Industry News

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Dish Network Blocks Free Local TV Channels in 18 Markets Just Ahead of NFL Playoffs

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – According to a press release from Mission Broadcasting, customers’ access to its local channels in 18 markets across 16 states including KSAN in San Angelo has been blocked out.

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Category : Blog , Industry News


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Next Gen TV is free 4K TV with an antenna, and it’s coming this year

Cord cutters rejoice! Over-the-air TV is about to get a big upgrade: HDR, 120Hz refresh rates and better indoor reception. ATSC 3.0 is almost here.

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Comcast Van

Happy holidays from Comcast. Your cable bill is going up again.

Comcast is giving the gift of higher cable bills this holiday season.

Tens of millions of Xfinity customers will see their bills rise 3.6% nationwide, on average, the company said Thursday, as it boosts prices for broadband plans and hikes TV fees starting next week. Customers in the Philadelphia region have received notices of new prices effective Dec. 20, five days before Christmas.

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Comcast Sign

Comcast & Spectrum Are Raising Their TV Prices & Fees

By Luke Bouma on November 30, 2019 at 6:36 am CDT

Although there has been a lot of talk about Hulu raising the price of live TV, there has been little coverage about the cost of cable TV increasing. Both Comcast and Spectrum recently announced price hikes on TV customers.

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Smart TV Security

Now even the FBI is warning about your smart TV’s security

Zack Whittaker@zackwhittaker / 11:47 am PST • December 1, 2019

If you just bought a smart TV on Black Friday or plan to buy one for Cyber Monday tomorrow, the FBI wants you to know a few things.

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75% Of Homes Subscribe To Pay TV Service

By Artie Beaty | November 5, 2019

Even though pay TV providers are losing customers in record numbers, pay television might not be as dead as you think. New research from the Leichtman Research Group shows that 75% of homes subscribe to pay television in some fashion, including cable, satellite, or Internet delivered service. That’s down 9% from 2014 and  12% from 2009, but still surprisingly strong numbers.

What’s surprising though, is the average amount people are spending – $109.60 a month for subscribers – is up 6% from 2016.

Other highlights of the study include:

  • 60% of pay television subscribers have bundle from their provider – down from 67% in 2014
  • 83% of adults over the age of 45 have a pay television service compared to 64% of those ages 18-44
  • 87% of households with three televisions or more have a pay television service compared to 75% of those that have two televisions, and 52% of those with one television
  • 47% of all TVs have a set-top box, meaning this is the first year since 2010 that set top boxes are connected to less than half of all TVs
  • 27% homes have an over-the-air TV antenna
  • 54% of homes have a pay TV service and a streaming video service, while 21% have pay TV only and service, 20% have streaming only. 5% have neither pay TV nor streaming

So what does this tell us? That since the number of homes that pay for television is roughly the same as the number that receives some kind of streaming service, consumers are just fine piecing together content through different sources. This study was conducted by telephone, including landline and cell phones in September to October of 2019.


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Many HOA’s Illegally Try to Block OTA Antennas

By Luke Bouma on July 29, 2019 – CordCuttersNews.Com

We often hear that a home owner’s association (HOA) or other similar groups will not let someone install an antenna on their condo or house. Yet the rules are clear, you have every legal right according to the FCC to install an antenna even on a condo if you own it. Yes according to the FCC HOAs can not legally prevent you from installing an antenna on your house or condo as long as you follow some rules the FCC has set.

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Cord Cutters Need to Rescan Their Antennas Because Some Channels Are Moving According to The FCC

By Luke Bouma on June 24, 2019

A few years ago, the FCC auctioned off locals forcing many channels to switch channel numbers. This auction freed up space for things like 5G. Now the time has come for many local TV stations to switch channel numbers, meaning you need to rescan your antenna.

That is in addition to all the new locals that went live earlier this year and will be rolling out later this year. One or more of them may be right where you live; however, if you don’t look you will never know they are there.

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How the Growth and Evolution of the Over-the-Air TV Home Fits into Today’s Viewing Landscape

01-31-2019 – Over-the-air (OTA) TV—the programming that we all have access to even if we don’t have a cable or satellite programming subscription—is becoming a big thing again. In fact, it’s one of the best things to happen to cord cutters and cord shavers, as it offers them free TV through a digital antenna. Even better, with the shift to digital broadcasting a decade ago, they’re getting even more channels for free—and in great HD quality. Because of our comprehensive panel approach, our data is inclusive of all household types, including OTA, which allowed us to conduct deep insights and analysis in this important growing segment. So what do we know about OTA households? We recently dived into the data to find out more about them—particularly, how many there are, what they look like and how they consume media.

THERE’S A LOT OF THEM

According to May 2018 Nielsen population estimates, as detailed in our latest Local Watch report, there are over 16 million OTA homes in the U.S. That comes out to just over 14% of households. Back in 2010, that number was much lower—5 million less, to be exact. That’s an increase of almost 50% over eight years. And as an increasing number of consumers consider a more à-la-carte approach to their TV sources, there is opportunity for this segment to continue growing.

THEY’RE NOT ALL ALIKE

While many of us may equate OTA TV with “rabbit ears” and a physical dial on the TV set, today’s, OTA homes aren’t what they used to be—just like the technology isn’t the same. Today, these homes are a mix of audience groups that consume TV content in different ways. Some are standard OTA homes that access programming with a digital antenna, but most pair their OTA line-up with streaming services. As of May 2018, 41% of OTA homes are traditional, without a streaming service provider. That means the majority subscribe to a streaming service (59%). Nielsen data paints a vivid picture of these two very different groups, revealing some surprising gaps in age, ethnicity and income. Suffice to say, the only thing these households have in common is the absence of cable cords and satellite dishes.

To further muddy the waters, a third type of OTA home subscribes to a virtual video multichannel programming distributor (vMVPD), commonly known as a “skinny bundle,” which allows them to stream cable programs. This group falls directly into the streaming service segment (Plus SVOD) that makes up 59% of OTA homes. As of May 2018, it accounted for 8% of OTA, or 1.3 million homes.

A BRIGHT SPOT FOR BROADCAST

Three hours each day comes out to roughly 1,100 hours per year, which represents the amount of time the average adult in an OTA home spends watching broadcast content on TV. While that’s a big number, it can be deceiving. Behind the scenes, three very different audience segments (no SVOD; OTA + SVOD; OTA + SVOD w/vMVPD) make up that number. So which segment is watching the most content? Those without SVOD spend a whopping 4 hours and 51 minutes with broadcast TV each day. But, the story is different for the others. Higher fragmentation driven by internet-connected device usage brings broadcast viewing down, but SVOD homes with and without a vMVPD still clock over an hour per day. Cable viewing picks up steam with vMVPD access, but still lags behind broadcast viewing. Regardless of OTA home type, broadcast TV is a daily go-to source for content on the TV screen.

 

 


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Over-the-Air TV is Booming in U.S. Cities

03-11-2019 – Despite the prevalence of digital technologies rippling through many aspects of our daily lives, an increasing percentage of Americans are embracing over-the-air (OTA) television. And in looking at findings from Nielsen’s most recent Local Watch Report, we see an upward trend in the adoption of digital OTA tuners. But while the 16 million OTA homes (as of May 2018) paints an overarching national picture, our comprehensive panel approach to TV measurement allows us to dive into the data to understand the different types of OTA viewers across the U.S. and where they’re most likely to live.

While the majority of U.S. homes still subscribe to a pay-TV service (cable or satellite), the shift to free broadcast TV suggests that folks are exploring alternatives. And with a myriad of internet options available today, many of them aren’t mutually exclusive with their viewing options. Rather, they’re pairing their broadcast local news and network stations with a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service.

According to Nielsen’s TV panel, 59% of OTA homes have access to SVOD and 41% don’t. And things get even more interesting when we factor in a third underlying segment: OTA homes that subscribe to a virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD). These services provide a broad range of video content through an internet connection (rather than through wired cable or satellite). Consumers who supplement their OTA viewing with “skinny bundles” from vMVPD services can stream programs to their smart TVs and mobile devices. Small but growing, these consumers make up 8% of OTA homes, which comes out to about 1.3 million U.S. households.

While these numbers tell the big-picture story, we can take things further by drilling down to local markets, which reveal some surprising differences in OTA status. In looking at Nielsen data, we see a high concentration of OTA homes in the Southwest region, averaging 19% of households in those areas. This makes sense, since this area is popular among Hispanics—a group, according to our profile data—that is 48% more likely to have OTA status than the average U.S home.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Northeasterners are more likely to stick to their cable packages, with only 7% of households having OTA access. This region also experienced the smallest year-over-year growth. Designated market-level (DMA) stats from the Local Watch Report support these findings, with markets like Albuquerque and Phoenix topping the list for presence of OTA homes. Meanwhile, markets like New York and Boston rank among the lowest for OTA penetration. Milwaukee is an interesting outlier, as it has the highest penetration for both OTA homes with and without SVOD. Dayton came out on top for the market most likely to pair OTA with vMVPD.

TYPES OF OVER-THE-AIR HOMES BY MARKET

Percent of households by over-the-air type, May 2018
Source – https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2019/over-the-air-tv-is-booming-in-us-cities.print.html

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Cable’s Netflix bundling deals aren’t stopping customers from cutting the cord

They’ve tried to play nice. They’ve tried to play hardball. But nothing the cable companies do is stopping the affliction terrorizing the TV industry.

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Cord cutting test drive: We tried Mohu antenna for free TV channels

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. – We’d tried other over-the-air antennas before, and the results were dismal. A fuzzy picture, at best.

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Over 15 Million Americans Use an Antenna for FREE Over-the-Air TV

By Luke Bouma on July 5, 2018

Ten years ago, the antenna to receive over-the-air TV was a dying trend. Increasingly, Americans ditched antennas in favor of cable TV. Now that trend has reversed with the growth of cord cutting.

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VHF vs. UHF – Why OTA Frequency Bands Matter for Cord Cutters with Antennas

Over-the-Air (OTA) TV signals are distributed across two different frequency bands: UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and VHF (Very High Frequency). 

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VIEWERS OPT FOR BROADCAST TV OVER CABLE

EVEN IN DIGITAL AGE, TV’S REACH ENDURES | May 23, 2018

If you could pick just five television networks to watch, which ones would you choose? The TVB asked viewers that question in its annual Media Comparisons Study, conducted in partnership with GfK. The big four broadcast networks were Americans’ top selections—with a cable network taking fifth place. But it had only half the support of the fourth-place network. “That’s a strong story for broadcast,” says TVB Chief Research Officer Hadassa Gerber.

Similar results were reported among Hispanics. After the two big Spanish-language broadcast networks, they placed two English-language broadcast networks in their top five, followed by a cable network. “There are tons of channels that are available to people, but what it shows is people don’t necessarily watch all of those channels,” Gerber says. “That’s what we see when we give them a choice of five—that four of them are broadcast.”

Source – http://www.spotsndots.com/viewers-opt-for-broadcast-tv-over-cable/article_1f3442be-5e3b-11e8-a3ec-170c7a53ef15.html

 


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ATSC 3.0: The future of free antenna TV is coming, eventually

Everything a cord cutter needs to know about free over-the-air 4K HDR broadcasts.

by Geoffrey Morrison | June 3, 2018 4:00 AM PDT

It’s been two years since we last wrote about ATSC 3.0, also known as “Next Gen TV,” and a lot has changed. But with the breakneck speed of change in other areas of TV — namely streaming video — the new version of free antenna TV is moving at a snail’s pace.

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Cord-Cutting On The Rise As Cable TV Rates Have Skyrocketed Since 2000

Are you one of the millions of Americans that are sick and tired of paying high rates for cable TV and satellite packages? Many are paying outrageous prices for dozens (or even hundreds) of channels that they probably don’t even watch. Given the rising costs of TV packages, more and more people are cutting the cord.

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HDTV Antenna Review: Top Picks From CR’s Latest Tests

More cord-cutting consumers are turning to antennas and free over-the-air TV

By James K. Willcox and Claudio Ciacci |April 06, 2018

TV antennas might seem like a relic of a bygone era, when the number of channels you received could be counted on one hand. But as consumers try to trim their ever-escalating cable and satellite TV bills, antennas are making a comeback.

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Cord Cutting

Study: 20% of U.S. Broadband Homes Use Antenna for TV

That’s up from 16% in early 2015, according to Parks Associates.

By: Jeff Baumgartner

Source: Parks Associates

In findings that highlight the growing cord-cutting trend, Parks Associates said that about 20% of U.S. broadband homes used digital, over-the-air antennas to access live TV near the end of 2017

That’s up from about 16% in early 2015, Parks Associates said, noting that the growth rate coincides with a steady decline of pay TV subscriptions against the backdrop of an increase in OTT video subscriptions.

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Free TV Keeps Getting Better: Welcome ATSC 3.0

Here’s everything you need to know about the next-generation wireless TV standard.

Lou Frenzel 1 | Jan 03, 2018

In November, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued new rules that will let TV broadcasters adopt the next-generation wireless TV standard designated ATSC 3.0. This new standard defines the specifications for ultra-high-definition (UHD) or 4K over-the-air (OTA) digital TV.

In case you haven’t noticed, TV has progressed to the 4K ultra-high-definition stage with its 3,840 × 2,160 pixel resolution. (3,840 pixels is almost 4,000, thus the 4K designation.) Big-screen LCD and OLED sets are now reasonably priced, and some UHD content at the new resolution is becoming available. If you have not experienced UHD on a big screen, give it a try.  You will want to upgrade immediately. In the near future, broadcasters will be able to offer this improved technology based on the ATSC 3.0 standard.

TV Today

Roughly 75% of households pay for their TV reception for cable or satellite distribution. But you can still get free over-the-air TV from your local broadcasters. It is estimated that about 17 to 21% of households get TV this way. Just put up an antenna and receive your local broadcasters— like ABC, CBS, NBC, CW, PBS, Univision, and a few others—at no charge.  More than a few households have “cut the cable,” so to speak, and moved to OTA TV to cut costs in the past few years.

Free TV currently uses the original high-definition (HD) digital format designated by the ATSC 1.0. The Advanced Television Systems Committee is that group of TV and electronic companies that put together the U.S. TV standards that are blessed by the FCC and then adopted by the broadcasters. TV sets are made to those standards. If you recall, the switchover from analog TV to digital TV (ATSC 1.0) occurred beginning in late 2008 and concluded in June of 2009.

Called HD TV, this digital standard offers 1080i and 720p resolution.  It greatly improves picture and audio quality while using the same 6-MHz-wide TV channels. Now 4K sets can get content via BluRay DVD, cable, and satellite.

The original digital TV standard used today, ATSC 1.0 employs 8VSB (vestigial sideband) modulation, a form of AM using an 8-level coding with a partially suppressed lower sideband to keep the signal inside the 6 MHz channel. MPEG-2 video compression is used. The error correction code is Reed-Solomon. Resolution is either 720 scan lines with 1,280 pixels or 1,080 lines with 1,920 pixels. Frame rates run at 30, 60, 120, or 240 frames per second. Bit rate in a channel is 19.3 Mb/s.

If you haven’t experienced OTA recently, go get an antenna and connect it up. There are lots available, and usually a simple indoor antenna is all you need. Take a look: It’s probably better than you’re thinking.

ATSC 3.0

The new standard was supposed to be ASTC 2.0, which was an upgrade to 1.0 to improve resolution and add new features, while maintaining backward compatibility with the original standard. But in the end, the standards group decided to toss the old standard and forget the backward compatibility issue. That led to the adoption of orthogonal frequency division multiplex (OFDM) modulation.

OFDM is far more spectrally efficient than 8VSB and offers better performance in multipath and non-line-of-sight environments. This permits the new standard to provide acceptable performance in mobile devices and indoor sets. The U.S. finally joins all the other digital TV standards in the world—like DVB in Europe, ISDB in Japan, and DTMB in China—that use OFDM.

ATSC 3.0 defines six levels of modulation, from QPSK to 4096QAM. Data rate in the channel can be as low as 1 Mb/s or up to 57 Mb/s. Data transmission will be an IP-based format like the common internet transmission. The Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) is the forward error correcting code. This new standard also has provisions for 2 × 2 MIMO at the transmitter and in the receivers to further improve the link reliability.

Other features include a more efficient H.265 video compression method. An improved audio compression is MPEG-H or Dolby AC-4. A curious uplink feature is also defined, which will permit viewer interaction services to be implemented. It uses single carrier frequency division multiple access (SC-FDMA) and HARQ format.

The adoption of 3.0 is voluntary by the stations and, if implemented, it would run in parallel with the existing 1.0 HDTV digital standard broadcasts in use today. It will take a year or so before TV stations install the ATSC 3.0 transmitters and TV sets become available. Definitely something to look forward to.

The big question is, can OTA broadcast TV survive the rapid trend in over the top (OTT) streaming? In the meantime, 4K UHD is terrific regardless of the source if you have not yet upgraded.

Source – http://www.electronicdesign.com/community-home/free-tv-keeps-getting-better-welcome-atsc-30