[opendtv] Re: 20050509 Mark's Monday Memo

  • From: Tom Barry <trbarry@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 22:05:28 -0400

Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
 >>    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
 > programming.

It is not really necessary to go all the way to SDTV programming 
in order to differentiate eventual HxDVD sales from the original 
broadcasts.  They can just sell higher quality discs with less 
parts cut out, no commercials, logos, or popup overlays, and less 
filtering or artifacts.

I believe there has already been an ongoing trend towards less 
detailed HD broadcasts over the last few years, especially for 
movies.  There is a trade off between sending competitive picture 
quality and letting fully detailed material potentially into the 
public domain.

Actual 1080p (telecined 1080i) could look MUCH better than current 
broadcasts if they really wanted it to.

Of course they could also use a softer 720p for broadcast movies & 
series and a crisp 1080p for HxDVD sales to differentiate it further.

Or they could use an insufficient bit rate for the original 
broadcasts.  This has the useful side effect of making extra 
sub-channels available.

All the above are considerations that might be affected by copy 
protection concerns, at least by the reasonably paranoid.

- Tom





> 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
> programming.
> 
> Bert
>  
>  
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