[opendtv] 20060414 Free Friday Fragments (Mark's Monday Memo)

  • From: Mark Schubin <tvmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tvmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 00:27:46 -0400 (EDT)

     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).

Sorry for the delay in getting a memo out.  I was overseas for a while, and I'm 
still digging out.  I'll do ads and CEA sales figures next time (I also haven't 
yet checked all of my usual news sources).

- Follow-ups:

     - CableCARDs - 
          - Warren Communications News reported that the National Cable & 
Telecommunications Association (NCTA) says 141,000 have been deployed.  The 
story is no longer on their site:
          - Scientific-Atlanta has received approval of a multi-stream 
CableCARD.  This story is from Broadcasting & Cable:

     - Advanced Compression - The Society of Motion-Picture and Television 
Engineers (SMPTE) has standardized VC-1:

     - Reduced-resolution analog outputs from next-generation disk players - 
Universal has joined the other major studios (except Warner) in rejecting 
initial use of the image constraint token:

     - Introduction of HD DVD - Toshiba has delayed the launch.  This story is 
from Informatics Online:

     - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Entertainment Technology 
Policy Summit - Podcasts are available:

     - U.S. analog-TV cutoff - Acting assistant head of the National 
Telecommunications & Information Administration John Kneuer said, "We are at 
the beginning and we're going to need lots and lots of help...."  He asked 
Federal Trade Commissioner Jonathan Leibowitz if continued sales of analog TVs 
represent illegal deception of consumers.  Leibowitz replied, "I don't think 
so."  This story is from Broadcasting & Cable:

     - USDTV - The DTT multichannel service is moving to AVC compression to 
offer more pay-per-view movies.  It is unclear what happens to existing 
receivers.  This story is from Broadcasting & Cable:

     - CEA and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have joined 
forces to prevent DTT receivers from falling under strict California 
energy-consumption restrictions:

     - May 1 - 
          - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) updated its figures on 
March 24:
               - 1698 stations (98.6% of what the FCC currently uses as the DTT 
full-power total) have been granted DTT licenses or construction permits, and 
1566 are on the air at least sometimes at some power level:
               - There has been no change in the 40 stations due on the air May 
1, 1999; 38 are licensed, and two are said to still be operating on temporary 
               - There has also been no change in the 79 stations due on the 
air November 1, 1999; 74 are licensed and five are said to still be operating 
on temporary authority:
               - More than half of the stations are, for the first time, 
licensed or on program-test authority:
               - These are those 887:
               - These are the 679 said to still be operating on temporary 
          - Doug Lung's RF Report noted 878 licensed DTT stations (more than 
half of the 1750 full-power analog stations as of the end of 2005) in the FCC 
CDBS database as of March 20:
It noted 883 as of April 2:

- Reports from NCTA's National Show:
     - Switched video (one channel at a time) was reportedly a hot topic.  The 
second URL is for a story from Broadcasting & Cable:
     - Legal ramifications of some recording and distribution technologies were 
     - There was a call for more free video on demand:
     - Internet downloads of TV programming were also a hot topic:
And a Time Warner Cable executive questioned why cable should have to pay for 
retransmission consent when ABC was offering its hot shows free on the Internet:

- International news:

     - Informa Telecoms & Media offers this list of DTT in selected European 
Country   DTT began   Analog cutoff planned
Austria   2006        2012
Belgium   2003        2010
Denmark   2005        2009
Finland   2002        2007
France    2005        2010
Germany   2003        2010
Italy     2004        2008
Norway    2006        2008
Spain     2005        2010
Sweden    1999        2008
UK        2002 [?]    2012
I'd put the UK start date at 1998.

     - The European Information and Communications Technology Association 
(EICTA) has come up with an "HDTV" logo that means able to "receive and 
process" HD.  The previous (January 2005) "HD Ready" logo was for devices 
"capable of processing and displaying" HD, but this story notes that the two 
logos have differing requirements for analog and digital connections:

     - According to Screen Digest, there were two million HD ready households 
in Europe at the end of 2005, 6.7 million (14%) in Japan, and 19 million (17%) 
in the U.S.:

     - "Azerbaijan," according to this headline, "Plans to be First South 
Caucasus DTV Broadcaster":

     - China has reportedly decided to come up with its own DTT standard:

     - According to Pacific Media Associates, the 30- to 35-inch size range was 
the top seller in flat panel TVs in North America in 2005 (1.4 million units), 
with 40- to 45-inch second (1.2 million):

- CEA is seeking participation for final review of its CEA-2014 standard for 
digital TVs controlling other devices:

- DisplaySearch's first quarterly TV Electronics Report found de-interlacing 
and scaling to be the top category (21.8 million units shipped in 2005).  Only 
1.8 million "merchant MPEG Video Processors" were shipped; tunerless TVs are 
said to be at least partly to blame:

- Warren Communications News reported that year-to-date "DTV" shipments have 
exceeded direct-view analog sets.  The story is no longer on their site:
It's bound to happen sometime this year, but I haven't crunched those numbers 
yet, and it's possible they're not counting analog combos (I do).

- Upcoming Dates (DTV and non-DTV):
     - April 22-27, Las Vegas Convention Center, NAB2006 
     - April 28-30, Early Television Museum, Hilliard, Ohio, 2006 Early 
Television Convention <http://www.earlytelevision.org/2006_convention.html>.
     - *May 17, Film Row Cinema, Columbia College, Chicago, HD Expo 
     - May 20-23, Porte de Versailles, Paris, 120th AES convention 
     - *June 5-9, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, Alberta, 
Canada, WABE/SAIT Broadcast Training Seminar <wayne.watson@xxxxxxx>.
     - June 7-9, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Infocomm 
     - June 27-29, Javits Center, New York, Entertainment Technology Alliance 
     - October 3-5, Hotel Fort Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa, Iowa DTV Symposium 

* - new or revised listing


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