[opendtv] Re: STB hunting

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 10:44:29 -0500

Cliff wrote:

> Bert,  it ain't gonna happen. Somebody out there doesn't
> want it to. Can't you read the tea leaves? Somewhere in
> the layers of Humongous Govt. someone wants to completely
> eliminate all U.S. OTA TV so they can auction off the
> bandwidth for more profitable uses.

I suppose this is as believable as the theory that cable
and DBS are conspiring to kill off OTA, by paying off CE
vendors and retailers. It makes a good story, but the facts
don't completely line up, Cliff.

The FCC receiver mandate still holds, has been set at March
2007 for all TV sets and recording devices, and these built
in receivers are reportedly of good quality. So that would
certainly contradict any notion the government is secretly
trying to kill off OTA. They could have said "let the market
decide," which is what they do when truly not interested
(e.g. analog stereo AM radio). *That's* the kiss of death.

> Why else have none of the manufacturers spent much effort
> developing and *marketing* OTA STBs like they are in the
> rest of the world?

I think there are more credible reasons. For example, since
broadcasters are spending no effort to make their digital
tier particularly attractive, e.g. by offering some added
programs that would encourage people to buy into DTT, the
vendors are waiting for the analog cutoff date to make STBs.
After all, they do have to build in receivers into 100
percent of their TV sets anyway, well before any analog
cutoff date, so what's the rush?

Imagine what would happen if broadcasters made it so people
would rush to stores to get DTT reception. You know, offer
something interesting over their new subchannels. There are
so many possibilities.

> Why is DTV mostly advertised as available over satellite
> and cable? Why don't any of the sales people at the
> consumer electronics stores know you can receive DTV OTA?

Because they're stupid? The guy I talked to at Circuit City
seemed to know. So while this is the impression one gets,
it's not necessarily 100 percent true. Retail clerks in all
industries have a special way of being clueless.

> And why [aside from trying to save it's inventor/patent
> owner Zenith, the last U.S. consumer electronics mfgr. at
> the time] was 8VSB chosen over what the rest of the world
> is using, COFDM,

Or Ibiquity over DAB/DRM, or NTSC over PAL, or MediaFlo
over DVB-H, or 115 V 60 Hz over 220 V 50 Hz, or English
measuring standards over the metric system, or CDMA over
GSM, or .....

The US likes to do its own thing. This one is not a big deal.
A simple change of *one* component, the demod, makes a DVB-T
box into an ATSC box. Big whoop. Besides which, it's not all
bad. I've already reported that I seem to get solid
reception whenever the SNR stays above 15.1 dB or so. This is
very, very repeatable. Compare that with COFDM. Not all bad.

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