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Old 06-08-2012, 11:16 AM
 
54 posts, read 404,804 times
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I'm trying to decide if I should spend the $$ to get a portable, battery-powered tv for potential disasters (BIG ones... Terrorist strike, EMP, solar flare, statewide/nationwide elec. outage). Whenever the electricity has gone out in my home before, I think of turning on the tv to see what is going on? Is it just local, or national?
But don't channels like CNN or the Today show still get broadcast from your local city station? What I mean is, if the grid is down, let's say in L.A. but NOT New York, even if NY was broadcasting a show, if I lived in L.A. I wouldn't be able to see it because L.A. couldn't broadcast over the air signal. Is that right?
Making having a battery-powered tv useless?
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
6,934 posts, read 7,634,982 times
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We haven't watched TV in several years, so I may not be that well-informed. When they went to digital signals a few years back (when everybody had to get a new TV or a "box" to unscramble the signal?) my understanding was that you'd need a subscription to cable or a satellite dish to get anything at all, but some people claim they can still get small, local channels. My understnding was that nothing was transmitted over the "air" at all any more. I could be wrong.

We still have a small battery-operated Sony Watchman, and believe me, this thing is ancient. I was about to donate it when I decided to put some batteries in it and try it out. It still came "on" (God bless Sony!) but I couldn't tune anything in with it. I don't think it's broken. Maybe some companies now put out the same type of thing in a digital model (?). If it runs on batteries, it should turn "on" no matter what has happened, but whether you can tune in anything may depend on whether any stations are still operational. I recently got into ham radio, and as long as the receiver is operational (not fried via EMP), transmission and reception will continue, BUT that is radio, and each operator has his or her own "station".

Maybe you should look into ham radio for a real disaster, and forget about TV!
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Southern Califunny
27 posts, read 62,325 times
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You can get a digital box to unscramble the digital signal if you are using an antenna without a cable or satellite subscription.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:35 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 35,794,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeman View Post
I'm trying to decide if I should spend the $$ to get a portable, battery-powered tv for potential disasters (BIG ones... Terrorist strike, EMP, solar flare, statewide/nationwide elec. outage). Whenever the electricity has gone out in my home before, I think of turning on the tv to see what is going on? Is it just local, or national?
But don't channels like CNN or the Today show still get broadcast from your local city station? What I mean is, if the grid is down, let's say in L.A. but NOT New York, even if NY was broadcasting a show, if I lived in L.A. I wouldn't be able to see it because L.A. couldn't broadcast over the air signal. Is that right?
Making having a battery-powered tv useless?
Why a TV when radio and/or news apps from a smartphone will get you more info faster? In the case of a nationwide electrical outage due to EMP there won't be any TV being broadcast anyway. You may as well have a back-up generator to power certain circuits in your house than to buy a battery operated TV.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:10 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 19,091,191 times
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O.K., lets get some good information on this....

1. Digital TV signals ARE Over the air broadcast. You dont need satalite or cable or anything but a tv set capable of receiving digital versus anaolg signals. All new tvs are digital. If you have an older anaolg signal tv, a simple converter box sold at most electronic stores will convert the digital to anolog.

2. Most channels are now listed ina diferent format. So your old chanell 9 will now be channel 9.0 or 9.3 and in some areas, they broadcast several programs from that station so you may see 9.1 is the regular programming, 9.2 is all news, traffice, weather, and similar and maybe ebven a 9.5 that is local community channel. But basically because the digital lets more stuff be broadacst over the old analog system, they can do several programs in less space than the old signals could.

3. In an emergency, TV and radio stations are interconnected to provide broadcast information. so even if the local station was abandon, the antennas and transmiters can still functioning but under someone elses control located thousands of miles away.

4. In the event of a major emergency, cell service will be reduced or throttled back to voice or emergency information, thats why they warn you that in an emergency, those 4g and smartphoens could lose a lot of their capabilites except to make a phone call. Anyways, something most people forget is that cell systems are short distance services and as such, subject to major distruption as individual sites are disable, destroyed, looted, or plain old drop off.

5. There are modern emergency TV sets that work on DC with the ability to capture both digital and anolog signals over the air. Just remember that digital signals are subject to increase interference so a good antenna (besides that little built in one) is a good addtion. You can also find them with built in emergency broadcast monitoring, am/fm receivers and some even have other features but if for a mobile application, smaller is better.

Last edited by PacificFlights; 06-08-2012 at 03:26 PM..
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Cleverly concealed
887 posts, read 1,424,349 times
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Alternately, you could buy a digital tuner card/USB stick for a laptop computer.

But, digital over-the-air signals don't travel nearly as far, and you won't see "snow" when the signal deteriorates. You either have a good reception, or no reception at all. I live only six miles from the TV station (and tower) where I work, and the breeze from the air conditioner will destroy my reception.

In the event of a major power outage, TV stations will be running on generator power, and probably not broadcasting at full wattage anyway.

In regard to the original poster's question about programming:
-CNN is a cable-only network. So are FOX News Channel and MSNBC.
-NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, Univision, etc., depend on local over-the-air affiliates to broadcast their programs. In the event of an emergency, small or large, we will interrupt programming to provide necessary information.
-The networks also have multiple points around the nation where programming can originate, so an outage in New York may mean they switch to a studio in D.C. or L.A. and do news off-the-cuff.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:30 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,622,082 times
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If there was a major and wide-spread disaster, I think the television would be pretty much useless and so would cell phones be useless.

I think it might be best to have a shortwave radio and try to get signals from ham radio types who may still be able to communicate and where the news isn't as likely going to be filtered.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,688 posts, read 47,400,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Common Tator View Post
You can get a digital box to unscramble the digital signal if you are using an antenna without a cable or satellite subscription.
If the low-power TV transmitter still has power;
and if you live within the city and are within range of that low-power TV transmitter;
and if your TV has power.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:19 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 19,091,191 times
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Although TV m
will be impacted by a disater, it also may not. Infoemation in a SHTF scenerio is vital and since every means coud be destroyed or disabled, knowing what will and won;t work is a crap shoot, so why not have all the options available? I mean I hear everyone talking about the need to prepare and prepare hard, yrt so many of these same preachers have an awful lot of reasons not to be prepared. Me think we have a bunch of weekend survivalist on this forum.....
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,688 posts, read 47,400,766 times
Reputation: 17495
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
Although TV m
will be impacted by a disater, it also may not. Infoemation in a SHTF scenerio is vital and since every means coud be destroyed or disabled, knowing what will and won;t work is a crap shoot, so why not have all the options available? I mean I hear everyone talking about the need to prepare and prepare hard, yrt so many of these same preachers have an awful lot of reasons not to be prepared. Me think we have a bunch of weekend survivalist on this forum.....
Yes, there is always the possibility that when everything else is destroyed the TV stations will be left undamaged.

While everyone else is without power, the TV stations will have power.

While most homes have been left flattened, your TV will still function.

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