[opendtv] Re: US DTV Patent Royalties Range From $24 to $40

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 6 Jun 2009 08:12:30 -0400

At 4:46 PM -0400 6/5/09, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:

So how much of this $24.10 is truly about ATSC?

Essentially all of it, except for the small number of TVs that are being sold and used with cable cards. The vast majority of sets are connected to cable/DBS boxes, thus the integrated tuners are not even used, and are only there because of the government ATSC tuner mandate. Unfortunately. cable/DBS subscribes pay some of the royalties twice.

 Also, what would H.264
add to the total?

Nothing. There is no license fee for decoder hardware as used in a TV or STB. Instead the content provider pays a relatively small fee to allow them to deliver H.264 content in the clear.

There is a small fee for encoders/decoders that are incorporated either into the hardware or software of a personal computer. The first 100,000 units are free (to protect small companies) then it's 20 cents up to 5 million units and 10 cents after five million up to a preset total cap that increases in the out years.

Essentially, MPEG-LA woke up on H.264 and kept the pricing very reasonable.

here is the text for the broadcast license provisions from:


"For (b) (2) where remuneration is from other sources, in the case of free television (television broadcasting which is sent by an over-the-air, satellite and/or cable Transmission, and which is not paid for by an End User), the licensee (broadcaster which is identified as providing free television AVC video) may pay (beginning January 1, 2006) according to one of two royalty options: (i) a one-time payment of $2,500 per AVC transmission encoder (applies to each AVC encoder which is used by or on behalf of a Licensee in transmitting AVC video to the End User) or (ii) annual fee per Broadcast Market12 starting at $2,500 per calendar year per Broadcast Markets of at least 100,000 but no more than 499,999 television households, $5,000 per calendar year per Broadcast Market which includes at least 500,000 but no more than 999,999 television households, and $10,000 per calendar year per Broadcast Market which includes 1,000,000 or more
television households.13


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