[opendtv] Re: News: TV Braces for the Apple Tablet

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 07:17:07 -0500

At 3:09 PM -0600 1/28/10, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
Tom Barry wrote:

 The new rules have stimulated more than expected demand for
 those services.  It demonstrates the need to dredge up more
 wireless bandwidth somehow, before everybody and his dog has
 some sort of smart phone.

First, use what you got more effectively, before talking about yanking away someone slese's slice. The 3G spectrum can be used more effectively even before you spill into the new 4G spectrum. Let the cellcos migrate all of their services to 4G compatibly, no matter what spectrum they are using.

The same can be said about broadcasting - and the big stick model is horribly inefficient in terms of spectral reuse. Using big chunks of spectrum to protect signals in adjacent markets is simply unacceptable in a modern world where spectrum with good propagation characteristics is scarce. I am tired of losing cellular and data service every time I walk into a metal building; at Swamp Head, I cannot use my cellphone in MOST of our warehouse space.

Then, instead of insisting that TV content needs to all be made available as VOD, unicast, which is very inefficient, offload TV onto broadcast RF frequencies.

Sorry Bert, but with IP Multicast, telco networks are far more spectrally efficient than ATSC MHP for video delivery. I would agree that a properly designed SFN that reused the TV spectrum efficiently would be comparable.

But this turns you argument around on the broadcasters; they are the ones who need to use this valuable resource efficiently.

And what makes you think that TV content is responsible for the current wireless bandwidth crunch?

Yes video can be a huge bandwidth hog, but there are many other far more common uses of smart phones and "connected" netbooks/laptops that are the primary source of the congestion today.

The NY Times had an interesting article about this today:


As Devices Pull More Data, Patience May Be Required

One paragraph stood out:

An hour of browsing the Web on a mobile phone consumes roughly 40 megabytes of data. Streaming tunes on an Internet radio station like Pandora draws down 60 megabytes each hour. Watching a grainy YouTube video for the same period of time causes the data consumption to nearly triple. And watching a live concert or a sports event will consume close to 300 megabytes an hour.

These numbers caught my attention because of the AT&T data plans for the iPAD, which were announced yesterday. For $14.99 you get 250 MB per month - that's just five hours of web browsing.

The reality Bert is that most people DO NOT want to watch the stuff that broadcasters are delivering on their mobile devices. Most of us are not watching this stuff at all. Sorry but I do not feel compelled to watch Dr. Phil and Judge Judy on my 10 minute commute home.

It is only when there are high value programs (mostly sports) that mobile users are interested in what broadcasters have to offer. And the sports leagues are the ones who are moving their content to the Internet for mobile viewers. The broadcasters are staying quiet about the biggest flaw in their mobile strategy; they must acquire (and pay for) separate rights to carry most sporting events on MHP.

And then there is another reality...

Devices like the iPAD are designed to cache video content. And most of this content is downloaded via wired networks. I already use a DVR to capture the few network programs I care about. I would much prefer to be able to move this content to my iPhone if I feel the urge to watch it when I am away from the house. The same will be true in spades for the iPAD, which provides a far better viewing experience. If Apple can put together a service where I can watch the shows I want on ANY device, I'll drop cable in a nanosecond.


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