Skiing on Television
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twin58
November 1, 2008
Member since 04/1/2000 🔗
198 posts
Whether you like it or not, the big television stations will be broadcasting in the digital domain exclusively beginning next February. Digital broadcasting exists side by side with analog broadcasting now.

Last June, I broke down and bought a converter box. Reception has been sporadic, but when digital TV comes in, the picture is terrific.

One fringe benefit I really like is the additional channels that stations broadcast. There are three channel 4s for example. Channel 4-3 had been blank for a while, but about two months ago, it came to life.

It is the Universal Sports.com channel. It started out showing lots of bicycle races, and then it went to showing reruns of Olympic events. Now, though, it has turned to showing ski racing, lots of ski racing. They've been showing skiing from Sölden, Austria for the last two days. Check out the November schedule:

UniversalSports.com

and click on the link "Schedules"

http://www.universalsports.com/main/Schedule.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=23000&KEY=
Ullr
November 1, 2008
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Is this a tv station, or can you only get it on the web?
bawalker
November 2, 2008
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Unfortunately here in hardy county, there is no digital TV reception of ANY Channels unless one buys Dish Network or DirecTV. When Feb 09 rolls around, those that can't afford satellite and have purchased a converter box will learn there is NO tv left.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 3, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
That's right. But the Federal Government has established a subsidy program https://www.dtv2009.gov/ for areas such as West Virginia, where people can get two $40.00 coupons by mail and redeem them at Radio Shack or wherever. The basic price of the box is about $55 to $60. These are geared to areas where over-the-air is the only source, mainly rural areas. The converter box is there for the older type TVs. Newer TVs can be purchased with HD-TV installed. There may be a need for a new antenna, however.
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scootertig
November 3, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
I think the problem that bawalker is talking about, is the fact that digital signals (currently, anyway) are not strong enough to reach all areas previously served by the analog counterparts. Transmission power will be increased for many stations on Feb 17, but it may not be enough (and there will be no way to tell for sure until the change).

The extra nasty part is that analog signal that is poorly received results in a snowy picture. Digital signal, when poorly received, is a blank screen with no audio, so people without "good enough" signal will get nothing. Yes, a better antenna *may* fix the problem for some people, but people in multi-unit dwellings (apartments, condos, etc) may not be able to install one in a way that makes any improvement. And, why should people now have to shell out $100 or so to get a really good antenna to watch TV that used to be available free OTA?

Here's a good thread on avsforum.com about different antennas (is it antennae?) and their performance: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1037779


I am still having a hard time understanding why the FCC thought this was a good idea. It's a very, very expensive transition for everyone involved, and it doesn't really fundamentally improve anything about TV. It *does* free up bits of the spectrum that have been tied up for a long time, and they'll auction those off to make money (and reallocate some portions for emergency use), but I have a feeling that this will be disastrous when it finally happens.


aaron
Clay
November 3, 2008
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Originally Posted By: scootertig
I am still having a hard time understanding why the FCC thought this was a good idea... It *does* free up bits of the spectrum that have been tied up for a long time, and they'll auction those off to make money...


I think you've answered your own question my friend shocked
comprex
November 3, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Originally Posted By: scootertig

I am still having a hard time understanding why the FCC thought this was a good idea. It's a very, very expensive transition for everyone involved, and it doesn't really fundamentally improve anything about TV.


You're kidding, right? The new picture quality alone is worth it.

Let alone the side channels and the improved audio and the fact that DVR features like replay or PIP or zoom are now made trivial for most televisions.
scootertig
November 3, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
I'm not saying that the picture quality's not good... I have FiOS HD service, and think it's phenomenal. I get the appeal of HD. However, I doubt that the FCC is making their policies based on what looks cool, etc, and besides, technically the new DTV requirement isn't for HD - it's for digital TV. You can have SD DTV, and for people who are using their old analog sets, that's what they'll be watching regardless of what is being broadcast. It will cost money (if not already spent) for the average consumer to appreciate any of the "benefit" of the transition.

I just think it's a complicated, expensive solution to a minor "problem". Then again, the FCC is one of the most purely bureaucratic organizations imaginable, so I guess that's sort of their specialty...


aaron
comprex
November 3, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
In one particular multi-unit dwelling (5th floor of 13) installation in Arlington an AC-line antenna hooked to a DTV box provided 20 viewable channels with clear audio (no hiss or chatter or crackle) and with no adjustment necessary between channels. A 2-bay UHF antenna and a dipole VHF (the maximum permitted by building codes), provided 13 channels and required repositioning of the dipole at almost every VHF channel change.

(and the ol' folks really liked the EPG too!)
twin58
November 3, 2008
Member since 04/1/2000 🔗
198 posts
Originally Posted By: Ullr
Is this a tv station, or can you only get it on the web?


These are over-the-air TV stations. The side channels are digital-only bonus channels that don't exist in analog. The UniversalSports.com channel was showing boardercross from Korea yesterday afternoon, Sunday the 2nd of November.

I'm in Alexandria. I had been able to get several Baltimore VHF and UHF stations in analog. Sometimes I can get a few of them in digital. Oddly, channel 22, which had come in stronger than any other station in analog, now does not come in at all in digital. Across the street, it does come in. Channel 26, which has its transmitter in Arlington near the Virginia Hospital Center, is hit or miss. In digital, it has four channels. "Austin City Limits" in digital is spectacular.

I made a post about my experiences with the converter box and reception in general in another forum.

Over-the-Air Digital Television Broadcasts of Lacrosse

Reception is location, location, location, and the antenna. I still use rabbit ears for digital reception. I'm sure I could do better with an antenna in the attic.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 3, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,359 posts
I recently purchased a large screen LCD television but I have not yet switched to HD satelitte service. I have an older satelitte receiver and it does not get HD signals and only had an S video output. Thus my picture is just OK.
However, my real concern is that there just isn't much ski racing on television anymore. The OLN network had a great ski racing schedule through the entire winter. However, they went through some kind of owner ship change and they are now called something else and they have rubbish like the barbaric ultimate fightiing. Kind of reminds of the when the Roman coleseum had packed houses for lions eating Christians. Anyway, I digress. Does anyone know what network will be picking up ski racing. I sure miss watching ski racing on late Saturday afternoon.
GRK
November 3, 2008
Member since 12/19/2007 🔗
404 posts
Snowsmith

VS. Network carried skiing last winter. Hoping they will pick it up this year as well...seemed more Sundays than Saturdays though.
comprex
November 5, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Did anyone else watch the St. Moritz womens' Super-G during election coverage commercial breaks last night?
TLaHaye
November 5, 2008
Member since 02/9/2005 🔗
136 posts
FWIW, Universal Sports is a combination of WCSN and NBC.

WCSN (World Cup Sports Network)was a great online asset last year, and I'm looking for even more with the NBC tie-in. WCSN also has some mid-Atlantic roots, as the President, Carlos Silva, lives at least part time in Virginia.
SCWVA
November 5, 2008
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
Fuel TV has a ton of snowboarding shows. I get it through your basic Verizon set up. Fuel TV also has a show produced by TGR which features skiers.

We all wish we were as fit as most of those MMA fighters.
comprex
November 5, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Originally Posted By: TLaHaye
FWIW, Universal Sports is a combination of WCSN and NBC.

WCSN (World Cup Sports Network)was a great online asset last year, and I'm looking for even more with the NBC tie-in. WCSN also has some mid-Atlantic roots, as the President, Carlos Silva, lives at least part time in Virginia.


I like WCSN.

What irks me is NBC's delayed broadcast of ongoing sports though. Ironman Hawaii was done Oct. 11 and they won't broadcast it until December. How silly iz zat?
RodSmith
November 6, 2008
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
Why aren't I getting 4-3? That channel sounds awesome! Ah, I had to auto-scan twice before it picked up that channel. Probably did something wrong the first time.

Thanks! I probably would not have quit cable if they hadn't greatly reduced the amount of bicycling and skiing programs, so this is a godsend.

Disney channel used to show Warren Miller frequently. Travel channel had a couple of excellent series about skiing in various destinations. ESPN2 showed all the Norba and WC mountain biking. OLN live daily feeds from Vuelta, Giro, plus magazine style series on skiing, biking. All gone.

4-3 is currently showing an infomercial about credit card debt or something but the 2007 Playmate of the Year is on the panel. I'll just mute the volume for now.
comprex
November 6, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
RS, did you catch the Soelden race last night?
RodSmith
November 6, 2008
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
Just found out about channel 4-3 this morning. I need to visit this site more often. I seem to have devoted all my on-line time to decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio over on that other website's forums. frown
RodSmith
November 6, 2008
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
Wow, Men's DH, Lake Louise showing now!
RodSmith
November 7, 2008
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
Wow, Men's DH from Lake Louise showing again right now!

Haha, actually I like that the races will be replayed, but I might have gone to bed earlier if I knew I would get another chance to see the Woman's GS which followed the DH last night and I'm guessing will follow the DH again tonight.

Anyway, thanks twin58 for starting this thread, I'm so pleased to learn of this channel!
comprex
November 7, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Coolness. I really liked Raich's and Kostelic's run.

There was some real carnage at the top tho.
RodSmith
November 8, 2008
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
Correction; What looked like a replay of the DH was on closer inspection a SG on the same course.

Regarding the carnage, it is a brutal sport. I may tire of watching it if I have to see too many injuries.
TLaHaye
November 8, 2008
Member since 02/9/2005 🔗
136 posts
To paraphrase Vince Lombardi (who of course was not talking about skiing) "It's a violent sport, with no room for brutality"
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