[opendtv] Re: Public M/H information

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2008 08:32:24 -0500

At 4:09 PM -0800 12/22/08, John Willkie wrote:
Gee, you seem to miss the point that 1) the only stations doing i-tunes
tagging are music stations, and 2) there is very little music content on
over-the-air television, and 3) at least one of the major networks is now
promoting the incidental music on their shows, and linking to the company
web site were one can get the titles of music heard within the show and buy


Yes, iTunes tagging is about music, although you can get podcasts of many other programming genres ( I don;t know if you can tag programs that are also available as podcasts).

But this has NOTHING to do with TV. It is a capability that Apple and CE manufacturers are exploiting that is a standard feature of HD radio.

I am not saying that Apple should do the equivalent for ATSC. What I am saying is that IF broadcasters deliver useful bits that can be consumed via an iPod Touch or iPhone, Apple might be more inclined to develop new capabilities and include an M/H tuner.

Since the networks (or is it just CBS?) are also offering their shows on DVD
in on-air announcments, they have little incentive to provide a link to a
competitor's (Apple's iTunes store) vending machine.  And, Apple doesn't
offer tv programs in formats as good as BluRay, nor in the format that at
least two of the networks consider to be HDTV.

Hmmmmm. All of the networks offer some of their shows in 720P via the iTunes store. And they ALL make money every time someone buys one of these shows. That sounds like a legitimate incentive to me.

As for HD formats, Apple chose wisely - their HD video looks very good on all screens (both 720P and 1080i/P). IMHO the networks who chose 1080i chose poorly and are now trying to figure out how to migrate to 1080P to save face and bring their video quality up to the level of competitors who are using 720P.

And don't waste your time arguing this point. I am talking about delivered video quality through a bitrate constrained channel. Sorry, but 720P is a better fit and delivers higher quality most of the time.

As I continue to say, Apple can play catch-up in this area.  NRT
(non-real-time) ATSC m/h transmissions would seem to be a direct competitor
to the iTunes store.

Or a very useful complement if Apple were to choose to support new services that deliver files rather than linear programs. But get your terminology right John; it is the Broadcasters who are saddled with ATSC that are playing catch-up, as their legacy service FINALLY rides to the digital cliff.

There is an angle for Apple to play.  ATSC M/H 1.0 provides for "service
protection" with "content protection" to be considered, if at all, later.
Microsoft (an ATSC member) has a widely-adopted, rather open, WMDRM system
that can be adapted to support ATSC M/H 1.0 +; Apple has a widely-used,
closed system.  And, there are other solutions out there.

Sadly this is true. I doubt that Apple will play here, unless they find a way to work with broadcasters to deliver paid content...it could happen.

They can catch up with the LG, Samsung and Kenwood ATSC M/H receivers that
will be shown a CES on January 8, 2009.  With others to follow.  Some also
have the capability to receive other mobile broadcasts.

Catch Up? You have it backwards again John. Just having receivers does not a market make. The real reason that Apple dominates the digital music player market is that they have a well designed infrastructure to manage the digital media content that consumers already own, and to purchase additional content. This infrastructure has made it possible for Apple to expand into the video business and now to sell applications for mobile computers.

The companies you list are hoping that broadcasters will support this new standards and that consumers will show enough interest to buy receivers.

And, let me mention that ATSC M/H 1.0 will have the capability to provide
for a reverse/response channel.  It's and optional, but important feature,
built into the first version of the standard.  Transactions and other forms
of interactions are possible in basic receivers.

A very important part of the equation. You can only do so much by pushing services to consumers. A return channel will be essential, given the devices and services that broadcasters will be competing with.


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