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.
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.
An antenna is a great way to get a ton of 100% free HD channels. Not only will you get the big four – ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC – but you will likely also get a growing list of other channels. Antennas can also make great backups for when your internet is out but it can take a bit to get the most from your antenna.
So today we have 4 tips to help you improve the reception you get with your antenna:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By James K. Willcox
July 26, 2018
With more of us looking to find ways to save money on our monthly TV bills, it’s no surprise that TV antennas have made a comeback.
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.
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.
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
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.
Installing an outdoor antenna is an easy way to stretch your entertainment dollars. Most homeowners can legally install an outdoor antenna, as long as it does not reach more than 12 feet above the roof line, does not create any safety risks and does not impede upon existing neighborhood covenants.
Step 1: Use an internet search to locate TV broadcast towers near the home. The Over the Air Digital TV website otadtv.com has a wealth of information as well as detailed maps and coordinates for tower locations. For those who want to dabble in geometry, mathematics and geography, technical data for optimal antenna location is available. Otherwise, pointing an antenna in the direction of the closest TV tower will usually suffice.
Step 2: Antennas can be mounted on the side of a home, on the roof or on a free-standing antenna tower. Antennas can also be installed in a home’s attic. Attic installations will reduce the signal strength and possibly limit the number of channels that can be received, but the ease of installation and the aesthetics of not having an antenna mounted on the outside of a home may outweigh the negative signal impact.
Step 3: Choose an antenna and mounting hardware that best suits the needs and budget of the homeowner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and assemble the antenna and accessories.
Step 4: Use the existing television cable connections or run new RG-6 four-wire coaxial cable to the rooms where televisions will be used.
Step 5: Install a coax ground block where the cable enters the home. Run a 10 gauge or heavier grounding wire from the coax ground block to a grounding rod or earth grounded pipe.
Step 6: Determine the ideal location for the antenna based on the proximity of broadcast towers. Antennas work best when mounted thirty feet above the ground in an unobstructed space away from metal, wire and other signal blocking materials.
Step 7: Before mounting the antenna, attach the antenna cable to a working television and with the help of a friend, use the picture quality and channel reception to determine the optimal antenna mounting position.
Step 8: Mount the antenna in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Coat any screw holes with an elastomeric sealant.
Step 9: Run a grounding wire from the antenna to an earth grounded rod.
Step 10: Attach the antenna wire to the television cable and enjoy.
— Have a home improvement question for Fix-It Chick? Email it to Linda Cottin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Jeff Baumgartner
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.
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.
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.
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
Winter is here for cable and satellite TV operators.
American consumers are cancelling traditional pay-TV service at a much faster rate than previously expected, according to research firm eMarketer.
In 2017, a total of 22.2 million U.S. adults will have cut the cord on cable, satellite or telco TV service to date — up 33% from 16.7 million in 2016 — the researcher now predicts. That’s significantly higher than eMarketer’s prior estimate of 15.4 million cord-cutters as of the end of this year. Meanwhile, the number of “cord-nevers” (consumers who have never subscribed to pay TV) will rise 5.8% this year, to 34.4 million.
“Younger audiences continue to switch to either exclusively watching [over-the-top] video or watching them in combination with free-TV options,” said Chris Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. “Last year, even the Olympics and [the U.S.] presidential election could not prevent younger audiences from abandoning pay TV.”
Overall, 196.3 million U.S. adults will have traditional pay TV (cable, satellite or telco) this year, down 2.4% compared with 2016, eMarketer predicts. By 2021, that will drop to 181.7 million, a decline of nearly 10% from 2016. The number of pay-TV viewers 55 and older will continue to rise over the next four years, while for every other age cohort the subscriber tallies will decline.
By 2021, the number of cord-cutters will nearly equal the number of people who have never had pay TV — a total of 81 million U.S. adults. That means around 30% of American adults won’t have traditional pay TV at that point, per eMarketer’s revised forecast.
There’s a caveat on these numbers: eMarketer’s estimates for pay-TV viewers do not include “virtual” internet TV services, such as Dish Network’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Hulu’s live TV service, or YouTube TV. But industry analysts say over-the-top TV subscription services so far have not offset declines in traditional pay television. Moreover, the cheaper OTT packages typically include fewer channels, so the growth of “skinny” TV bundles implies net household losses for many cable networks.
Seeing the writing on this wall, several TV programmers have launched or are prepping direct-to-consumer streaming services themselves. CBS in 2014 launched All Access, while Disney has set early 2018 for the debut of a no-cable-needed ESPN OTT package (although that will exclude NFL and NBA games). In addition, five media companies — A+E Networks, Viacom, Discovery, Scripps Networks Interactive and AMC Networks — reportedly have joined forces to create a non-sports streaming bundle of cable programming to be priced at under $20 per month.
For the TV biz, there’s another worrisome trend: People are watching less traditional television. For the first time, in 2017 average TV viewing in the U.S. is expected to drop below 4 hours per day, eMarketer predicts.
Average time spent watching TV (excluding digital) among American adults will drop 3.1%, to 3 hours 58 minutes this year. Digital-video consumption, meanwhile, continues to climb. U.S. adults will consume 1 hour 17 minutes of digital video per day on average in 2017 (excluding time spent viewing video on social networks), up 9.3% year over year, according to eMarketer.
With the U.S. pay-TV base eroding faster than anticipated and average TV viewing time dropping, eMarketer cut its TV ad-spending forecast for 2017 by a little over $1 billion.
This year, TV advertising will increase just 0.5%, to $71.65 billion (versus the firm’s previous $72.72 billion forecast). As a result, the TV sector’s share of total U.S. media ad spending will drop to 34.9% (vs. 36.6% in 2016) and is expected to fall below 30% by 2021.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that 22.2 million U.S. adults were expected to cancel pay-TV service in 2017; in fact, eMarketer’s estimate represents the cumulative number of cord-cutters projected by the end of the year.
By Kevin Downey, Komando.com
Have you cut the cord yet? Are you familiar with that expression?
You’ve probably been hearing that term a lot lately, including on Komando.com. It refers to people cutting the cord on cable TV or satellite TV.
11:08 AM 08/03/2017
I haven’t had cable TV for years, and I don’t miss it. Sorry, cable news, but if something interesting happens on your air, it’ll be on the Internet within minutes. Between Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and all the other streaming services out there, I’ve always got something to watch. And for live TV, I’ve got a TiVo attached to a digital antenna. Because I’m old enough to know what broadcast television is, and that it still exists.
Were you aware that you can get some local major network channels for free, without having to pay for a cable or streaming service subscription? If you were, you’re ahead of 30% of adults, most of them young enough that they wouldn’t remember the fuzzy, rabbit-eared past.