[opendtv] Re: Delay

  • From: "Bob Miller" <robmxa@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 12:09:16 -0500

On 12/8/06, Manfredi, Albert E <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Bob Miller wrote:

> People in other countries migrated away from OTA also.

And in those countries where people migrated in large numbers to cable,
DTT is not a big deal. Including in Germany, it's not a big deal.

Italy, France, UK, even Australia, are all heavy users of OTA TV. (And

by the way, the average guy in the street is just about as clueless on
DTT in Italy as over here. In spite of the reported high penetration of
DTT specifically in Sardegna.)

So the population can be clueless and you can still have a very
successful DTV transition. That makes sense. The public doesn't care
about modulation or any thing technical, only the product and the
price point. Does it work, what's the price, what do I get.

In the US the industry, retailers all say to the public, "it doesn't
work, you don't get any more maybe less than what you got before and
which you rejected and the price can be high in dollars, frustration
etc." They say this by not advertising and promoting the OTA DTV
product, by not offering products other than what is mandated.

They may be saying to the public "don't invest in this since we think
it may all change or go away".

> Both Germany and Japan have very high cable penetration.
> Doesn't seem to affect the very successful rebirth of
> OTA in either of these two since both countries are at
> 30% and 35% penetration of households after less time
> than the US has had with 8-VSB.

First of all, I question those figures. I have no idea how successful
ISDB is in Japan, for example.

Maybe you question them because I offered no source. Here are a few.

This one shows 14 million receivers sold as of 9/06. October, November
and December are their biggest sales months so I believe they will hit
17 million by the end of the year. They have 48 million households.
Not bad for a country that has only been doing OTA DTV since December
of 2003 or three years ago.

Most sales are also for integrated plasma, recorders, cable STBs and
LCDs . Serious business and all the things you want for the US market.

Here is another source.

Notice that at the end of June they had sold 12 million receivers and
in the first source they had sold 14 million by the end of Sept. 2
million in 3 months. They will sell at least 3 million in the fourth
quarter and maybe quite a few more for 17 million plus.

And that all in three years with low power transmitters in only parts
of the country. Now they have 84% of households covered and I predict
that next year they will sell 6 million receivers for a total of 23
million receivers. 4 years, 23 million receivers, mostly integrated in
a country of 48 million households.

This article says 5 million receivers end of October. 5.5 now IMO.
They have 16 million households. And all those households are not
covered yet and most of the country was not covered for most of the
time since they started in Dec 2002. When they do start broadcasting
in an area they then shut down analog within months though.

Now that most of the country is covered we should see some
accelleration also as is continuing to happen in the UK.

But the most explosive is France where they have over 20% penetration
of covered households in 18 months (March 31st 2005). About 6.3
million receivers sold to date IMO. 26 million households, 58.5%
coverage. They could sell more than a million more by the end of the
year at the rate they are going. If they just match past sales till
the end of March 2007 they will hit 8 million and in reality they will
be closer to 9 million.

Two years, 9 million in a nation of 26 million households with only,
by then, 65% of households covered by any signal. In the US that would
be like having sold 37 million OTA DTV receivers sold from 1998 till
2000. Only maintaining that rate for another 7 years or until
12/31/06, the US would have seen the sale of 129.7 million OTA DTV

Will France see the equivalent number of OTA DTV receivers sold in the
next 7 years. No they will see MORE than an equivalent number sold.
The equivalent would be like 1.2 receivers per household. France will
have 2 or more OTA receivers per household in 7 years.

In the US that would be like 220 million OTA DTV receivers sold by
now. My prediction was always that by now the US would have more OTA
DTV receivers than households or more than 110 million if we had
adopted DVB-T in 2000.

DTT penetration nearing 10%
According to a study published by Médiamétrie, 9.7% of French
households are equipped to receive DTT services. The count included
people over five years of age with access to DTT receivers or
receivers equipped with adapters enabling them to access 18 channels
of DTT and this amounted to 5.525 million people. The study took place
form the 4th to 29th October this year.
Source: Reuters
Item added: 14th November 2006

DTT coverage to increase to 65% of the population
DTT coverage in France will increase to 65% of the population by the
end of October 2006. Currently, DTT services are available to 58.5% of
the population.

Secondly, and most importantly, in all these DTT countries, what they
are offering is regular TV. Yes, a greater choice of channels, but
regular TV. EXACTLY what ATSC, even without A-VSB, is quite capable of
doing. So all the stuff about mobility, or other excuses, is just noise.
If anything, due to the low power they are using in France, Italy, and
the UK, mobile DVB-T is highly doubtful. So let's quit harping on
irrelvant things.

If ATSC were capable of doing this it would be happening. I contend
that ATSC is incapable of doing this and the evidence is that it is
not happening.

You should look at what the meaningful differences are. For example, how
many TV channels are offered over German cable systems, compared with
what is offered over their new DTT scheme? It is this sort of thing that
makes a difference.

Instead, you obsess over the modulation type.

And I will continue to. You want to continue to talk of what IS being
offered with ATSC and compare it to what is being offered in other
countries OTA. I will continue to say that with a decent modulation
what is offered in the US OTA would change.

People here, with new ATSC-capable sets, do use them. It would be nice
to have those numbers, but already two of my friends at work have done
this recently, as they have bought new integrated sets.

You are saying that your two friends bought integrated sets. Do they
use them for OTA recepetion at all? Do they use them for OTA reception
exclusively? Are they forced to use OTA because satellite can't
deliver some channels?

Yes what are the numbers and why can't we find them. Maybe the numbers
are so small that they can't be found. Sort of like a Higgs particle.

The other thing to consider is promotion. I listen to FM radio. I am
amazed at the level of promotion their new digital stations get on the
air. I think groups like Bonneville Broadcasting are doing a super job.
I cannot say the same for TV, although I was happy to see CW 54 in
Baltimore, a Sinclair station, promoting their music video multicast.
Good for them.

In economics it is hard to have a vacuum. Any opportunity will be
filled very quickly by the actions of free enterprise. The lack of
promotion suggest that their is no vacuum here. That there is no

The modulation is the problem. A better codec would also help. A good
modulation would make free OTA viable, a better codec would increase
its value by some factor of at least 2.

Bob Miller


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