[opendtv] Re: And we were not even invited

  • From: "Albert Manfredi" <bert22306@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2006 18:02:59 -0500

The problem is, it's a little late in coming. There was too much semi-clueless
or completely clueless misinformation allowed to be divulged on ATSC from
way back, even by the ATSC itself.

I'm talking here about ideas like:

- ATSC is a point solution.
- ATSC is only meant for reception with 30 fit masts.
- ATSC can't do indoor reception.
- ATSC is only for big sticks, it can't do SFNs.
- ATSC can't do mobile reception.
- ATSC can't use other codecs.
- ATSC can't be used with hand-held appliances.

To any engineer who understands anything about layered protocols or digital RF comms, every one of these much-repeated truisms was only perhaps true at some point in time. It was not something that couldn't be resolved. So while DVB went about solving whatever shortcomings they might have had, e.g. by their after-the-fact development of DVB-H, the ATSC was made to appear stagnant to the trade press, marketers, and to the politicos.

For example, DVB-H was much ballyhooed much before it was demonstrated. A-VSB, by contrast, was a tightly held secret until it was demoed. So while marketers went off assuming that DVB to hand-held appliances was a done deal, they also went on assuming that ATSC would never be able to participate. Bad idea to let these misconceptions become entrenched.

BTW, there is a parallel. Internet Protocols vs. ISO/OSI protocols. The latter were very well written and very complete, more so than the IP ones. But history showed that the IP were good enough and extensible enough that the perfectly written ISO/OSI didn't matter so much after all.

I think that a more pro-active public attitude by the ATSC itself, vs. always taking the initial position that these other capabilities had not been established in the original standard (implication being that the new capabilities couldn't be met), would have been a good thing. Maybe the problem was the sting felt after 2nd gen receivers did not meet their promise. I don't know.


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