[opendtv] Re: Frames Per Second of 720P

  • From: Mark Aitken <maitken@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2008 13:18:09 -0400 (EDT)

Well put John... 

the Mark that has lots to say, and some day will... 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Willkie" <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 1:07:17 PM (GMT-0500) America/New_York 
Subject: [opendtv] Re: Frames Per Second of 720P 

There's much I cannot say (but a small amount, compared to what Mark Aitken 
cannot say) or refute, due to certain agreements t which I am a party. 

I can say that I saw at NAB the booths of Haris' MPH proposal, and that of 
Audiovox/MobiTv/Rohde & Schwarz. These were competing proposals. At this 
point, it appears that one of those proposals was mostly a winner, and one 
of those proposals was mostly a loser. I could draw your attention to the 
press conference between LG and Samsung (historically hostile) in Korea in 

Harris did show an expanded EPG. But, to the best of my knowledge, there 
has been no firm decision made on which ESG will be included in the MH 
candidate standard. 

I'm really amazed by the lack of leaks on the work of ATSC S4. There are 
some pretty amazing things in process, and concentrating on codecs or legacy 
receivers is to totally miss the point. At some point in the future, the 
candidate standard should be released to the public, and discussion here and 
elsewhere can ensue. 

It's totally absurd to mention the deprivation of legacy receivers in this 
context; it's like asking "how will color cameras affect black and white 
television sets?" 

Let me give you an example that I can talk freely about. When you shoot for 
small screens, you "shoot bigger" than when you shoot for a large screen. 
When shooting someone's face, you would tend to make their face fill more of 
the screen than if you were shooting for a large, or even room-filling 

So, if you think that there's much utility in showing a screen-filling face 
on a large, room-filling tv set, rock on. 

I think it's also safe to say that for the most part, MH programming (like 
most mobile tv programming) will not be -30 or -60 minute 'traditional' tv 
programs but will be in shorter bumps. Fools acting on "behalf' of others 
might think that showing movies on 2 or three inch screens is a great thing, 
but the subtlety of (all but non-porn) movies is lost on the small screen. 

All standards are out of date in this time frame at the time they are 
adopted. But that's not the real problem with standards. "I love 
standards, there are just too many of them" is the real problem. But, 
thankfully, there is only one standard for digital tv transmission in the 

Back to the ESG (electronic service guide). Wouldn't it be cool if the same 
devices all over the world could employ the same bits to render an ESG? If 
that ESG would work over the web, over the air, and be usable on WiFi 
devices, mobile phones, web browsers, wireless routers, etc. etc., and be 
able to provide programming information on broadcasts, regardless of 
modulation or channel coding? There is already such an electronic service 
guide system, and I could even talk about it without violating the ATSC NDA. 
But I won't. "Already" might be an exaggeration, but only by a few weeks or 

If you think that 8-VSB is more efficient than a modulation scheme that you 
know nothing about, one wonders about your sanity. It seems to me that, 
since the payload of any modulation scheme for tv is largely carrying video 
(something like 95% or more of a program service is video) that the more 
relevant figure is the efficiency of video compression and how that is 
packetized. I suspect that you don't mean to imply that MPEG-2 is more 
bit-efficient than MPEG-4. 

I think that it's unlikely that "new receivers 'may" be able to take 
advantage of the new mobile bits to improve their ability to tune to any DTV 
channel " The ATSC M/H process had three different modulation/coding 
schemes to consider. I know not much about the Thomson proposal, and I 
haven't bothered to look it up. I know a bit more about the Harris/LG MPH 
proposal, and I know quite a bit about the A-VSB proposal thanks to one R&S 
engineer I talked to at NAB that provided me with an 8mb powerpoint 
presentation. (And, I've talked with several Samsung consultants over the 
years that their proposal has been pending.) 

To the best of my knowledge, nothing in these proposals would have aided the 
ability to tune into any legacy programming. Indeed, if we are talking 
about the early phases of the A-VSB proposal, it would have lessened if not 
merely prevented the ability to tune into legacy broadcasts. 

Much work is going on behind the curtain. At some point this year, the 
curtain will be pulled back. And, I suspect there will be much discussion 
here, but discussion of "what's new and cool" won't center on the 
modulation, coding or codecs. 

I can say that I am truly amazed, at my level of participation, of how most 
participants in S4's work have a clear interest in breaking from the past 
and not defending legacy concepts. 

From what I see today -- and not knowing about the layers of approval before 
this stuff becomes public -- ATSC M/H is a "whole new ballgame." 

I would also note that just about any improvement in digital modulation or 
coding (DVB-H, DVB-T2) doesn't work with well, if at all, with legacy 
receivers. So, that ain't an ATSC issue per se. 

John Willkie 
EtherGuide Systems 

-----Mensaje original----- 
De: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] En 
nombre de Craig Birkmaier 
Enviado el: Saturday, July 26, 2008 5:34 AM 
Para: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Asunto: [opendtv] Re: Frames Per Second of 720P 

At 12:54 PM -0400 7/24/08, Mark A. Aitken wrote: 
>Your last statement flies in the face of reality. What HAS been 
>demonstrated, what IS being standardized, is a (relatively) simple 
>way to add 'mobile/handheld bits' in a backwards compatible way. 
>Nothing breaks. Reallocate bits - some for fixed reception, others 
>that can also be received while in motion. 
>Where did you get the notion that almost everything had to change? 
>(we proposed doing that as you well know, but it did not get off the 
>ground due to political inertia and mass...and probably a bit of 

SORRY. I know that the standard will break nothing. I should have 
been more clear. 

We were having a discussion about the ATSC standard already being out 
of date, particularly with respect to the installed base of ATSC 
receivers, which will not be able to access the mobile services. 
These new services will likely use h.264 encoding and there will be 
new "support infrastructure" for the mobile bits that legacy 
receivers will not understand. At NAB Harris was demonstrating a 
newer and more capable program guide, than the one that exists in the 
current ATSC standard. 

So while the new mobile service does not break anything per se', it 
requires almost everything else to be updated with technologies that 
legacy receivers do not support. Furthermore, some of these new 
capabilities would ALSO be useful for legacy broadcasts - like h.264 
HD encoding. 

THere is little doubt that once the standard for mobile is adopted, 
that we may see new fixed location TVs add support for the mobile and 
infrastructure enhancements. For example, we could see new TVs with 
h.264 and integrated PVRs, which could subscribe to a movie download 
service using the more efficient 8-VSB modulation. And new receivers 
'may" be able to take advantage of the new mobile bits to improve 
their ability to tune to any DTV channel. 

So this is not a zero sum game. One could even suggest that this is a 
backdoor way to enhance the ATSC standard. It will be interesting to 
see what transpires. 


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