[opendtv] Re: Australia DTV

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 08:39:09 -0500

At 3:12 PM -0500 11/26/06, Albert Manfredi wrote:
The only way that the terrestrial service will start growing market share
again, is if they offer competitive reasons to come back. They will need
to offer competitive programming and a very high likelihood that service
can be established with minimum effort. And most important they will
need to develop new services that people want, but cannot get from
competitors, like portability and mobility.

The only country we can compare our situation to is Germany (DTT switchover in times of low OTA TV usage). Is that what Germany had to do to keep FOTA TV afloat? The first part, easy reception, sort of. The rest, no. The "easy reception" aspect only really applied to the 12-14 miles from the middle of the SFN pattern. I think ATSC has, or should have, no problem achieving that.

What Germany did is more closely aligned with what Great Britain did - the second time. They built a viable competitor to the subscription services without the monthly fee. They currently offer about 20 channels in most markets, while Freeview has about thirty. As a result they are seeing increased use of the DTT service.

BTW, I'm not saying that the new gimmicks you mention are not to be offered. I'm only saying that they aren't mandatory for DTT survival.

That is your opinion. I agree that broadcasting to fixed receivers could survive if a competitive service were introduced in the U.S. Unfortunately, however, there is little reason to believe that the media conglomerates would support this.

It is absurd for a "wireless" service NOT to support portable and mobile reception. This is the unique competitive advantage that broadcasters are ignoring. As a result, we are likely to see support for portable/mobile coming from a variety of free and subscription-based services like the MediaFlo service from Qualcomm and WiFi networks that will allow users to pull content from any Internet site.

TVs are not sold set to cable by default over here now.

That's funny. All the ones I have bought in a couple of decades are. And I should know, since I have to go into the menu and change the setting. Must be a fluke.

Perhaps it is just personal experience. Every set I have purchased in the past 20 years has come set to the terrestrial tuner. Whatever the case, it is a trivial thing to change.

As long as we are speculating, I would suggest that a sizable portion
of the remaining OTA audience are actually homes that don't do TV.

That's fine too. It would be nice to see stats on this number. Or she might try some rabbit ears.

Given her proximity to the transmitters in our area, I am certain that she could get the four analog networks with rabbit ears. The digital transmitters are scattered around the compass, so she would probably have to play with the antenna to get reliable digital service. But this is irrelevant, as she has NO DESIRE to go to this much trouble. She would rather pay a monthly fee and let someone install the service. For the moment however, she does not feel she is missing anything...


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