[opendtv] Re: New Thread: What becomes of Legacy Analog Equipment

Actually, the online program guides are a bit worse than the PSIP support by
broadcasters.

The information in the online program guides is about two weeks out from the
tv stations.  (The content of network shows is updated much closer to air.)
My sentence might be vague, so let me clarify it.  TV stations provide their
schedule information to the listing services about two weeks in advance.  If
they make any change in the meantime, the listing service usually doesn't
change anything (or, in some cases, care.)

So, they may have longer schedules available, but they are not necessarily
accurate.  

PSIP can provide program listings 16 days in advance, and it just doesn't
take that many bits to extend listings beyond the first day, since you
transmit this data once every minute or so.  (Program listings for the
current three-hour period have to be transmitted twice per second.)

However, the business model of the program listing services is -- frankly --
absurd.  The television stations (as opposed to the networks) provide
listing information to the listing service (at no cost) and then the listing
services sell that data back to the television station for a per channel,
per month fee.

For a CBS affiliate only showing a single channel in a major market, the
$600 per year for THEIR OWN DATA seems high.  My first customer has seven
channels (three audio-only) in market #155.  

TV stations need to sell their data to the listing services. 

When a program is pre-empted by breaking news, this needs to be in the
station's PSIP EPG.  It ain't.  When a sports event overruns, this should be
reflected in the PSIP EPG.  It ain't.  When a football game is selected by
the network within 72 hours of airing (due to anti-blackout laws), it
doesn't necessarily reflect in the listing service data, or PSIP.

If someone wants to record the entirety of the second football game aired on
game day, you have to be there with your finger on the switch (or record
plenty of the previous game) because PSIP and listing service data just
doesn't deal with events in real-time.

I do have solutions for all the above, at the station and network end,
including selling your data to the listing services.  

Broadcasters are getting serious about signaling and announcement.

John Willkie
www.EtherGuideSystems.com www.OurEPG.com


-----Mensaje original-----
De: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] En
nombre de Craig Birkmaier
Enviado el: Saturday, November 24, 2007 5:13 AM
Para: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Asunto: [opendtv] Re: New Thread: What becomes of Legacy Analog Equipment

At 6:57 PM -0500 11/22/07, Stephen W. Long wrote:
>So what is the impact of 100 million (or so) obsolete VCRs after the
>transition?  It may fill the landfills across the land.

I suspect that these dinosaurs will linger in their owners homes for 
a number of years. Not that they will be used all that much, but the 
people who own them typically own a significant number of 
pre-recorded movies, and are likely to hang onto these analog 
hardware codecs in case they ever want to watch them in the future.

>
>Are there ATSC VCRs for sale?  I have never seen one, but I will start
>looking this shopping season.

The closest you may find are some old W-VHS recorders. I doubt that 
we will ever see a new tape based consumer format again. Bert likes 
optical media, but even he is using a DVD recorder with a hard disk 
front end for capture. Hard disks are where the action is, with 
millions and millions being deployed in the STBs offered by the 
multi-channel system operators.

The reason is obvious - cheap random access storage.

Wallmart is selling external 500GB drives (in enclosures with a USB 
2.0 interface for $144.

That's more than 55 hours of HD at 9 GB per hour.

What Bert does not acknowledge, perhaps because he is dependent on 
the broadcasters for PSIP and program guide info, is that the real 
driver behind the DVR is the program guide, not the ability to 
record. Bert may be able to look out 24 hours at PSIP data, or rely 
on a program always being aired on a specific channel at a specific 
time, to program is DVD-R recorder; but the rest of us multi-channel 
subscribers get a one week window for potentially hundreds of chanels 
of content.

IMHO, the biggest reason that we are not seeing ATSC DVRs is the poor 
support for PSIP and program guides by broadcasters, followed closely 
by the small potential market size for ATSC DVRs. I would note that 
Media Center PCs get around this by using Internet based program 
guides to  drive the DVR function.

And then there is another reality that Bert often conveniently 
ignores. The cable industry, and to a lesser extent the DBS industry, 
have very tight control over their STBs. Despite many attempts by the 
politicians to open up this market, it has not happened.  IF and when 
these industries cooperate with the CE industry to support third 
party boxes, we may see an increase in the availability of DVRs that 
support both the multi-channel services and FTA broadcasts.

I doubt that we will see ATSC only DVRs any time soon, unless the 
broadcasters decide that they need a real "platform" and that they 
can compete with the multi-channel services. It could happen in the 
form of a Moviebeam type service that uses the broadcast spectrum to 
update the local DVRs...

Regards
Craig



>
>Stephen Long
>
>
>
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