[opendtv] Re: HPA 2016: Broadcasters—HDR Yea, 4K Meh | TvTechnology

  • From: Mark Schubin <tvmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2016 10:53:19 -0500

On 2/27/2016 8:47 AM, Craig Birkmaier wrote:

Thanks to Craig for his kind words about me and the retreat.

I do have a question for Mark that was not specifically answered in the article I posted or his response below.

There are two distinct issues involved with the potential migration from ATSC 1.0 to 3.0.

1. replacing the modulation layer with an OFDM-based standard that offers the potential to:
  a. Improve reception on a range of devices
  b. Increase the throughput (bits/Hz);
  c. Support SFNs to improve spectral reuse.

2. adding support for new codecs and applications, including the use of the Internet as a back channel.

These issues are separable: the second does not require changing the modulation standard.

So the question is: what is your sense about the level of interest among broadcasters for each of the above?
Based on what I saw at the retreat (an ATSC seminar plus the broadcasters panel), the broadcasters are extremely interested in both.

I note from the article that Mark Aitken told the audience at the retreat that they reach 85% of their viewers via MVPD services.

Do broadcasters really care about upgrading the OTA standards?

Could they retain the existing 1.0 standard and simply create a compatible version of their programming for OTA, while upgrading the versions they distribute via the MVPDs and the Internet?
I think part of the issue is deciding who is a broadcaster. We think of such organizations as ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC as broadcasters, and each owns broadcast television stations but each is also in other businesses including the production of content distributed not via over-the-air television broadcasting. And, combined, the four major commercial networks represent a small percentage of U.S. television broadcast station ownership.

Sinclair is probably a better model when looking at what broadcasters are interested in. Their stations are affiliated with the four major commercial networks as well as four other smaller ones. They do have some content they create, but they're dedicated to over-the-air television broadcasting. Look at their investments in Acrodyne, Dielectric, and One Media. To keep OTA TV broadcasting viable in the internet age, they need to be able to utilize their channels to the max. I'd say they are EXTREMELY interested in that.


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