[opendtv] Re: Democrats Air Concerns About Analog Switchover

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 08:42:05 -0500

At 6:57 PM -0500 11/19/06, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
That's why I think all the talk about how great it would be to have
DVB-T receivers here in the US simply misses the point. Until we find
out precisely what it is that keeps innovative solutions away from the
DTT market in the US, any speculation about DVB-T in the US is idle

We know exactly what is keeping innovative solutions away from the DTT market in the U.S. Bert. You simply refuse to accept the reality that MOST (Sinclair excepted) broadcasters do not care about the OTA audience (except when talking to the FCC and Congress). Many would be happy to turn off the transmitters (both analog and digital) today, if they could depend on cable and DBS carriage.

What is absolutely clear is that broadcasters have no interest in promoting DTV, or in any plan that would cause consumers to drop cable or DBS in favor of a "Free" OTA service.

If things are to get better for DTT here, we need less idle speculation
from those with axes to grind, and more real information. Why are good
STBs so late in coming and so hard to find? The technlology does exist.

Because the market for these boxes is very small, and the problems associated with making these products work reliably for consumers is so daunting. Remember, Bert, there are no truck rolls with DTV, unless you want to pay an antenna installer yourself to establish reliable service. We have some of the best engineers in the world on this list, people who know TV inside and out. And yet we still have many reports of service problems.

Actually, this is not completely true. USDTV has tried to develop a service, complete with truck rolls. They picked some of the easiest markets in the U.S. to establish service - i.e. transmitters on mountain tops beaming down on valleys filled with potential consumers. And they STILL have a large percentage of sites where they cannot establish reliable service. It's almost a full time job, updating the maps, redlining the neighborhoods where they will not even attempt to install the service. Every truck roll that fails is a hit to the bottom line. Compare this to cable or DBS, where there is a near 100% chance that they will establish service and get at least one year of subscriber fees from the home.


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