[opendtv] Re: OTA

  • From: "Albert Manfredi" <bert22306@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 04:21:32 -0400

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

[ATSC to WiFi box]

2. Codec efficiency - MPEG-2 is simply not efficient enough for
mobile applications, especially over wireless broadband networks;

The part of the path in which you need the highest possible coding
efficiency is the broadband pipe. In this instance, the "broadband pipe"
is the ATSC channel, so there's NO PROBLEM with coding efficiency.

Excuse me Bert. Why did the ATSC add h.264 support for the M/H

If you have a box in the house, that converts from ATSC to WiFi, WHO CARES about ATSC M/H and about having the best possible coding efficiency? That ATSC channel is ALREADY providing you with at least one HD and maybe 3 SD streams. That part of the path has existed for years, and works fine. And also, if your WiFi is 802.11n, you ALREADY have plenty of bandwidth available within the home too, even if the box doesn't transcode to H.264. Eeking out the best coding efficiency is simply not an issue in this instance. Although if the box can transcode, so much the better.

Why does M/H use H.264? For two reasons. (1) Because H.264 already existed when M/H was standardized, so might as well go with the newest available algorithm. (2) Because the M/H bit rate *is* severely constrained. Neither of these applies to this case.

So your Antenna to WiFi box will need to support both h.264
and MPEG-2, and pay the licensing fees for both.

Reality has a way of taking care of these issues, somehow or other. Prices of these products seem to drop rapidly anyway ... uh, except for Apple, of course. This licensing alarmism never seems to pan out?

My educated guess is that broadcasters will begin the planning
for a new transmission business model in parallel with the
development of the standard. This planning will include
discussions/negotiations with the existing cellular infrastructure
providers AND studies to determine if broadcasters can build out
the new distributed infrastructure on their own.

Yes, but I'm going past that, Craig. You don’t need a lot of actual broadcasters; i.e. companies involved in the RF signal transmission, if you go with the higher bit rate 3G or (eventually) 4G schemes. If the current OTA broadcasters go with an existing wireless broadband company, then the broadcasters become nothing more than content providers -- their own content, that is (i.e. news and weather mostly). The congloms would only need to deal with the wireless broadband company, no longer with multiple local broadcast stations. If the current broadcasters decide to build their own LTE infrastructure, the why would you need more than one or two?

But we can already see what is happening with Internet streaming,
so broadcasters are likely to have little choice but to follow a similar

That's what I've been saying, Craig. Who is involved in Internet streaming? The content owner, the CDN and ISP, and that's it. The same will happen with a wireless broadband infrastructure, if LTE or even the newer variants of wideband CDMA are used. The unwalled nature of OTA TV, in which multiple broadcasters each transmit their own multiplex, using their own transmission facilities, won’t exist anymore. The 4G channels are likely to be 80 MHz wide, each. How many of those do you need to carry the current set of OTA TV multiplexes, in the average US TV market? One? Maybe two, in the larger markets? (More in LA, but that's a unique case.)

First, it is unlikely that the government would allow ANY one company to own
all of the TV spectrum in one market.

Why? They are already allowing just two DBS companies to cover an entire country. Why wouldn't they allow one or two companies to provide the RF infrastructure for a given OTA market? Even if they impose national caps, so that company can't own all OTA facilities in the country?


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