[opendtv] Re: 20050509 Mark's Monday Memo

  • From: Bob Miller <bob@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 10:33:59 -0400

Most consumers would be happy with the latest tested receiver.

Most would accept the problems associated with it as just the 
continuation of the NTSC experience. If they get enough OTA channels 
they would feel lucky and if they didn't get some or if they had 
interference on some they would learn to live with it just like NTSC. if 
the price of a converter or STB is low enough some will buy them. Some 
will complain. Congress will say "its better than NTSC". In some ways it 
is. Bit no

That is the problem IMO. JUST LIKE NTSC.

There is no way that someone could start a business with such a 
receiver. Even as I pleadingly ask Mark to agree with me that "this 
receiver could work" I knew that it couldn't. Not for our business plan. 
Too many people would complain, not want to pay for their subscription 
fee based on reception problems. This receiver would not be good enough 
for current broadcasters to take their eye off the ball, must carry and 
multicast must carry.

They couldn't "rely" on OTA anymore than my proposed business could. 
With this receiver OTA is marginal just like NTSC is and will continue 
its death march. A waste of spectrum. This receiver would be good enough 
for the FCC and Congress to "stay the course" and free OTA to slowly 
die.  Not enough people would complain about free digital OTA with such 
a receiver but too many would complain about an ancillary subscription 
service. And as is true with NTSC most who could afford cable or 
satellite will stay there. Any who still rely on OTA will migrate to 
cable or sat over time.

And yet the difference with the first LG prototype we tested is marginal.

Yet this margin is all the difference between the rut that broadcasters 
and a USDTV type venture is mired in and the success that Freeview and 
TopUPTV in the UK are.

If you take what they have in the UK, switch to 8K COFDM from 2K thereby 
adding reliable mobile and use MPEG4 then you have eliminated the 
"marginal" and you have  the  advantage over cable and satellite. This 
has been our Holy Grail since 1999 if you substitute MPEG4 with VP4 now 

But we can't get there from here in the US. Qualcomm and Crown Castle 
have to settle for the cell phone market because they don't have the 
bandwidth to compete with cable or satellite though they can use COFDM 
and MPEG4. Broadcasters are stuck with 8-VSB, MPEG2 and a form of 
Alzheimers that comes with relying on government to do your competing.

New spectrum that could be used, channels above 51, is tied up with the 
failed digital transition and when the rest of it is sold the FCC will 
do their best to see that no large tract is assembled to compete with 
their current broadcasters hogtied with 8-VSB.

And now we have the GAO chiming in with the message that we should put 
off auctions for some indefinite period so as to get the most money from 
the sale. No mention of the value of current spectrum ill used. The 
monumental waste ongoing each day. The tax dollars and jobs never to see 
the light of day because of such Troglydyte thinking.

Except for auctions 44 and 49 for channels 54, 55 and 59, which the FCC 
has successfully kept from being used so far, the broadcasters have 
successfully kept spectrum from competing with them for many years. Now 
they have the GAO's help. How many more rabbits are in that hat to be 
pulled out as needed? As I stated at the meeting on Tuesday, the Senate 
and broadcasters will/should/most likely will pull the rabbit of 
receivability and receiver standards out of that hat to kill Barton's bill.

General insanity in other words.

It is truly depressing to visit DC. It takes a few days to recover and 
then you get like this.

Bob Miller

Tom Barry wrote:

> From these last few reports it is hard for me to compare.  I 
>guess, for the last box tested, would you both say that the 
>average consumer (non-early adopter) would probably be happy 
>purchasing one of these and trying to use it indoors with a set 
>top antenna?
>Or would he still likely return it in that situation?
>- Tom
>Mark Schubin wrote:
>>>At Mark's the antenna was mostly in the window,
>>Not during last summer's test.  We tried a set-top antenna, too.  It was 
>>necessary to go to the window only for the 7th station.
>>>it was a loop and it 
>>>seems unfased by traffic or our movements behind it in the room.
>>>never were in front of the antenna AFAIR. Maybe Mark could comment.
>>It's possible that during the set-top tests someone moved between the 
>>antenna and the window.

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