Craig Birkmaier wrote: >YOU started this thread by posting an EETimes story about >new LG and Samsung phones that support various mobile >TV standards. In that message you said: > >>I think this article shows just how much of a hindrance >>physical layer differences can be -- or not be. If CE >>manufacturers put their mind to it, that is. Yes, Craig. And just prior to that, we had been discussing the wide availability of DVB-T STBs in Euro markets, vs. the much less broad choice to ATSC STBs in US stores. And the fact that CE manufacturers can and do produce CE products to meet all manner of different global standards ... until it comes to ATSC, that is. This LG and Samsung announcement was simply another example of what we had been discussing in that thread. Reference to mobility was tangential to the on-going thread. Those two companies were not flinching at offering products built to US-specific and more global standards, which in principle they could also do with ATSC vs DVB-T products. >That is not the issue here. Bob responded that the >manufacturers seem to have an aversion to ATSC, and >you then took the thread off in a new direction, talking >about Freeview No, Craig. By "freeview" I mean FOTA TV. In the same previous discussions, we had talked about how anything that involved monthly subscriptions was supported by CE vendors, apparently, while anything involving FOTA *in the US* was not readily available. Despite the fact that the potential is there, already installed. Which is why I mentioned how many multiplexes we already have here, as opposed to the much smaller number in many Euro DTT markets that appear to become successful. >Mobility is a non starter for ATSC, despite your wildest >dreams. That's another topic, interesting IMO, but it takes an open mind to understand the issues. >The rest of my response was about the reasons that >you will not see a Freeview like service from U.S. >broadcasters. It is worth noting that you changed the >subject when you replied, turning the discussion to the >overall U.S. DTT situation - Re: DTT in the US That's because, much as I would love to understand the real obstacles, what you offer as reasons does not hold up. Broadcasters' greed, for example, is not a reason. Capitalism depends on greed. It's supposed to work with greed in the equation. Economics 101 says that if people get hooked on subscription TV services to the tune of 85 percent, when FOTA is also available, perhaps broadcasters and content providers are not being greedy enough when they sell to umbillical service providers. Then you go into the different business models, which I agree with (diirect payment, ad supported, and ads + subscription fees). >My question to you - which you blew off - is how >can Channel 4 afford to pay ~$15 million annually >for secondary distribution via Freeview? Obviously, neither you nor I have the books to point to, to answer that question credibly. I'm simply suggesting that they are operating under a different model. That's why I listed the possible ways money could be exchanged between content creator and distrtibution service. If Freeview gets the $15M in payments from Channel 4, how does Channel 4 make money? I don't know the answer. For example, what fraction of ad revenue goes to Channel 4 as opposed to the Freeview distribution service? How does that compare with US cable systems and their broadcaster content? >Let me make this perfectly clear. The situation in >the U.S. is NOT market driven. Broadcasters are >able to extort additional revenues from secondary >distributors. It's just this sort of "explanation" that makes my eyes glaze over. This is nonsense. Broadcasters can ask whatever the umbillical service market will bear. It's not "extortion." No one will die or freeze to death if they can't buy that extra premium package, or if they can't receive ER over their cable or DBS system. >If broadcasters could only charge advertisers for >the home they reach via the Free-to-air service the >ad rates would by necessity be MUCH lower, as >approximately 80% of the audience is accessing >this content via secondary distribution. But U.S. >broadcasters not only charge advertisers for these >additional eyeballs, they also are trying to get those >eyeballs to kick in a direct payment every month as >well. Again, the exact tradeoffs are what we need. If broadcasters could only charge advertizers based on 15 to 20 percent of their real viewership, neither you nor I have the slightest idea how that would percolate through the content creator industry. >It is not a question of profitability. U.S. broadcasters >generate more than $15 billion in ad revenues each >year, and this is in addition to the more than $15 >billion in ad revenues collected by the networks with >which they are affiliated. This has little to do with it. If profits are truly obscene, the market is supposed to self-reguilate. Sorry, but this sounds a bit the the behemoth SUV owner who complains about the price of gasoline. My reaction is always, "it can't be high enough, if you're still drrving to work in that." Even if I might agree that the entertainment industry (or the petroleum industry) is making too much money, when I look at the demand side of the equation, it becomes awfully hard to fault the supply side. Same goes for pro athletes. What they charge is what addicts out there are pefectly willing to pay. Who's to say that's too high?? >The original discussion was about CE vendor support >for mobile TV. Not even remotely close. >CE vendors are not providing good quality ATSC >products - according to you - in large numbers. But >according to you, the Acurian receiver you just >purchased seems to be a good quality product. So I >guess the issue is numbers, not quality. First, I bought it on closeout sale. I did ask Radio Shack if they are planning an updated product, though. No response yet. Secondly, I make no special claims about the Accurian, except that IN MY SPECIFIC CASE it works just fine, and quite a bit better and more satsfying than the NTSC service I also get. I don't have the history of tests of different products like Mark Schubin does, on which to base any DTT reception comparisons. So why aren't there gobs of sub-$100 STBs available on the store shelves? Why aren't broadcasters transmitting announcements about their DTT offerings? >The reason for the low numbers is obvious. They are >not many people like you left in the United States; Not this AGAIN. There are something like 20 million househoilds and 80 million actual TV appliances, if not more than that, that depend on OTA service. So let's stop repeating that old song, Craig. That's plenty huge enough for any CE vendor to go after. >They will not be building ATSC receivers into all sets >and recorders this year March 2007. >And by the way, there is nothing anti-competitive >about cable or DBS paying CE retailers to promote >their service. Promoting would be a retailer's job, not the CE vendor's job. And "promoting" is not what we are talking about. We are talking about collusion. A retailer who lies to his clueless customers about the availability of competing *third party* products or services is not exactly on the up and up. In a true open market, that retailer would possibly promote a third party service or product without shutting out the competition. But the CE vendor angle could be even more insidious (if true). If subscription services pay residuals to CE vendors for building products to their non-standard, the CE vendor is encouraged not to build competing products which don't provide this same steady kickback. In a true open market, the CE vendor gets compensated for what he sells. He is not paid for *not* producing a competing product. Mind you, this was alleged. I'm not stating to you that it is fact. In politics, that's called a bribe. >The question you should be asking is WHY broadcasters >are not paying CE retailers to promote their service? True enough. One way to stop the effect of bribery is to allow bribery to be conducted freely. This doesn't seem to work very well in real world cases, but it's a thought. I agree that broadcasters should promote their DTT tier openly, and that they don't do this close to adequately. I don't necessarily agree that they should provide kickbacks to CE vendors to keep them from building competing products. Bert _________________________________________________________________ Don?t just search. Find. Check out the new MSN Search! http://search.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200636ave/direct/01/ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.