[opendtv] Re: If you can't beat 'em...

Kon Wilms wrote:

>No-one in their right mind would shoot themselves in the
>foot and negate their own content by running prime time
>HD movies against regular SD programming.

But IMO there are several factors to consider in this:

1. PBS does exactly that. Although of course they don't air commercials 
during programs, so maybe they don't count.

2. For non-sports material, you should be able to do a decent job with two 
HD programs over the same 6 MHz channel, even with H.261 compression. 
Especially if you transmit VBR.

3. Whether the extra-interest subchannel is HD or SD, this doesn't change 
the general suggestion that OTA broadcasters could air interesting OTA-only 
content. Then, as Tom says, just maybe the umbillical services' customers 
will insist their service provider include this subchannel in their 
offerings. Or their customers would bypass the umbillical service to get it. 
And the OTA broadcaster can then decide whether to continue airing the extra 
channel OTA, or try something new OTA.

>If OTA wants to differentiate themselves they need to start
>using the spare bandwidth to datacast content and seriously
>get into the harddisk-based STB market. This is not rocket
>science.
>
>You don't need to send new content. Send old content.
>People *do* actually watch this.

That too. I don't think these are mutually exclusive possibilities. The 
reason I brought up the pornography angle is only to stay away from 
digressions. You know, arguing about whether some specific type of 
additional content would attract eyeballs or not. That's what usually 
happens with these discussions. If people don't agree with one's *example* 
of additional content, presumably the whole concept is flawed. I doubt 
anyone in their right mind would think pornography would *not* sell.

>This whole live-broadcast-tv-only mechanism currently used by
>OTA is legacy and will be their doom, no matter how many
>codecs and modulation schemes you swap out.

Some program material can be compatible with live viewing, while being 
optimized for non-real-time viewing. I think there's a whole spectrum of 
possibilities. The interesting point of the KFC ad and the Janet Jackson 
program was that they were optimized for non-real-time digestion, even 
though the programs on the air worked just fine with real-time viewing. I 
think this suggests that OTA broadcasters are not stuck in the past. And the 
great thing is, affiliates appear to have a lot of latitude in what they use 
their additional b/s for, so one would expect much experimentation to take 
place as polling results like Tom's start emerging (to peak the 
broadcasters' interest in their digital tier).

Bert

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