[opendtv] Re: Digital Trends: ESPN may pull its finger out of the Internet-TV dam, unleash a flood of change

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2014 01:59:25 +0000

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> So what you are saying is that you prefer VOD over appointment TV.
> With respect to "some" of their content, the broadcast networks
> offer both. Live and catch-up.

Yes, for most TV programs, VOD. I agree that the congloms and broadcasters have 
evolved way past the old broadcast model, Craig. And if sports hasn't quite 
made that transition yet, my bet is that it will in due course. I'm not the one 
claiming that TV hasn't evolved.

> It is the rights holders who create the obstacles Bert, not the
> MVPDs.

???? We were talking about obstacles to the FCC's idea of combined OTA and 
cable receivers. You're saying that the reason why the MVPDs held on to their 
business model of renting out proprietary STBs, instead of combined built-in 
ATSC and cable receivers, is because the congloms were forcing them to? Show me 
some proof.

> A viable solution is a modulation system that works as well as LTE
> on mobile devices.

Okay, let's not go over and over on this, Craig. There are tradeoffs. The 
supposed "modulation system" that achieves what you want is very expensive for 
the broadcaster, UNLESS the broadcaster piggy-backs on someone else's 
multipurpose infrastructure. (Did you discover how dense this LTE broadcast net 
would have to be yet, if it were to support the same spectral efficiency as 
ATSC, as it would have to do in broadcast mode?) But sharing a cellular 
multipurpose infrastructure would be a valid approach, even if not quite the 
same thing as FOTA TV of the past.

> OTA is not providing more competition,

Of COURSE it is. ThisTV, AntennaTV, MeTV, Cozi, Movies!, Bounce, France 24, 
Arirang, NHK, etc. etc. etc. etc., are certainly providing competition to 
ABC/CBS/NBC/Fox, and CNN btw. Do I miss live CNN? Of course not. Those listed 
networks are new networks that emerged after November of 1998, or they are 
foreign networks previously unavailable, for lack of analog spectrum. And,

Coupled with what my TV receives over the Internet, from local broadcasters 
online sites, from congloms, from Hulu, Amazon, and a host of international 
sites, there's an enormous difference from just 20 years ago. PLENTY more 
competition for TV content now, in part because of ATSC, in part because of the 
Internet. If there's absolutely nothing of interest from the US TV networks, 
all I have to do is browse some Hulu movies.

>Clearly just defining the transport layer works for the Internet,

Bull! In the early days, it only "worked" if all you cared about was 7-bit 
ASCII text files. After a few years and decades, it "works" because the IETF 
graciously standardized many key services, playing much the same role as the 
ATSC, and because the ungainly large number of competing applications got 
whittled down to just a couple (e.g. MS Office, Acrobat). "Just carry the bits" 
HARDLY provides an answer the average consumer can use, Craig. Get real. It's a 
meaningless platitude.

> and even the Internet uses different modulation standards, based on the
> requirements of the pipe.

Yup! Just like broadcasters do! They use ATSC for OTA, they use QAM for cable 
or DBS distribution, they use IP over Ethernet, or over WiFi, or over 3G/4G, 
for Internet distribution. You're mixing apples and oranges, Craig. "The 
Internet" is not an application. TV is an application.

> The free Internet options provide a catch-up service that helps build
> ratings, but does almost nothing to help you access the content behind
> the walls.

Hulu provides quite a bit of content that was previously only behind walled 
gardens, Craig. Check it out. It may be delayed, but in some cases, by no more 
than one day. When you're talking VOD, delay is not such a big deal.

> As for mandating a TV app for broadcasters, this only benefits the
> owners of the IP behind the App.

Have you seen how many Internet Drafts are written by Cisco employees? Why do 
you think that is? Do you think Cisco is not getting compensated for their IP?

You bring up H.264. ATSC could very easily move to H.264, if they had the same 
mindset as Apple. Just force people to buy new TVs, or at least new STBs. Piece 
of cake. Oh yeah. Cable could move to H.264 too, btw. Why isn't cable using 
H.264, Craig??

The problem is, Craig, when complaining about something, one should always ask 
oneself, "as opposed to what?" And get informed in detail on the alternatives. 
Specifics, not vague generalities.


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