[opendtv] Re: Analysis: Should Apple Buy Hollywood?

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 09:41:07 -0500

At 4:51 AM -0500 3/1/12, Albert Manfredi wrote:

HDTV had been in development since 1991. The ATSC formats had been standardized and published by 1994. The DVD spec, on the other hand, which was for an SD recording medium and was published at the end (December) of 1995, 4.7 GB disc, 480i or 576i (obviously not HD).

The two were developed hand in hand - BOTH leverage MPEG-2 MP@ML for Standard Definition video. Both the ATSC and DVD standards call out MPEG-2 MP@ML. And THAT specification was not standardized until 1996 (some parts a bit later).

Remember, DirectTV went on the air with a non-standard implementation of what became MPEG-2. They had to upgrade/replace all of their early receivers when they switched to MPEG-2.

What you are failing to take into account is where the real money was during the '90s - SDTV.

There is ONLY one reason why HDTV was promoted in the early '90s...


Broadcasters feared what we are seeing today - that any attempt to simply move to SDTV digital, in place of NTSC, might result in licenses only being granted 2 MHz for their new channels. HDTV required the full 6 MHz; thus it was the only thing that could be discussed in ATSC standards work until that fateful day in the summer of 1995, when MPEG-2 MP@ML was added to the standard.

Like I said, at best, they exploited the standardized HDTV displays, but you will have a darned hard time convincing anyone that HDTV was developed for DVDs, or that people went out and bought HDTV sets primarily to watch DVDs.

HDTV was NOT developed for DVDs. It was developed because interlaced composite video looks soft and artifact ridden on large screens. The large screen market prior to the introduction of ATSC was driven ENTIRELY by movies and sports. Analog component video was highly desired, and people were spending upwards of $5,000 for a good deinterlacing device.

The traditional CE vendors understood that it would take years to develop the HDTV market, but high quality SDTV could provide the content people wanted during the transition.

On the other hand, instead of using yourself as the model for the market, perhaps you can find some real stats to make your point. How many people bought HDTV sets only to watch DVDs, when they had no HD source material? Better yet, how many people bought HDTV sets to watch DVDs only, without ANTICIPATING using them to watch HD material?

The attach rate for DVD players on early HDTV sales was near 100%.


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