[opendtv] Re: News: Barton Wants DTV Tuners Sooner

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 1 May 2005 11:31:57 -0400

At 10:49 PM -0700 4/30/05, Terry Harvey wrote:
>Of course, free OTA DTV is the best kept secret in the US. The "most
>citizens"  are not aware of free OTA DTV : cosider if OTA DTV was better
>known and better served, consumers may make the effort to put a 'modest '
>sized antenna up? As most broadcasters are heading to the UHF or at least
>upper VHF band for DTV, what's the difference between a satellite dish and
>a UHF antenna? Not much.

Not much of a secret. More like a distant memory.

If one could mount a  relatively small antenna, aim it once and 
forget it, there would be little difference. Unfortunately very few 
markets offer such a luxury.

>The problem with OTA DTV is that the broadcasters do not see any value in
>it besides using their big stick as a link to the cable headend. A more
>imaginative approach would have been to use the broadcast spectrum to
>deliver a rich array of services. Perhaps when DVB-H is launched in the
>next year or so by Microsoft and others the dinosaur broadcasters will take

What Terry is really talking about here is the decision, or lack 
thereof, to use the spectrum to compete, rather than using it to 
deliver to and REQUIRE competitors to carry their bits.  Many things 
can be done in that spectrum that would be competitive, but 
broadcasters prefer NOT to compete.

>That's hysterical?!! I don't see in many communities in America the digital
>services just yet. Outside of major cities, the smaller cable operators are
>still fully analog. In fact, many are considering passing the 8VSB through
>to the subscriber to circumvent the high cost of headend remodulating
>equipment infrastructure.

Terry is out of touch with reality here. From the 2004 Annual Report 
from the NCTA:

By year-end, more than 113 million homes will be passed by cable plant with a
capacity of at least 550MHz - with over 99 million homes passed by 
systems with a
capacity of 750MHz or higher.

The cable industry's investments have enabled it to be at the cutting edge of
broadband, giving consumers the products they want, such as high-speed Internet
access, High-Definition Television (HDTV), digital cable, 
Video-On-Demand (VOD) or
telephone service. Today, cable's advanced services are available to 
more than 105
million homes, or 91 percent of U.S. households passed by cable (see Chart 2).

I think this has had something to do with the REALITY that nearly 
100% of U.S. homes have access to DTV and HDTV by virtue of the fact 
that they can subscribe to a DBS service.

There is NO incentive for most Americans to bother with that Yagi.

Game over.


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