[opendtv] Re: Are ATSC Stations Going Off The Air?

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2013 08:10:55 -0400

> On Oct 11, 2013, at 7:11 PM, "Manfredi, Albert E" 
> <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I continue to wonder why the US cellcos would allow this to happen, UNLESS 
> the LTE overlay network were their own. We have the unfortunate situation 
> where cellcos control what type of phone they'll allow. It seems unlikely 
> that they would allow free access to TV to their phones, over someone else's 
> LTE frequencies, any more than they jumped at the opportunity to use ATSC-MH.

So many misconceptions here!

First, there is nothing to stop the telcos from offering LTE Broadcast EXCEPT:
1. Spectrum - they need to satisfy the need for paying data customers first;
2. Content - they would need to compete for the rights for the content people 
WANT on mobile devices connected to LTE networks; content delivered over wired 
broadband via Wi-Fi is a different animal. And they would need to build 
"broadcast infrastructure" to deliver the content, sell ads etc.  By working 
with the MVPDs as they do today, they benefit by SELLING larger data plans. 
Selling content subscriptions has not been successful ( e.g. Florida TV). FREE 
over LTE would require substantial ad revenue to be profitable.
3. The telcos are rapidly moving to a business model where third parties own 
and operate the tower infrastructure; most tower sites already support multiple 
carriers and could easily support LTE Broadcast, for the telcos, or for current 
broadcasters; and in rural areas existing big sticks could support LTE 
4. The telcos no longer control the devices that connect to their networks. 
Apple, Google and to a lesser extent Microsoft/Nokia now control the devices 
and the content/apps. The only services the telcos control are traditional 
voice and a declining portion of the text message market, which is becoming 
another "data service." And voice (VOIP) is likely to replace voice minutes 
soon (more on this in a moment). It is true that devices must still be 
optimized for certain networks due to proprietary modulation schemes, different 
frequency bands, and some proprietary baggage, but technology is mitigating 
this problem the new Qualcomm radio chip that Apple and other device 
manufacturers are starting to deploy, supports multiple modulation schemes and 
more RF frequencies.
5. Support for ATSC-MH requires another chip - the telcos and device 
manufacturers were NEVER going to support this. Support for LTE Broadcast is 
virtually free in most devices, and there is little that the Telcos can do to 
block this - it's just another App. I would note that there are a few handsets 
that support FM radio.

> The other thing is, wouldn't it be nice, for robustness, to create some sort 
> of n-FSK scheme that had adequate b/s/Hz? Seems like not doable, but FM is 
> more impervious than PM to distortions. I think the original 2G GSM used FM 
> (it was called GMSK), but it was limited to something like 1 bit per symbol. 
> Got to do some more searching on this topic.
In an LTE world, robustness comes from adequate cell density to provide good RF 
connections and to meet demand. Cell density for telco data services is 
necessarily much higher in urban areas because of user density and unicast 
demand. Cell density for LTE Broadcast can be lower as everyone is receiving 
multicasts - but you still need a fair amount of spectrum to checkerboard 
coverage as SFN's are not practical for an LTE overlay network.

If broadcasters do something proprietary they are toast. The government will 
not mandate another broadcast standard - they want to monetize the broadcast 

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