[opendtv] Re: Fewer than 2 Million have OTA DTV in US

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2006 08:12:30 -0500

At 5:18 PM -0500 12/24/06, Albert Manfredi wrote:
Only the last sentence made any sense to me.

Well the next sentence sure didn't make any sense to me:

The obvious point you miss, who knows why, is that those viewers with access to the major markets' OTA transmitters are the ones with adequate choice in OTA TV. So of course, those markets have a very high percentage of OTA users.

You think that the major markets have adequate choice in TV? Yes they have more channels filled with off-network garbage. More important, in the major markets you'll probably find some Spanish language channels.

Did you know that Univision has the top rated local news cast in New York City?


Spanish-language News Programs Win in New York

New York's Spanish-language television station won two news races yesterday (Tuesday, Oct. 31), the 6 to 6:30 p.m. local news race and the 6:30 to 7 p.m. network news race, against all New York TV stations regardless of language.

Noticias Univision 41, with anchors Rafael Pineda and Denisse Oller, won the 6 p.m. New York local news race with viewers aged 18 to 34, 18 to 49, and 25 to 54 years old, according to Nielsen's Local People Meter (LPM) ratings.

Did you know that many LPTV stations are now carrying Spanish Language programming?

Perhaps the largest demographics group for OTA TV viewers is illegal aliens, who can pick up a TV for five bucks at a garage sale, or a new TV for $69.99 at Wal Mart.

Bottom line, Bert, there are only a handful of folks like you, who think that OTA TV offers decent choice. Then again, there's a pretty large handful of people who just say NO to TV.

We have just finished looking at Gainesville and Santa Barbara markets, and how thoroughly inadequate the OTA choice is in these parts. Why is it that you don't figure that in your thinking, instead of pretending COFDM has anything to do with anything?

We also finished looking at how much effort is spent installing adequate OTA facilities in Euro markets, vs here. Why is it that this also doesn't figure in your thinking?

Let me answer, and ask Bert a question.

First, let me lay down the premise that transmission technology can support the delivery of the equivalent to extended basic cable to at least 95% of the population of the U.S. That is, about 50 channels of TV and radio to all but the people in the most remote areas, who are probably better served by DBS.

This does not take into account the cost of building out the network to reach this goal. I would note that many European countries operated analog terrestrial networks at this level of service for decades. As I have stated many times over the years, one of the major benefits of the "Utility" model is that you can require each region to meet its build-out goals, taking profits from the larger markets to pay for infrastructure to reach the coverage goals.

Dale is certainly correct about the difficulty in operating stations in small, geographically diverse markets, at a profit. But the Broadcast industry will generate about $46 billion in revenues this year, and in many markets the profit margins exceed 30%. The issue is not whether there is sufficient revenue to build out a viable multi-channel FTA service, the problem isthe lack of will to do it. It may have something to do with the rest of the story

Cable and DBS will collect about $63.5 billion from subscribers this year and an additional $25 billion in ad revenues from cable networks and local ad insertions. And the media conglomerates and their broadcast affiliates get a chunk of this too.

So the real issue is how to create a playing field where broadcasters will invest in an appropriate infrastructure to compete.

Now here's the question Bert. Dale seems to think you have a pretty good handle on the technology, so let's see you apply it to a real world problem. Since you believe that the distance between the main sticks in the Santa Barbara market is too great to build a viable COFDM SFN, why don't you design it so that it will work. The major population centers in the market all lie along the coast and the first inland valley. The existing sticks are roughly in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo. I have attached two maps that show the cities and main roads in the market and a satellite map that shows the terrain.

I'll even throw in a few ideas. As this is a very long market, it might take more synchronized mains to get the distances between sticks down to something workable for the guard intervals. And you've got a bunch of mountains that are both a problem (terrain blocking) and an opportunity (to get the sticks up high enough to do some good without having to build big towers.

Have fun with this!

And Merry Christmas!


Attachment: Santa Barbara Sat Map.jpg
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Attachment: Santa Barbara.jpg
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