[opendtv] Re: Delay

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2006 17:10:22 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> There are good reasons that we do not have local affiliates for
> all of the major networks. The main reason is that the major
> network affiliates in adjacent markets were able to expand
> their markets by cutting deals with Cox cable to import them.

Then you can explain to Bob that this is why OTA succeeds in some
European countries, the ones with an adequate supply of frequencies, and
not here. Because in the European model, those major network affiliates
in the large markets would have their signal repeated via translators,
so that people in Gainesville, or Orvieto, or Mantes, would have OTA
access to all channels. Whereas here they make deals with subscription
services only.

If we had COFDM here, what would change? Nothing. The affiliates in your
neighboring markets would probably still prefer to get Gainesville
residents hooked on cable. As you acknowledge, this has nothing to do
with modulation.

> Actually, our situation is not that different than yours, but
> for a few miles difference. You have the unique benefit of
> being close to two Major TV markets, so you get multiple
> versions of the major networks.

The situation here is very different. We have a choice of *all* the
major networks as well as some independents, and we have a choice of
stations from two markets. And the content from these stations is only
the same during (most of) prime time. With a recording device, you can
make use of the extra choice available. I often select something out of
Baltimore simply because the local station isn't carrying that same
program. Saturdays are a perfect example.

> Broadcasters do not need to be competitive with cable and
> DBS because they rely on cable and DBS to reach their viewers,
> and get paid extra for reaching their viewers in this manner.
> Everyone wins, except for Bert (and the rest of the laggards),

Why not try to sell that idea in the UK? It is the FOTA aspect that
makes DTT work wherever it does works. It is trivially easy for cable
systems and broadcasters in collusion to kill off FOTA TV, Craig. They
could do this in Europe too. The subject here is to see how one can make
DTT thrive.

> Because people might actually use the new service - as they
> are doing in droves in the UK.

I think you're dreaming. In the UK, they are getting FOTA TV, almost
exclusively aimed at fixed receivers. Yes, they have choice available,
but you just finished explaining at the top of your post how
broadcasters here prefer to get everyone stuck on umbillicals. So again,
one subject at a time, please.

I agree the modulation scheme has to work. I agree that possibly new
services could be added, both here and in Europe. I also notice that the
hardware that works over here is carefully doled out, e.g. only as part
of new integrated TV sets. Where are the PVRs and DVDRs and STBs?

The DTT that works in Europe is FOTA TV, pure and simple. For example, I
showed you the interactive TV concept being tested in Sardegna. That
could easily be implemented here too, but I don't think it would be a
hit. Too many people have PCs here, with which they can achieve true
interactivity. Over here, I believe that people being sold "interactive
TV" would expect to be able to order pizza from their TV. Not to be
given the phone number to call to order that pizza.

Your arguments are wildly inconsistent. I think what you're trying to
get across is that FOTA TV in the US *should* be killed off, and that
the spectrum *should* be assigned to other functions than basic TV. If
that's the case, then you can leave Europe (and Australia) out of the
discussion, since that's not what they're doing.

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