[opendtv] Re: Why can't we get the story straight?
- From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: "OpenDTV (E-mail)" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2005 18:55:36 -0500
My personal take on the govt interest in the DTV transition is that the most legitimate govt interest is the one that emerged after 1991: i.e., the reduction of spectrum which needed to be dedicated to a viable OTA TV system. As long as retaining OTA TV is the policy, then the transition to DTT is justified. But of course cable is out of scope of this govt policy, so they transition for their own interests. Craig Birkmaier wrote: > You might want to consider how 16VSB came about - > this modulation standard was developed specifically > for cable as a way to develop dual DTTB/Cable > receivers. Yes. That was described clearly in an article in the August 1994 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics, by Robert Hopkins. According to this article, in January of 1994 the Grand Alliance tested 8-VSB against 32-QAM for OTA use, and 16-VSB against 256-QAM for cable use. For reasons that have been stated on here many times, mostly that the VSB receivers had the better equalizers, n-VSB won out. > The cable industry said thanks, but no thanks, > there are more efficient and cheaper technologies > for the protected spectrum of a cable system. Cheaper, maybe yes, for royalty reasons. More efficient? Both 256-QAM and 16-VSB can fit 38.8 Mb/s in the 6 MHz cable channels. At the time, cable systems were just starting to deploy 64-QAM, so the only objection must have been royalty payments, not by any means "efficiency." In any event, as soon as Broadcom and others came out with combination 8-VSB and QAM tuner chips, ca. 2000, the whole cable modulation issue became a non-issue. Both physical layers were now compatible with ATSC receivers. Case closed. > As i have been arguing with Bert for some time now, > the NTSC model, with big high powered sticks, > leaves vast geographic areas where the spectrum > cannot be re-used because of potential interference > between markets. This fact is perceived as a huge > BENEFIT by broadcasters, as it limits competition > (from potential new broadcasters). I still think you're missing the big picture, but never mind for now. The important point is that you're jumping from one discussion to another. The DTT transition is of interest to the govt TODAY for perfectly legitimate reasons. If *broadcasters* aren't too excited about it, it might very well be for the reason you say. With DTT in place and NTSC off the air, more OTA broadcasters could take to the airwaves. So even if broadcasters fear this, from my own point of view, and that of any TV consumer out there, the FCC efforts to speed the transition along should be welcomed. So I completely fail to understand why you oppose sensible ideas such as the Ferree plan. And by the way, the existing FCC ownership cap rules for local markets will encourage this, because they prevent the four major networks from buying up any other local stations unless at least eight stations exist in that market. > European interests settled on the embrace and > kill strategy. "We'll do our own HDTV system thank > you very much." They did, they "proved" that there > was no market for it, and they killed HD in Europe > for another decade. > > Much the same was expected in the U.S. Perhaps by you. Not by me. The Japanese and Euro HD systems were not meant to be a new standard to replace all TV broadcasting, and to offer higher quality image potential much as FM radio did for audio (i.e. quality limited only by each *receiver*, not by the transmitted signal). Instead, MUSE and HD-MAC were meant to be parallel TV systems, coexisting with standard TV, luxury systems only. I think that was their problem. They depended on immediate purchase of expensive sets to be viable. And I think that no matter what motivations broadcasters might have had to support HD, e.g. squatting on spectrum as you suggest, history is proving that HD for the masses can be a commercial hit, *if* it's done right. I think the longer we delay NTSC shutoff, or the longer broadcasters fail to offer anything other than HD as the difference between their NTSC and their ATSC signals, the more likely it will be for ATSC to suffer the same end as HD-MAC. It must not be seen as *only* an HD outlet. 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.
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