[opendtv] Re: Fw: Re: Post on alt.tv.tech.hdtv of interest today

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 07:48:32 -0400

At 8:21 PM -0400 4/10/05, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
>  > 1. Can the system support mobile and portable
>>  reception? This is the ONLY major competitive
>>  advantage for broadcasters.
>You know that bit about the Philadelphia city-wide
>wi-fi network? Never mind whether it is a good idea
>in terms of a local govt service or in terms of
>using up the unlicensed public spectrum. But is the
>fact that the system is wireless ONLY an advantage
>for mobility?
>No. Mobility is not even a design goal. But
>ubiquitous reception without cables is what makes
>that interesting.

Agreed. But PORTABILITY is a major consideration for WiFi networks. 
And I will bet that business people all over Phildelphia will use 
that WiFi network in their cars, even if it means, pulling to the 
side of the road in order too use a hot spot.

Mobility has as much to do with the fact that THIS venue of 
information has wheels. But most vehicles do not spend all of their 
time moving. A car parked in a garage (home or work) can take 
advantage of a WiFi network to keep databases updated and to cache 
content that may be important to the owner of the vehicle. A cab with 
a touch screen information display can be updated in much the same 
way. And then there is the reality that it will be possible to use 
wireless point-of information/sales displays that can take advantage 
of data broadcast networks.

Ubiquitous reception without cables IS what broadcasting is all 
about. We have a rich history of using radios and TVs in portable and 
mobile applications. There is NO REASON that a digital terrestrial 
broadcast system cannot build upon that heritage with a transmission 
system that is appropriate for the 21st century.

>Being able to receive at least the local channels
>without having to have an infrastructure like cable
>or DBS is an advantage even without mobility.

Half a loaf.

How much would people listen to radio if they could NOT receive it 
while driving?

While TV and driving do not mix well, there is no reason to limit the 
transmission system to fixed receivers. We do not do this today with 
NTSC. Why take a step backwards with digital broadcasting?

>  >(distant channels are not relevant if local
>>  transmission facilities work properly);
>Distant channels are desirable for any real OTA
>user. They are a competitive advantage of taking
>signals from non-umbillical media.

What competitive advantage? The distant stations cannot charge extra 
for your eyeballs. They cannot get carriage on your cable system. You 
cannot get distant stations from a DBS provider unless you CANNOT 
receive the local terrestrial broadcast stations.

While you (and Doug and Bob T) may find the ability to receive 
distant stations useful, in most cases there is little expansion of 
choice...mostly duplication of the same programming. A terrestrial 
broadcast system that delivers all of your local stations AND an 
additional 30-40 channels in the free & clear, would be INFINETLY 
more useful to most Americans.

By the way, with such a system it is likely that you would always 
have access to those important network shows. The network affiliate 
relationship is crumbling anyway. Local broadcasters are going to 
need to learn how to live with what they can produce on their own, 
and the programming that they either develop or buy from syndicators. 
Making 30-50% profit margins for the privilege of being the local 
gatekeeper for a network is NOT a sustainable business model.

With the spectrum utility idea, the networks will be able to bid 
directly for access to your market. IF there is a good business 
reason to continue an affiliate relationship in your market, then the 
station and network can bid together. What is more likely to happen 
is that stations will become the sales/operations front end for 
groups of channels within a market. They will sell ads for insertion 
into these channels, and provide the master control infrastructure 
for these channels. They may even provide hosting services for the 
local servers of national networks (servers that will be controlled 
by the nations network). And they will provide local content where it 
is economically feasible.

What they will NOT be able to do is sit on their ass and make obscene profits.

You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts: