I have a googleplex of words to say in response, but there is NOT a pipe big enough to accept either the total amount (...nor the peak rate) of verbiage and expletives without clipping the response to a meaningless dribble of words. So...seeing that anything less than everything would allow a loss of meaning for many, I will remain silent in my response... Besides, I think most of what remains unsaid by me at this time HAS been said here before! Mark Junior Warrior in this (as of now apparently lost) battle... Craig Birkmaier wrote: >Hmmmmm... > >Perhaps the ball is starting to move. > >At least we are now seeing a major Broadcast publication tell it like it is. > >Broadcasters are "forcing" the content conglomerates to bypass them; >as a result they are finally beginning to understand why they are >watching from the sidelines... > >Regards >Craig > > >Broadcasters Cut Out of Convergence > >January 19, 2006 12:00am >Source: Broadcasting and Cable > >As the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and MacWorld Expo wound down >earlier this month, the takeaway was that the long-hyped >"convergence" between the broadcasting, consumer-electronics and >computer industries had finally become a reality. > >Hardware manufacturers at CES demonstrated a range of non-traditional >devices for viewing television, from cellphones to portable video >players to computers with digital-video- recording (DVR) capability. >Internet companies, not setmakers, grabbed headlines with deals, >including Google's plan to sell CBS programming through its new Video >Store. > >Over at MacWorld Expo, Apple chief Steve Jobs announced that iTunes >had sold 8 million music videos and TV shows since mid October and >that NBC will sell clips from Saturday Night Live on the online >service. > >What is unclear is the role broadcast stations will play in this new >era, particularly in regard to mobile viewing. The mobile devices >touted at CES all have a common thread: They don't rely on broadcast >spectrum. Most of the broadcast networks' new video services aimed at >computers or handheld devices are delivered via the Internet, usually >through a cable company or telco, or over cellphone networks. And >most don't offer stations a cut of the revenue pie. > >"I was at CES, looking at these things, and it gives one pause," >admits Clear Channel Television Chief Technology Officer Mike DeClue. >"The broadcasters are definitely getting squeezed." > CBS SHARES THE WEALTH > >NBC and ABC aren't offering affiliates anything from their iTunes >deals, but CBS has taken a different tack, sharing some of the 70% >cut it gets from Google Video Store with the network's affiliates, >according to a person with knowledge of the deal. Google gets the >remaining 30% of revenues from sales of CBS shows at $1.99 each. (CBS >is also sharing revenue with owned-and-operated stations in markets >where it is offering video-on-demand programming through Comcast.) > >Lynn Claudy, senior VP of science and technology for the National >Association of Broadcasters, says broadcasters "should be >uncomfortable" with the new focus on small screens and Internet >video. While some stations are providing short news and sports clips >through mobile-phone providers, and companies like Modeo and Qualcomm >are developing systems that deliver live video to cellphones, Claudy >thinks stations need to reach consumers directly. That may require >broadcasting to mobile devices. > >"For a broadcaster, the best deal is never going to be giving your >product to someone else to distribute to their customer," says >Claudy. "You want to use your own infrastructure. The future of >broadcasting is more tied to the control of getting that signal to >consumers than getting it to a headend or central office and getting >a check." > >That will be a challenge. The U.S.' Advanced Television Systems >Committee (ATSC) digital-television standard was not originally >designed to support mobile reception, which was one of the criticisms >station groups like Sinclair Broadcasting leveled in the late '90s >when they pushed for a switch to the European DVB digital television >standard. The industry is still working to tweak the U.S.' VSB >(Vestigial Sideband) transmission scheme to enable mobile reception, >and a solution is several years away. > >STILL A WAY TO GO > >"In terms of reaching mobile devices with ATSC digital-television >[DTV] signals, the short answer is, we are not there yet," says ATSC >President Mark Richer. "The challenge is that we have to develop the >solution with a certain level of backwards-compatibility so existing >viewers can still get high-definition TV and other services." > >In 2004, ATSC approved a standard called Enhanced-VSB that is >supposed to allow digital reception under weaker signal conditions. >The system allows stations to lower their data rate in exchange for >making the DTV signal easier to receive. But Enhanced-VSB has yet to >be commercially deployed, and ATSC is pushing for further >improvements. > >In addition to improvements in receiver technology and video >compression, U.S. broadcasters might need a different transmission >architecture to support mobile DTV applications. Richer says some >markets may have to adopt the European approach of using multiple >small transmitters, all broadcasting on a single frequency, to ensure >handheld reception. > >Stations have already tried to make a business of transmitting >content to computers through their digital television spectrum. In >the late '90s, various station groups joined forces behind DTV >"datacasting" concerns like Geocast that promised to deliver content >to PCs, but those efforts disbanded as DTV receiver chips were slow >to make it into PCs. > >CAPITOL SHIFTS ITS FOCUS > >Capitol Broadcasting is still testing a DTV datacasting service in >Raleigh, N.C., but has shifted its focus to providing content through >cellphones with its News Over Wireless service (see B&C Special >Report, 1/2 issue). "For us, it's not an issue of 'Does digital TV >data broadcasting work?'" says Sam Matheny, general manager of News >Over Wireless. "It absolutely works. It's a matter of getting a >critical mass of devices out there to receive content." > >ABC isn't currently involved with any efforts to support datacasting >or other ancillary services through the digital spectrum, says Albert >Cheng, executive VP of digital media for the Disney/ABC Television >Group. Instead, the network is delivering content to the broadband >and mobile-phone platforms. Part of that is technical expediency, >because there is already a large number of PCs and cellphones ready >to receive content. The other reason is the challenge of reaching a >datacasting agreement with more than 200 broadcast affiliates, which >Cheng says is "like running Congress: Everyone has a different agenda. > >"We want to do something national," he adds. "[But] we only own 10 >stations, so it's quite an effort to corral the different parts of >it." > >One encouraging thing to come out of CES for broadcasters was the >introduction of thumb-size DTV receivers that fit into the USB port >of a laptop or PC. Such devices could help promote the delivery of >DTV content to PCs. And as the downloading of Internet video becomes >more popular, DeClue thinks it may overload existing broadband >networks and force content distributors to look for new delivery >channels. Who better to distribute a download of Desperate Housewives >to 500,000 PCs in a market, DeClue asks, than broadcasters? > >"There is already an overlaying mechanism that can distribute content >really seamlessly, in an encrypted fashion, in a local market," he >says. "That is DTV." > ><<Broadcasting and Cable -- 01/19/06>> > ><< Copyright ©2006 Reed Business Information. All Rights Reserved. >> > > >---------------------------------------------------------------------- >You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: > >- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at >FreeLists.org > >- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word >unsubscribe in the subject line. > > > -- ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> Regards, Mark A. 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