[opendtv] Re: Frames Per Second of 720P

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2008 19:36:06 -0400

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> The important question to ask in this content is what is
> being done to enhance the the ATSC standard for fixed
> receivers in the home? Or to be more precise, will
> broadcasters support any enhancement that will not work
> for legacy receivers?
> Clearly, h.264 is a desirable enhancement for both the new
> M/H service and for fixed receivers. One must ask whether
> broadcasters will use this codec for full resolution HD
> broadcasts, knowing that legacy receiver will go black (or
> blue screen).

That's definitely the right question to ask, IMO, and it is a question
mostly for the broadcasters and the CE vendors. Not something the ATSC
has much sway over, other than writing the standard, of course.

Seems to me that if broadcasters want to incorporate the mobile ATSC
standard into fixed receivers, and can convince the CE vendors to do so,
it will damn well happen. What's the ATSC going to say? No, you can't
allow fixed receivers to demod the M/H streams? That's absurd. And they
have no power to make such a ruling anyway.

As to switching over to H.264 for legacy broadcasts of SD and HD, it
will take a big demonstrable benefit before that happens, for obvious
reasons mentioned many times. Again, I don't see the ATSC as having much
to say about that, once they complete the standard. Seems to me that
it's broadcasters who would delay that move as much as possible, for
exactly the same reason broadcasters delayed analog switchoff as much as
possible. For the same reason that a switch to DVB-T2 is going to be
tricky. For the same reason that IPv6 migration is taking so long. It's
not the standards bodies that are dragging their feet as much as it's
the service providers, who also happen to be standards body members many
times, and who have the reasons to take things slow.

> I doubt that a broadcasters would be concerned about the
> incompatibility of legacy receivers with h.264 bitstreams
> delivered using 8-VSB, if these bitstreams are a separate
> paid service like Moviebeam.

Agree 100 percent. The ATSC would not have much to say about this
either, for such a service. The service could probably use any codec and
encryption algorithm of their choosing. Of course, that would then make
the service responsible for supplying the needed STBs or mobile
appliances. It's only if this new service provider wants to avoid having
to supply proprietary STBs or mobile appliances that it would have to
clear everything through a standards body.

In short, I don't see anything unique about the ATSC's role in any of
this. It's the standards body that's supposed to be serving the service
providers, ultimately, by making it easier for vendors to supply
interoperable equipment. If the leadership in the standards body lacks
vision, it's up to their customers (broadcasters and vendors) to force
things along.

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