[opendtv] Re: New transition web site

  • From: "Bob Miller" <robmxa@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 21:07:40 -0500

On 3/2/07, Manfredi, Albert E <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Bob Miller wrote:

> Maybe no one is doing much about converter boxes because
> they all expect, or even know that another delay is
> coming.
> And this guy invokes the poor.

There is some logic to his theory. First, broadcasters stand by a
modulation scheme that hasn't been fully worked out yet, so they can
encourage viewers to subscribe to cable/DBS, and get some of those
subsription fee $ back from these distribution companies. Then, after
receiver technology has been sorted out, broadcasters fail to inform the
public, maneuver with the subscription services and retailers to keep
products off the store shelves, fail to follow through on their cheap
STB RFP (I'm talling about the NAB now), and so on ad nauseam.

Isn't it strange how this seemingly obvious scheme does not work in
Europe or Australia, in spite of the fact that the UK, at least, appears
to have the same sort of retrans consent rules that we have here in the

To illustrate, it looks like yesterday or the day before, Virgin Media
stopped carrying Sky channels, for retrans consent disagreements:


I guess we have to believe that broadcasters in the UK, Italy, France,
PREFER not to get back those subscription revenues, PREFER to have
people use Freeview, because they are high minded and civically
responsible. Instead here, they greedily conspire with umbillical
services to get people addicted.

I don't know if they have retrans consent and how it works if they
have it and if you don't know all the details you probably know
nothing. I do know that a number of content providers have left the
SKY subscription model for Freeview's ad supported only venture. OTA
sans sub fees must look more lucrative there.

There's something that doesn't track here, which is why I continue to
dismiss these conspiracy theories (and also any notion that CE
manufacturers give a tinker's damn about modulation schemes). Something
is weird structurally, though, and I wish I knew what it is. Maybe it is
as simple as what Dale says: govt subsidies, which play a part in
Freeview and similar Euro systems, make the difference.

Doesn't track if your not on the track at all. All CE companies want
to do is sell as much product as they can next quarter. They don't
care about modulation schemes. For example I believe that Harris was
against COFDM because it would cause a short term delay in transmitter
sales and they could care less about what was the better modulation. I
think though that they got hurt short and long term by that decision.
The first thing that broadcasters did after 8-VSB was re-affirmed with
the support of Harris was to ask for and get the right to broadcast at
low power which cut into their sales.

I think that the short term worry about a delay prompted the CE
companies to support 8-VSB and I think it hurt their sales of HDTVs,
especially when they had bigger margins. OTA with 8-VSB has done very
little IMO to help the sale of HDTV sets. I think that allowing COFDM
in 2000 would have stimulated sales far more. Hard to argue against
this idea since 50% or more of HDTV buyers don't have any HD content
and 20% don't even know that they don't have HD content. Suggest that
very few knew and therefore could have been influenced in any way by
the fact that HD was available OTA.

That blogger should quit whining and buy a Samsung STB. Can't stand the
whinings of an addict. And as I recall, it was the NAB that wanted to
stick with 8-VSB, not just CBS.

A lot of members of the NAB would have been for a switch if it had not
been for their abject fear of Congress. ABC, NBC, Pappas, Sinclair and
others would all have voted for COFDM if Dingell and others were not
threatening them with loss of spectrum and licenses saying that the
bid for COFDM was a delaying tactic. In fact I think Sinclair, Pappas
did vote for COFDM. If ABC and NBC had not caved we would not have the
transition problems we have today. It would have been over in 2006.

I like the new verbs coined by Dennis Haarsager


"To dingell" (after the above), meaning to delay taking responsibility
until it's someone else's watch.  Also, "to kneuer" (after NTIA head
John Kneuer), meaning to avoid responsibility by doing the bare
minimum required by law until it's someone else's watch.   --Dennis

Watch Kneuer doing his thing, kneuering on C-Span, The Communicators
three episodes ago.

Bob Miller


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