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Almost a Million UK Homes Will Suffer 4G TV interference

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the clear-the-channel dept.

Cellphones 166

First time accepted submitter Nick Fel writes "As the UK nears the end of a lengthy digital TV switch-over, the sale of the analogue TV spectrum for 4G mobile phones will disrupt digital TV in almost a million homes. Affected homes will be issued with a filter or required to upgrade to satellite or cable, and in extreme cases may be granted funding to find their own solution."

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166 comments

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"extreme cases" (1, Insightful)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133663)

extreme? a set top box costs the same as a DVD disc these days.

Re:"extreme cases" (4, Funny)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133671)

a dvd disc? from the atm machine?

Re:"extreme cases" (2)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133683)

Yes, which will prompt you for your PIN number of course.

OT: Redundancies (5, Funny)

Venner (59051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133725)

Just yesterday I actually had someone tell me to enter my "personal PIN number ID" for a university copying machine. That's enough to make one's head explode.

And I once had a wedding invitation that said "Please respond to RSVP promptly."

Re:OT: Redundancies (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39133911)

That is simply because a large portion of the population does not truly think about what they are saying and are simply regurgitating what they have heard.

I do love how if you correct someone, a lot of the time they will see it as an attack against them. Instead of taking it as what it really is, an attempt to help them not look like a fool when speaking.

I have a guy here at work who consistently uses a double negative in 80% of his speech. It is really annoying to hear him consistently butcher language like that and be completely oblivious to it.

Re:OT: Redundancies (4, Funny)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133973)

there's also a good chance they learnt long ago and are now doing it to annoy you personally.

i do that to some people, if i feel they need a good trollin'

Re:OT: Redundancies (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135211)

This site lacks the "like" function. So +1 Like from me.

Re:OT: Redundancies (5, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134811)

Yep. I always try to correct them when I can, keep them on the straightened arrow.

Re:OT: Redundancies (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134917)

simply - you might mean "naively", in that you're presenting what seems to be an obvious explanation but hasn't been subject to rigour;
large portion - large proportion. We're not discussing Soylent Green;
truly - common and completely unnecessary filler. Are we contrasting with people who falsely think?
simply - argh.

I do love how if you correct someone, a lot of the time they will see it as an attack against them. Instead of taking it as what it really is, an attempt to help them not look like a fool when speaking.

(1) You appear to have judged the speaker to "look like a fool" who doesn't "think about what they are saying". Unless you're a lot more careful with your language and demeanour when you speak to them - and your post suggests you lack any ability at subtlety, politeness or good language - then they are correct to observe an attack;

(2) Someone who routinely "corrects" people in this way seems like the fool to me, or at least in some way mentally or socially deficient. Perhaps they have some obsessive disorder which elevates minor inefficiencies in language to the status of causing pain, or perhaps they make up for their own inability to be creative and able in general by emphasising one particular narrow talent and impressing it on everyone else;

In the specific case, "Please respond to this RSVP promptly," the syntax and meaning are quite clear: "an RSVP" is used colloquially to refer to the present document requesting a response, so the request is to respond to the document promptly. The request could be made shorter, just as we could remove so much needless filler from your post, but the writer does not "look like a fool" for stating it.

(3) My concern that you are socially deficient is confirmed when you say that your words, despite causing distress to others, are "an attempt to help them". Advice, as Bierce wrote, is the smallest current coin. Saying what you think about some minor matter is in no way helpful if others do not want to hear it.

I have a guy here at work who consistently uses a double negative in 80% of his speech.

Does "consistently... in 80%" have some sort of meaning, or are you just trying to bolster your argument by sounding more specific than the extent of your observation warrants?

It is really annoying

Yeah, obsessive disorder.

to hear him consistently butcher language like that and be completely oblivious to it.

consistently consistently!

It might initially be confusing, but it's hardly "butchering" to do what is routine in many European languages. Perhaps the guy's non-native? If so, you'd do better in life to stop preaching and start learning and understanding others. If not, you'd still do better to follow this course. Recall Postel's maxim and recall that he got a lot further than you by following it.

Re:OT: Redundancies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39135003)

This. I wish I had mod point for parent AC

Re:OT: Redundancies (1)

expatriot (903070) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135321)

undoing mod. This should be up.

Re:OT: Redundancies (1, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135169)

There's an old story, almost certainly a complete fabrication.

---

A teacher is lecturing students thus: "In English, by convention a double negative is itsself a negative. For example, 'You're not going nowhere' would mean 'you're going somewhere.' In Russian, by contrast, a double negative makes a positive. That is, the expression 'you're not going nowhere' would mean 'you're not leaving.' It should be noted that in no language can two positives be taken to mean a negative."

A student then calls sarcastically from the back, "Yeah, right."

Re:OT: Redundancies (2)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134087)

Hey, for your FYI, that's how everyone seems to talk these days :)

Re:OT: Redundancies (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134267)

... which is probably less of a WTF because the P in "RSVP" doesn't stand for "promptly".

Re:OT: Redundancies (1)

grahamm (8844) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134663)

So the correct thing to say would the "RSVP promptly".

Re:OT: Redundancies (0)

grahamm (8844) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134653)

Just yesterday I actually had someone tell me to enter my "personal PIN number ID" for a university copying machine. That's enough to make one's head explode.

Which is not the actual PIN, but the PIN's ID - which in this case would probably be the student or staff number. (ie whatever it is that identifies which PIN is being requested).

Re:OT: Redundancies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134725)

OK, so you are asked to promptly respond to the Resource Reservation Protocol. Obviously you are a server. :-)

Re:OT: Redundancies (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135143)

Just yesterday I actually had someone tell me to enter my "personal PIN number ID" for a university copying machine. That's enough to make one's head explode.

That truly is golden. Like art.

Re:"extreme cases" (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133767)

And of course on the way you had to stop and fill up with LPG gas.

Re:"extreme cases" (1)

mcavic (2007672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133885)

We should all help stamp out and abolish redundancy and repetition.

Re:"extreme cases" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134595)

yes - because redundancy and repetition need stamping out and abolishing...

Re:"extreme cases" (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133715)

Exactly, the kind that has an LCD display and requires a PIN number before performing account functions.

Re:"extreme cases" (1)

Suferick (2438038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134583)

You do know that the D in LCD stands for 'Diode' not 'Display', don't you?

Re:"extreme cases" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134721)

No it doesn't. There's no such thing as a liquid crystal diode. You're thinking of LED.

Re:"extreme cases" (2)

alannon (54117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134727)

You should probably have checked that before posting... Are you confusing LCD with LED?

Re:"extreme cases" (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134877)

No, it doesn't [wikipedia.org] .

Re:"extreme cases" (1)

rich_hudds (1360617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135251)

No it doesn't, it stands for display

Re:"extreme cases" (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133963)

well, i see your point, but i said that to distinguish from DVD players, as a band-aid solution to my poor sentence composition.

i author DVDs for a living, so i'm allowed to be grammatically fast 'n loose with them i guess :)

Extreme means CABLE does not work (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133707)

extreme? a set top box costs the same as a DVD disc these days.

RTFA.

These are cases where "cable and satellite WILL NOT WORK." As in, you are right next to the tower which is overpowering incoming signals.

The 10k is to install a fiber-optic based solution to the residence.

Would that even work though? If the interference is that high just the run from the fiber box to the TV could pick up interference!

Not to mention, although I'm not one to care about evil WiFi rays passing through my body, living in a place with too much em to get a cable signal would give me pause.

Re:Extreme means CABLE does not work (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39133781)

The 10k is for residents who get interference but can not use cable or satellite. Lets say you live in a sparsely populated area next to a freeway the cable company may not service you and you may have trees that interfere with satellite. There's no way the interference will be enough to jam a wired connection.

Re:Extreme means CABLE does not work (5, Informative)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134229)

As far as I am aware the only "cable company" over here is Virgin Media, who only service a limited area of the country (apparently it's available to 65% of households), most of which is confined to cities (and often there are areas of those cities where it is unavailable too). (Map of coverage [broadbandanalyst.co.uk] ) It's not even available in every city; I'm pretty sure that its not available anywhere in Aberdeen, which is the 27th most populous city in the UK (population ~200k), and I doubt its alone. Being in a sparely populated area and next to a motorway (the closest thing we have to freeways) is certainly not the only reason for not having cable access.

Satellite coverage on the other hand is pretty much 100%, line-of-sight issues notwithstanding. Trees aren't the only issues though. If someone lives in rented accommodation they may not be allowed to put up a dish, and even if they own it they may not have a south-east-facing area to mount a dish.

Certainly, I doubt there will be (m)any households that can't get satellite signals because of the LTE transmission, since satellite is transmitted at ~10-12 GHz while LTE is transmitted at 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz in Europe. Sure, the signal sent through the coax cable is within that range at ~970 MHz - 2 GHz, but if the LTE is strong enough to interfere with the cabling, fibre-optic connections are available [wikipedia.org] and would likely be cheaper than getting fibre-optic cable TV installed in any of the non-covered areas.

Re:Extreme means CABLE does not work (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134303)

It's not hard to get around trees.

Furthermore, in quite a bit of the UK there is no real terrestrial coverage - much of the north of Scotland has no terrestrial digital and isn't ever likely to have it. We've used digital satellite for years, because even the analogue terrestrial service was extremely poor. I used to have two stacked 24-element industrial spec Yagis aimed at the nearest transmitter, with two signal boosters to drive the 300m of coax back to the house. It would probably have been cheaper to move the house 300m to where the signal was...

Re:Extreme means CABLE does not work (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135049)

I don't fully understand the issue. Looking at the article, it mentions something about overlap in the spectrum. Is it that some TV stations are so close to what 4G mobile devices will use that it will somehow cause interference? Isn't it better to avoid that overlap to begin with rather than potentially ruin it for some people?

I'd go as far as to say those people affected deserve to get free limited cable or satellite paid for by the spectrum holder. And for those without the choice, well, hopefully something will work out.

Re:Extreme means CABLE does not work (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135189)

Radio isn't quite as clean as it looks on the diagrams. There are no sharp transitions where one band ends and another begins. Electronics like to broadcast or receive at harmonics of the intended frequency, filters are not perfectly clean, and signals can mix in strange ways. The dirty reality of real-world engineering sometimes gets in the way of the nice clean chunks in which spectrum is allocated. Analog solved the problem by just putting in unused guard bands between channels. I'm not sure how digital fixes it.

Re:Extreme means CABLE does not work (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135221)

I'd go as far as to say those people affected deserve to get free limited cable or satellite paid for by the spectrum holder.

And that's exactly what's happening! TFA states that the spectrum holders will be obliged to pay for filters, satellite/cable, or other solutions (probably fibre), in that order, for those who are affected.

Re:Extreme means CABLE does not work (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133979)

they can just download the shows :)

Re:Extreme means CABLE does not work (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134415)

These are cases where "cable and satellite WILL NOT WORK." As in, you are right next to the tower which is overpowering incoming signals.

That isn't what it says at all. RTFA yourself.

Some areas can't get cable or satellite. They are not cabled up and don't have good enough satellite reception (particularly in the far north of the country). Quite what this alternative solution will be isn't clear because most places have terrible or non-existent broadband too. £10k isn't enough to get fibre laid to your door in a remote area.

Re:"extreme cases" (1)

jwijnands (2313022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133967)

Perhaps in your country, not in most of Europe.

Re:"extreme cases" (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134495)

You can get them for £20 from a supermarket. Okay - pretty expensive for a DVD but we're not talking major investment here.

Re:"extreme cases" (2, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134283)

A set top box costs about the same as a DVD *player*, which frequently costs less than the discs you put in it.

My local Tesco has STBs and DVD players for about £15 each. They're crap but they work. If you *really* want to throw money at the problem you can get a dual-tuner DVR with DVD and 320GB hard disk for about 50 quid.

Re:"extreme cases" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134511)

I'm guessing this is for people living within 10 feet of the 4G mast in rural areas where the signal swamps the digital TV signal so a set top box isn't an option and where they're not in a area where they can receive cable. Can't see them not being able to go the satellite route, but if it's their only option then perhaps it's fair that their subscription gets subsidised by the 4G mast owners.

Gee, I wonder why there'd be interference? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39133687)

"The LTE [Long Term Evolution] spectrum, particularly on 800Mhz, overlaps part of the DTT spectrum," he said.

Really? (4, Insightful)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133697)

From TFA: 'Homes that cannot receive these alternative platforms will receive up to £10,000 each to "find a solution".'

Really? £10,000? Is television so critical that people will die without it? At today's exchange rates, that USD $15,760. Wow.

Re:Really? (4, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133739)

Keep in mind that A) British people pay for their broadcast TV, so the government will presumably recoup this expense, and B) British people seem to really love their TV, from how much they're willing to invest in making it good.

Re:Really? (5, Informative)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133757)

The government isn't paying for this stuff, it is being paid for by the mobile phone companies.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133825)

The government isn't paying for this stuff, it is being paid for by the mobile phone companies.

True, the money is dues to be sourced from the winning bid for the 4G licenses, but the money is flowing into the Government coffers and being redirected into this effort. It is therefore money unavailable for other, more worthy, projects.

My solution: the Government should tell TV Licensing to refund the license fee payments to those affected and tell the individuals to listen to the radio if they desperately need stale news reports on the hour.

Meanwhile, funnel that money into Internet access projects for rural areas.

Re:Really? (2)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134083)

Even if you are in such an area where you are unable to receive tv, im sure you will still get tv licensing hassling you constantly for not having a license...

Re:Really? (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134223)

Oh yes.

I quote

"Poor television reception

Your TV Licence does not guarantee the quality of picture you receive."

Re:Really? (2)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134521)

Of course not, it's a licence to own and operate equipment capable of receiving television broadcasts, not a guarantee of service. In a similar (but otherwise unrelated) vein, a train ticket guarantees you carriage (unless you miss the train, of course) but doesn't guarantee you a seat.

I have a friend who doesn't even own a TV, she is occasionally hassled by TV Licensing. I understand it's annoying, but given that you need a licence to own a TV, and the number of people who don't own a TV is vanishingly small compared to the number that do, and is also almost certainly dwarfed by the number that do but don't have a licence, it's understandable they may be sceptical.

Re:Really? (1)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134621)

I used to be in the same situation. Never had much use for a TV on my own. But after a while the problem was gone because the government said: "hey, if the number of ppl who don't own a tv is so small as to be negligible compared to people who do, why not just remove all the administrative nonsense and just increase tax by 1 euro per year?". So they increased the taxes slightly, and the whole licensing thing went away. And since the administrative overhead went away as well, it was a pretty nice way to save almost everyone some money.

Re:Really? (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134985)

I'd rather not have the government deciding on a whim to cut BBC funding from general taxation, perhaps to punish it for attacking the government (see Hutton inquiry). The present system, where funding levels are decided 5 or 10 years in advance and cannot be changed by the government, works very well. Though I accept that in about four years' time when the Royal Charter is up for renewal again - and the funding for future years will be set - the chance of the licence fee continuing are very slim.

I often hear that British TV is the best in the world and if that's the case it's entirely down to the BBC's system of funding which relieves it from commercial and political pressures and allows them to experiment with programmes that might not be a success. Also the BBC's creative freedom has forced the commercial operators to up their game and consider similar risks. Non-Brits might find the licence fee a crazy system but it works. For British TV to fall into the commercial profit-driven LCD style of other countries would be the biggest cultural disaster to hit this country.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39135419)

I'd rather the BBC was a subscription service like Sky. Then I could choose not to pa, or receive, their shite blend of middle class dross sitcoms and piss poor propoganda "news".

There's no goverment mandate forcing me to buy Heinz beans (whether I eat them or not) so why should I be taxed to receive something I DO NOT WANT.

.

Re:Really? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135035)

...given that you need a licence to own a TV...

Not entirely correct - you need a license to watch or record TV in real time as it is being broadcast. A subtle distinction, but it means that the fact my Xbox display happens to have a tuner doesn't leave me liable for one (it's not even plugged into an aerial), whereas watching a live stream from iPlayer (if you really couldn't wait an hour until it's posted as a recording) on your laptop would require you to pay.

As I mentioned further down, they weren't even particularly sceptical when I called - I get the impression it's becoming more and more common to stick with streaming media specifically to avoid the fee. To be honest I can see the law changing in some manner to include all iPlayer use in the not too distant future; I'm getting almost the full benefit of the BBC services, legally, without paying - I imagine that can't last, and realistically I don't think I'd even be that upset if it did change. I like the BBC.

Re:Really? (1)

desertfool (21262) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135367)

I wish we could get the real BBC channels here in the States. BBC America runs too many re-runs of Star Trek NG and old American TV shows. Every once in a while they run some of the good British stuff. Heck, I would even pay a little more to get the BBC Channels.

Re:Really? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135373)

I wasn't aware that you didn't need to pay for a license for streaming. I don't have a TV; but I did get a license for iplayer. To be honest, I don't begrudge them a penny. Iplayer is great I wish they had more old content on line to watch. I'll pay next year.

Re:Really? (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134543)

If the signal is so poor that you cannot actually receive anything of substance, you don't have to pay. When I bought a TV, the vendor notified TV Licensing that my household was getting a TV. Subsequently they sent letter after letter saying to pay up, but there was no way for me to tell them "I cannot get TV signal", so they finally sent a guy round. He just looked at the static, wrote on his clipboard and left. That was 2 years ago, haven't heard from them since.

Re:Really? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134491)

Alternatively, could I purchase a house in one of these areas and not have a TV license for a valid reason? I haven't watched TV for some years now; If I had a TV, it would be for a media centre PC or games console. As it is, I just have a big PC monitor for DVDs etc :)

Re:Really? (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134949)

Yes, you can make the case that you don't use / have an aerial and so can't recieve TV on your television. Have fun convincing them of this fact tho.

Oh and you'd then legally be obliged not to watch any live TV via other devices (xbox, ps3, iplayer etc - though I don't actually recall ever seeing live tv on any of these devices.)

Re:Really? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134993)

I really don't see the issue people have with this - maybe I was lucky, and it certainly felt a little bit big-brotherish when I got a letter out of the blue saying "We see you've just bought a new TV, now you need a license." but it took all of ten minutes to call and explain that it was just for gaming/internet streaming, and that was that.

Re:Really? (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134997)

If you don't watch TV as it is broadcast then you don't have to pay the licence fee no matter where you live. Yes this covers iplayer, as long as the viewing is not at the same time as the TV broadcast. Morally it might be wrong to consume BBC services without paying but legally one is able to. Detune your TV and ask them to visit your home.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134193)

Meanwhile, funnel that money into Internet access projects for rural areas.

As usual, the /. summary doesn't give the real picture.

From TFA:

In these cases, expected to be in rural areas, up to 310,000 per household will be provided to fund alternative solutions to receiving television - such as having fibre cabling installed.

Not sure why you can't have Internet and TV going over your "fibre cabling", but maybe it's a cheap form of "fibre cabling" that filters propaganda.

Re:Really? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134313)

It's not being sourced from the winning bid, it's a requirement that the winning bidder cover the costs over and above their winning bid - no government money is being diverted.

Re:Really? (1)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134423)

While I'm not sure I agree about it being government money, your comment about internet access opens another option beyond the standard DVB systems - the internet. We already have BBC iPlayer, ITV/UTV/STV player, 4oD and demand Five, as well as services such as tvcatchup.com [tvcatchup.com] (more info here [wikipedia.org] ), so upgrading users' internet (and possibly proving a low-end HTPC for access) may well be the most financially viable solution.

Re:Really? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134771)

Meanwhile, funnel that money into Internet access projects for rural areas.

Well, the alternatives listed are cable, satellite and fiber - at least two out of those three always means Internet access these days so in practice it would be.

Re:Really? (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134765)

The government doesn't get to see any of the TV licencing money; the BBC isn't government funded, it's publically funded.

Re:Really? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135045)

I think the issue's more straightforward even than that. The government is allowing phone companies to bid on new spectrum, it's going to be a transaction worth billions; one of the caveats is that if people have their TV signals fucked up, through no fault of their own, then some of that money can damn well go to fixing it. Seems entirely reasonable to me.

£10k is just the edge case upper limit to ensure that they don't get roped into running undersea fibre to some remote island in the Hebrides or anything like that.

Re:Really? (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133741)

Really? £10,000? Is television so critical that people will die without it? At today's exchange rates, that USD $15,760. Wow.

Well, these people had something, and then will lose it due to no fault of thiers. Assuming you're in the US, how much do you think a class-action lawsuit would have netted against the companies that are bringing out 4G? Upto 10,000 (maybe the average would be a lot less) may seem a bit too much, but they're getting this without going for a lawsuit. A normal, not class-action, lawsuit could have netted more.

Re:Really? (2)

Poltron Inconnu (985067) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133745)

I believe in the UK they pay an annual license fee to watch tv broadcasts. So even though it's not 'critical', they'd better make sure they're providing the service. And if they've done something to disrupt that service themselves, they need to go to extreme lengths to fix it where needed. Oh, and television serves as an emergency notification system. So yes, some people might die without it.

Re:Really? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134463)

I think this idea of TV as an emergency notification system is quite ridiculous; after all, who leaves their TV on at all hours just in case there's an emergency? If someone only has their TV on for an hour or two per day, the likelihood of them seeing the emergency broadcast is rather low. Maybe they should just use cellular text messaging to distribute emergency broadcasts; at least that way almost everyone will actually get them (everyone who has a cellphone at least, which is most of the population these days), and will probably see them fairly quickly.

Re:Really? (2)

Poltron Inconnu (985067) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134569)

More methods of emergency notification are likely to the good. Cell texting of emergency notices is good and my girlfriend's college does just that. However, claiming that TV is a ridiculous notification system because people turn it off is, well, a bit ridiculous. Aside from there being many people who do have their TV on for long periods of time either actively watching or for background noise, many people will turn to TV to find out how serious a situation is. My mother still calls me from several states over to tell me there is bad weather in my area so turn on the TV to find out if I need to take precautions. New ideas are good, but I don't think it serves the good to dismiss what's in place and known.

Re:Really? (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134959)

Because people turn their phones off?

Oh wait, that was your arguement against TV.

More people have TV's than Phones?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39133797)

I must be officially an old-timer... does no one remember Max Headroom? 20 minutes into the future, where everyone had TVs given to them by the state (corps, no difference) as a basic right? And off-switches were punishable by 20 years?

Re:Really? (2)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134173)

Britons are required by law to pay a "TV licence" every year, which is about $100, IIRC.
 
In the states, FCC law overrides homeowner's association ironclad rules about mounting TV antennas on your roof. I suspect for most people the cost reimbursement would be around $200 for a single household, while high rise condominiums might be eligible for $10,000 to refit the entire building. Many buildings in London are three story residences, so you could be looking at $600-1200 to service a building that has three units.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134215)

It's closer to $200 and is only required for watching broadcast programmes.

Re:Really? (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134243)

It's more like $230. Worth it though IMHO.

Re:Really? (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134961)

For the person living in said rented apartment currently the cost of refund might be that yes.

But try renting out a flat with no TV reception and suddenly you looking at a loss of earnings for the next 5-10-30 years while they "update the technology".

Re:Really? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134439)

Seems reasonable. If companies want 4G spectrum and it is going to cause problems for people then they should fix those problems. 10k isn't much to them, keep in mind they are paying billions for the spectrum alone and will then have to invest in equipment and infrastructure.

We have the concept of restorative justice in the UK. You break something, you pay to fix it.

Re:Really? (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134627)

From TFA: 'Homes that cannot receive these alternative platforms will receive up to £10,000 each to "find a solution".'

Really? £10,000? Is television so critical that people will die without it? At today's exchange rates, that USD $15,760. Wow.

The Government is looking to make a metric shedload of money by auctioning off what used to be the analog TV frequencies. Of course they should take steps to ensure that nobody loses out as a result. People have recently paid for DTT boxes and, sometimes, arial upgrades as part of the digital switchover (and theyve had up to a decade to do that) - so this new 4g interference is really a bit of a cockup, and the government has to sweeten it..

These £10k cases are houses that will lose terrestrial digital TV and for whatever reason, cant simply sign up to cable or satellite. Its likely that the money from several affected houses will be pooled in order to run new cable to the community or build a relay transmitter - I doubt many households will be getting a £10k windfall. Most will be getting a few bucks worth of filter.

Re:Really? (3, Interesting)

sqldr (838964) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134925)

A couple of years ago they built the Canary Wharf Tower in London. Out of Aluminium. I was one of the people in a straight line from the transmitter through the tower who one day couldn't pick up jack squat. No cable in the area either. And the majority of building associations responsible for the flats in the area wouldn't give permission for anyone in the blocks to set up satellite dishes.

The court case went on for years. The BBC built a repeater which didn't work. Everyone lost a lot of money.

In fact, I've moved to a different area and had years of uninterrupted TV until they built the fucking Shard tower and it's happened again. Now I just watch iplayer.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134975)

TV is also an essential service for weather and disaster related information.

Re:Really? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135205)

Apparently so. Both the US and UK governments have spent a lot of money making sure that people can still watch TV, both through advertising and by directly distributing converter boxes or subsidising new TVs. Perhaps they have realised how truely essential television is to modern society: Not only does it keep the people pacified, but it also delivers the advertising that feeds the spending that sustains the economy. If TV were to disappear, we might very well see a second great depression follow.

DYING for entertainment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39133727)

"I had a manager once say to me, â You know youâ(TM)re worth more money dead than alive.â(TM)"

        http://vigilantcitizen.com/musicbusiness/whitney-houston-and-the-2012-grammy-awards-mega-ritual/ [vigilantcitizen.com]
        This reminds me of a surreal scene in the movie, Tropic Thunder.

        In the scene, Ben Stiller's character, Tugg Speedman, was captured by thugs and residing inside the, "Flaming Dragon Compound".

        Meanwhile, Tom Cruise's character, Les Grossman, was discussing the missing celeb, Tugg, and the topic shifted to Tugg being worth more dead than alive, and pitches a deal to Tugg's manager, while doing a dance to some wild music. The look in Cruise's eyes, the expressions on his face, coupled with his wild dancing when talking of this, "deal" was scary, almost like a deal with the devil moment.

        Here is the particular scene:

        Les Grossman: Speedman is a dying star. A white dwarf headed for a black hole. That's physics. It's inevitable.
        Studio Executive Rob Slolom: We've been handed an incredible opportunity here, Peck.
        Les Grossman: The universe... is talking to us right now. You just gotta listen.
        [turns on Flo Rider's "Low" and begins to dance to the beat]
        Les Grossman: See, this is the good part, Pecker. This is when the job gets fun! Ask... and you shall receive!
        Studio Executive Rob Slolom: [dancing along] Right...
        Les Grossman: You play ball... we play ball. I knoowwww... you want the goodies!
        Studio Executive Rob Slolom: Welcome to the goodie room!
        Les Grossman: You paying attention? I'm talking... G5, Pecker! That's how you can roll. No more frequent flyer bitch miles for my boy! Oh yeah! Playa... playa! Big dick playa!
        Studio Executive Rob Slolom: Swinging past ya knees!
        Les Grossman: Big dick, baby!
        Studio Executive Rob Slolom: Yep.
        Les Grossman: [turns off the music] Or... you can grow a conscience in the next five minutes and see where that takes you.
        Rick Peck: Let me get this straight. You want me to let my client of 15 years, one of my best friends, die in the jungle alone, for some money and a G5?
        Les Grossman: Yes.
        Rick Peck: [pause] A G5 airplane?
        Les Grossman: [whispering] Yes... and lots of money... playaaaa!
        [turns on the music and dances again]

        -- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0942385/quotes [imdb.com]

        Maybe Randy Quaid is not far off after all, when he mentioned, "Star Wackers", Google it and him for the details.

        I found the Growing Pains star, Josh Andrew Koenig's, aka "Boner", suicide very strange as well, if it really was a suicide.

        Apart from celeb deaths, Google the mysterious case of Rebecca Nalepa, and how the media started to dig into the mysterious death (Dr. Phil even got involved) until a story about Natalie Wood's mysterious death came out of nowhere (great timing, Illuminati, you scum bags!) and pushed Rebecca's story out of the way and finally Wood's news dropped off the radar and of course, Rebecca's death vanished.

        If you examine the patterns in national/world news, you begin to notice trends, stories which "they" want buried become buried by distraction, usually related stories they dig up from the past but they have many methods of buring unfavorable stories.

        When the world is dominated by secretive intelligence agencies, when they've bragged time and time again about owning all of the media in their country, when content is tightly controlled and dissenters suddenly go mute or disappear, how can we have any faith in celebs being any more than carefully managed pawns/drones with dope piled on by an operative in their life to corrupt them.

Re:DYING for entertainment (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133753)

Toynbee Idea
In Movie 2001
Resurrect Dead
On Planet Jupiter

Re:DYING for entertainment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134449)

Toynbee Idea

In Movie 2001

Resurrect Dead

On Planet Jupiter

Burma Shave?

Re:DYING for entertainment (1)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134635)

If I were you, I wouldn't stop taking my meds before posting on slashdot.

imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134009)

The Suffering!

The Southeast Suffers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134139)

It's a non-issue for a lot of the UK: Wales, for example, has long since switched over. From memory, London is the last area to be switched from analogue to digital. It's also likely to be the target of early 4G upstarts.

Re:The Southeast Suffers (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134489)

It's a non-issue for a lot of the UK: Wales, for example, has long since switched over. From memory, London is the last area to be switched from analogue to digital. It's also likely to be the target of early 4G upstarts.

No this is talking about interference to the digital service when the analogue bands are re-used.

Spectrum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39134177)

We've found better uses for finite spectrum. Pumping TV around is best done with wires. Mobile users can't suffer wires. Get your TV on the Internet and piss off.

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The One Show (1)

stx23 (14942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134297)

10 k will buy an awful lot of iPads running iPlayer, SkyPlayer and See-Saw or whatever the TV over Internet UK initiaitve became.

Re:The One Show (3, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134559)

The people who are in line to get the 10k will also have non-existent broadband ..

These are people who live in an area with no cable, bad satellite coverage, and bad analog TV coverage

Re:The One Show (1)

stx23 (14942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134611)

They will have good mobile reception though, surely? I can watch HD TV on my phone & tablet over HSPA.

Re:The One Show (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134969)

I don't know if your trolling, but your ignorance is amusing.

You think that mobile signals will need less bandwidth than a static TV signal? Ok they are totally different frequencies currently, but the idea that a one way transmission of a image can use more bandwidth than a 2 way transmission by a mobile device is laughable.

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Just like the US with HDTV (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134723)

The fact of the matter is, they just don't want to provide you with free television anymore. In the U.S., we "upgraded" to digital television that almost no one can get a usable signal on. Do you really think corporations are going to stand by and tolerate the government giving you a free service that they have to compete with? Of course not. I think useable free television signals will become increasingly rare across the world.

Re:Just like the US with HDTV (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134797)

The majority of the UK has had access to free OTA digital TV for quite a few years now via Freeview with the Freesat option for those who already have a satellite dish on their house and the coverage has generally been getting better over time, rather than worse.

i am glad this does not concern me (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134809)

I don't have a 4G phone.

Or a TV.

Re:i am glad this does not concern me (1)

Elky Elk (1179921) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135499)

Thanks for sharing that, important to know.

4G? (1)

craigtp (1356527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134883)

Whoa, slow down there!

Never mind rolling out a 4G network, a lot of the cellular/mobile networks in the UK can't even provide a decent 3G service!

I'm with O2 [o2.co.uk] , and in a built-up populous city and at least 50% of the time I find that I have an incredibly poor 3G signal. This figure doubles when I go indoors.

Let's try and make the 3G signal better first before we start jumping onto the "next big thing". Or if 4G really is the saviour of 3G's ills, let's get rid of 3G and have the networks provide all us consumers with free upgrades to 4G!
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