[opendtv] 061121 Twang's Tuesday Tribune (Mark's Monday Memo)

  • From: Mark Schubin <tvmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tvmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 22:21:03 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

  Here are some very efficient (low-administrative-cost) relief 
organizations (all have four-star ratings from CharityNavigator.org):
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:

     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:
     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:

     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):

- 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 
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 
demo-area requirements is now available online here:
and you may fill in and submit demo-space requests here:
     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 
     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:
     Here's the form to submit (all but press):
     This one's for press:
          - Here's a quick overview:
          - These FAQs are less quick:
          - Here's info on this year's hotel (new place). We get a good deal:
          - Don't hate yourself for the rest of your life. BE THERE!

     - 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:

     - 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:
     The generic energy-use story has made it to Forbes:
     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:
          - According to a report in Warren Communications News (no longer on 
their site), KTech wants NTIA to publish pass/fail criteria for 
          - 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):
          - Outgoing Republican Senate Commerce Committee chair Ted Stevens 
also opposes excluding cable 
and satellite households, according to an aide:
          - In a related story, TV Week said House Energy and Commerce 
incoming chair John Dingell and fellow committee Democrats sent a letter 
to NTIA after the election along the same lines:
          - 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:
          - Here's another story on more filings:

     - 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:
     The decision wasn't appreciated in broadcast circles. This story is from 
Broadcasting & Cable:
     Here's another from the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV):
     This one's about the issue at the IEEE Broadcast Symposium:

     - 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:
          - Here's another report of problems with the high-definition 
     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:

     - CableCARDs -
          - This story says there are more than 200,000 in use:
          - CEA wants to speed adoption of two-way CableCARDs by making OCAP 
OpenCable Application Platform) optional:
     Not all consumer-electronics manufacturers signed on to the new proposal:
          - And CableCARD slots were gone from TVs at the LG line show except 
with built-in PVRs:

     - IBC - Here's another report on the International Broadcasting 
Convention from Broadcast Engineering's Beyond the Headlines newsletter:

     - 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:
          - 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:
          - See also the International news section for info about HDTV in the 

     - HD DVD and Blu-ray -
          - Samsung is fixing a problem with early Blu-ray players and 
an upgrade to existing users:
     On the HD DVD side, the introduction of Toshiba's second-generation 
players has been delayed by problems with a component from another company:
          - 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:
     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:
          - There was reportedly a "frank exchange of opinions" about the format
war at the CEA Industry Forum:
          - Broadcom is the latest to come out with something that's suppose to 
end the war by allowing combo players:
          - There's also this Warner Bros. patent for a multi-layer hybrid disk 
serving both formats:
          - Panasonic has come up with a 100 GB Blu-ray disk they say will last 
for 100 years:
          - There might be more at ***The Technology Retreat***. BE THERE!

     - USDTV's bankruptcy - NexGen Telecom has bought the assets and is 
keeping Steve Lindsley as CEO:

     - Telco TV -
          - Is the "last mile" good enough? That's the subject of this story:
          - Verizon's FiOS had over 100,000 subscribers as of this article:
          - There might be more at ***The Technology Retreat*** from the other 
player. Register NOW!

     - May 1 -
          - The NAB lists 1584 U.S. DTT stations operating in 211 markets. 
note the new URL:
          - 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:
               - This chart shows more full-power stations than not in all 
               - There has been no change of status of the top-4-network 
stations due on the air May 1, 1999. It's still 38 fully licensed and 
two on temporary authority:
               - There has also been no change in status of the top-4-network 
in markets 11-30; 74 are fully licensed and five are operating on 
temporary authority:
               - Here's a list of the 1122 stations either fully licensed or on 
program-test authority:
               - Here's a list of the 470 on temporary authority:
          - Doug Lung's RF Report noted 982 fully licensed U.S. DTT stations in 
the FCC's CDBS database as of September 17:
992 as of October 2:
1000 as of October 17:
1005 as of November 2:
and 1016 as of November 13:
          - The FCC also just released analog station totals through June 30 
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:

- 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:

     - 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:

     - 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:

     - The October 25 meeting of the FCC Technical Advisory Committee covered 
broadband issues:

     - The September 26 commission meeting covered children's programming 
obligations for DTT:

- 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:
     In a related story, here's a recommendation that you complain about 
dropped HD channels for a refund:
     This story covers both:

- Here's a report on Sinclair's A-VSB testing for mobile DTT:
     And here's their vp of engineering, Del Parks, discussing DTT: 

- 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):

- Turnabout-is-fair-play department: Bored with the videogame you're 
playing? Turner Broadcasting System is offering programming for the Xbox 

- 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:

- 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:
     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!

- Here are some reports from CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & 
Installation Association) Expo:
     This one is about anamorphic projection:
     This one is about stitching multiple projectors:
     This one is from Digital TV Design Line:

- The October issue of ATSC's "The Standard" is available here:

- Here's a report on the large number of RealD 3-D theatrical 
installations and the financial benefits they bring:

- International news:

     - Digital UK, leading the British switchover, complained that 
"digital-ready" TVs accounted for just 36% of summer sales:
     But sales of all "digital TV products" exceeded analog for the first 
time in the third quarter. This story is from advanced-television.com:
     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):

     - 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 

     - 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:

     - 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:

     - Spain has six million DTT households, 2.25 million of them since 
November of 2005:

     - 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:

     - Here are a couple of stories on Czech cancelled DTT allocations:

     - Greece is said to "lag" in digital. This story is from Katherimini:

     - Here's a story about DTT in Kyrgyzstan:

     - This one on Malaysia is from Star Techcentral:

     - The Philippine government has ruled that analog-TV transmissions must 
end by the end of 2015. This story is from the Manila Times:
     Here are the draft rules for DTT in the Philippines:

     - Penetration of DTT in Taiwan (4% for set-top receivers) reportedly 
lags behind penetration in Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan:

     - 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:
     The next link is to a story on DisplaySearch statistics. Both groups 
show that HD plasma is again more prevalent than standard-definition:

     - 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):
     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 

     - 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:

     - Here's a story on DTT in Colombia:

- 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:

- 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:
     There's also now a 100-inch LCD from LG.Philips:
     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:
     This next one covers both Fox Blu-ray titles and a home $10,000 
motion-sensation leather recliner from D-Box:

- 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:
     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:
     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:

- Toshiba plans to ship a 8-GB SD card this January (that would make a 
32-GB P2 card):

- 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:

- 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:

- 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 

     - TiVo has also introduced a "broadband enhancement" to allow sharing 
home movies over the Internet:

- According to Nielsen statistics, the average American home has more 
television sets (2.73) than people (2.55):

- 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":

- 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:

- 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:

- 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:

- 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):

- 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:

     - 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:

- 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:

- Upcoming Dates (DTV and non-DTV):
     - November 29-30, Javits Convention Center, New York, HD World 
     - December 5-6, Hilton Universal City, High Definition Summit 
     - January 8-11, Las Vegas, International Consumer Electronics Show 
     - ***January 30-February 2, The Westin at Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage 
(Palm Springs area), California, ***HPA Technology Retreat*** 
     - March 28-29, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, IEEE 
International Symposium on Broadband Multimedia Systems and Broadcasting 
     - April 14-19, Las Vegas Convention Center, NAB convention 
     - 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


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:

You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts:

  • » [opendtv] 061121 Twang's Tuesday Tribune (Mark's Monday Memo)