before where we could still see if a tornado was coming, there were now just pixels, but way worse than ever. Can’t make hides nor tails of any of it. We live in a valley near ATL, sort of out in the boonies, but near enough to get signal, like we used to. We had a big antenna on our roof to assist with seeing something, but when a cloud haps by, all we get is..-nothing. One day, a storm came and blew the antenna down on the roof and we can see more! We get to see PBS, two cartoon channels and religious t.v. Rah. Saved. Strangely, the more time that goes by without archaic, black propaganda-style programming, the happier I’ve become. No happy-helper to the digital/cable providers, I reckon. Still, my husband asks the question of why it is that with the advent of FM radio, that they still kept AM? Wouldn’t that be like the same dif? I Mean, why NOT keep both analog AND digital? Haps further control? We have now been spending our time reading the novel 1984 to each other. I recommend that you, that can’t see the daily drivel, do the same.

  98. russell on May 13th, 2010 8:49 am

    Over the air DTV is horrible, the last thing I want is cable, 200 stations of commercials I JUST love the stop motion shows and intermittent audio, I have gotten to where I just put in an old movie and turn down the volume and practice on my guitar..Just like microsoft, lets sell it before we finish it. Leave up to some children not to provide for any checksum error correction or oversampling of signal, oh what do do you mean it will take up more bandwitdth than analog to do that?

    Things should work correct before is goes in to the market, if car ran like DTV, you would start walking again..

    There are a bunch of greedy materialist evil men running things these days who live in a lifestyle they really did not earn the money for, manipulating things and selling your neighbor out is how we get ahead these days, it is not by working..and providing true value.

    Oh and Obama I hope you triple bogey all your holes on you next round of golf, why don’t you at least act like you are getting some work done?

    Digital Television is Crap

  99. ron on May 14th, 2010 6:05 pm

    i made a home made 500ft, 500milliohm, folded , half loop dipole antenna, and my reception still sucks. anybody got a good antenna design?

  100. Philo T.V. Farnsworth on May 18th, 2010 9:26 pm

    HERE’s how bad DTV SuCks:
    MASSive pixelation and lost signals on any and all channels daily, Rain or shine, despite having a DTV tuner box PLUS ‘digital’ antenna PLUS amplified RCA UHF antenna… in the middle of Seattle, atop a hill where you can step outside and see the broadcast towers atop adjoining Queen Anne Hill… you can literally ride a bike to the base of said towers in about 10 minutes!

    DTV, my fellow citizens, has exactly Zero to do with technological progress. It is a massive Fraud and a scam perpetrated by cynical lobbyists who roam the halls of a corrupt Congress like a pack of money-puking jackals.

    Any voters in need of evidence of the futility of reason in the face of the hurricane of looting which rages on unabated in DC need look no further than their own screen, which says:
    No Signal!

  101. Bill on June 12th, 2010 2:30 pm

    DTV stinks. I hate this junk and the fools that forced it down our throats. The government dropped the ball big time on this one!!! We are 40 miles outside of Philadelphia and used to watch the Phillies or other sports teams in the area. Now everytime – every stinking time – that a game is on TV the reception dies half way through the first inning. I totally agree with Kathy (January 23, 2010). I believe the government is being paid off by the cable people to force us to by cable TV.

    I wish there was some way to petition our government but no matter what we do – NO ONE LISTENS!!! DTV stinks!!!

  102. Jack Blade on June 17th, 2010 12:40 am

    DTV sucks the big one! At least when it was analog I could get a picture even if it was a little snowy once in a while? Now I can only get 3 channels out of 12 I used to get with the analog type signal! Even with a rooftop antenna they suck! If the wind blows a bit or it storms the signal cuts out and you get the “Max Headroom” sounding signal or it just cuts out completely! This whole DTV is better or the picture is better is a bunch of bulls**t! It’s much worse! I am wondering if the reason they forced this garbage down our throats is to force everyone to buy satellite or cable, neither which I can afford? The government is a bunch of a**wipes for screwing up the analog free TV we use to enjoy! This totally pisses me off! I also wish there was a way to force the government to fix it or go back to analog? Bastards!

  103. anon09 on August 3rd, 2010 7:58 pm

    Wow…so I see that I’m not alone. When I still lived with my parents we had Dish Network which was pretty good – yes, we would sometimes lose the signal or get a crappy one if it rained really hard, but at least it worked most of the time. Now that I’m out on my own (well, my fiance moved in with me later on) I can’t afford cable and because of how my apartment is situated I can’t get satellite either so I’m stuck with “the box” and an antenna. Lo and behold, most of the channels (I think they go from 4 to 69) don’t come in; I do get FOX, CBS, ABC, and NBC most of the time, PBS about half the time, the evangelists yelling at me and the Spanish channels most of the time (but who cares), and the rest, incl. CW, never. I was trying to watch a nature show on PBS tonight and the signal kept cutting out, freezing, etc. even though I tried messing with the antenna multiple times but finally gave up because it wasn’t worth it. It really pisses me off when I’m trying to watch the Colts and the signal cuts out continuously….really?? It really sucks….I’ve NEVER had this many problems with trying to watch tv even before we had cable or satellite when I was a kid. A little snowy sometimes, but at least you could hear it and see it fairly well even then.
    I watch all my shows online now because even with our crappy AT&T Internet which also loses signal strength half the time it’s a lot better than the tv. And they wonder why so many shows are pirated now and why so many people watch them that way…

  104. Matt on August 17th, 2010 1:57 pm

    I get better reception with my ham radio and a ball of tinfoil.
    DTV was doomed from the get go. You need the right signal strength or you get nada.
    As a member of Skywarn (I track storms for the Weather Service) what happens when theres a tornado ripping through town and no one knows, cause their tv is out?
    As technology gets “better’ it gets worse.
    Like we hams say, don’t fix it if it works.

  105. Evil Genius on September 30th, 2010 1:44 am

    Yes, I’m sitting watching my pixelated, skipping, stop-motion TV just now. I am so entirely sick of this. I live a mile from the state capital building, in the middle of town and I can’t get decent reception most of the time. Someone asked this question with no response about a year ago… Does ANYONE have an antenna design that works??

  106. Nick on October 14th, 2010 2:35 am

    DTV sucks. I cant even get in a signal anymore i get less stations then before the switch. So now when my kids have no school guess whos the only parent in town who drives them there. Yup you guessed it me the local radio station does a crappy job of letting everyone know schools closed for the day due to snow(which happens roughly about 5 times a year here). So i get to be the last person to know in fact three weeks ago my favorite local store burned down and the next day i went to go there, When i arrived construction workers were boarding the place up. I asked what happened guy said ” huge fire, didnt you watch the news last night? So once again we can thank all the paper pushers with there wonderful high def tvs and cable for the crap the rest of us have to put up with.

  107. Phil G. on October 21st, 2010 12:56 pm

    This DTV fiasco is what happens when you have an FCC where lawyers, rather than engineers, set technical standards and when you have a Congress beholden to lobbyists. I witnessed the DTV demonstrations held in Baltimore by Sinclair Broadcasting in 1999. They demonstrated analog, the U.S. DTV system (8VSB), and the European DTV system (DVB-T/COFDM) side-by-side with an indoor antenna in a condo overlooking the Inner Harbor in a room facing away from the TV tower. The analog had so much multipath (ghosting) that the picture was torn and would not lock in. With the U.S. system, we could not get any reception unless the antenna was set on the window ledge. If someone walked near it or touched it, the picture and sound pixellated and the screen went black. With the European system, we got perfect picture and sound no matter where the antenna was placed. But someone in Washington was paid off, nobody at the FCC would listen to Sinclair’s engineers, and we are now stuck with an inferior system. As for me, I do not get stable off-air reception of any stations at my home in Pennsylvania. I refuse to pay for cable, so I broke the TV habit, preferring to listen to some jazz at night while reading. As for weather emergencies, isn’t cable one of the first things to go out when violent storms take down wires? Thanks, Congress. May you all rot in Hell!

  108. james on October 24th, 2010 5:19 pm

    Id like to say to all the f*&king @ssholes out there that decided to make my choices for me, Go to hell you commy Basturds. I was very satisfied with my analog tv, i had great reception and all the local stations. Now all i have is a big ass new tv that only plays dvds, with the excetption of 5 gd religious channels that i dont give a f&*k for.

  109. debie on October 27th, 2010 7:41 pm

    I hate DTV, but not living in tornado country, I hadn’t realized the real danger until a huge wind storm resently hit our area. I think everyone who has a tornado even remotely near them needs to sue the government for endangering your lives!

  110. carly on November 29th, 2010 2:26 pm

    i agree with debie. i fight it absolutely terrifying that no one seems to care how dangerous these digital tv systems are. not the actual digital tv monitor, but the actual digital cable. now, i first off i should say that we still have the old analog tv sets in our house, but we use them with digital cable after ‘the transition.” it is annoying because unless you go out and buy a new digital screen tv, you have to deal with not being able to read pretty much any of the text on screen. my friends give me a lot of sh*T about that when over watching it. any how, in the past year or so we have had some dangerous storms come through..and almost everytime the digital tv misses it. there is a response delay. AND if you are sucked into a show on indemand you will totally miss any warning. there could be an a civil defense warning when aliens attack the united states and you’d miss the whole thing watching reruns of “the office.” on one of our tvs we have the basic cable digital (it pretty much looks exactly like analog except it lost some of the basic channels we had with analog) and it’s interesting because when there is a warning you go in the room with the basic cable and you get the warning before the room with the extended indemand digital cable. not to mention the billion commercials they just have to show you before they can warn you of impending doom. the only reliable way to find out about the weather these days is a transistor radio. yes i’m sure the same thing could’ve happened in the old days if you had your vcr on watching a movie but you were less likely to forget that you were in fact not watching cable. it’s easy to forget when you have on indemand. especially if there are commercials included on the indemand show. i could also see how dangerous it would be for someone with visual or auditory problems since the captions and audio description services are basically non existant on most channels with digital or significantly delayed. i still don’t understand how comcast has gotten away with that one for the past 3 years. they are getting a bit better though now that they actually offer more captions with their indemands shows than in the past. but still….now that people have to go out and buy new tv digital monitors they can’t play old nintendo or super nintento or sega or atari without rolling out the old analog. how many tv monitors will we have to stash in the house?

  111. carly on November 29th, 2010 2:39 pm

    oh yeah, and i wanted to mention, i don’t know if anyone else used this method in tornado alley, but back in the ole days with analog you would always know if the tornado was getting closer because as you watched the tv and the weather bulletin the screen would start to wobble and slide screens. and no it wasn’t because the tv was going bad or that the storm was going to cut out the cable, it was because of the signals being interferred by the intense uplift of electrical particles which happen with tornados. so now that doesn’t happen anymore with the digital. so in response to phil g, yes the cable used to go out……when the tornado was basically on top of your house, but you would usually have a fair chance of a warning if you were watching the tv with weather bulletins. i’ve been through tornados in the past and usually it was the tv that first warned us. not anymore. now we just listen to the wind out side and then turn on the old ham radio. maybe also check the noaa website if we can get internet and have time.

  112. Bob on February 5th, 2011 12:49 pm

    I long for the days when TV was the vast wasteland..It was so much better than it is today.

  113. Matt on February 17th, 2011 1:48 pm

    It’s a big pile of shit. my sister lives in Baltimore literally right behind WJZ and the other major tv stations transmitters cause when I walk out her back door theres the access road to the towers etc. and with the transmitters in her back yard she STILL CANT GET THEM FOR CHRIST SAKES. but when they were analog not a problem. i think its cause everyone thinks digital is gods gift to the world when its really not. its good for some things but not all. When they switched everything to digital they reduced the power and its just the biggest crock of shit. before long radio will be next!

  114. Jay on February 27th, 2011 9:13 am

    Bush should be hung for this. They endanger americans lives. Emergency broadcast is dead. Tornado hurricane warnings are dead cause the wind would blow the antenna. Plus republicans have stakt in converter box companies and portables sold in cvs. Im in detroit n get canadian tvo is public broadcast and cbn is like bbc. None of the filth in us tv. Kkk are behind this. Why do this in wartime. All they really did is hamper our access and the stability of accesin info via this medium. Thus an act of war

  115. Jody Donaldson on March 20th, 2011 1:11 am

    digital tv is the worst thing that has been forced on the American people that I can recall in my lifetime. We’re storming tonight and I can’t watch a thing.

  116. Johnna on May 16th, 2011 7:19 pm

    Are the stupid people who designed digital hearing or listening????? I want back the time when we had the rabbit ears, foil, and the sucker standing funny just watch a show. I work in a place where when I announced that I hate digital, I received 20 looks like huh I know what you mean.
    Missing my shows (I hate) live on a budget!!! Like most, it sucks that this government gives to those who DON”T deserve and care less about the working class who are trying and they don’t care. I would like for the congress to live like I do paycheck to paycheck and worryin about having food and gas to get to work not to mention trying to keep a roof over the head. Let those so called upper powers live like regular people. they would not make it!!!!!!! Bastards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  117. Kiss dirt on June 17th, 2011 11:58 pm

    White power. Dtv sucks

  118. Dorothy Metzger on July 8th, 2011 11:02 am

    We live on 1 of the highest mountains & can’t pick up any stations with an antenna. But, what’s funny, we can pick up a bunch of stations in our camper anywhere we go & that is with an outdoor antenna. Go figure. :(

  119. Bamasux on June 24th, 2012 12:01 pm

    I hate this new DTV! When it was still analog I could actually get every channel and all the wind and weather did was make it a little snowy once in a while, but you could still see the image quite well and hear it too! Now if any little bit of wind kicks up or weather the picture drops out and either goes black or does this annoying Max Headroom type repetition of whatever is on over and over and over!!! I have a large rooftop antenna along with a powered inline signal amplifier and I still cannot bring any channel in cleanly unless it’s completely still outside without any bad weather whatsoever and even then some of the channels just for whatever mysterious reason they do not come in at all on some days? The FTC/government completely ruined my ability to watch TV! I cannot afford satellite TV or cable so that’s not a possibility for me! Makes me wonder if that’s the reason these idiots did this? To force everyone to subscribe to one or the other else the ‘free’ TV is so screwed up that it’s not watchable? A pox upon all of them!!! This is not a Conservative or Liberal thing as they are both equally culpable! DTV Engineers my ass! Nuff said….

  120. CharlesMartel on June 4th, 2013 6:43 pm

    Totally agree….The supposedly batter,sharper,crystal clear, 3D-like picture that was promised,is anything but; murky,mushy,fuzzy,bleary ,anything but sharp images, every single station. Maybe I still haven’t hooked it up right – but I seriously doubt it.

  121. Alan Preen on October 14th, 2013 10:35 am

    Our DTV is not bad in perfect weather, with a 50 mile range antenna on a 40 foot pole. If it is cloudy, raining or windy it pixellates and/or dies – at least, some of the stations do. Given that they all come from the same translator I am at a loss to understand how this is possible. Bring back analogue.

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