Craig Birkmaier wrote: > To compete effectively with cable, broadcasters will > need to: > > 1. Pool ALL of their spectrum and develop the > marketing, customer service and billing infrastructure > to compete; Depending on the details, that might be *an* approach. But it could create another local monopoly, as we have discussed many times. One of the big advantages of OTA TV and radio in the US is that there is no local monopoly to which the customers must tether themselves. With your idea, possibly, OTA could become another one of these somewhat anti-competitive services. Depends on the details. BTW, that pooling could be done very easily already. E.g. UPN and WB *could* have pooled their OTA infrastructure, with DTT, without having to give up their separate programs. Even HD can fit two streams in one channel, if 24p. The CW net seems to have created only one program lineup out of the two (UPN and WB), but they could have done this otherwise. Production costs must have been too high for the ad revenues they generated. > 2. Use the spectrum they have much more efficiently > - aka single frequency networks that allow improved > spectrum re-use in adjacent markets; The word "efficiently" means you expect the infrastructure to be "optimized." But it has been. Maybe not the way you would do it, but optimized regardless. It all depends how you define the optimization problem. In the US, the optimization problem is defined something like this: Minimize the number of transmitting towers required Subject to: 1. Cover the market area with at least X signal density 2. Create no more than X signal density in any location (safety) 3. Each broadcaster gets his own transmitter(s) and 6 MHz channel in every market 4. Towers must be located in approved locations only 5. Towers must be safe, structurally sound, etc. (In Europe, it's much the same, except that the #2 safety constraint might be a lot more stringent in certain countries, resulting in much greater density of towers overall. And, simultaneously, European DTT makes do with a smaller number of multiplexes.) IMO, you would change the way the optimization problem is structured. Fine, if you provide an alternative *that works*. E.g. you find that #3 constraint unappealing, but I'm more hesitant about the alternatives. And SFNs that actually work, as we've discussed, aren't all that different from big sticks. It still means very few towers, maybe 2 or 3 per SFN, and it still means big sticks. Or judicious use of gap fillers. Even in Berlin and Paris, you're talking big sticks assisted by a couple of smaller sticks. (I'd call the French TNT "umbrella configuration," as used in Paris, a "big stick with gap fillers," for example.) > 3. And develop a platform that incorporates PVR capabilities > to push non time critical content. Those exist already. They are called DVDRs and PVRs. Seems to me there are two forces cospriring against easy access these for DTT. One is CE manufacturers running scared of Hollywood. Another is broadcasters doing their knee-jerk "copy never" nonsense on the broadcasts. Fix these paralyzing fears, and you've got your recording platforms. The govt is on the side of consumers in this debate already. (I wish the would carry a bigger stick.) > If USDTV had deployed better receivers with built in > PVRs they could have pushed more content to subscribers, > which MIGHT have made a difference. Hmm. The history of pay-DTT in places where receivers were supposedly bulletproof does not suggest that even good receivers would make a difference. I think what makes OTA work is that it's free, and that there is a "significant" number of folks out there satisfied with less choice than cable/DBS. You say "laggard," but that misses the point. Laggard implies these guys secretly want to go to cable but are too lazy to get off their butts. Instead, I say these guys don't want to be coerced into a TV solution they don't want or need, just because others let themselves be hearded like sheep. And that's why broadcasters might want to compete in the OTA arena. Or not, it's up to them. So in short, I think your 3 points to save OTA can all be met with minimal change, once they are put in perspective. Bert ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.