[opendtv] Re: CableLabs Proposes Specifications for OTA Reception in Cable Boxes

  • From: " iclaustrum" <iclaustrum@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2007 12:01:19 -0800

I know what this is all about...

Here's Claustrum's prediction for the future.
I did not steal this from a Phillip K. Dick novel.
Missing anything?

2007:
More (melo)drama as MSOs loose permission to carry local stations during
negotiations with broadcasters. Tensions reach all time high as Superbowl
2008 approaches.

Advertising during network prime time averages 18 minutes per hour (42
minutes of programs).

2008:
Retrans agreements add $5/month to the average household cable bill.

Cable boxes will emerge with ATSC tuning capability. MSOs will offer the
option of saving $10/month for customers that have good OTA reception.

2009:
Broadcasters will finally get their way and force MSOs to carry the full
19.3 mbps transport stream, including subchannels and private packets and
whatever the broadcaster fancies stuffing into the multiplex. Unfortunately,
this decreasingly includes a high quality 720p or 1080i stream.

Advertisements reach 20 minutes per hour during prime time network
programing.

Broadcasters will drag their feet on over-the-air (OTA) reception coverage,
easily bowing to pressure from lobby groups like Concerned Citizens against
RF, Low Flying Aircraft League, and the sometimes eco-terror group "Tower
Babylon." If house holds can get service OTA, then broadcasters won't get
their share of retrans fees.

To actually provide true HDTV feeds to customers, broadcasters and MSOs
negotiate a cable-only separate feed containing an H.264 stream. This adds
another $0.50/month/channel option to the customer's' bill.

2010:
Broadcasters start providing their own mini cable service, now forced to be
carried on cable thanks to digital retrans and must carry.
First offer: HBO Digest for $9/month.. a few $$ cheaper than equivalent
channel on DBS, cable, DSL-video, MMDS, cell phone, IPTV, and L-band feeds.

Congress launches hearings into rumors that broadcasters are demanding
compensation from all cable households, including those that decline the
local programming package.

CBS and NBC affiliates begin to switch to 720p because it compresses to
lower bitrates more easily than 1080i (especially 24p film content). This
however is sold to the public as a defiant station manager who finally "sees
the progressive light."

In the next round of retrans negotiations, the average broadcaster is now
getting $1/month per household... some are raking in $2/month.

The average bitrate of OTA HDTV signals has dropped to 8 mbps. Intraframes
are now every 2 seconds. People complain of an "intra-beat" headache that
pulses every 2 seconds. Because their vision has become acclimated, they see
a weird pulse shift in their everyday vision every two seconds.  Cable feeds
are rumored to be headache-free.

2011:
CBS and NBC provide a national 720p contribution feed to their affiliates.
Owned and Operated stations start to make the switch.

Broadcasters start to wish they had in-the-clear H.264 primary video option
and 64 QAM like their European counterparts, and begin lobbying the FCC to
amend ATSC. With a new rule, they need need only spend 1 megabit per second
on the single actual 480p "high definition" video feed, leaving a cool 25
mbps left over for private data services (instead of the current 2 mbps for
480p MPEG-2 with 16 mbps left over for whatever).

Lift couches and easy chairs become all the rage. Viewers press a button and
the couch/chair raises them to standing position. No more (physical)
struggling to escape the clutches of television.

Average cable bill reaches $100/month, $20 of which is retransmission fees.
Broadcasters now join fight to prevent FCC from pushing ala carte.

2012:
In what consumers think is a victory for themselves, ala carte becomes law.
In response, MSOs raise the basic service fee to $50/month. Also in
response, multiple channel originators spread their content across as many
channels as possible, forcing consumers to stick with packages. This is
later known to historians as the Great 2012 Spectrum Spread. Unfortunately,
some multiple channel originators were so confused with what channels
"belonged to the family" with all the recent mergers and acquisitions, they
scheduled programming onto competitor's networks by mistake.

Average bitrate of primary ATSC MPEG-2 video stream now 5 mbps across all
channels.

2013:
Mandatory TV with commercials that started in 2007 with NYC taxi cabs has
now spread to all forms of public transportation.

In order to help pay for public education, many schools now require video
displays with commercials throughout campus. Eyeball tracking software and
classroom quizzes measures student viewing compliance. Parents are billed
for the hours not watched by their children, or for low "Video Quiz" scores.

Advertising reaches 25 minutes per hour of prime time programming.

ATSC amended to allow H.265 to be the primary video feed.

2014:
All MPEG-2 transmissions cease.

2020:
Citing BBC's TV license fees, a tax is amended to the newly erected federal
property tax that insures broadcasters see $50/year per household,
regardless of whether dwellers even own a television. Retransmission fees,
of course, continue. Now averaging $4/month/channel.

2021:
The British repeal TV license fees.

Like most other European nations, the average UK household spends 10 pounds
(35 euros) on television programming. The average American: $250/month (with
advertising), $400/month (without advertising). TV executives point out that
this is only a fraction of the $2000/month that health insurance costs.

Meanwhile, inflation continues at less than 5% per year, while income
continues to rise 3% per year.

END TRANSMISSION

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