Here are some very efficient (low-administrative-cost) relief organizations (all have four-star ratings from CharityNavigator.org): <http://www.americares.org/> <http://www.redcross.org/donate/donate.html> <http://www.directrelief.org/index.html> <http://www.hopeww.org/> <http://www.mercycorps.org/splash/> Americans may also call the Red Cross at 800 HELP NOW (800 435-7669). *** I am very sad to announce that Phil Livingston, vp of Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems, died after a long illness. He was a brilliant engineer, a great standards negotiator, completely honest, appreciative of even his competitors' achievements, wonderfully funny, a perfect friend, and, to quote Panasonic Broadcast president John Baisley, "a true gentleman and a gentle man." That's not adequate praise, but it'll have to do, because I can't muster more words when thinking of losing him. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Compassionate Care Hospice, 140 Littleton Road, Parsippany, NJ 07054: <http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6390463.html> *** *** Broadcasting and Cable magazine's business editor John Higgins died of a heart attack last night. You might have heard his comments on the O.J. Simpson fiasco on the Marketplace Morning Report this morning: <http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6393812.html> The facts of his death are not as important as those of his life. You'll find remembrances at the link below. Even if you never knew him (or even of him), these are worth reading. Someone special is gone: <http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6393983.html> *** *** Director Robert Altman also died last night. My wife and I had the privilege of assisting him on his first multicamera video shoot. *** I apologize for the long hiatus since the last memo. I feel I owe you some sort of explanation. Some of you know that I work on media projects at the Metropolitan Opera, and some of you may have heard or read about the explosion of media at the Met under the new general manager, Peter Gelb. Well, it's all true. Starting in September, we've been doing four live broadcasts a week on Sirius Satellite Radio. We're also doing one a week streamed live on Real Networks. For our regular Saturday-afternoon international radio network (76 continuous years and still running, with a first broadcast in 1910), we've been juggling with NPR's transition to file-based distribution and the relocation of one of our uplinks from Miami to Los Angeles. On opening night, we projected the performance and a red-carpet ceremony to the Lincoln Center plaza while it was still plenty light out and also fed a number of screens in Times Square live (with audio, coordinating with an MTV event). We'll be doing a series of live HD cinemacasts to movie theaters around the world starting next month, part of which will include some uncompressed HD transmission from the Met (FYI, the Met's first live cinemacast was in 1952). And that's in addition to CD and DVD recordings and television shows. So I've been just a little bit busier than usual this fall. It should get lighter soon. Here's a URL for a New York Times slide show on the opening-night media festivities (the HD image of the opera, with live subtitles, wrapped around the NASDAQ LED screen is pretty cool): <http://tinyurl.com/ygqlzu> - Follow-ups: - ***The Technology Retreat***, Jan 30-Feb 2, Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs area), California - - Add a day to your calendars: On January 30, Charles Poynton will be doing a half-day seminar on extended color gamut (and we might have a session on that subject in the main program as well). There will also be an Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) seminar on ACAP, the advanced common applications platform, on that day, details to follow. Keep watching this space. - The Wednesday-morning supersession on the home is being co-coordinated by Panasonic vp Peter Fannon and Universal Pictures senior vp Jerry Pierce. Expect more information soon. We can also already announce a series of network vps confirmed for the main program, including Bob Seidel of CBS (who has interesting things to say about HD ENG), Jim DeFilippis of Fox (who has interesting things to say about JPEG2000 compression), Glenn Reitmeier of NBC Universal, Randy Hoffner of ABC, and Jerry Butler of PBS. Jim Burger's Washington update will also return. It's looking likely that we'll have a digital-cinematography-camera panel with a bunch of manufacturers who haven't participated previously (yes, there are that many) and with the first information on Sony's 4K camera, a compression update (including the possibility of live "multipass" encoding), and lots of information on the consumer extended-color-gamut xvYCC standard. The acceptance period for submissions for the main program is officially over, but, if you've got something earthshaking, go ahead and send it to me. Who knows? I apologize to the delay in letting potential presenters know their status. Decisions are expected later this month. We already have about five times more submissions than slots. - The demo area is already well over half full. Information about the demo-area requirements is now available online here: <http://www.hpaonline.com/mc/page.do?sitePageId=23997> and you may fill in and submit demo-space requests here: <http://tinyurl.com/t6gdx> Please note that our Dictator of Demos, John Luff, has a new e-mail address <john.luff@xxxxxxxxxxx>. Please do not contact him at any other address. If things go as expected, Windows users should bring USB drives to the demo area to go home with EXTREMELY fun stuff (free)! - Here are some more confirmed breakfast roundtables. Chris Lennon of Harris will be moderating two roundtables on the SMPTE BXF (broadcast exchange format). JVC's Carl Mandelbaum will moderate a roundtable on the hot topic of reference displays (especially now that CRTs are getting scarce) on Thursday morning, and JVC's Craig Yanagi will moderate one on a new form of 24p workflow on Friday morning. Kathleen Milnes, president of the Entertainment Economy Institute, will repeat on Thursday morning her popular 2006 roundtable on the workforce in post. Les Zoltan, founder of DVEO, will do a Friday roundtable on understanding transport streams. Grant Carroll, CTO of Channel Wolves, will be doing a Friday roundtable on getting the most from your compositing toys (which tool for which treatment). John McKay of Virtual Katy (and "Lord of the Rings") will be doing a Friday roundtable on war stories from the audio post room. Andy Liebman of EditShare will be doing a Friday roundtable on why too much fibre isn't good for you. Avid is planning roundtables on managing security across the WAN, next-generation pre-visualization tools, and 23.976 vs. 24.00 (details on days and moderators to follow). Mark Kapczynski of MESoft will be doing a roundtable Thursday on software engineering for digital workflow automation. Art Rancis, vp of InPhase Technologies, will be moderating two roundtables on secure long-term archiving (good for more than 50 years). Dr. Richard Cabot of Sensurround will moderate a Thursday roundtable on increasing the post engineer’s bandwidth to cope with multi-channel audio, and his partner will moderate one on Friday, a surround audio post & QC gripe session; bring your problems! Philippe Soeiro of Autodesk will moderate a Thursday roundtable on color management in post production, and Autodesk's Jill Ramsay will moderate one Friday on 3D-centric feature animation and VFX pipelines. David Newman, CTO of CineForm, will moderate roundtables both days on compressed high-resolution workflow using CineForm intermediate. Marylise Tauzia of Atempo will moderate a roundtable Thursday on digital archiving for post-production, media, and creative professionals and on Friday on advanced data protection for Mac OS and heterogeneous environments. Jim DeFilippis of Fox will moderate a roundtable on mezzanine HD compression on Thursday morning. Peter Wilson of HDDC in the UK will moderate a roundtable called "Compression Is the Root of All Evil" on Thursday and one called "How Green Is My Digital Transition" (about power consumption) on Friday. John Footen of National Teleconsultants will moderate a Thursday roundtable on workflow analysis tools and techniques, and Bob Slutske from the same organization will moderate one on Friday on approaches to organizational change when faced with technological change. Peter Putman of Roam Consulting will moderate a Thursday roundtable on 8-VSB reception, including information on his recent tests of the latest receivers. Jim Burger of Dow, Lohnes will moderate a Friday roundtable following up on Washington, DRM, & Digital Video: They're Just Here to Help! Despite all of the above, there's plenty of room for more. Any registered attendee who wants one may have a roundtable on any topic, and there's no deadline (at least until we run out of space). Just contact me. - We're also accepting suggestions for the three team names for the softball challenge this year. Previously, we've had Speed, Quality, and Economy; Production, Post, and Distribution; and Compact, Standard, and Large, among others. - Registration is open. Here's info: <http://www.hpaonline.com/mc/page.do?sitePageId=39859> Here's the form to submit (all but press): <http://tinyurl.com/y4yke8> This one's for press: <http://tinyurl.com/y2talh> - Here's a quick overview: <http://www.hpaonline.com/mc/page.do?sitePageId=37545> - These FAQs are less quick: <http://www.hpaonline.com/mc/page.do?sitePageId=23995> - Here's info on this year's hotel (new place). We get a good deal: <http://www.hpaonline.com/mc/page.do?sitePageId=37607> - Don't hate yourself for the rest of your life. BE THERE! <http://www.hpaonline.com> - Cheap U.S. STBs - John Taylor, vp of government relations for LG USA, told Broadcasting & Cable that his company plans to have $60 set-top boxes available by January of 2008: <http://tinyurl.com/ym88qv> - STB energy-use standards - Warren Communications News reported that California's Energy Commission put off its rules for a year. The story is no longer on their site: <http://www.warren-news.com/> The generic energy-use story has made it to Forbes: <http://tinyurl.com/hlg36> See also next item. - NTIA filings - The National Telecommunications and Information Administration got a bunch of filings. - In a highly unusual move, the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), and the Natural Resources Defense Council jointly asked both NTIA and the Environmental Protection Agency to declare set-top boxes Energy-Star efficient if they consume no more than eight watts when on and one watt when "off" and power down automatically under certain conditions: <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6385568.html> - According to a report in Warren Communications News (no longer on their site), KTech wants NTIA to publish pass/fail criteria for self-certification: <http://www.warren-news.com/> - In another joint filing, CEA and NAB called for not excluding homes with cable or satellite and for allowing such "frills" as an electronic program guide. LG had a similar filing and -- be still my heart! -- also called for minimum performance standards (including energy efficiency). Microtune also called for performance standards (compliance with ATSC A/74): <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6375304.html> - Outgoing Republican Senate Commerce Committee chair Ted Stevens also opposes excluding cable and satellite households, according to an aide: <http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6378960.html> - In a related story, TV Week said House Energy and Commerce Committee incoming chair John Dingell and fellow committee Democrats sent a letter to NTIA after the election along the same lines: <http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=11084> - Another Warren Communications News story said Funai, in follow-up comments, wanted antenna/box combos to be eligible for coupons. Funai put the price of such combos at $100. Again, the story is no longer on their site: <http://www.warren-news.com/> - Here's another story on more filings: <http://www.tvtechnology.com/pages/s.0082/t.450.html> - U.S. channel sharing - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has preliminarily ruled that fixed devices (so far) may transmit on TV channels unused in certain markets. Certain channels are, at least temporarily, excluded: <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-267867A1.pdf> The decision wasn't appreciated in broadcast circles. This story is from Broadcasting & Cable: <http://tinyurl.com/ym88qv> Here's another from the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV): <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dlrf/one.php?id=1412> This one's about the issue at the IEEE Broadcast Symposium: <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dailynews/one.php?id=4296> - HDMI - - A number of wireless HDMI systems were shown at the International Broadcasting Convention in September. Now LG, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba have formed the WirelessHD Group for 60 GHz transmission of uncompressed HD over short distances. This story is from EE Times - Asia: <http://tinyurl.com/y4dg86 - Here's another report of problems with the high-definition multimedia interface: <http://reviews.cnet.com/4531-10921_7-6650194.html?tag=blog> On a different, but content-protection-related subject, here is the speech that NBC Universal CEO Bob Wright made to the third-annual anti-counterfeiting and piracy summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington on September 29: <http://nbcumv.com/corporate/Bob_Wright_CACP_Remarks.pdf> - CableCARDs - - This story says there are more than 200,000 in use: <http://www.cedmagazine.com/article/CA6375677.html> - CEA wants to speed adoption of two-way CableCARDs by making OCAP (the OpenCable Application Platform) optional: <http://www.ce.org/Press/CurrentNews/press_release_detail.asp?id=11174> Not all consumer-electronics manufacturers signed on to the new proposal: <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6390050.html> - And CableCARD slots were gone from TVs at the LG line show except those with built-in PVRs: <http://www.hdtvexpert.com/pages_b/LGline2007.html> - IBC - Here's another report on the International Broadcasting Convention from Broadcast Engineering's Beyond the Headlines newsletter: <http://tinyurl.com/laaom> - Who has HDTV? - - A Leichtman Research Group study found HDTV sets in one of six U.S. households, generally of higher income, and 26% of those had more than one set: <http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=10956> - But this story would seem to indicate many fewer actually get any HDTV. It says about 9.5% of DirecTV subscribers get HD (a little less than that for new subscribers). It puts HD sets in 25 million U.S. homes (many more than Leichtman), but HD reception in just ten million: <http://www.tvpredictions.com/directvsubs110806.htm> - See also the International news section for info about HDTV in the UK. - HD DVD and Blu-ray - - Samsung is fixing a problem with early Blu-ray players and providing an upgrade to existing users: <http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060914/samsung_blu_ray.html?.v=3> On the HD DVD side, the introduction of Toshiba's second-generation players has been delayed by problems with a component from another company: <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6392402.html> - Warren Communications News reported that iSuppli said Sony's Play Station 3, with Blu-ray player, costs more than $800 to make but has a suggested retail price of $499 (Toshiba's first HD DVD player was reported to be similarly sold for less than it cost to make). The story is no longer on their site: <http://www.warren-news.com/> Microsoft is offering an HD DVD USB accessory drive for the Xbox 360 for $200. This story compares the two games and their HD drives: <http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1561414,00.html> - There was reportedly a "frank exchange of opinions" about the format war at the CEA Industry Forum: <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6381702.html> - Broadcom is the latest to come out with something that's suppose to end the war by allowing combo players: <http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/061109/lath012.html - There's also this Warner Bros. patent for a multi-layer hybrid disk serving both formats: <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6373870.html> - Panasonic has come up with a 100 GB Blu-ray disk they say will last for 100 years: <http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061019-8032.html> - There might be more at ***The Technology Retreat***. BE THERE! <http://hpaonline.com> - USDTV's bankruptcy - NexGen Telecom has bought the assets and is keeping Steve Lindsley as CEO: <http://www.cedmagazine.com/article/CA6391656.html> - Telco TV - - Is the "last mile" good enough? That's the subject of this story: <http://tinyurl.com/eozvg> - Verizon's FiOS had over 100,000 subscribers as of this article: <http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6375527.html> - There might be more at ***The Technology Retreat*** from the other big player. Register NOW! <http://hpaonline.com> - May 1 - - The NAB lists 1584 U.S. DTT stations operating in 211 markets. Please note the new URL: <http://www.nab.org/AM/ASPCode/DTVStations/DTVStations.asp> - The FCC issued two sets of numbers since my last memo: - As of September 12, 1704 stations (98.9% of the number they're currently using) had been granted either a construction permit or license, and 1591 were on the air, either with temporary authority (489) or at full power (1102). As of October 3, it was 1704 (99%), 1592, 470, and 1122: <http://www.fcc.gov/mb/video/files/dtvsum.html> - This chart shows more full-power stations than not in all categories: <http://www.fcc.gov/mb/video/files/dtvonairsum.html> - There has been no change of status of the top-4-network top-10-market stations due on the air May 1, 1999. It's still 38 fully licensed and two on temporary authority: <http://www.fcc.gov/mb/video/files/dtvstat.html> - There has also been no change in status of the top-4-network stations in markets 11-30; 74 are fully licensed and five are operating on temporary authority: <http://www.fcc.gov/mb/video/files/dtvstat11.html> - Here's a list of the 1122 stations either fully licensed or on program-test authority: <http://www.fcc.gov/mb/video/files/dtvonair.html> - Here's a list of the 470 on temporary authority: <http://www.fcc.gov/mb/video/files/dtvstas.html> - Doug Lung's RF Report noted 982 fully licensed U.S. DTT stations in the FCC's CDBS database as of September 17: <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dlrf/one.php?id=1411> 992 as of October 2: <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dlrf/one.php?id=1426> 1000 as of October 17: <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dlrf/one.php?id=1440> 1005 as of November 2: <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dlrf/one.php?id=1454> and 1016 as of November 13: <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dlrf/one.php?id=1471> - The FCC also just released analog station totals through June 30 and September 30; I've included March 31 for comparison: March 31 June 30 September 30 Full-power TV 1752 1753 1754 Class A low-power 589 573 568 Low-power TV 2157 2171 2189 TV translators 4549 4564 4517 Total analog 9047 9061 9028 The first URL is for the March 31 figures, the second for June 30, and the third for September 30: <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-265530A1.pdf> <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-268507A1.pdf> <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-268509A1.pdf> - Other FCC news: - The FCC has released the seventh further notice of proposed rulemaking in the 1987 inquiry into advanced television (which led to U.S. DTT). This one is called "Advanced Television Systems and Their Impact upon the Existing Television Broadcast Service," and covers channel assignments: <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-150A1.pdf> - They've also issued the request for data for their "Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming." The first URL is the news release: <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-267863A1.pdf> <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-154A1.pdf> - And they've decided that certain low-power non-TV transmissions in supposedly unused portions of the TV bands will be okay. Again, the first URL is for the news release: <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-267867A1.pdf> <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-156A1.pdf> - The October 25 meeting of the FCC Technical Advisory Committee covered broadband issues: <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2051A1.pdf> - The September 26 commission meeting covered children's programming obligations for DTT: <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-267502A1.pdf> - Can you sue if you think your HD isn't good enough? So far, yes. DirecTV wanted to force arbitration of a suit filed by subscriber Phillip Cohen in November 2004, but a Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with a lower court that the suit can go on: <http://www.metnews.com/articles/2006/dire091906.htm> <http://www.tvweek.com/page.cms?pageId=312> In a related story, here's a recommendation that you complain about dropped HD channels for a refund: <http://www.tvpredictions.com/directvrefund101506.htm> This story covers both: <http://www.tvweek.com/page.cms?pageId=292> - Here's a report on Sinclair's A-VSB testing for mobile DTT: <http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6388372.html> And here's their vp of engineering, Del Parks, discussing DTT: <http://www.tvnewsday.com/articles/2006/11/09/daily.1/> - How much time can you still waste before U.S. analog cutoff? MSTV provides a handy countdown clock on their web site. Of course, that's if the date doesn't change again (the December 31, 2006 date lasted over five years): <http://www.mstv.org/> - Turnabout-is-fair-play department: Bored with the videogame you're playing? Turner Broadcasting System is offering programming for the Xbox 360: <http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=11018> - Yikes! It's been so long since the last memo that I haven't written about this here yet. Sony introduced its HVR-V1 camcorder at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) and then a U.S. version in New York City. I don't normally write about product introductions, but I think this one is special. It uses 1/4-inch imagers, which, based on quality reductions from 1-inch to 2/3-inch to 1/2-inch to 1/3-inch, should look pretty bad. But they don't. To me, the pictures look a lot better than they have any right to look. That seems to be because Sony has reoriented the sensor grid by 45 degrees, so there are little diamonds instead of little squares. There's a pattern of 960 by 540 diamonds with the corners just touching, which means there's room for another set of diamonds in between. Sony doubles one of those numbers; I'd prefer to say it's two times 960 x 540. By going to 960 x 540, they're able to make the individual sensors bigger (Panasonic does the same in the AG-HVX200), which improves sensitivity, dynamic range, and diffraction loss. By having the doubled diamond-shaped sensors, each vertex is surrounded by four sensors, two in the same column and two in the same row, which eases interpolation, so the camera can derive a very nice 1920 x 1080. You don't get something for nothing, and what the camera loses is diagonal resolution, but, most of the time, that's not a big deal. It's quite a nice idea: <http://bssc.sel.sony.com/BroadcastandBusiness/minisites/HDV/home.shtml> - When the little plane hit the New York apartment building, Fox News got live pictures on the air via a Palm Treo mobile phone using CometVision from Comet Video Technologies: <http://broadcastengineering.com/news/mobile_phone_fox_news/?r=1> You can ask Fox vp Jim DeFilippis more about it at ***The Technology Retreat*** -- IF you're among the lucky few who get to attend. JUST DO IT! <http://www.hpaonline.com> - Here are some reports from CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) Expo: <http://www.hdtvexpert.com/pages_b/cedia2006.html> <http://www.hdtvexpert.com/pages_b/cedia2006trends.html> This one is about anamorphic projection: <http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/cedia2006/091606Optoma2/> This one is about stitching multiple projectors: <http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/cedia2006/091606Optoma1/> This one is from Digital TV Design Line: <http://tinyurl.com/z4pq6> <http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/thomasnorton/> <http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/cedia2006/091606direct/> - The October issue of ATSC's "The Standard" is available here: <http://www.atsc.org/news_information/newsletter/Standard_Oct_06.pdf> - Here's a report on the large number of RealD 3-D theatrical installations and the financial benefits they bring: <http://displaydaily.com/2006/11/17/coming-soon-to-a-theater-near-you/> - International news: - Digital UK, leading the British switchover, complained that "digital-ready" TVs accounted for just 36% of summer sales: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6120442.stm> But sales of all "digital TV products" exceeded analog for the first time in the third quarter. This story is from advanced-television.com: <http://tinyurl.com/ynxfer> And, citing 58,000 new subscribers in the third quarter (for a total of 96,000), BSkyB CEO James Murdoch called Sky HD the "fastest consumer rollout of a new product." This story appeared in the Multichannel News International e-mail newsletter, but I don't have a URL for it. Murdoch's quote is also in the HD story below. - UK regulator Ofcom has restated the number of Freeview-only households, revised downward from 7.1 million at end of March to 6.4 million (with very little growth in the second quarter), third in households behind pay satellite and analog broadcast, and second in TVs (but WAY behind analog): <http://www.ofcom.org.uk/research/tv/reports/dtv/dtu_2006_q2/dtu_2006_q2.pdf> - Like NTIA, the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is planning an assistance program to help people get digital reception, and, like Dingell and the Democrats, they are orienting it towards the elderly, disabled, and needy. Still, it seems a little ironic that one of their priorities in helping people get digital television is for the blind: <http://www.gnn.gov.uk/content/detail.asp?NewsAreaID=2&ReleaseID=242838> - According to Continental Research's Autumn 2006 Digital TV Report, over a million UK households have "HDTV-enabled" TV sets, roughly six percent penetration in July, up from two percent in February. This story is from advanced=television.com: <http://tinyurl.com/ydhkxl> - Let It Wave's bandlet-based upconverter technology is "producing" the 1080i signal being carried by France Television on DTT channel 50, according to this story: <http://www.broadcastnewsroom.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=81436> - Spain has six million DTT households, 2.25 million of them since November of 2005: <http://www.advanced-television.com/2006/news_archive_2006/Oct9_Oct13.htm#m8> - Madrid is subsidizing DTT in apartment buildings with SMATV (satellite master-antenna television systems) to 50% of the cost. This story is from advanced-television.com: <http://tinyurl.com/y5vfpr> - Here are a couple of stories on Czech cancelled DTT allocations: <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dlrf/one.php?id=1399> <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dlrf/one.php?id=1404> - Greece is said to "lag" in digital. This story is from Katherimini: <http://tinyurl.com/ylebuj> - Here's a story about DTT in Kyrgyzstan: <http://www.iwpr.net/?p=bkg&s=b&o=324340&apc_state=henh> - This one on Malaysia is from Star Techcentral: <http://tinyurl.com/njxfm> - The Philippine government has ruled that analog-TV transmissions must end by the end of 2015. This story is from the Manila Times: <http://tinyurl.com/sju5u> Here are the draft rules for DTT in the Philippines: <http://www.ntc.gov.ph/whatsnew/MEM%20CIRC%20digitaltv.pdf> - Penetration of DTT in Taiwan (4% for set-top receivers) reportedly lags behind penetration in Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan: <http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20061012PB201.html> - In Japan 27% of TVs shipped in the second quarter were reportedly HD, bringing household penetration to 64%, but due to its larger market size, Europe led in HD shipments. This story also has HD statistics by display technology and brand: <http://www.digitimes.com/displays/a20060927PR204.html> The next link is to a story on DisplaySearch statistics. Both groups show that HD plasma is again more prevalent than standard-definition: <http://broadcastengineering.com/hdtv/plasma-panel-sales-rise/?r=4> - Australia there were (as of the linked report) 105 models of DTT set-top receivers from 27 brands, starting at A$90 (US$69 list price). Of those 36 from 19 brands were HD, starting at A$290 (US$224): <http://www.dba.org.au/index.asp?sectionID=18> There were also 72 models of integrated DTVs from 12 brands, starting at A$1099 (US$847). Of those 48 from 9 brands were HD, starting at A$2199 (US$1695): <http://www.dba.org.au/index.asp?sectionID=78> - Almost two million (1,998,000) DTT receivers had been sold to Australian dealers and installers as of September 30. Household DTT penetration has reached an estimated 23%, and the HD proportion is rapidly rising, though it's difficult to get an exact figure off the chart at this link: <http://www.dba.org.au/index.asp?display=news&newsID=897> - Here's a story on DTT in Colombia: <http://www.bnamericas.com/story.jsp?sector=2¬icia=369937&idioma=I> - According to In-Stat, of 1.2 billion television households worldwide, 355 million have cable, up from 349 million at the end of 2005. China (106 million) and the U.S. (69 million) are the two largest cable markets. This story is from advanced-television.com: <http://tinyurl.com/ts7d3> - Panasonic's 103-inch plasma TV is no longer the largest one-piece television display. JVC showed a 110-inch H-DLA rear-projection unit at the CEATEC (combined exhibition for advanced technologies) show in Japan: <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6377556.html> There's also now a 100-inch LCD from LG.Philips: <http://www.tvpredictions.com/lcdguinness101106.htm> The implications of these displays (as well as 4K LCDs from CMO and Sharp) on the need for something beyond 1080-line HDTV is the subject of my November (print-only but free) column in Videography magazine. - Here are some other stories about CEATEC: <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6377841.html> <http://blog.hometheatermag.com/maureenjenson/> <http://blog.hometheatermag.com/geoffreymorrison/> <http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/fredmanteghian/> This next one covers both Fox Blu-ray titles and a home $10,000 motion-sensation leather recliner from D-Box: <http://www.videobusiness.com/article/CA6377275.html> - More HD programming, availability of HD consumer disk systems, and rapidly falling HDTV prices have not substantially increased interest in buying an HDTV (18% in 2006 vs. 16% in 2005), according to this interpretation of a CEA survey of 1,000 U.S. adults: <http://www.tvweek.com/page.cms?pageId=342> Prices, however, are now REALLY falling. There are many brands and retailers offering 42-inch HD plasma TVs for under $1000. LCDs are dropping, too: <http://www.tvweek.com/page.cms?pageId=389> <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6392403.html> <http://displaydaily.com/2006/11/13/how-low-can-you-go/> This story in Display Daily lists a Vizio P42HDTV for $988 at Wal-Mart, a Sanyo PDP-42H2A for $899.95 at B&H Photo, a Philips PF7220A/37B for $933.61, and a Samsung HP-S4253 for $972: <http://tinyurl.com/yh5zo7> - Toshiba plans to ship a 8-GB SD card this January (that would make a 32-GB P2 card): <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6393637.html> - Warren Communications News reported that JVC has come up with a 125:1 compression system for HD on optical disks. The story is no longer on their site: <http://www.warren-news.com> - I've decided to use a tabular form for all the data based on the sales figures from CEA. The first column is the week of 2006. The second is the cumulative drop in sales to dealers through the end of that week compared to the same period in 2005. The third is the drop in my ten-week running average. The fourth is that week's sales of "digital televisions." The fifth is cumulative dealer sales of "digital televisions" in 2006. The sixth is the percentage of all 2006 television dealer sales through that week that were "digital." As usual, revisions of the CEA data might be responsible for figures not adding up as expected: Week non-H/DTV 10-week RA DTVs DTV Cum %DTV 34 -45.4% -43.3% 861,159 11,733,173 63.6% 35 -45.1% -40.8% 433,518 12,166,691 63.8% 36 -45.7% -43.2% 381,339 12,548,030 64.1% 37 -46.6% -49.6% 427,926 12,975,956 64.5% 38 -46.5% -49.8% 506,221 13,482,177 64.6% 39 -46.7% -50.5% 548,948 14,031,125 64.7% 40 -47.3% -53.7% 433,631 14,464,756 65.0% 41 -47.2% -52.8% 468,738 14,933,494 65.0% 42 -47.4% -53.7% 549,661 15,483,155 65.3% 43 -48.0% -55.6% 737,446 16,220,601 65.9% 44 -47.0% -51.3% 495,794 16,716,395 65.5% It's pretty clear that anything that CEA doesn't count as a "digital television" is rapidly on the way out, but I find it interesting that, with the analog cutoff looming less than three years away, more than a third of the TVs currently being sold to U.S. dealers don't even meet CEA's loose criteria to be counted as "digital televisions." I also find it interesting that more DVD players are being sold in any week than "digital televisions." To qualify to CEA as a "Digital Television," a display need only be capable of dealing with at least 480p; it need not be capable of either receiving digital signals or displaying them, although now that the 100% "tuner mandate" has kicked in for sets 25-inch and larger, it would seem that most do have such capability. CEA says about 82% of the "digital televisions" sold in 2005 (when not all TVs 25-inch and up were supposed to have DTT-reception circuitry) were HDTV. - Yes, I'm still behind in ads, but I wanted to let you know that J&R has been advertising Panasonic's TH-42PD60U 42-inch 16:9 integrated plasma DTV for $999.99 for about two weeks. - Tech-Notes number 135 has come out: <http://www.tech-notes.tv/Archive/tech_notes_135.pdf> - DVD news: Again, I'll use a table for the CEA dealer sales data. The first column is the week of 2006. The second is the cumulative percentage gain or loss of sales compared to the same period in 2005. The third is my ten-week running average for the above: Week DVD 10-week 34 +24.7 +44.5 35 +26.7 +44.5 36 +25.7 +35.6 37 +26.9 +37.3 38 +28.0 +40.8 39 +26.0 +31.4 40 +25.1 +23.2 41 +24.4 +19.4 42 +24.4 +21.5 43 +21.4 +13.7 44 +22.7 +19.5 I continue to be astounded by the growth. Every week, more DVD players are sold to dealers than even what CEA loosely counts as a "digital television." I continue to see these sales as a big hurdle for any next-generation system to leap. - PVR news: - Warren Communications News reported that TiVo's series-3 PVRs include a serial ATA port for external storage. The story is no longer on their site: <http://www.warren-news.com/> - TiVo has also introduced a "broadband enhancement" to allow sharing home movies over the Internet: <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6391067.html> - According to Nielsen statistics, the average American home has more television sets (2.73) than people (2.55): <http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2006-09-21-homes-tv_x.htm> - Kagan's Media Trends 2006 notes that, "in 2004, consumer outlays on TV entertainment climbed to 1.76% of median household income. That compares to just 0.26% in 1968 before the advent of home video and the multichannel universe": <http://www.kagan.com/ContentDetail.aspx?id=239&tcode=BI6EAK#TOC> - According to the CEA Market Research study Broadband and the Home of Tomorrow, cable and DSL each accounted for 29% of U.S. residential Internet connections, up from 15% and 4%, respectively, in 2000: <http://www.ebrain.org> - According to the FCC, 92.8% of U.S. homes subscribe to any form of phone service (traditional, wireless, cable, etc.), DOWN from 95.5% in March 2003: <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-268003A1.pdf> - According to the Conference Board and TNS, one in ten web surfers watch some video online, 62% news clips, almost half entertainment; 53% stream free, 49% download free: <http://tinyurl.com/ygw3a2> - Adding video requires such a tiny amount of real estate on a chip that it's being added to washing machines and sewing machines (it's been in refrigerators for years): <http://www.eetimes.eu/uk/194300191> - Portable-video news: - According to Nielsen, less than 1% of the items played by iPod users on either iTunes or their iPods were video; among video-iPod users, it rose to 2.2%. By duration, video represented 2% of time spent by the first group and 11% of the time spent by the second. Almost 16% iPod users have played at least one video on either their iPod or iTunes; a third of those don't own video iPods. Nielsen says about 15 million U.S. households (13%) have at least one iPod, 30% of those video; Apple says they've sold 70 million iPods to date. This story is from Reuters: <http://tinyurl.com/ydjpvf> - Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Disney Enterprises, Columbia TriStar Television, and Columbia Pictures have sued Load 'N Go Video for offering a way to load DVD content onto portable video players. This story is from Information Week: <http://tinyurl.com/ymj46k> - According to CEA's Digital Imaging Study Update: Sharing and Storing Photos and Video II, 9% of "primary still-image captures" are by mobile phones, and 47% of those who classify their mobile phone as their "primary image-capture device" (they're up to seven megapixels) also own digital still cameras: <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6393097.html> - Upcoming Dates (DTV and non-DTV): - November 29-30, Javits Convention Center, New York, HD World <http://www.hdworldshow.com/>. - December 5-6, Hilton Universal City, High Definition Summit <http://www.multichannel.com/contents/pdf/HD%20Summit1sheetHDWEB.pdf> - January 8-11, Las Vegas, International Consumer Electronics Show <http://www.cesweb.org/default.asp>. - ***January 30-February 2, The Westin at Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs area), California, ***HPA Technology Retreat*** <http://www.hpaonline.com>. - March 28-29, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, IEEE International Symposium on Broadband Multimedia Systems and Broadcasting <http://www.ieee.org/organizations/society/bt/BMS07/07bmsindex.html>. - April 14-19, Las Vegas Convention Center, NAB convention <http://www.nabshow.com/>. - April 18-21, Atlanta Convention Center, Satellite Expo 2007 with C-band Pioneers Reunion <http://www.bobcooper.tv/c-band-reunion.htm>. * - new or revised listing TTFN, Mark PS Permission is granted to forward this or any other Monday Memo. Next week's memo might be late. Have a question about the memo? Before contacting me, please try the FAQs and glossary in the second postscript to the January 5 memo: <http://www.digitaltelevision.com/mondaymemo/mlist/frm02213.html> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.