ditto - Tom Mark Aitken wrote: > I have a googleplex of words to say in response, but there is NOT a pip= e=20 > 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.= =2E. >=20 > Besides, I think most of what remains unsaid by me at this time HAS bee= n=20 > said here before! >=20 > Mark > Junior Warrior in this (as of now apparently lost) battle... >=20 > Craig Birkmaier wrote: >=20 >=20 >>Hmmmmm... >> >>Perhaps the ball is starting to move. >> >>At least we are now seeing a major Broadcast publication tell it like i= t is. >> >>Broadcasters are "forcing" the content conglomerates to bypass them;=20 >>as a result they are finally beginning to understand why they are=20 >>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=20 >>earlier this month, the takeaway was that the long-hyped=20 >>"convergence" between the broadcasting, consumer-electronics and=20 >>computer industries had finally become a reality. >> >>Hardware manufacturers at CES demonstrated a range of non-traditional=20 >>devices for viewing television, from cellphones to portable video=20 >>players to computers with digital-video- recording (DVR) capability.=20 >>Internet companies, not setmakers, grabbed headlines with deals,=20 >>including Google's plan to sell CBS programming through its new Video=20 >>Store. >> >>Over at MacWorld Expo, Apple chief Steve Jobs announced that iTunes=20 >>had sold 8 million music videos and TV shows since mid October and=20 >>that NBC will sell clips from Saturday Night Live on the online=20 >>service. >> >>What is unclear is the role broadcast stations will play in this new=20 >>era, particularly in regard to mobile viewing. The mobile devices=20 >>touted at CES all have a common thread: They don't rely on broadcast=20 >>spectrum. Most of the broadcast networks' new video services aimed at=20 >>computers or handheld devices are delivered via the Internet, usually=20 >>through a cable company or telco, or over cellphone networks. And=20 >>most don't offer stations a cut of the revenue pie. >> >>"I was at CES, looking at these things, and it gives one pause,"=20 >>admits Clear Channel Television Chief Technology Officer Mike DeClue.=20 >>"The broadcasters are definitely getting squeezed." >> CBS SHARES THE WEALTH >> >>NBC and ABC aren't offering affiliates anything from their iTunes=20 >>deals, but CBS has taken a different tack, sharing some of the 70%=20 >>cut it gets from Google Video Store with the network's affiliates,=20 >>according to a person with knowledge of the deal. Google gets the=20 >>remaining 30% of revenues from sales of CBS shows at $1.99 each. (CBS=20 >>is also sharing revenue with owned-and-operated stations in markets=20 >>where it is offering video-on-demand programming through Comcast.) >> >>Lynn Claudy, senior VP of science and technology for the National=20 >>Association of Broadcasters, says broadcasters "should be=20 >>uncomfortable" with the new focus on small screens and Internet=20 >>video. While some stations are providing short news and sports clips=20 >>through mobile-phone providers, and companies like Modeo and Qualcomm=20 >>are developing systems that deliver live video to cellphones, Claudy=20 >>thinks stations need to reach consumers directly. That may require=20 >>broadcasting to mobile devices. >> >>"For a broadcaster, the best deal is never going to be giving your=20 >>product to someone else to distribute to their customer," says=20 >>Claudy. "You want to use your own infrastructure. The future of=20 >>broadcasting is more tied to the control of getting that signal to=20 >>consumers than getting it to a headend or central office and getting=20 >>a check." >> >>That will be a challenge. The U.S.' Advanced Television Systems=20 >>Committee (ATSC) digital-television standard was not originally=20 >>designed to support mobile reception, which was one of the criticisms=20 >>station groups like Sinclair Broadcasting leveled in the late '90s=20 >>when they pushed for a switch to the European DVB digital television=20 >>standard. The industry is still working to tweak the U.S.' VSB=20 >>(Vestigial Sideband) transmission scheme to enable mobile reception,=20 >>and a solution is several years away. >> >>STILL A WAY TO GO >> >>"In terms of reaching mobile devices with ATSC digital-television=20 >>[DTV] signals, the short answer is, we are not there yet," says ATSC=20 >>President Mark Richer. "The challenge is that we have to develop the=20 >>solution with a certain level of backwards-compatibility so existing=20 >>viewers can still get high-definition TV and other services." >> >>In 2004, ATSC approved a standard called Enhanced-VSB that is=20 >>supposed to allow digital reception under weaker signal conditions.=20 >>The system allows stations to lower their data rate in exchange for=20 >>making the DTV signal easier to receive. But Enhanced-VSB has yet to=20 >>be commercially deployed, and ATSC is pushing for further=20 >>improvements. >> >>In addition to improvements in receiver technology and video=20 >>compression, U.S. broadcasters might need a different transmission=20 >>architecture to support mobile DTV applications. Richer says some=20 >>markets may have to adopt the European approach of using multiple=20 >>small transmitters, all broadcasting on a single frequency, to ensure=20 >>handheld reception. >> >>Stations have already tried to make a business of transmitting=20 >>content to computers through their digital television spectrum. In=20 >>the late '90s, various station groups joined forces behind DTV=20 >>"datacasting" concerns like Geocast that promised to deliver content=20 >>to PCs, but those efforts disbanded as DTV receiver chips were slow=20 >>to make it into PCs. >> >>CAPITOL SHIFTS ITS FOCUS >> >>Capitol Broadcasting is still testing a DTV datacasting service in=20 >>Raleigh, N.C., but has shifted its focus to providing content through=20 >>cellphones with its News Over Wireless service (see B&C Special=20 >>Report, 1/2 issue). "For us, it's not an issue of 'Does digital TV=20 >>data broadcasting work?'" says Sam Matheny, general manager of News=20 >>Over Wireless. "It absolutely works. It's a matter of getting a=20 >>critical mass of devices out there to receive content." >> >>ABC isn't currently involved with any efforts to support datacasting=20 >>or other ancillary services through the digital spectrum, says Albert=20 >>Cheng, executive VP of digital media for the Disney/ABC Television=20 >>Group. Instead, the network is delivering content to the broadband=20 >>and mobile-phone platforms. Part of that is technical expediency,=20 >>because there is already a large number of PCs and cellphones ready=20 >>to receive content. The other reason is the challenge of reaching a=20 >>datacasting agreement with more than 200 broadcast affiliates, which=20 >>Cheng says is "like running Congress: Everyone has a different agenda. >> >>"We want to do something national," he adds. "[But] we only own 10=20 >>stations, so it's quite an effort to corral the different parts of=20 >>it." >> >>One encouraging thing to come out of CES for broadcasters was the=20 >>introduction of thumb-size DTV receivers that fit into the USB port=20 >>of a laptop or PC. Such devices could help promote the delivery of=20 >>DTV content to PCs. And as the downloading of Internet video becomes=20 >>more popular, DeClue thinks it may overload existing broadband=20 >>networks and force content distributors to look for new delivery=20 >>channels. Who better to distribute a download of Desperate Housewives=20 >>to 500,000 PCs in a market, DeClue asks, than broadcasters? >> >>"There is already an overlaying mechanism that can distribute content=20 >>really seamlessly, in an encrypted fashion, in a local market," he=20 >>says. "That is DTV." >> >><<Broadcasting and Cable -- 01/19/06>> >> >><< Copyright =A92006 Reed Business Information. 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