What's the business model for OTA HDTV? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 05-28-2001, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I still haven't figured out how any OTA station can justify upgrading to HDTV outside of being compelled to by the FCC or for some other regulatory reason...I don't see the economics of doing so (certainly not for the next several years).

How do they recoup their capital expenditures? It isn't like they're going to enhance their current advertising revenues, so what are the new revenue streams?

Aren't these folks history? How can they compete against the cable and satellite cos. in the long-run?
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post #2 of 26 Old 05-29-2001, 11:54 AM
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There is no decent biz model for HDTV . . . that's the problem. That is why all the foot dragging. You are right, it is FCC mandate that is making them switch. But if the broadcasters didn't like the deal, they should not have taken the spectrum. Or they should fought to have made the spectrum more useful (I don't want to bring up a controversial topic but COFDM would have permitted mobile data services broadcast on the same channel and thus provide another revenue stream. Take my word for it, I *know*, ATSC *sucks* for datacasting.)

But here is the biz model: The TV companies will reap fat profits by selling big HD RPTVs or FPTVs. So they subsidize the broadcasters to help produce content that will sell HDTVs. Once it gains momentum, the broadcasters will have to keep the HD content flowing or their competitors will.

Regarding local stations, their biz model is the local newscast and their local ads. Most people their "local broadcasts" on cable or satellite. Though they don't admit it, the local "broadcasters" are actually "content producers". Local content. That is how they will survive.
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post #3 of 26 Old 05-30-2001, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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HDTV content will continue to become more widely available, whether it be via satellite, cable, or OTA (or other). But, I'm specifically trying to figure out the economics of an OTA broadcaster upgrading to HDTV. I just don't see how OTA broadcasters will remain competitive in an HDTV world (unless they get into new areas such as datacasting, etc.).

US HH 103MM
US cable HH 75MM
US satellite HH 22MM

So, realistically, the addressable market for HDTV OTA in the US only ~6MM HH (there is some overlap as some HHs may have multiple content distribution pipes, but this is assumed to be de minimus). The folks w/o cable and w/o satellite are likely to be in the least desirable marketing segments (from an advertisers' POV) as well; if so, they are least likely to by an HDTV. Then let's take out those that can't receive the signal b/c they don't have near-line-of-sight and the market shinks further...

On the last point, I'd separate the business of local program production (content layer) from HDTV (transmission layer) as they're not dependent upon one another. People will continue to demand local programming/ content, but I can't see selling ads on the back of local programs really being that interesting in terms of scale. And I don't see the economic justification to upgrade to HDTV either--they should shut down their OTA broadcasting business and keep the local content production business IMHO

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post #4 of 26 Old 05-31-2001, 08:39 AM
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I posted a reply yesterday to this thread but somehow it didn't stick???? Anyway here's a repeat-

I agree that there isn't a specific bu model for HDTV, just like there isn't one for stereo, color or other unique aspect of the basic concept of advertiser based local OTA broadcast. I work in cable LO programming. I can assure you that cable is far more competitive and far more effective a way of advertising for a local business and a national business than local broadcasting OTA. I believe that the only reason why local businesses still consider local TV broadcasting as a way for doing TV advertising is that they are just not familiar with how to buy cable TV advertising. They don't know that they can buy local inserts on CNN, ESPN and Discovery channels for a fraction of what one pays on local OTA stations. The CPI index is better than OTA station and LO programming is often available in prime time, on magic circle channels at sometimes 10% of the cost to air late night on the OTA station. I know, I have tried LO programming and spot placement on both and cable is far more effective. I know because I talk to people who advertise on OTA and they just didn't even consider cable because they didn't understand how it works.

OK, with that said, how does one generate a revenue stream for HDTV ROI for local broadcast station? It is difficult to get broadcasters to change their thinking but they have to in order to survive. Local stations must realize that they are not cable, they are not DBS, they only air one channel of programming and with digital, up to 5 channels of programming will be at their fingertips. So, the next obvious question is how to effectively build a business model that expands their stations programming content to 5 programs simultaneously or a compressed HDTV plus 2 compressed SD channels. This is what I would do if I were the owner of an in trouble local station-
1. Offer an SD channel of all standard network programming plus local programming that is basically a mirror of present day NTSC daily broadcast. The target market is the owner of the small TV set.
2. Offer an HD channel of 24-7 HDTV but restrict it's bandwidth to that necessary to allow a third SD channel that is highly compressed but clean enough for SD TV reception. This HDTV channel will offer network prime time HD broadcasts, commercials and local HDTV programming but will not be of the same quality of that available from HBO, Showtime or PPV HD broadcasts. Essentially, this local HDTV channel will not be for the handfull of videophiles in the community that harp on every little HDTV quality issue but rather broadcast HDTV to the masses who have purchased the cheapest low res HDTV at K-mart blue light special and are the viewers who DO get OTA but are of the mentality that they "can't afford to pay cable rates" lest they have no more money for the extra six pack of beer that week. Get my demographics here? Essentially, the local station should forget about the videophile and concentrate on the numbers.
3. They need to add a 3rd channel that will be basically an advertisement channel that will have something simple like a cable looking program guide plus a pip of infomercials that work on PPI sales, ie "pay per inquiry" Our local cable op is doing this now and is quite successful with all sorts of infomercials on their programming guide.

In addition, I would suggest that the HDTV channel never air black bars on the screen, rather, when only SD programming is available, use that black bar space to insert still adds, like help wanted and other paid advertising that does not need sound to work.


Based on a simple model I believe the above can effectively put the local station into a very competitive position with cable for sales of TV advertising. They can offer prime time programming and still air the network feed. They can reduce their current rates so that they can compete with the cable companies' rate structure and steal back some of the TV advertisers they lost over the years to cable's more cost effective TV advertising.

The above bu model is designed to use the present approach that local TV uses to generate income. It does not offer a way for the local TV companies to generate income by becoming a different business like cell phones and long distance services, offering credit cards, designing and selling print advertising, production of videos for industry and commercial and non-commercial television (weddings, birthday parties etc.) Yes, these are all income revenue generating schemes that local TV stations have tried to do and have nothing or just remotely related to local TV broadcasting. I think data casting services could be lumped into the above list of revenue generators that has nothing to do with local advertised based TV programming.
My model is a simple expansion of the advertising based concept that will put the local TV station in a more competitive arena with local cable companies.
Will the TV stations adopt this concept? I have my doubts as the mentality of local TV stations is simply that they are affraid of change and they firmly believe they are doomed in the business. They are ready to lay down and die. Do they have to? No, they can simply expand their horizons and embrace the new digital TV era and use what it offers in their end of the business without needing to resort to other businesses to generate revenues to support the dwindling level of advertising they now have.

Bottom line- The local TV stations need to forget that the only way to do TV commercials is to sell the 30 second spot. By reducing rates (CPI) they will generate more clients by making TV advertising affordable and competitive with cable. They can reduce rates by making more air time available. They get more air time by using every square inch of TV screen realestate they have. Digital TV, including HDTV makes this increase in realestate a reality. The farm has just become a largs ranch. But, they now need to plant the crops.


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post #5 of 26 Old 06-01-2001, 01:00 PM
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LOL. . Don
Sounds good on paper. . but the devil is in the details:
first selling the concept and then actual implementation.
Why not "field test" the idea on a local network and once
they buy and successfully implement your recommendations -
you'll add millions to your millions? Keep us advised.
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post #6 of 26 Old 06-01-2001, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
LOL. . Don
Sounds good on paper. . but the devil is in the details:
first selling the concept and then actual implementation.
I can understand the humor you find in this. Selling the idea that TV broadcast of commercials actually works to TV execs IS funny.
I recall a few years ago when I was in a brainstorming session to find a way to promote a new (then) concept in TV programming to the viewing public. Everybody was suggesting things like magazine ads, billboards and even radio spots. Then I suggested, how about TV advertising to promote the TV show. After the laughter died down, the exec producer smiled and said, I like it! What a novel idea, use TV advertising to sell TV advertising. We did that and the rest is history of a nice growth and expansion record.

"The devil is alwa4ys in the details." Yes it is! The problem is not implementing the concept of TV advertising on local TV it is convincing TV station execs that what they sell actually works. I really believe most TV execs think they are selling a con on business. There are only two ingredients that make TV advertising work. Make the ad annoying and run it as often as you can so it is in the face of everybody. Anything else is just ego gratification and contributes little to the effectiveness of the ad. If anyone trys to tell you different it is because he is trying to cover up the truth.

Should I make this suggestion to TV? I could, then after the laughter dies down, some may even try a part of it while others will go on to switch the business model of TV to something like print advertising to generate revenue. There is nothing unique about TV stations making money in selling TV advertising. It's just that many TV stations don't believe in their own product.



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post #7 of 26 Old 06-01-2001, 03:25 PM
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Interesting ideas Don. I have a problem with it though. The day they place advertisements in the letterbox area of HDTV programming is the day that I/some/many/lots/most/nearly all viewers stop watching. Wouldn't that feeds back into the advertising cost scales? Bugs or idiot/ego icons are already beyond the point of tasteful advertisement. Of course, for some of us it might be the day that we buy a Panamorph 2 and Vigatec-like device and "faux anamorphize" the advertisements away. Come to think of it, that would help to make those expensive devices more affordable. Please proceed. Shoot, I just remembered. With the evil MPAA plot currently being laid there won't be any external processors. So please hold onto that thought.


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post #8 of 26 Old 06-01-2001, 03:49 PM
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>>The day they place advertisements in the letterbox area of HDTV programming is the day that I/some/many/lots/most/nearly all viewers stop watching.

First off, I'm not proposing to add advertisements to the HDTV programming. That should fit the entire screen, What I proposed and I suppose I need to explain this further, that the SD 4:3 programming that is upconverted to air on the HDTV channel WILL have black bars. It is on this SD 4:3 programming that creates the bars that these bars be replaced with revenue producing product. In a 2.35 AR movie on a 16:9 screen, I doubt there is enough area to do anything effective. That is not true on 4:3 window on a 16:9 screen.

The second point you made is something I have split feelings about. On one hand I'm in your camp and hate the bugs and other trash that pollutes the programming. Heck, I hate the banner ads that appear on AV Science. However, on the flip side, I disagree that this will deter the masses from watching because of visual polution. Remember we should never underestimate the tastes of the American viewing public. The fact that it is there is testimonial that your threat is ignored by the producers. I know as I ignore my inner feelings in exchange for what I know works when putting together a show. I just got done putting a bug in the lower left corner of a new show today. Hmmm... maybe that's why I can't sleep at night. LOL.

Anyway, It was just my answer to the original question on how it IS possible to make HDTV and the new dtv channel space pay the bills. Of course if local TV station management wants to go into the long distance telephone business or produce wedding videos for hire, and don't think thay can make a profit selling TV advertising then I'll be there waiting to put their clients on cable TV! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

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post #9 of 26 Old 06-02-2001, 08:34 AM
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Don, you may have just given another good reason why the cable companies are against carrying HDTV/DTV. In order to insert local commercials, lots of expensive MPEG encoders would be required. To insert HDTV material would be even more expensive. It's not as simple as just synching up the originating source with the inserted material. This is one of the big problems for the affiliates, you can't just overlay as you can with NTSC. With the cable company, this problem would be multipled by the number of channels inserts would be required on.

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post #10 of 26 Old 06-02-2001, 12:43 PM
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Bob: True today but as we type this I see several ads for new switchers and inserters that will do just that, mix, different format video all in one box. Put a PIP of an NTSC feed, a PIP of an SDI SD feed and layer it on top of an HD SDI feed. There were several of these introduced at NAB this year which makes it all possible. Technology is the least of the problems, attitude and being success driven is the major problem.

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post #11 of 26 Old 06-02-2001, 04:03 PM
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I think HDTV is actually a golden opportunity for OTA stations. The stations have a chance to create and dominate in an emerging marketplace in which very few others can compete.

Standard television and HDTV should be viewed as two separate businesses. One a large, fragmented industry, which will slowly be decreasing in size over the next few years. The other a small but rapidly growing new business, which appeals to affluent customers and is open to only a limited number of competitors.

Cable and Satellite have limited ability to offer much of their programming in HDTV due to bandwidth considerations without dropping some of their standard programming; whereas OTA stations can offer 100% of their programming in HDTV and still offer 100% of their programming in standard television also. As Don has pointed out, OTA stations could actually double their number of digital viewing options by offering an SDTV channel showing alternative programming in a multicasting mode in addition to their HDTV channel.

In most areas there are very few options for HDTV viewing, a couple of movie channels on satellite and whatever the OTA stations show. Once someone (like us) has spent the money to buy the necessary equipment to watch HDTV, HDTV is what they want to watch. I am sure all of us watch more HBO and CBS than we previously did, and conversely less of what we used to watch.

I feel sorry for OTA stations who are happy in the analog world and do not want the expenses of moving into the HDTV market.

I have a solution for them. I think OTA stations which do not want to enter the HDTV world should give up their rights to their networks HDTV and digital programming, and give back their digital channels to the FCC. I bet the FCC would have little trouble finding others who would be willing to take those digital channels and become the digital network affiliates, knowing that they will loose money upfront while gaining a dominant position in the emerging business of HDTV .


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post #12 of 26 Old 06-02-2001, 05:11 PM
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IMHO, HD is an investment that the traditional networks and satellite have to make in order to stay viable..

Realize that cable cant compete with OTA/Sat HD. Its going to be very difficult for them to choose between giving up 20mbs of digital channels or digital services for every full HD channel they want to carry. Plus the money isnt there, and wont be for a while for them to upgrade their networks AGAIN.

So, by upgrading their OTA stations, networks can effectively create 2 tiers of programming, HD and traditional . Consider it analogous to AM and FM.. I grew up listening to music on AM.. Not any more. By pushing programming to HD, ala CBS, they are positioning themselves to denigrate the quality of non HD and make them less appealing to users. This is also good for Satellite. Why ? Because it will be natural to put in an antenna for OTA when the dish is installed and the combo will be very difficult for cable to compete with.. WAtch for promotions talking about the beauty of HD programming vs ugly analog.

This is particularly good for OTA networks .. Why ? Because as any one on this forum will tell you, when you have HD, you WANT to watch HD programming. You will limit your first tier of choices from the hundreds , to the few in hope of watching anything HD. So for at least a period of time, with any momentum at all in the sales of sets and tuners/recievers, it could lead to an uptick in ratings .. In 3 years, 1mm homes on HD tuning in would have a ratings impact, with cable unable to respond.

Beyond that, HD could also put a hurt on Video on Demand Although people have accepted lesser quality on VHS for years, as VOD tries to come into its own over the next 2-3 years, with a taste of HD, people are going to start asking questions about when HD movies will be available, and that is a question that is going to be impossible to answer..No cable company, for the reasons I mention above is going to be able to give up 100mbs for 5 channels of HD VOD..Which means that satellite and OTA will have big marketing leverage.

In the immortal words of George Thoroughgood, expect to see the marketing equivalents of "My girl is red hot, your girl aint doodlie squat http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif"..

Back to the question of business model.. The cost of upgrading network O&Os is already sunk for the majors. The incremental cost with the potential gain in ratings, and the potential pre-empting of Video on Demand, and the reclamation of some control from Cable, IMHO makes the investment in HD worthwhile..

Thats my story and Im sticking to it, until someone convinces me otherwise

m

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post #13 of 26 Old 06-02-2001, 05:55 PM
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Mark, its great to have you here as a member at our AV Science forums! All of us appreciate your working on bringing us more HDTV. That Dallas Mavericks - San Antonio Spurs playoff game was "Mavericksational"! I may be a Phoenix Suns fun, but every game you can broadcast for the Mavericks in national HD I will definitely watch! Thanks.

It will take "Maverick" entrepeneurs like yourself, who see the long-term profit potential of HD broadcasting, to make it more of a reality for all of us!

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post #14 of 26 Old 06-02-2001, 06:05 PM
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Mark,

On behalf of everyone at AVS & the members of the HDTV Forum, please accept my sincere thanks for your participation. It's very exciting to know that someone with your understanding of technology, including HDTV, has the desire to foster it's growth & success.

Congratulations for the Mav's great season, I think they were the most improved team in the NBA this year.

Good luck with your proposed HDTV ventures, I think it's safe to say you'll have our full support. Keep us in the loop as developments occur.

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post #15 of 26 Old 06-02-2001, 07:10 PM
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Mark...As with the others above me I wish to take this time to welcome you to our little home, AVSFORUM.

We hope you enjoy the time you choose to spend on our site.

Again, Welcome.

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post #16 of 26 Old 06-03-2001, 12:32 AM
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With the stats posted about Cable & Satellite households, it is sort of assumed that it's an "either or" situation.. If someone gets local channels via cable/satellite, they won't bother with OTA.

I don't buy into that. A major reason for Cable-TV's existance is that NTSC reception is crap. DTV changes that. Yes, there are problems, but give another generation or two in the receivers, and put some work into HD antennas, and OTA DTV will be a no brainer.

Once HDTV hits critical mass, like when a major, other than CBS, commits to it, it quickly moves from an ROI analysis to something that is required for them to stay competitive.

Then, the local channels will be able to charge premium rates for their HDTV broadcast advertising. I'm actually surprised this has not happened yet. I keep expecting to see a 1080i commercial for the BMW M5 during CBS prime time. Surely they would be interested in presenting their product in a visually stunning way.

This can happily co-exist with the national HD channels via satellite. The national HD is maybe more interesting. Hopefully we'll see some HD niches there, just like a couple decades ago with CNN, ESPN, WGN, TNT, etc.
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It seems to me that the business model for early technology involves finding things that early adopters are willing to pay more for.

It may take awhile for that to filter somehow to the advertising supported revenue of OTA stations.

But on cable and satellite that probably means PPV and premium channels. That in turn probably means sports, special PPV events, and movie content.

But movie content has a problem, because there is otherwise too much long term value in that content that the owners can not allow to become diluted. This brings up the fairly unsolvable nightmare of copy protection and set top box connections, making premium movie content much more expensive, much less available, and really limiting the target audience owning the right equipment.

Gee, I guess that mostly leaves premium sports and specials with high spoilage rates.

It seems I even remember someone inquiring about setting up HDTV Ultimate Fighting & wrestling recently. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif

Maybe we could all come up with some other ideas of high spoilage content that we would be willing to pay extra for and wouldn't require negotiating for movie rights. We just need things that we want now that no one worries about selling many tapes & DVD's of in the future.

Heck, I'd pay extra for CNN/HD.

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post #18 of 26 Old 06-03-2001, 01:04 PM
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Tom,

You general thinking is why many feel that sports is the "killer app" for HDTV.

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post #19 of 26 Old 06-03-2001, 01:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mcuban:
IMHO, HD is an investment that the traditional networks and satellite have to make in order to stay viable..

Realize that cable cant compete with OTA/Sat HD. Its going to be very difficult for them to choose between giving up 20mbs of digital channels or digital services for every full HD channel they want to carry. Plus the money isnt there, and wont be for a while for them to upgrade their networks AGAIN.

Snipped...
Mark, a few questions. Why would cable not be able to justify giving up 6 MHz to one HDTV signal and OTA and Sat be able to? Does satellite have that much more bandwidth or is there some other dynamic that I am not aware of? Also if cable has a problem giving up 6 MHz of a much greater total bandwidth how can OTA justify giving up all of its puny 6MHz to HDTV? Sounds like the last desperate act of a terminal patient.

If OTA only offers HDTV and is sucessfull then the cable and satellite companies can more easily justify HDTV or more HDTV and more than counter any competitive threat from OTA IMHO. That is the one current model of OTA in the US that would emphasize HDTV and ignore one of the greatest advantages OTA offers which is mobile reception. I beleive that the killer application for OTA is mobile/portable and pedestrian reception of high bandwidth data which will include HDTV, HDTV+ and other resolutions in real time and non-real time modes.

We are in the process of equiping (between October and January) a midsize American city with ubiquitous coverage using a mobile 19 Mbps receiver. Receivers will be in the form of PCMCIA cards with 6" antennas and a USB device with a similar antenna.

The PCMCIA solution will cost about $240.00 in limited initial quantities (25,000) the USB as little as $150.00.

We are going to install in a stadium a repeater (probably not needed) so that anyone in the stands would be able to watch an event both on the field and on a hand held device or even a pair of head mounted glasses or off centered on a see thru eyepeice. Hopefully we will find a stadium far enough removed from the transmitters so as to need a repeater.

The threat to current TV and DTV broadcasting comes not only from cable and satellite. It comes from innovative uses of the TV spectrum like the one above both in the current TV spectrum and in the spectrum that is to be auctioned.

Competition will also come from other advertising models and fiber. My daughter just sold three 100 Mbps fiber connections in NYC this week (her fifth) for $1000.00 per month. This will drop to under $200.00 in 3 years.

Talking about how current OTA broadcasters can compete by offering HDTV to fixed receivers and tweaking that model sounds like a sure fire way to confirm Chairman Powell's current assessment that the days of OTA broadcasting may be numbered.
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post #20 of 26 Old 06-03-2001, 01:58 PM
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Mark, a few questions. Why would cable not be able to justify giving up 6 MHz to one HDTV signal and OTA and Sat be able to?

****Analog channels are incredibly scarce..COntent providers are having to pay to get them, and still they arent available. All the new channels you see are digital, for far less than 19mbs.

SAT doesnt have to add them.. My point is that when you install a dish, you can install an antenna, and get all your local OTA channels. So that puts the challenge on getting installers to add an antenna, which isnt that great big a step when you are already on the roof.

If OTA only offers HDTV and is sucessfull then the cable and satellite companies can more easily justify HDTV or more HDTV and more than counter any competitive threat from OTA IMHO.

*** Per my comments above, cable has no bandwidth to give..Remember, not only do they want to use their bandwidth for digital channels, but also for Telephony, Video on Demand, Internet, Interactive TV and of course return path...All take up lots of bandwidth, and are needed to pay for the big investments MSOs are making to get their systems upgraded..There is no economic justification right now for them to pull from those services 19mbs per channels.. Just 10 channels =190mbs and pretty much wipes out everything they need to pay for those upgrades....


That is the one current model of OTA in the US that would emphasize HDTV and ignore one of the greatest advantages OTA offers which is mobile reception. I beleive that the killer application for OTA is mobile/portable and pedestrian reception of high bandwidth data which will include HDTV, HDTV+ and other resolutions in real time and non-real time modes.

***Lets just say we all went COFDM .. I dont believe mobile TV is much of a business. No one is getting rich putting tvs on buses in other countries...Its much easier and cheaper if you want video on a bus to connect it to a dvdplayer..I dont think regular TV is that compelling,nor is their much of a market selling ads. Heck the ads on the side of the busses arent big business at 250 bucks per month and the cost to install those is some paper and an hour of time.

If you want to use it for additional radio stations, which you could, assuming you could get the radios in cars upgraded, adding 19mbs per station, or about 30 radio stations would kill that market.

We are in the process of equiping (between October and January) a midsize American city with ubiquitous coverage using a mobile 19 Mbps receiver. Receivers will be in the form of PCMCIA cards with 6" antennas and a USB device with a similar antenna.

The PCMCIA solution will cost about $240.00 in limited initial quantities (25,000) the USB as little as $150.00.

We are going to install in a stadium a repeater (probably not needed) so that anyone in the stands would be able to watch an event both on the field and on a hand held device or even a pair of head mounted glasses or off centered on a see thru eyepeice. Hopefully we will find a stadium far enough removed from the transmitters so as to need a repeater.


***Good luck, its not someplace I would put my money. Do you really think you will sell 25k of them http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gifSEriously, why go through all that grief and all thatpraying when you could accomplish the same thing with 802.11, and have the upgrade with 802.11a coming down the pike... Plus
the cards exist today for 99 bucks and the Access Points are 300 bucks , give or take..

The threat to current TV and DTV broadcasting comes not only from cable and satellite. It comes from innovative uses of the TV spectrum like the one above both in the current TV spectrum and in the spectrum that is to be auctioned.

I agree, but
Competition will also come from other advertising models and fiber. My daughter just sold three 100 Mbps fiber connections in NYC this week (her fifth) for $1000.00 per month. This will drop to under $200.00 in 3 years.

**Companies like Yipes have an ice little business. But you have to be on the loop, or you are out of luck.. Its not a threat at all, and it certainly wont be advertising supported into businesses .


Talking about how current OTA broadcasters can compete by offering HDTV to fixed receivers and tweaking that model sounds like a sure fire way to confirm Chairman Powell's current assessment that the days of OTA broadcasting may be numbered.


Lets just say that you and I disagree on a lot more than we agree on.. But thats why we play the games

m


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Quote:
Originally posted by Rotary:

We are in the process of equiping (between October and January) a midsize American city with ubiquitous coverage using a mobile 19 Mbps receiver. Receivers will be in the form of PCMCIA cards with 6" antennas and a USB device with a similar antenna.

This message sounds strangely similar to that of a recently (apparently) departed and disliked member. You speak of a "we" entity. Is this entity Sinclair? Better yet, who (and where) are you Rotary?

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Quote:
Originally posted by mcuban:


Lets just say that you and I disagree on a lot more than we agree on.. But thats why we play the games

m

We probably agree on more. 802.11a or b will work great for the stadium if you are rebroadcasting the event just for the attendees. (sub Watt EIRP)

What we are doing is broadcasting to a normal TV stations coverage area with ease of reception mobile. The event now can be delivered by the event holder right to the end user at the resolution desired or needed and with the payment method not restricted to the current advertising and/or subscription models in real time or non real time.

Again the event owner deals with no middlemen and deals with the viewer directly. The footprint can extend beyond a single TV station and become a network of stations. That network can be national.

I area we may differ on is mobile/portable/pedestrian video delivery. I think it is the biggest.

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Rotary’s real name is Bob Miller; he also used to post here at AVS as robmx. He works for Viacel, whose agenda can be easily discerned from their web site, www.viacel.com

He is a frequent participant at the Google group alt.video.digital-tv as Bob Miller or robmx1. His views are heavily ostracized at that location, as they have been here. He usually tries to sound like he supports HDTV, while in reality his only goal is to have use of NTSC/DTV OTA bandwidth for data applications.




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The Three Killer Applications for HDTV

1. Sports

2. Movies

3. Porno

And the only reason Porno is number three is because of the
start up expense. Otherwise it would have driven HD much
like it drove the Internet and the VHS player.
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post #25 of 26 Old 06-04-2001, 08:18 AM
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The actual cable bandwidth for DTV on cable (using 16VSB) is closer to 38.4Mb/s/CH rather than 19.2. This gives the cable companies about 3.8 Gb/s, assuming 600MHz of bandwidth.

A big problem is the existing 40 or 50 channels of NTSC which are wasting about 1.8 Gb/s of bandwidth.

If the cable system were converted totally to digital (by leasing STBs to customers) I don't believe bandwidth would be much of a problem, and HDTV would be available.

The trouble with satellite is there is only about 1.2 Gb/s of bandwidth per separate downlink, and that is providing programming for the whole country. Even spot-beams won't give satellite the potential advantage the cable company has. The local station coverage is what is limiting available bandwidth in satellite broadcasting.

The STBs are probably comparable to satellite receivers in price. I really believe cable could capitalize in a big way if they were serious about providing service.

Satellite is better for national distribution, and should be used for that.

The competition between cable and satellite for local content coverage has been detrimental to HDTV in my opinion.


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post #26 of 26 Old 06-04-2001, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Smith:
The actual cable bandwidth for DTV on cable (using
16VSB) is closer to 38.4Mb/s/CH rather than 19.2. This gives the cable companies about 3.8 Gb/s, assuming 600MHz of bandwidth.
I don't think bandwidth will be an issue for the cable companies shortly. When they complete their hybrid optical-coax networks, they will have solved the bandwith problem. An incredible amount of bandwidth will be delivered to your neighborhood distribution box, and your set-top-box will just send messages to the distribution and it will use the 600 Mhz of bandwidth over the cable to provide all the HDTV, SDTV, Internet, and telephony service you can use (until the new next-great-thing arrives in ten years).


Quote:
A big problem is the existing 40 or 50 channels of NTSC which are wasting about 1.8 Gb/s of bandwidth.


If the cable system were converted totally to digital (by leasing STBs to customers) I don't believe bandwidth would be much of a problem, and HDTV would be available.
I think this is just the cable companies extracting a few bucks from early adopters. As soon as that income slows down, they will convert everybody to digital so that they can take advantage of the income producing opportunities that an all-digital hybrid optical-coax system provides.

Quote:

The trouble with satellite is there is only about 1.2 Gb/s of bandwidth per separate downlink, and that is providing programming for the whole country. Even spot-beams won't give satellite the potential advantage the cable company has. The local station coverage is what is limiting available bandwidth in satellite broadcasting.
This is just temporary. The next step is to move from the Ku-band to the Ka-band. This could give them up to 3.5 Ghz of additional bandwidth (per downlink). As the technology advances to put heavier, more powerful satellites (to overcome the higher ran-fade at these frequencies) into GSO, the move becomes inevitable. (Hopefully, the newer PLUS receivers could be upgraded with just a new LNB and a firmware upgrade.)

Quote:

The STBs are probably comparable to satellite receivers in price. I really believe cable could capitalize in a big way if they were serious about providing service.

Satellite is better for national distribution, and should be used for that.

The competition between cable and satellite for local content coverage has been detrimental to HDTV in my opinion.


Bob Smith
They would be shooting themselves in the foot if they didn't provide STBs to get rid of analog in their systems. With Ka-band satellites (and the really tight spot beams that are possible at these frequencies), satellite systems should be able to deliver locals and not have to make such trade-offs between locals and HDTV.

In the mean time, all of these businesses are asking themselves: "Is this HDTV signal worth six times as much to me as a SDTV signal?". How many people are willing to
pay $23.94 (6 times $3.99) for the HDTV PPV on DIRECTV? Its nice that they are willing to sell one HDTV PPV for just at $1.00 premimum, when they could be selling six using the same bandwidth. I don't thing we can depend on corporate charity (and nice guys like Mark Cuban) to get much more that what we have.

The only way the providers would be forced into this less profitable utilization of their resources is if a significant portion of their pontential audience refused to watch SDTV. I don't see that happening in the near future. So, until this cornucopia of bandwidth appears, I think we will be at the mercy of the networks, cable companies, and satellite companies for HDTV content.

About most things I'm an optimist, but really thinking about this stuff can be depressing.

Ernie
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