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Cellphones Communications Television United Kingdom Entertainment

Almost a Million UK Homes Will Suffer 4G TV interference 166

Posted by samzenpus
from the clear-the-channel dept.
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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Almost a Million UK Homes Will Suffer 4G TV interference

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  • "extreme cases" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mug funky (910186)

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

    • by jaymz666 (34050) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @01:39AM (#39133671)

      a dvd disc? from the atm machine?

      • by kimvette (919543)

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

        • by Venner (59051) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @01:49AM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            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 lik

            • by mug funky (910186) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @02:46AM (#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'

              • This site lacks the "like" function. So +1 Like from me.
                • by mcgrew (92797) *

                  Only moderators get a "like" button. They also get a "fiuck you" button. I think any site with a "like" button should follow slashdot's lead and have a "fuck you" button as well!

            • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @06:02AM (#39134811) Homepage

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

              • by Venner (59051)

                I think Terry Pratchett noted that shifting a single letter changes this sentence, but does not terribly change the meaning:

                Straight as an arrow
                Straight as a narrow

                Fun.

            • Re:OT: Redundancies (Score:4, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 23, 2012 @06:36AM (#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.

              • by expatriot (903070)

                undoing mod. This should be up.

              • by operagost (62405)

                simply - you might mean "naively", in that you're presenting what seems to be an obvious explanation but hasn't been subject to rigour;

                "That is naively because a large portion of the population does not truly think about what they are saying and are simply regurgitating what they have heard." Does that make sense to you?

                large portion - large proportion. We're not discussing Soylent Green;

                Considering that the first definition for "portion" in most dictionaries is "a part of a whole", not your narrow def

              • by dave420 (699308)
                Anyone misusing "RSVP" so badly is a muppet.
            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by SuricouRaven (1897204)
              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 sar
            • 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.

              That's because humans learn language by "regurgitating what they have heard". It's all imitation of convention-- using a set of noises which tones which indicate some intention. Most of the time, you yourself are not truly thinking about what you are saying.

          • by Pikoro (844299)

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

          • by Gordonjcp (186804)

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

            • by grahamm (8844)

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

              • by Dark$ide (732508)

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

                It's probably more correct to stick to French and use "RSVP rapidement" (Respondez S'il Vous Plait rapidement).

          • 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.

          • by oodaloop (1229816)
            And the La Brea Tar Pits.
          • by jc42 (318812)

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

            Except that RSVP is different from the other examples in one important way: It's an abbreviation of a French phrase, not an English phrase. So to people who don't speak or read French (which is the overwhelming majority of the world's people), it's just an acronym for a nonsensical phrase, and its individual letters don't stand for anything at all.

            But it's fun to mock the ignorant, especially those so ignorant as to not understand French, so please proceed ...

        • by exomondo (1725132)
          And of course on the way you had to stop and fill up with LPG gas.
      • by mug funky (910186)

        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? 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 pla

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 23, 2012 @02:02AM (#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.

        • by Alphathon (1634555) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @03:45AM (#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.

        • by Gordonjcp (186804)

          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

          • I'm guessing, despite the lack of OTA TV service, the UK still requires folks in those areas to pay the TV licensing fee.
            • by spiralx (97066) *

              Well if they're watching TV, then yes.

            • by Gordonjcp (186804)

              Of course you have OTA TV service; you just use satellite instead.

              The other great thing about satellite is that the dishes are small and usually mounted relatively low down and close to a wall. This means they are far less susceptible to high winds than a big dangly Yagi stuck up on a tall pole.

            • by Dark$ide (732508)

              I'm guessing, despite the lack of OTA TV service, the UK still requires folks in those areas to pay the TV licensing fee.

              It doesn't matter how you receive your broadcast signal if you have "broadcast receiving equipment" you are required to pay the licence fee aka "BBC Tax".

        • 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 someth

          • 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
          • by MoonBuggy (611105)

            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.

      • by mug funky (910186)

        they can just download the shows :)

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ultranova (717540)

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

        Wouldn't it be a lot cheaper to just give them a Royal exemption from copyright law and let them get the shows from Pirate Bay?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gordonjcp (186804)

      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.

    • by Dark$ide (732508)

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

      And how does that solve the problem?

      We don't have nationwide cable TV. In my town (100,000 folks live here) the northern half of the town has cable, the southern half (where I live) doesn't, my POTS circuit is aluminium cable from the BT distribution cabinet (it's now using fibre to the cabinet). We're still relying on ground based DVB-T signals to get the free-to-air public service broadcasting TV. If we choose to pay our hard earned to Rupert Murdoch's sleazy SKY/Fox/News International empire we can h

  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by philip.paradis (2580427) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @01:43AM (#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? (Score:5, Informative)

      by SydShamino (547793) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @01:53AM (#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? (Score:5, Informative)

        by jrmcferren (935335) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (nerrefcm.eibbor)> on Thursday February 23, 2012 @01:56AM (#39133757) Journal

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

        • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @02:15AM (#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.

          • by Bert64 (520050)

            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...

            • by Inda (580031)
              Oh yes.

              I quote

              "Poor television reception

              Your TV Licence does not guarantee the quality of picture you receive."
              • by Tim C (15259)
                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
                • by St.Creed (853824)

                  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

                  • 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
                • by MoonBuggy (611105)

                  ...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

                  • by desertfool (21262)

                    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.

                  • 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.
              • 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.
            • 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 :)
              • by djsmiley (752149)

                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.)

                • by MoonBuggy (611105)

                  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.

                • My understanding is that iPlayer doesn't stream live content for precisely this reason. If they did, anyone who watched it would require a TV License which they have no reliable way of enforcing.

                  Personally I think the License Fees days are number, maybe not the next review, prehaps the one after that, because the number of ways of accessing the data is expanding so much that it becomes impossible to police.

                  I was really surprised how easy it was when I canceled my license so I guess licenseless homes are b
                  • iPlayer does stream live content. Pick a channel on the left hand side at http://bbc.co.uk/iplayer [bbc.co.uk] and you'll see the very top of the list is marked "Watch Live". You need a TV license to watch live streamed TV via iPlayer as stated at http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/help/playing_tv_progs/tvlicence [bbc.co.uk].

                    I don't watch live shows on iPlayer; I only every use it because the shows I want to watch are on at inconvenient times.
                    • Ah, that wasn't the case when I last looked into it.

                      When I dumped the TV, I figured the few shows that I might miss I could watch on the various catch up services but in fact, once I stopped watching on TV I lost interest in those shows and haven't missed any of the shows.
                  • by tlhIngan (30335)

                    Personally I think the License Fees days are number, maybe not the next review, prehaps the one after that, because the number of ways of accessing the data is expanding so much that it becomes impossible to police.

                    I was really surprised how easy it was when I canceled my license so I guess licenseless homes are becoming more common. Although I did cancel when the Analogue signal in my area was turned off so maybe they were just expecting a lot of cancellations at that time.

                    I'm under the understanding that

              • 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.
          • 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.

          • 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.
          • by Kjella (173770)

            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.

      • by Spad (470073)

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

      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        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 any

    • 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.

    • 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.
      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        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 th

        • 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
        • by djsmiley (752149)

          Because people turn their phones off?

          Oh wait, that was your arguement against TV.

          More people have TV's than Phones?

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            I don't know about you, but I almost never turn my phone off (airplanes and theaters usually, and I turn it back on immediately afterwards). But I don't spend much time watching TV and can go several days without turning it on.

            As for more people having TVs than phones, I call bullshit on that one. Cellphones are so popular now that landlines are threatened with extinction, and more and more people are doing their TV-watching either on the internet (Netflix, Hulu) or just using their DVR, which doesn't sho

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      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

      • It's more like $230. Worth it though IMHO.
      • by djsmiley (752149)

        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".

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      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.

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      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 dig

    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sqldr (838964) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @06:38AM (#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.

    • 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.
  • 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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @04:54AM (#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

  • 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.

    • by Spad (470073)

      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.

    • Ah!, so that's why ATSC was designed that way, to kill indoor and mobile reception and force everyone invest in a fixed installation...

      However you are mistaken with the "increasingly rare across the world" part. You see, very few countries were foolish enough to adopt the American digital standard, and while the European DVB system is not perfect, it does allow for mobile reception and some indoor.

      The Japanese system (enhanced in Brazil) is becoming increasingly popular in 3rd world nations. The whole of So

  • I don't have a 4G phone.

    Or a TV.

  • Oh the humanity!

  • ... and in extreme cases may be granted funding to find their own solution.

    The obvious solution is to download the TV shows you want to watch using 4G and the Internet. When the phone company complains, you tell them that your lawyer thinks you'd have a good case against them, since they're the ones who bought up the spectrum and are broadcasting signals to "jam" their TV reception.

    It might be fun to watch this play out. I wonder how well class actions against such "jamming" would work in the UK.

    Of course, in the long run, broadcast TV is dead, and will eventually be moved

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