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  1. Член BJ_M's Avatar
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    "The FCC, in a 4-0 vote decided that all medium-sized televisions, screens between 25 and 36 inches in diagonal, must be able to receive both digital and traditional analog signals by March 1. This is four months earlier than the commission had decreed three years ago. Now if they just mandate more intelligent programming."


    http://apnews.excite.com/article/20050609/D8AK50QG0.html
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  2. Член BJ_M's Avatar
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    The reality is, the FCC wanted to allocate unused adjacent channels (like, if you have a channel 6 in your area, you'll also have a channel 8, but not a channel 7 -just like Springfield) for PUBLIC SERVICE, such as POLICE and FIRE radio service. The reason for the spaces was because early tuners were to wide-banded. When cable ready TVs were designed to handle adjacent channels, the rule was seen as not necessary from an engineering standpoint. So, the local broadcasters (through the NAB) went apeshit on the FCC and congress and threatened to make sure the congresspeople didn't look good on camera and would be investigated to death if 1 Hz of bandwidth was taken away from them. The FCC didn't buy it, so they said that they needed the bandwidth for HDTV. At the time, NHK in Japan was running HD programming on a 12MHz analog carrier. The NAB convinced the FCC to allow a similar, but incompatible (screw you Sony!) system for the US. The FCC said sure, but it has to work in 6MHz instead of the 12MHz of the NHK system. Several manufacturers and MIT began work on a HD video system that nobody wanted. RCA/Thompson came out with a somewhat NTSC compatible system, MIT had a variable compression/aspect ratio system, and General Instruments had a digital transport system, but the compression didn't work so good. The FCC held a bake off so each system could be evaluated. The RCA system didn't look so good, and took up several racks and required the testing center to upgrade their power. The MIT system really didn't go so well either, but they had the best idea of how it would work. the GI system worked very well, and took up one rack. MIT and GI joined forces and started seeing positive results. So the FCC made them all join forces in what became the Grand Alliance. The HD system on the air today is the result. The FCC really wants to get rid of those analog transmitters, just because they've started down this road, and they have to get to the end. The spectrum will still be going away, so that our police and fire departments will be able to communicate in a much better band, with modern comms systems.

    A really good book about the whole HDTV system is Defining Vision [amazon.com]. Visit your local library, and read more about it.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0156005972/ref=sib_rdr_dp/102-3117503-2610558
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  3. Member Epicurus8a's Avatar
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    It seems odd they would speed up the deadline on tuners. Afterall they're also talking extending the deadline on the shutdown of analog signals.

    Maybe they're hoping this tuner deadline will nulify the need to extend the broadcaster deadline.... Then they can shutdown the analog signals on time.
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  4. Член BJ_M's Avatar
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    who knows - i certainly don't and can't figure it out either ..
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  5. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Some idiots in Congress are starting to demand the gov't must buy DTV tuners for all analog set owners (a DTV tuner in every pot), so the FCC would rather see more built in.

    They are doing this even though 80% of TV sets will never use the DTV tuner using an external cable or DBS set top boxes instead.
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  6. I bought a HDTV card a month ago. Frankly, if you already
    have had a cable or sat, probably it is not very useful.
    But for me who only taking off-air TV signals, the new
    card provides so much improvements. And I am surprised by
    that there are so many DTV signals in the air. I only feel
    sorry that I did not get the card earlier. In addition,
    with the digital signal, it makes TV recording so much
    easier, and quality soooooooo much better. What I do not
    understand is that there are definitely money can be made
    here because of the quality improvement, why the
    manufactures do not jump in? I guess probably there are
    not many people still receiving off-air TV signal today.
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    Some idiots in Congress are starting to demand the gov't must buy DTV tuners for all analog set owners (a DTV tuner in every pot), so the FCC would rather see more built in. .
    I'm all for that. If the bastards want to insist my tv's are suddenly worthless, let them buy me the "only" $100 converter (which costs the same as the tv, more in a few cases). I'm fine with my antenna, and I shouldn't have to buy anything additional to make a tv set work. Lots of rural people feel the same way.

    The only idiots are the ones foisting this change on us. Let people decide on their own when they want all-digital. Once tv's start to fail and the only new options are digital, THEN you can look into switching. But not at a time where a brand new tv from last Christmas does not work with the signals anymore. That's so retarded it's almost inconceivable.
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Originally Posted by edDV
    Some idiots in Congress are starting to demand the gov't must buy DTV tuners for all analog set owners (a DTV tuner in every pot), so the FCC would rather see more built in. .
    I'm all for that. If the bastards want to insist my tv's are suddenly worthless, let them buy me the "only" $100 converter (which costs the same as the tv, more in a few cases). I'm fine with my antenna, and I shouldn't have to buy anything additional to make a tv set work. Lots of rural people feel the same way.

    The only idiots are the ones foisting this change on us. Let people decide on their own when they want all-digital. Once tv's start to fail and the only new options are digital, THEN you can look into switching. But not at a time where a brand new tv from last Christmas does not work with the signals anymore. That's so retarded it's almost inconceivable.
    So you are advocating spending tax dollars ($100 ea) x ~150 million households = $15 billion for a device that will go unused by 80%. Add to that the 2+ x markup to run any gov't program and you start to see real money that needs to be raised. Should we pay for this with an annual tax per TV like is done in Europe? If you are lucky that $100 tuner might cost you $300/yr because taxes are rarely reversed.
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  9. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Sure. We blow tax money on other shit. If they want to avoid a "stupid" tax use, then they should instead re-consider a stupid "need" for digital tv.

    I have LOTS more comments, but they're far too political.
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    The average viewer (probably upwards of 75%) doesn't care about quality.

    Two words: Reality shows.
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  11. Member Epicurus8a's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    The only idiots are the ones foisting this change on us. Let people decide on their own when they want all-digital. Once tv's start to fail and the only new options are digital, THEN you can look into switching. But not at a time where a brand new tv from last Christmas does not work with the signals anymore. That's so retarded it's almost inconceivable.
    Ditto! Unfortuanely someone did a study and found the "natural" replacement date would be in the year 2032. That's nuts!


    Originally Posted by leebo
    The average viewer (probably upwards of 75%) doesn't care about quality.

    Two words: Reality shows.


    Damn straight!
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  12. Member edDV's Avatar
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    The change to DTV has little to do with increasing the quality of the image except as a byproduct or maybe as some would say "cover story". The reason for all this is to kick TV broadcasters into a narrower range of the UHF spectrum (in urban areas) and get TV broadcasting out of the low VHF band altogether. The spectrum will be better used for wireless services, land mobile and data communications. The gov't can make major $$$ by leasing the use of these frequencies.

    The use of VHF for TV is wastefull. Modern transmission technology allows tighter spacing of TV stations in the UHF bands.

    The public gets benefit from more channels (up to 5 per current TV station), better pictures in SDTV or HDTV and will also benefit from better spectrum utilization for data communications.

    This has been in the works for 10 years and there is no serious opposition.
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    The change to DTV has little to do with increasing the quality of the image except as a byproduct...

    The public gets benefit from more channels (up to 5 per current TV station),
    I have yet to see an HDTV broadcast that approaches the picture quality of what was being shown at NAB just a few years ago. Obviously the broadcasters (including cable, from what I've heard) have little interest in passing on better PQ the the end user (who not only doesn't know any better, but most likely doesn't care).

    As for the public benefiting from more channels, how many Fear Factors/Big Brothers do we need before we stop "benefiting"?
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  14. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    The gov't can make major $$$ by leasing the use of these frequencies.
    Exactly, so **** them. They can spend this $$$ by making amends to all the people they will screw. It's not about "public safety" or anything else. It's about money. Did I mention "**** them"?

    I don't relish spending $100 per tv for HD foolishness. I don't think this shockwave has quite hit the public, but when that day comes, I imagine a huge outcry against it.

    More channels is a myth too. Pipe dream. Most markets have plenty of open signal space that goes completely vacant. That's not it either. Again, money.

    The cut off date for analog should be at least 10 years after the last analog-only tv set gets sold. That's about the life of a tv set.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    The cut off date for analog should be at least 10 years after the last analog-only tv set gets sold. That's about the life of a tv set.
    Too funny LS, I was going to say exactly the same thing when I saw this...

    Originally Posted by edDV
    This has been in the works for 10 years and there is no serious opposition.
    The government couldn't obsolete Black & White TV's when they introduced color, why would anyone think they could get away with obsoleting a much larger consumer base now?

    Originally Posted by edDV
    So you are advocating spending tax dollars ($100 ea) x ~150 million households = $15 billion for a device that will go unused by 80%.
    No. How about a much simpler dollar for dollar credit/refund on your income tax if you buy one. That way the 80% won't even need to bother and there won't be any additional govenment overhead to manage the program.
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  16. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by leebo
    Originally Posted by edDV
    The change to DTV has little to do with increasing the quality of the image except as a byproduct...

    The public gets benefit from more channels (up to 5 per current TV station),
    I have yet to see an HDTV broadcast that approaches the picture quality of what was being shown at NAB just a few years ago. Obviously the broadcasters (including cable, from what I've heard) have little interest in passing on better PQ the the end user (who not only doesn't know any better, but most likely doesn't care).
    Are you comparing 144Mb/s HDCAM to 19Mb/s ATSC?

    HD quality to the home is mosly limited by the displays being used. NAB this year was showing plenty of future displays that look great using ATSC, H.264 and VC-1.

    Cable and DBS have to balance the demand by current users who want many channels with the small HDTV base. For HD they can have fewer channels at high quality (which they do now), or compress further for more channels.

    The latter is being done by DirecTV and Dish later this year as all HDTV moves to MPeg4 compression. The image quality is still very good. Cable will do the same with either MPeg4, H.264 or Microsoft's VC-1 variations.


    Originally Posted by leebo
    As for the public benefiting from more channels, how many Fear Factors/Big Brothers do we need before we stop "benefiting"?
    That is a rich man's arguement. The assumption is that those still watching over the air do so because they don't want to or can't pay for cable or DBS. The distributors are already on it.

    See http://www.usdtv.com/
    These guys use vacant DTV channels to deliver a very affordable program package. Just one of the sevices possible.
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  17. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf

    The cut off date for analog should be at least 10 years after the last analog-only tv set gets sold. That's about the life of a tv set.
    And how much economic growth would you trade off?

    You sound just like Ford Prefect sitting in front of the bulldozer that is trying to knock his house down, while missing the larger point that the Vogons are destroying the earth.

    It all depends on your viewpoint and perspective.

    Do you also think that there should be horse and buggy lanes on all freeways?
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  18. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mbellot
    Originally Posted by edDV
    This has been in the works for 10 years and there is no serious opposition.
    The government couldn't obsolete Black & White TV's when they introduced color, why would anyone think they could get away with obsoleting a much larger consumer base now?
    The only thing being obsoleted is the analog tuner for the 20% that still use them.
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  19. Originally Posted by edDV
    The reason for all this is to kick TV broadcasters into a narrower range of the UHF spectrum (in urban areas) and get TV broadcasting out of the low VHF band altogether.
    If this is the only reason then I don't understand their logic behind this at all. Why does the channels have to be digital just to move into the UHF spectrum? My personal belief is that a digital signal is easier for them to control then a analog signal.
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  20. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    the analog tuner for the 20% that still use them.
    I'd like to see where you pulled this bogus number from. Standard broadcast still have LOTS AND LOTS of use.

    Originally Posted by edDV
    Do you also think that there should be horse and buggy lanes on all freeways?
    Nope, horrid analogy, not even close. What we're talking about is removing all roads. Your car is now obsolete. If you don't buy the new whiz-bang flying vehicles, you're no longer able to travel. That's about on par with the situation here.

    But even then, I suggest reading some history books. Trolleys, buggies, horses and horseless carriages (automobiles) shared roads for quite a while, and it wasn't just a couple months or few years.

    Originally Posted by edDV
    That is a rich man's arguement.
    No sir. YOU'RE the one defending a rich man's argument. "So what if it costs money, it's all in the name of progress." I like progress too, but not overnight, not like this. This is unreasonable.

    Originally Posted by edDV
    And how much economic growth would you trade off?
    I find your idea of "economic growth" is vulgar and offensive. You want to raise money by forcing people to buy replacements for something that's not even broken. Sounds like the old mob "insurance" scam to me.
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  21. Member wulf109's Avatar
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    Since all this "digital" equipment will be made in Asia,where's the economic impact? Won't create any new jobs at Best Buy,the idiots won't know anymore about gigital TV then they know about analog TV.
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    Originally Posted by mbellot
    Originally Posted by edDV
    This has been in the works for 10 years and there is no serious opposition.
    The government couldn't obsolete Black & White TV's when they introduced color, why would anyone think they could get away with obsoleting a much larger consumer base now?
    The only thing being obsoleted is the analog tuner for the 20% that still use them.
    But if you just spent several hundred dollars on that analog tuner (in the form of a new TV from Wally world/Worst Buy,etc because the "salesperson" knew nothing of the digital switchover) you are not going to be very happy about having to spend an additional $100 - $300 for a replacement tuner.

    The simple fact is that the govenment needed (needs) to have dual tuner mandatory for a minimum of five years for ALL new sets being sold (ie NO analog only sets), and probably 10 years for anything over 27 inches. Not 18 - 24 months for large sets and fokk the guy buying a new 13" TV for the kitchen.

    There's your real economic impact. Even if I buy your 80% figure (I don't BTW) for "digital ready" households, I would doubt very seriously that is for every TV in the house.

    How many people are going to get very pissed off because they have to shell out $100 for the kitchen, basement or garage TV?

    My bet. Plenty. And you'll see the artificial deadline dragged out for years by politicians who can't afford to piss off their consituents.
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  23. Originally Posted by hudsonf
    My personal belief is that a digital signal is easier for them to control then a analog signal.
    Exactly. Full conversion to digital plus the broadcast flag and mandatory HDCP encryption plugs the analog hole. No more home recording. Although the courts have recently struck down the broadcast flag you can rest assured that congress will reinstate it by the end of the year.
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  24. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Originally Posted by edDV
    the analog tuner for the 20% that still use them.
    I'd like to see where you pulled this bogus number from. Standard broadcast still have LOTS AND LOTS of use.

    Originally Posted by mbellot
    Originally Posted by edDV
    Originally Posted by mbellot
    Originally Posted by edDV
    This has been in the works for 10 years and there is no serious opposition.
    The government couldn't obsolete Black & White TV's when they introduced color, why would anyone think they could get away with obsoleting a much larger consumer base now?
    The only thing being obsoleted is the analog tuner for the 20% that still use them.
    But if you just spent several hundred dollars on that analog tuner (in the form of a new TV from Wally world/Worst Buy,etc because the "salesperson" knew nothing of the digital switchover) you are not going to be very happy about having to spend an additional $100 - $300 for a replacement tuner.

    The simple fact is that the govenment needed (needs) to have dual tuner mandatory for a minimum of five years for ALL new sets being sold (ie NO analog only sets), and probably 10 years for anything over 27 inches. Not 18 - 24 months for large sets and fokk the guy buying a new 13" TV for the kitchen.

    There's your real economic impact. Even if I buy your 80% figure (I don't BTW) for "digital ready" households, I would doubt very seriously that is for every TV in the house.

    How many people are going to get very pissed off because they have to shell out $100 for the kitchen, basement or garage TV?

    My bet. Plenty. And you'll see the artificial deadline dragged out for years by politicians who can't afford to piss off their consituents.

    The 80% figure is the percentage of TV sets hooked up to cable or DBS in the USA and yes, the analog tuners will continue to work for the lower analog cable channels for some additional years. The remaining 20% are the urban rabbit ears folk and the rural antenna on the roof folk who haven't yet gone DBS. Both will need to buy a ~$50 or less DTV tuner that will feed analog RF (ch 3 or 4), composite or S-Video analog out. These tuners will receive the full range of SDTV DTV stations and downconverted versions of HDTV channels.
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    Originally Posted by wulf109
    Since all this "digital" equipment will be made in Asia,where's the economic impact? Won't create any new jobs at Best Buy,the idiots won't know anymore about gigital TV then they know about analog TV.
    The economic growth comes from the use of the VHF spectum for productive uses rather than current status only as "guard" channels between VHF TV stations. The entire FM Radio band uses only a fraction of the space of one TV channel.

    Would you argue that cell phones, 802.11 WiFi and wireless data links have produced no growth or jobs so far?
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  26. In Australia, very very few of our sets have digital tuners in them, it is all set top boxes. Interestingly enough the take up of digital has been so poor our mob have just extended the switch off for analogue to well into the next decade, switch of was due in 2008.
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    The 80% figure is the percentage of TV sets hooked up to cable or DBS in the USA and yes,
    I can also pull numbers out of my ass. I'd like to see where this stat came from.

    Originally Posted by edDV
    Both will need to buy a ~$50 or less DTV tuner
    No. Go read that article again. It states $100 ballpark, not $50 or less (which is still unreasonable). If the government wants to force these, they should subsidize them. I'll pay $10-15 each, that's it.

    Originally Posted by edDV
    Would you argue that cell phones, 802.11 WiFi and wireless data links have produced no growth or jobs so far?
    How does this fit in here? Did we shut off all land-based phone lines or quit using wires altogether, at the force of the government? Look around, the answer is "hell no".
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    Originally Posted by Epicurus8a
    It seems odd they would speed up the deadline on tuners. Afterall they're also talking extending the deadline on the shutdown of analog signals.

    Maybe they're hoping this tuner deadline will nulify the need to extend the broadcaster deadline.... Then they can shutdown the analog signals on time.
    Exactly. The current bill to make the switch has a failsafe in it that says it can be avoided by Congress if the number of such digital tuners in use is less than some amount. Its means to an end. They've got to get more tuners out there or the enactment may fail, though its implementation is inevitable at some time.

    lordsmurf: That 80% figure is conservative if anything. These statistics are well documented by the FCC as well as other boards. We had those same numbers 5 years ago too. Nothing suprising at all. The vast majority of people in America get their television broadcasting via cable.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf

    Originally Posted by edDV
    Both will need to buy a ~$50 or less DTV tuner
    No. Go read that article again. It states $100 ballpark, not $50 or less (which is still unreasonable). If the government wants to force these, they should subsidize them. I'll pay $10-15 each, that's it.
    I can't find the $100 figure but that probably refers to today's price increase to a store bought TV. I think this is the big ripoff since most people won't be using that DTV tuner and future external tuners will cost less than half that amount.

    Future tuners will come in two flavors. The tuner I described above is designed to work with conventional analog TV sets will be a dirt cheap K-Mart - Wal-Mart type item.

    The "HD Ready" DTV tuner will have all those features plus digital audio, wideband component analog and HDMI outputs in 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i and will sell for a few bucks more.

    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Originally Posted by edDV
    Would you argue that cell phones, 802.11 WiFi and wireless data links have produced no growth or jobs so far?
    How does this fit in here? Did we shut off all land-based phone lines or quit using wires altogether, at the force of the government? Look around, the answer is "hell no".
    The reason all this was done (discussions leading to the Telecommunications Act back in the 1990's) came from demands from the telecommunication and computer industries for more spectrum for data communication. Experiments with small unlicenced bands got us FMS radios, 802.11 WiFi, and numerous other wireless products. It's been a great success and has generated many jobs. Broadcast TV is just too big a bandwidth hog and needed to be kicked up frequency and "compressed" as far as channel spacing.

    TV transmitters are so powerful that they swamp the abiltiy of low power frequency neighbors to complete. TV had to go. Many other services will open up in the low VHF (Ch 2-6). FM radio, Aviation and Amateur radio currently occupy the space between Ch 6 and Ch7. The upper VHF band (Ch7-13) will be shared by some DTV stations and other services as allocated locally.

    This was a done deal long ago and we just need to live with it.

    AS far as DRM issues, you can thank the Congressional lackies that are in the pocket of Hollywood interests. They exist in both parties but are led by the big D California coalition. You can't talk sense to these people. They aren't allowed by their contolling funding interests to even discuss alternatives. They are totally owned by Hollywood.

    The only hope is a libertarian court ruling that supports fair use. Early appeals and supreme court rulings look like there is some reason to hope.
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