[opendtv] Re: Latest 5th Gen

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005 07:34:33 -0500

At 2:43 AM -0500 3/22/05, Bob Miller wrote:
>I still cannot comprehend the unreality of it all. It simply does not
>make sense that this is happening in the US. How can we as a country act
>this stupid? And it goes on. I have not been quiet about my attitude
>toward LG and 8-VSB in talking to anyone there including those who
>developed the 5th generation chip. I have told them we more than prefer
>COFDM, we intensely dislike 8-VSB.

What is so difficult to understand Bob?

This really is SIMPLE.

Terrestrail television broadcasting exists in the United States today 
for two reasons, neither of which have ANYTHING to do with technology:

1. Must Carry, re-transmission consent, and local-into-local (SHIVA), 
are fundamentally tied to the NTSC franchise. These regulatory perks 
guarantee the survivability of the OTA franchise, while giving the 
media conglomerates a powerful tool to retain control of the ENTIRE 
television audience. In short, TV is the most lucrative public 
franchise ever granted by a government - it is hanging by a tenuous 
thread that cannot sustain another Supreme Court legal challenge.

NTSC is " The Goose that lays the Golden Eggs."

2. Poliitical control. The NTSC franchise is the most powerful 
political tool ever conceived by our elected representatives. While 
it is financially lucrative for the franchisees, it is politically 
potent for for the politicians. It is the only Television service 
that reaches into nearly 100% of U.S. homes. It provides a powerful 
stage for political actors, who have used this stage to bring about 
radical changes in social mores and Federal government intervention 
into just about every aspect of governance that our Forefathers 
delegated to the States via the Constitution.

The collusion between the politicians and their NTSC franchisees is 
unprecedented. Consider two current events:

1. The Baseball steroids scandal - when the big fish were testifying 
before Congress last week all of the national networks turned over 
the stage to the politicians for a bit of Grandstanding.

2. The Terri Schiavo case - this is an unprecedented intervention of 
the Federal Government in the affairs of the States.

Without the National stage, would either of these issue have been 
raised to the current level of hyperbole by the politicians?

Bert likes the idea that the TV franchise should be updated to 
reflect unspoken realities. We all know where the real power lies, 
with the National Networks, so why keep up the charade. Just 
eliminate localism, and let one set of voices speak for the Nation. 
Perhaps Bert has become infected with the "Inside the Beltway" 
mentality; the belief that an omnipotent National Government knows 
best what we need and is in the best position to take care of us.

It is very difficult to conclude that the shift to a powerful 
centralized government, which our forefathers so feared, could have 
taken place in such a short period of time (about five decades), 
without the collusion of a powerful national media, under the control 
of Congress.

The only conclusion that can be drawn with respect to the "politics" 
surrounding the ATSC standard, is that the so called "DTV Transition" 
is working perfectly. Replacing a system that protects the NTSC 
franchise with one that would actually allow TV broadcasting to 
become competitive again would be political suicide. Going the 
additional mile to make this system open to ALL content providers - 
without political gerrymandering - is unthinkable.


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: