[opendtv] Re: OTA

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2012 19:20:04 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> That being said, more people are cutting their wireline phone "cords"
> than MVPD services. So wireless broadband is working for MANY people.
> And we are just beginning to see the deployment of femtocells for
> in-home connectivity to the wired Internet using 3G/4G radios.

Craig, femtocells are to 3G/4G what WiFi hotspots are to wired broadband. It's 
a way of creating that indoor, reliable wireless link, for the content on that 
particular distribution medium. Matter of fact, for those like me who have poor 
3G service, there are outdoor cell phone antennas and repeaters available, 
which provide a boosted signal indoors. Same basic idea.

The point I'm trying to make is, this is not very remarkable. If you make the 
in-home connection via one of these short range, in-home wireless techniques, 
it does not change the nature of the actual distribution pipe. The distribution 
pipe remains as it is. Fact is, it's only a small change from having that 
in-home coax distribution plant, or even more similar to having a cordless 
phone. Having a cordless phone hardly changes the fact that you're using basic 
telephone service.

> But it also means that in many areas, LTE broadcasting WILL work
> inside the home, and "may not" have the same cost per bit as the
> telco LTE services.

You mean, just like very often you can receive ATSC indoors?

Fine, but as I said repeated times, this LTE scheme won't be a FOTA solution. 
And it is also unlikely to be an "unwalled" solution. In order to keep such a 
scheme viable, you need a fleet of trucks out there tweaking the system all of 
the time. And there's no way that an individual broadcaster is going to deploy 
such a scheme over his individual 6 MHz band (never mind that LTE uses 20 MHz 
or wider channels). So, you pay a price for going this route. **You are simply 
inventing a new umbilical service, where ATSC does not need one**. Hardly 
ground-breaking, Craig!

> And it is entirely feasible that a cheap box with a simple antenna
> will be able to receive the broadcasts in more challenging areas,
> and put these bits on the home's WiFi network.

It is just as feasible that a cheap box can be used to receive ATSC broadcasts 
in challenging areas, and distribute the signal indoors via WiFi or 60 GHz 
schemes. My WiFi provides bit rates that typically range from 180 to 270 Mb/s 
(subject to the vagaries of MIMO). Plenty adequate to rebroadcast several ATSC 
multiplexes simultaneously. And faster versions of 802.11 are on the way. The 
advantage being, NO NEED for the new umbilical LTE infrastructure.

> Local broadcasters will now face a more challenging world than
> the one in which they operate today with two revenue streams, thanks
> to retransmission consent. They will either have to fund their
> broadcasts only with advertising revenues, or charge for the content.

Disagree. First of all, local broadcasters will have to deal with this new LTE 
umbilical service. Just as they now have to deal with ISPs and MVPDs, to 
provide access to content in your home. And secondly, since you are postulating 
an LTE infrastructure ONLY used for TV broadcasting, my contention is, it will 
be funded exactly the same way as MVPDs are! What's the difference? Retrans 
consent or must carry, and local broadcasters still in the distribution path 
for conglom content.

At least, if the actual Internet is used, you're giving the congloms a way to 
bypass local broadcasters. It's a more flexible system. If you rope off LTE 
spectrum just to create an isolated TV broadcasting utility, you're back to an 
MVPD that happens to use an RF instead of a fiberoptic infrastructure.

>> Broadcasters already have an RF system they can AND DO use, that can
>> do the same. There's no need to invent anything new.

> The current broadcast RF system cannot do what you are saying.

Again, look up Vcast, Craig. Broadcasters do make their signals available over 
3G, today. All you are suggesting is that this service be provided over a 
roped-off part of the spectrum, not shared with other 2-way services.

Not very exciting!


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