[opendtv] Re: LG, Samsung unveil DVB-H, Media FLO phones

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2006 09:49:41 -0500

At 7:09 PM -0500 1/2/06, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
>Bob Miller wrote:
>>  While they seem to want to put their minds to MediaFlo,
>>  DVB-H, T-DMB and ISDB-T, they seem to have some
>  > aversion to ATSC.
>What do they have the aversion to? ATSC, or providing
>hardware for non-subscription services, or some other
>excuse we've yet to unfathom?

Creating a product for which there is NO potential market.

>It's important to correlate cause and effect correctly.
>It still could be the ever slipping date for analog
>shutoff, and no coherent freeview package being offered
>by broadcasters that is different from their analog
>offerings, which causes manufacturers to invest in other

Broadcasters have NO current interest in competing with cable and DBS 
- they MUCH PREFER to use cable and DBS to collect subscriber fees 
for what they are giving away via their OTA broadcasts.

I am preparing a lengthy message to respond to some points you have 
raised about cable ala carte and the subscriber fees that stations 
are seeking as new re-transmission consent agreements are  negotiated.

For now, let's just say that broadcasters have no reason to create a 
"Freeview like" service, when they have the opportunity to pull in 30 
cents per month (or more), per subscriber, from the cable and DBS 
systems that are delivering their content. Thus there is NO incentive 
for manufacturers to create products for the small number of consumer 
- such as yourself - who remain committed to receiving broadcasts for 
free via DTV transmissions.

>I will note that even without any concerted focus on
>DTT by anyone, I can receive 13 multiplexes now. Even
>with an MPEG-2 HD stream from each one, that could still
>support at least 39 program streams. Not half bad.

Not half useful either.

How many of those multiplexes duplicate the same content for different markets?

Sorry Bert, but your situation is NOT representative of how the NTSC 
or ATSC broadcast services were designed to work. You just happen to 
live in an area where the signals from two markets overlap, allowing 
you to receive many multiplexes that - by necessity - must deliver 
largely the same content to TWO adjacent markets.

I don't want to drag this discussion into the old "wasted spectrum 
debate" we have engaged in for years, but your claim is meaningless. 
The effective number of multiplexes for each of the markets served is 
more like 6-7. As long as we continue to use the current channel 
allocations, based on high powered transmission, the number of 6 MHz 
channels per market will be constrained, making a "Freeview like" 
service too constrained to be viable.

>As of now, each station is offering a different
>combination of multicasts or, in a couple of cases, only
>the -1 main channel. WB 54 from Baltimore even has a
>music video subchannel.

No doubt, as someone who has just emerged from a virtual cave (i.e. 
only NTSC service), the ability to receive more content must seem 
like a big windfall. The fact remains, however, that you still cannot 
access the content than makes up more than 60% of ALL (multichannel) 
TV viewing.

>By the way, it's really strange to me that NBC 4 in Wash
>won't set their clock right. It's off by a whopping 4

Sounds like another broadcaster that is behind the times...

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