[opendtv] Emerging TV content distribution models

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2014 00:59:33 +0000

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> Are you serious?
> None of this has a thing to do with what we are discussing. Yes a
> few Amazon Prime members may watch shows from Amazon because they
> signed up for Prime to save money on shipping. But the topic here
> is selling TV subscription services, and the role that exclusive
> content plays in promoting these services.

No, actually the topic here is to see how TV content distro models evolve, 
beyond the tried and true MVPD formula (dictated initially by technical 
limitations of the physical plant). You keep insisting that the old formula 
must persist, and I'll simple respond that TO THE EXTENT that OTT services use 
the old formula, that's the extent to which they will fail. The reason the 
likes of Netflix have been doing so well is exactly because they aren't using 
the old formula (as several articles have also pointed out). MVPDs are already 
available, using the old formula, to the vast majority of the population. And 
people are cutting the cord, especially the much-coveted younger demographic. 
Changing protocol, while retaining the old formula, ain't going to make any 

> Nobody is arguing that higher resolution is not "discernibly
> better," Bert. But the reality is that high quality 480P is
> better than 1080i that is trashed by excessive compression.

Let's not launch into rehashed/well known/not relevant to this discussion 
material. The point is this: You were hammering about how HDTV was "not 
necessary," how TV news programs would "never need it," how many sets "could 
not benefit from it," and I thought that hammering was way off base. In a 
broadcast (one to all) scheme, like OTA, DBS, and cable TV, you're best off 
using the best signal that fits in the channel, and let the receiver use that 
signal to the extent that it can. There never was any convincing reason for TV 
news programs to NOT go to HD quality, unless because the broadcaster wanted to 
cram other programs in the channel at the same time.

Sure enough, before long, every station began transmitting local and national 
newscasts in HD. No, not 480p. What would be the point? This just meant as an 
example of less than convincing "hammering," which has recurred time and time 
again on any number of topics.

> Yes, the limitations of analog cable were a factor. But those
> limitations do not exist for DBS and IP based telco TV services.

One-way broadcast schemes are still going to be less flexible than Internet TV, 
Craig. For the TV service, aside from VOD, FiOS simply broadcasts, and of 
course so does DBS. No IP anything. The same signal is split to many 
households, much like analog cable. Any channel subscription information is fed 
to the STBs over separate channels, out of band, exactly as it is for standard 
cable STBs these days. Okay, you don't need to send out a truck to install 
notch filters, but you're not talking about anything like Internet TV.

And importantly too, DBS and FiOS emerged while the TV content owners had no 
incentive to do anything different for these new media. Times have changed. New 
services, all-IP services, can certainly support more flexible delivery models, 
and live broadcast streams (actually multicast) would be the rare exception. 
Content owners know this, can make use of the new features, and are reportedly 
willing to distribute their own video servers in ISP nets. Lots of new 
possibilities now.

> No. John Skipper is worried about this threat to the bundle
> and doing everything in his power to protect the status quo.

"In his power" are the key words. No one is disputing this. If viewership 
drops, any smart businessman will change tactics. John Skipper knows this, has 
said so explicitly. You seem unable to get your head around this.


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  • » [opendtv] Emerging TV content distribution models - Manfredi, Albert E