[opendtv] Re: UHF reception

  • From: "John Willkie" <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 11:15:30 -0800

Just what in the hell do your comments or trips to talk with the people who
work with politicians have to do with 1) UHF reception or 2) engineering?

You are simply lost, and you persist in trying to fight a battle that was
lost around December 2000.  Yet, I note from previous comments you have
posted here, that you have insulted Mark Aitken (one of your allies in that
time frame) because his (non-engineering) beliefs don't agree with yours.
That exchange was telling as to how you went out of your way to insult him,
and how he dealt with you.

I tend to favor the "evolution" position, but I'm younger than you, and I
learned a long time ago how to discuss my positions on such matters with
others that don't share my -- beliefs -- sometimes learning something, but
never creating a hostile situation.

Mark has -- stirringly -- made "lemonade" out of his then-engineering
concerns, as members of the OMVC and ATSC TSG/MH subcommittees can attest,
and even fools like you will be able to get a whiff of in short order (I

You, on the other hand, are not only selling old bitter lemons, you are
recounting how others who then gave you lip service "did you wrong."

When/if ATSC M/H comes about, you will probably find -- if you can get
beyond the bitterness and recrimination -- that it not only solves much of
the issues you had with 8-VSB, but that it puts the ball into a whole new
stadium.  One I talked about even in 1999: ubiquity.  However, in fairness,
the ubiquity is in an entirely different direction than I thought was
important back then.

Your contribution to trying to make things better: zero.  Mark's:
immeasurable.  Mine: minor, but I did win a few important technical battles.

And, I still think that your posts after the "drinking lamp" is lit are less
coherent than those during daylight hours.  I note that alcohol is a
depressant, and you seem to be fixated on your previous losses.

You know just about zero about engineering, as your youngest daughter has
recently learned.  And, you tend to lie, like about the "struggling" Richard
Bogner's LPTV station in NYC, which bills $500,000 per month (and pays a
significant tower fee, but that's the price of admission in NYC
broadcasting) transmitting a radio signal.

Man up!

John Willkie

-----Mensaje original-----
De: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] En
nombre de Bob Miller
Enviado el: Monday, November 24, 2008 10:59 AM
Para: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Asunto: [opendtv] Re: UHF reception

Initially in our first trips to DC we were trying to get the right to
use other modulations and codecs on LPTV stations, to tell them that
8-VSB was a lousy modulation and that full power broadcasters should
be allowed to use DVB-T, that mobile was important and the one big
advantage that the TV spectrum had over cable and satellite. We also
wanted to make sure that winners of the spectrum at auction would be
allowed to use a wide variety of tools including DVB-T.

Remember that back in 2000 they were set to auction off channels 52-69
less the four reserved for Public Safety.

Later after the first two auctions, 44 and 49 we were trying to get
them to consider changing the modulation on channels 2-51 so that the
transition would take place in 2006. Naivly we thought that if
broadcasters actually saw what DVB-T could do they would become very
interested in their OTA spectrum and we could tag along in s number of

In general we were telling them emphatically that if they stayed with
8-VSB OTA would die.

And we were trying to raise capital to buy spectrum in Auctions 44 and
49. No one took us seriously when we argued that channels 54, 55 and
59 would be valued at 100 to 1000 times the price we could buy them
for in those Auctions by the time they could be used.

In Auction 44 New York, Philadelphia and Boston, channels 54 and 59,
went for $6 million and in Auction 73 channels 53 and 58 went for $1.5
Billion. That is 250 times the Auction 44 price. Not 1000 yet but try
to buy them from AT&T in 2012 and see what you would have to pay.

That is all we were trying to do. Buy spectrum, as much as possible,
put a piece of it to work and show its potential and drive the price
of the spectrum to its real value. Part of that has happened already
with Qualcomm and AT&T's plans possibly. Broadcasters were paying no
attention to OTA spectrum. We were not on any kind of a crusade to
save broadcasters. We were trying to make money.

Our plan to investors was simple. Even if we did nothing with the
spectrum it would increase massively in value by the time it could be
used. If we did do something with some of it that increase in value
would happen faster. The ones who made/will make the most money were
those speculators who simply bought and held and are still holding.
Aloha did a demonstration in Las Vegas and that caught AT&T's eye.
They sold out before Auction 73 for $2.5 billion. What they did is
what I wanted to do. My mistake was emphasizing the operation of the
spectrum not simply the speculative aspect of just buying and holding

So we had a much harder row to hoe with a complicated business plan
that no one had done before. Live and learn.

Bob Miller

On Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 12:41 PM, Manfredi, Albert E
<albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Bob Miller wrote:
>> We had at least four meetings with McCain's staff and a
>> hundred phone calls. I don't know if they ever understood
>> what we were saying but we showed our mobile video in at
>> least two of those meetings.
> I wouldn't have understood what you were saying either, Bob. How did
> your video clue McCain's staff in on how FOTA TV in the US is being
> devalued? Did you address the trend of the congloms to move high value
> content only to pay-TV walled gardens, for example?
> (For that matter, did you mention that your video was demonstrating an
> obsolescent modulation standard that Euro broadcasters are now already
> having to phase out somehow?)
> If I were a staffer expecting someone to explain to me what the congloms
> are doing to our precious FOTA TV, I'd be thoroughly confused by your
> presentation.
> The bit about assigning more spectrum to first responders is essentially
> motherhood. A politician has to say that. It's de rigeur. Because
> telling the American public that most of this auctioned off spectrum is
> going to "greedy corporations" would be unseemly. Especially coming from
> a "maverick."
> The point that should have been made to McCain's people, though, is that
> what *they* consider to be "greedy broadcasters" are in fact being
> squeezed out of existence. For example, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if
> McCain's folks were staunch supporters of this white space device
> initiative, thinking it was high time those greedy broadcasters shared
> the wealth.
> That particular campaign is water under the bridge. But the issues
> facing FOTA TV are not. And I'm afraid that all the unfocused and
> tangential lobbying is only making matters worse.
> Bert
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