[opendtv] Re: OTA

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 15:40:56 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> The point is that the mobile/portable devices people are using
> TODAY DO connect to WiFi, and in some cases 3G/4G. They DO NOT
> connect to ATSC or ATSC M/H and it is HIGHLY likely they never
> will.

So, build a box that converts ATSC from outdoors into WiFi for indoors. I kind 
of thought that was obvious enough that we didn't need to mention it 
explicitly, Craig. Or for that matter, if congloms put all of their content 
online, instead of just some of it, then you won't even need that converter 
box. As far as I can tell, the local broadcasters ALREADY have their own 
content online, that that part's done. None of this is earth shattering, Craig.

If it *is* "highly unlikely" that cell phone makers incorporate ATSC/MH, Craig, 
it is only because they are in bed with Verizon, AT&T, et al. That's all. Why 
should Verizon "allow" the cell phone manufacturers to incorporate M/H, when 
they can sell Vcast instead? With your fixation that ATSC and M/H "have no 
future," you're simply advocating these cozy deals.

> [LTE TV broadcast won't be unwalled.] You "might be right," but
> for the sake of the future of broadcast TV, I certainly hope
> you are wrong.

It's not a question of "hope." It's a question of understanding the techniques 
you're advocating BEFORE you get stuck in something that's worse than what came 
before. The LTE spectrum being considered now, and for the true 4G to come in 
the future, requires very wide channels. These wide channels can be aggregated 
from smaller slices, but the individual channels are still at the very least 20 
MHz wide, and migrating up quickly to 40, 80, and 100 MHz. So, there's no 
question that if the broadcasters want to go this way, they will have to 
create, or simply rent space from, a utility. That utility can be something 
that already exists, like Verizon or AT&T, or it can be a new creation just for 
TV broadcast.

The crucial point being, it's just another MVPD.

> When the spectrum buy back is finished, many existing stations are
> going to opt to become ATSC sub-channels using the spectrum of other
> broadcasters.

Mini utilities. That's already happened. Our CW affiliate carries the ThisTV 
network and the AntennaTV network. Our CBS affiliate carries the new Bounce 
network. Our ABC affiliate carries the RTV network and Accuweather. So, the 
broadcasters still have a value-added role to play. They transmit the content 
to the market area, from TV networks that never existed before OTA DTV 
happened, and from their affiliated conglom.

Going to LTE will create the opposite effect. All of the current OTA 
broadcasters would become only sources of local content, assuming that role 
survives. The congloms and other TV networks, like those I just mentioned, will 
be the main source of content. And the true "value added" of local 
broadcasters, i.e. to get content on the air, will be gone.

> Sorry Bert, but ATSC is not a viable approach moving forward.
> You do not need to beleive me. Take another look at what Mark
> Aitken posted.

I did read Mark Aitken's post, and I provided comments already. In essence, he 
is proposing that broadcasters come together and create this LTE utility. (In 
his plan, the utility would *not* be limited to TV broadcast only.)

So I'm saying, perhaps the one or two broadcasters that take that utility role 
will win out, and the rest will have little value to add, other than their 
local news/weather. The congloms, ThisTV, Bounce, etc., would have no reason to 
deal with their previous affiliated station. They would deal with the new 
utility owner instead, just like another MVPD.

The only excuse there is for MVPDS these days to deal with local broadcasters 
is that local broadcasters transmit the OTA signal in the market area. Why 
should local broadcasters remain involved in this retrans consent/must carry 
scheme, with the utility concept? No reason at all. It would be an anachronism. 
The one or two LTE utility providers are the winners in the market area, and 
all the other broadcasters are history.


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