[opendtv] Re: NBC's Reitmeier to head ATSC board

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2006 18:00:50 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> And did I mention the way the MPEG-2 process was corrupted, when
> Sony, Thomson, Sarnoff, GI, and other broadcast interests took it
> over and entrenched outdated technologies like interlace for SD
> and HD? Or that they did this again with H.264?
> The point here is that the people behind the ATSC are also the
> people behind the DBS industry and the consumer electronics
> industry. They were not primarily concerned about the viability
> of the U.S. DTV standard - if anything they did their best to
> cripple it. What they wanted, AND GOT, was the force of
> government behind the idea that everyone would need to upgrade
> to HDTV capable receivers/displays.

Some of what Craig says certainly rings true, in light of the apparent
disinterest in OTA TV shown by broadcasters, the CE industry, and the
retail industry. I've bitched frequently about the inexplicable lack of
DTT-capable hardware, such as separate STBs or recording devices, and
the disinterest and lack of knowledge on anything DTT evident at retail

As to the rest, even if completely factual, it can be circumvented
easily. One example being H.264 compatibility. There's absolutely no
technical reason why AVC cannot be added, even though it did not exist
when the ATSC standard was being written.

So maybe I can phrase my thinking like this: Even if many of the
developers of ATSC had ulterior motives, and no intention of making DTT
become a success, the standard is in place and improvements have been
made "in spite of their best efforts"(?). So it's still possible to make
it work from a purely technical standpoint.

But of course, even a technically perfect system can be sabotaged.

Digital radio broadcasts started only about one to two years ago, in
most places. The level of promotion you see far surpasses that of DTT, 8
years down the road. Availability of hardware is still a little
tentative, but at least we know the broadcasters are behind it. This
cannot be explained away as just random chance.

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