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

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2010 08:59:11 -0500

At 5:27 PM -0500 2/6/10, Albert Manfredi wrote:
Craig Birkmaier wrote:

 The fact is Bert that we chose poorly.

You, and others, continue to make a bigger issue of this than it deserves to be.

While I would not doubt that DVB-T2 would have been a better choice had it been available at the time, let me just say that with antennas in fireplace, and snow up the freekin' ying yang this morning, I can attain solid reception of local stations, and even Baltimore's ABC2 (which is actually UHF). And this was also true when it was coming down the hardest.

And yes, even the local VHF stations.

The reason we chose poorly is that Broadcast TV is a WIRELESS service.

It was abundantly clear in the early '90s that a new era of mobile communications was rapidly approaching. An era that would leverage packetized (IP) data, delivered via wireless networks. Rather than developing a standard optimized for mobile devices, the FCC chose poorly, holding onto the same criteria used for the original NTSC service - an outdoor antenna mounted to a 30 foot mast.

It should be noted, that this would only ENHANCE the ability to receive Broadcast TV via simple fixed antennas. Not everyone has a fireplace with the the right RF environment to host an OTA antenna, nor would many viewers care to turn their fireplace into a TV reception zone - especially with more than two feet of snow on the ground!

Thanks to the efforts of engineers like Mark Aitken, when broadcasters realized their mistake - that mobile DTV IS a significant opportunity - they were able to develop an in-band, compatible Mobile/Handheld TV standard. But this standard is at best a compromise, with significant overhead to overcome the limitations of the sub-optimal ATSC decision.

Bottom line, I do agree that this "may be" a "bigger issue" than it deserves to be. Nearly 90% of U.S. TV viewers could care less...

A significant lost opportunity that "may" kill the broadcast service, or cost a great deal to put in place a new standard, which we could ALL be enjoying today.


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