Craig, If we had a simple plug and play DTV system, that was capable of portable and mobile as well as delivering HD to fixed receivers, it would be just as powerful as NTSC. DTV Must Carry is already part of the rules. Whenever a station turns off it's NTSC, either voluntarily or after the dreaded cutoff date, Must Carry of their primary program stream is assured. Status Quo. If NTSC is the goose that laid the golden eggs, then ATSC simply laid an egg. If the CEA wanted to sell lots and lots of pretty, big, and expensive HD displays, then a workable DTV system would help, not hurt that cause. Digital Broadcasting Australia shows on their website HD STBs offered for sale by no fewer than 14 different manufacturers. Not 14 different models, FOURTEEN DIFFERENT MANUFACTURERS. (25 different manufacturers when SD only boxes are included!), Most of the HD STBs are priced at around $700 AU, which is less than $550 US. This in a market of 14 million PEOPLE, not households. It's insane that we're still sticking with ATSC after all those "the next generation will be the magic one" promises. The NAB decided to stay with ATSC rather than fight it out over changing the DTV system because 1] They truly believed that the receiver problem was an easy fix (after all, look at the European system, and digital is digital, right? Can't be that hard.) and 2] Congress was salivating over the untold Billions that a spectrum auction would bring, and threatened the broadcasters with new legislation giving free air time to all candidates as part of a "campaign finance reform" package if the broadcasters dared to rock the boat and delay the transition. Little did they know that the delay would be due to the uncontrollable part of the equation, the manufacturers. Look, Craig, Bert, and everybody else, the free market is the most powerful and efficient system in the world to allocate resources. If a nation of 14 million people with a unique DTV system (DVB-T, HD, 7 MHz channels) can have 14 different manufacturers vying to sell them High Definition DTV STBs, then surely those same 14 companies and more would be crawling over each other to break into the US market with 300 Million people. But they're not. Why not? Because they know how difficult (read: expensive) it is to build an ATSC box that actually is plug and play. They aren't stupid. They have labs. They can build prototypes and mess around with them. And they know a money sinkhole when they see one. The point is, almost 6 years later we're still waiting for 1999 COFDM performance out of an ATSC box, but we will never get it because ATSC isn't capable of portable, mobile, or low power (consumption) operation. Maybe with Representative Tauzin out of the picture, Congress can finally see that no matter how many times LG demos a prototype box, unless it can be made economically, and by many vendors, then they aren't going to be made, period. It's disgusting that it comes down to someone like Bert arguing for ATSC when he hasn't even tried one yet. That's like a virgin arguing the finer points of the Kama Sutra. Meanwhile, we have people like Bob Miller, and Sinclair Broadcasting, who have seen both side by side and know exactly how many light-years COFDM is ahead of 8-VSB, yet are dismissed out of hand. But no, let's stay the course. I do believe that may be an iceberg ahead, Captain Smith... John (The definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.) ----- Original Message ----- From: "Craig Birkmaier" <craig@xxxxxxxxx> > 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. 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