[opendtv] Re: Toward digital TV

  • From: Bob Miller <bob@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 14:40:09 -0500

You did nothing wrong but be alone. Without must carry most OTHER 
broadcasters would have been as intensely interested in the digital 
modulation issue as Sinclair was or even more so and earlier. As a group 
broadcasters would have fought a lot harder for and known a lot more 
about DVB-T by late 1999. By the hearings in 2000, if that were so, 
Sinclair would have had a gallery of broadcast supporters at the 
hearings demanding DVB-T and banging their shoes on the table and I 
can't believe that the test of 2000 would have been allowed to proceed 
as they did. By now broadcasters would be demanding much higher fees 
from cable and satellite than the timid fees demanded by retransmission 
consent if broadcasters were even offering their content to cable and 
satellite at all.

Correct initial test results, a second round of testing and much greater 
support and involvement of more broadcasters in the test procedures 
would have guaranteed at least further discussion. At the least DVB-T 
would have been allowed as Sinclair asked for. More than three 
broadcasters would have had the guts to vote for DVB-T in the face of 
Congressional intimidation.If it had been allowed I believe we would 
have a completely different DTV landscape in the US today with a hundred 
different OTA receivers on the market and multiple successful, possibly 
wildly successful USDTV ventures all of which would have been offering 
free DVB-T receivers for the last almost six years.

In the UK they have sold over seven million receivers so far with a 
million in the last quarter alone and I would suggest they will sell 
close to two million this quarter. What if they had been giving them 
away free with subscription based services as well like I suggest would 
have happened in the US? What if they had been doing it since early 
2001? After all USDTV can subsidize 8-VSB receivers at $19.95.

The nine million receivers that will have been sold in the UK by the end 
of the year, my estimate, would be equivalent to 63 million in the US. 
Add on a few extra years we would have had, add on the possibility that 
there would have been a number of USDTV ventures giving away free 
receivers and that number could be far higher like 100 million. The 
digital transition would be virtually over and OTA would be kicking ass 
in the US.

Freeview is outselling SKY four to one. Wouldn't it be nice if OTA was 
offering real competition to cable and satellite in the US instead of 
whatever it is broadcasters do with them?

And now you say it is starting to get exciting? New ideas are being 
thought because maybe there is a solution for 8-VSB? Could have happened 
years ago. Could still happen if all the hopes for 8-VSB over the next 
few years were shown to be true and exceeded by DVB-T today. I don't 
think Congress knows this. They would only know if broadcasters as a 
group said enough is enough and laid out the facts and said that they as 
a group were willing to do what it takes to do a switch and that this 
would speed up the transition not slow it down.

Can you imagine the frenzy among all the manufacturers of DVB-T 
equipment if this were to happen?.

None of this is meant as a criticism of you or Sinclair.

Bob Miller

Mark Aitken wrote:

>I/we am/are (a) Broadcaster(s).  I/we am/are NOT married to must carry 
>(Sinclair believes in the power of retransmission consent).  There is 
>8VSB in the US.  There is NOT DVB-T for Broadcasters.  There was a time 
>I/we asked for DVB-T.  We did not get what we asked for.  Do you think 
>if we asked again (in a very nice/pleasant way) we might get it?  What 
>did we do wrong?
>Bob Miller wrote:
>>If broadcasters were not married to must carry there would be no 8-VSB 
>>modulation in the US and we WOULD have adopted DVB-T.
>>None of these issues would be discussed at all.
>>Bob Miller

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