At 10:05 PM -0400 5/11/05, Tom Barry wrote: >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. Tom has stumbled onto something here that may be significant. There are some things that broadcast TV does well, and it is likely that it will continue to do so, in the future. Live sporting event coverage is one of the programming areas that is well suited to the advertiser supported programming model. It is difficult to time shift sports, as the outcome is well known shortly after a major event (although some people start caching an event, then start watching 20-30 minutes later so they can skip the commercials and catch up with the live event near the end). There are some things that broadcast TV does not do well. The presentation of movies is a good example, as most of us prefer to watch these "stories" without commercial interruptions, and we have multiple options to do so (premium movie channels, VOD, NVOD, DVD etc.). And there is one thing that broadcast TV cannot do at all - the presentation of content without restrictions on things like nudity, violence, and language. In essence, broadcast TV is becoming non-competitive with "uncensored" media because of the content restrictions imposed by government. It should come as no surprise, that pressure is being applied on broadcasters in this area, as it may be the deal breaker for "Free TV." The content moguls can use the lack of an enforceable broadcast flag as the excuse to move their best content to distribution systems where content restrictions do not apply. As Tom notes, DVD versions of programs could contain additional content that is not offered in a free-to-air version, along with additional features that could be linked to e-commerce opportunities. Image quality might also be a factor, however it is important to note that this does not matter much to a significant portion of the potential audience. Consider the large number of people who think that DVDs are high definition today. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in Congress. If the broadcast flag or equivalent is not included in the rewrite of the communications act, this could be a signal to the conglomerates that the era of Free TV is over, and that's OK with their friends in the Nation's capital. Bottom line, the real value of ad supported TV is as the promotional engine to drive the sale of higher quality content. Regards Craig ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.