Oct 7, 2004, 8:25 PM
Post #2 of 7
I would love your comments about HDTV here in Mexico.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to wait. There are still issues with HDTV in general that have to be worked out before I see myself diving in, and only once those are sorted out do I then consider those issues specific to Mexico (getting content.)
I'll just do a dump here of all my concerns, and maybe you or others can shoot them down or otherwise comment.
First, I don't want to get a HDTV television. I have a perfectly good 21" CRT computer monitor which can display in excess of 1920x1080. I watch DVD's on my computer using this monitor and I love it! The problem however is that it appears that I can only display over-the-air HD channels on my computer monitor; the only two vendors I know of who manufacture the cards necessary to view HD content on a computer monitor are Hauppauge and ATi, and both accept only broadcast signals (i.e., Channel 2, Channel 5, etc.) This won't cut it in Mazatlán; I don't see them broadcasting HD here for some time to come, and even then, it won't be programming I'd be interested in.
So I have to wait for somebody to manufacture a tuner card that fits inside my PC and that let's me display programming from satellite on my computer monitor (an important distinction, there are any number of cards that will let you view HD content through your computer on an external HDTV display.)
Ideally, the tuner card would accept and adhere to the HDMI standard. So assuming that some day somebody builds one of these things, then I have to find content.
Now, something else I should mention is that I live in an apartment, and while I have a pretty good view of the southern sky, I only have a small balcony, so C-BAND is out of the question (which is a shame cause I once had a C-BAND system and I loved it, but this was back in the days of the wild feed.) I'm assuming that C-BAND will require I have at least a 3-meter dish. It just won't fit, and while my landlord is a genuine prince, I don't want to impose upon him and inquire on having it mounted on the roof or anything like that (I still have to hit him up on the whole "Hey, let's ground these outlets!" question.)
So, from my understanding, I'm stuck with the little dish systems, which I read as meaning I have two choices: DirecTV or Dish. I know the American versions of these are illegal in Mexico. What that really means, I don't know. I don't see Mexico caring about this. So what would I have to worry about? The FCC crossing the border to raid my home? I don't know, the way things are going in America, maybe that's a legitimate concern.
I understand there's a DirecTV marketed for Mexico that is legal, but I remember purusing the channel listing and not being terribly impressed. I don't recall exactly, but my impression was that the HDTV offerings, if existant, were very limited. Besides, if I were going to go with DirecTV for the purpose of receiving HDTV content, I'd definitely want the HD Tivo that DirecTV is offering, and that's only available in America.
I have a NOB address I could bill to and I have the always-on Internet connection that would satisy TiVO/DirecTV's penchant for calling home, but my NOB address is a PMB (personal mailbox) and I've discovered that companies now know when you're entering in an address that's a PMB and will reject it if they so decide to. And of course it's pretty obvious that they get to know from where I'm connecting to the Internet, as the advertisements in Spanish I get when viewing web pages on Yahoo will attest.
So basically, my getting HDTV here in Mexico entails me spending lots of money on technology that any of a dozen bureaucrats NOB can render moot at any given time by belatedly observing that I'm here in Mexico watching American TV and therefore deprive me of content.
Which is a shame. I'd really love to be able to do this. There are just too many WHAT IF'S at this point.
It's their loss too. When I had C-BAND I bought the entire channel lineup to the tune of close to a hundred a month as I recall, so they're missing out on a good customer.
To boldly go where no wig has gone before.