[opendtv] Re: Toward digital TV

  • From: Bob Miller <bob@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 21:26:54 -0500

Albert Manfredi wrote:

>Bob Miller wrote:
>>You keep saying that but it is just as obvious to me that
>>modulation is the issue. The real question is if we had
>>DVB-T in the US why wouldn't we be doing as well as
>>other countries like the UK, Japan and France to name
>>a few?
>Maybe because those countries have a higher percentage
>of OTA households, so the manufacturers figure on a
>greater demand.
The US has 280 million of which 42 million or 15% are OTA only by some 
accounts. That is a far bigger market than OZ for example where there 
are only 19 million inhabitants altogether many of which are on cable or 
satellite I presume. So why is LG selling a COFDM receiver there? And 
BTW I thought that LG had stopped selling any STB, 4th gen or otherwise 
in the US, where did you hear otherwise?

Back to the subject. There are 103 different STB COFDM receiver models 
actively being sold in OZ with 11 more in the PCI and USB area. There 
are 26 different manufacturers for just the STB's of which LG is one.

So I suggest your idea that is manufacturers seeing a higher percentage 
of OTA households as bogus to the Nth.

Look at LG alone. In the US they have a vastly bigger market. They own 
the IP and have few competitors. In OZ they have lots of competition 
which is actively selling, they don't own any IP rights to COFDM and yet 
there they are.

>Maybe because in those countries, cable and DBS services
>don't give kickbacks to manufacturers for providing
>hardware for subscription services only, creating a
>disincentive for FOTA hardware. (Assuming this is
>true, which of course I don't know, but it has been
>aledged by two broadcasters here.)
If there is a store selling for Murdock's SKY in the UK you can bet they 
are making something from Murdock. And yet you will find most stores 
actively selling Freeview because they can make money on it easy. Easy 
sale with profit at $50 and up. And they are selling Freeview 12 to 1 
against SKY.

>Maybe because in those countries, the DTT multiplex is
>made much more attractive that the analog OTA
>choices, suggesting that broadcasters are really serious
>about deploying a better OTA service than before.
>Whereas here, so far, the DTT and NTSC choices
>are pretty much the same. Which leads manufacturers
>to think there will be scant demand.
You are right there but it is a chicken or egg situation. If US 
broadcasters were really focused on OTA we would not be even having this 
conversation because 8-VSB would have died in its sleep in 1997. But at 
any point if COFDM had been allowed "more attractive choices" would have 
been offered by broadcasters much like in the UK and other countries.

>Mobility per se is not even the issue. The DTT plants
>are primarily designed for fixed service, be it portable
>or not. Even the DVB-H streams seem like they will
>not be using the same 8 MHz bands as DTT.
Mobility and portability are the main issues as will be seen over the 
next five years. DVB-H is only a short term fix for the battery problem. 
Long term regular TV will win out and be available on a wide variety of 
devices of all sizes mobile. In that world satellite radio, satellite TV 
all fade to black as cable and FiOS fight it out for the living room and 
fixed broadband and mobile digital everything (TV, RADIO, INTERNET, AND 
CELL) becomes the gorilla. Longer term I believe that wireless 
ubiquitous everything also kills fiber and cable. Wireless is just going 
to be the cheapest way to deliver everything. The plant will just cost 
so little to maintain compared to cable and fiber. This will only come 
after much further spectrum shuffling and a lot more smart radio technology.

>I repeat: technical inadequacy might have been a
>valid excuse in the past. Technical inadequacy
>CANNOT be a valid excuse this season, when LG
>(for one) sells an apparently adequate solution with
>DirecTV boxes, but continues to sell an obsolete
>design, which existed last year, with FOTA DTT-only
I thought I was saying that 18 months ago but it has not come to pass. I 
don't know the problem but the light I now see at the end of the 8-VSB 
tunnel is faint and is 2 years or more away. And it rest on technology 
that has not been really proven.

Even if it is it will have been 10 wasted years with 8-VSB.

Bob Miller


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