[opendtv] Re: Freeview realities

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 11:28:56 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> Bert seems to think that the folks in Europe are facing similar
> marketplace realities to U.S. DTV viewers, as the systems
> evolve. So i though i would check out a few facts.

I think you're misrepresenting what I said. Assuming we are talking
specifically about those countries in which FOTA TV is successful, i.e.
France, Italy, and the UK primarily (possibly others, like Spain, which
are not as far ahead in transition execution), the "marketplace
realities" are certainly not the same. There seems no particular effort
to kill off FOTA TV in these European countries.

You again focus instead on unimportant tangential topics, the modulation
scheme, that have no bearing on any of this anymore. If technology
demoed in a lab prototype in 2002, and integrated chip form in early
2003, has maybe just reached store shelves this month, in just one brand
of STB which is not the best it can be anyway, you know darned well the
problem here has nothing to do with modulation.

The reality is that the successful Euro DTT systems are doing *TV*, not
all the other services we might dream up. And the reality is that with
A-VSB, ATSC will also have the other multiple modes available to it,
should they ever become necessary. I'll remind you: none of these
successful DTT systems is using HM COFDM.

As you say, Craig, bits is bits. The modulation issue is, or more
correctly could have been, ancient history by now.

If we don't have 80 models of STBs for sale at WalMart, it is certainly
not caused by a choice of modulation. CE vendors would have absolutely
no problem developing STBs for the US market right alongside their DVB-T
STBs, or even inside the same box. Integrated, global DTT chip sets
already exist.

> I'm glad you are happy with the service Bert, but the reality
> is that you are part of a very small percentage of viewers in
> the U.S. that are benefiting from the service. Asking the rest
> of us to keep supporting your investment, rather than using the
> spectrum to provide services that will be used by the vast
> majority of people in the U.S. is an absurd waste of a valuable
> resource.

1. The "very small percentage" you talk about is upwards of 30 percent
who actually use OTA TV. The 15 percent figure only represents
households that depend *solely* on OTA.

2. Imagine you walking up to a sun worshipper on a California beach, and
telling him "This beach is way too 'valuable' for you to use. We should
take it away and develop it." His response would no doubt be, "Whatever,
dude," as he paddles out oh his surf board. Whatever, Craig. I'll bet
you that 30 percent of Californians do not regularly use the public
beaches, so should they be "developed?" This spectrum is public
property, and I ain't selling. If the Congress can be convinced to do
other things with it, so be it. Until then ...

3. Channels 52-83 have already been taken away. In Eastern cities at
least, channels 2-13 could probably also be put to other uses. With
A-VSB, the remaining DTT channels could also be used for stuff like
broadcast to handheld devices, or other special apps. So your apparent
desire to dismantle OTA TV is simply not necessary, not your call.

Maybe a problem is that OTA broadcasters can depend on cable and DBS, as
you have expressed in the past. Maybe the problem is there is funny
business going on under the table. I'll tell you one thing for sure,
though. There seems a rather total lack of enthusiasm from the DTT
operators. Just compare the number of on-air spots we hear about the DTT
transition with the number of on-air spots we hear on HD Radio. It's
like night and day. Tell me why this is so.

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