[opendtv] Re: 20050509 Mark's Monday Memo

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "OpenDTV (E-mail)" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 19:21:32 -0400

Mark Schubin wrote:

>     - 5th-generation LG chip in non-LG receivers - There
> was another test at my apartment this week.  It was
> dramatically better than the last.  One participant
> characterized it as "4th-generation plus," and I won't
> dispute that, but it didn't have the magical plug-&-play
> of the 5th-generation LG chip in the LG box.  Notably,
> with a loop antenna, the receiver appeared to be
> sensitive to people walking around the room.

The weird thing about this is that the 5th gen LG chip
has the same smarts to fight the multipath in both the LG
box and in this new unnamed one. So the difference in
performance can only be attributed, one would think, to
"the basics" of good receiver design.

In the NYC environment especially, less than excellent
selectivity can create that intermodulation distortion
we have seen well explained on the list, which in turn
means the receiver loses some C/N margin. Maybe that
explains why any slight extra degradation of the signal,
either by people moving about or by a less well aimed
loop antenna, causes the dropout of signal even when the
same decoding algorithms are used.

>     - "Broadcast flag" - The bombshell of the week was
> the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
> throwing out the FCC requirement less than two months
> after it was to go into effect.  The unanimous ruling
> was based on the FCC's lack of jurisdiction.
>        - ABC (Alex Wallau, network president) - "This
> was not a ruling against the concept of a broadcast
> flag, but against FCC jurisdiction to require one.

Perhaps this is correct. However, no matter what the
immediate cause of the bombshell, that FCC ruling was
still flawed. It was flawed because it was internally
inconsistent. You cannot do what the FCC had mandated and
still guarantee the "fair use" rights that the FCC
claimed it wanted to guarantee. This might be of no big
consequence to the broadcasters, but it sure is to the
people. There should be no possibility of broadcasters
preventing people from time shifting their programs.

So in my book, this says that the system worked. Why not
apply the same mechanisms against piracy as are applied
to everything else? You go after the pirates.

>     So, what happens now?  CBS threatened long ago to
> withdraw HD programming unless there was a
> "broadcast-flag"-like order.  Will they?

If they do, I'm sure that ABC and CBS will take that as
an opportunity to attract more viewers with their own HD

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