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This from SkyForum... (via HDTV Magazine)


As it prepares for an expansion of high-def programming, including local HD, DirecTV approached the Federal Communications Commission with concerns about possible future mandates and restrictions that could challenge its HD future offerings.


In a presentation recently given to staff with the FCC's Media and International bureaus, DirecTV executives said any dual carriage requirement, which would require delivery of both broadcast digital and analog signals, would reduce the number of markets that it could provide local TV service. DirecTV executives also said that any dual carriage requirement may violate the Constitution.

"DirecTV is making a significant investment in the infrastructure necessary to provide the best consumer experience by adding significant HD programming," the satellite TV company said in its presentation.


DirecTV said high-def places much greater burdens on DBS when compared to cable operators since satellite TV has limited capacity, a larger number of stations to carry from coast to coast, and since HD carriage increases - rather than decreases - bandwidth demand. In addition, DirecTV said that continued use of compression is critical for any HD carriage.


In its presentation, DirecTV detailed its future satellite launch plans, in which two Spaceway satellites set for flight next year will deliver 500 local HD channels and two additional satellites set for launch in 2007 will have capacity for an additional 1,000 local HD channels.


DirecTV said the Ka-Band satellites will increase capacity available for HD programming through higher order modulation, more advanced compression and the better use of spot beams. However, "Any HD carriage requirement prior to launch of all four satellites would severely limit DirecTV's ability to serve local markets," the company said.


Those meeting with FCC officials on DirecTV's behalf were Romulo Pontual, executive vice president and chief technology officer, and Susan Eid, stated the company's filing at the commission.
 

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There is always compression being used at some level. Hopefully they can use the proper settings to achieve a great picture along with efficient bandwidth use.


But I agree with DirectTV. If they can carry WTTG-DT FOX 5 in Washington's Digtial Fee, why bother to keep the old WTTG-TV FOX 5 analog signal up on the satellite. Its a simulcast of the same channel. Put it to sleep.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CycloneGT
There is always compression being used at some level. Hopefully they can use the proper settings to achieve a great picture along with efficient bandwidth use.
Yep! Not to mention that DirecTV also said this:

Quote:
DirecTV said the Ka-Band satellites will increase capacity available for HD programming through higher order modulation, more advanced compression and the better use of spot beams. [/b]

Quote:
Originally posted by CycloneGT
But I agree with DirectTV. If they can carry WTTG-DT FOX 5 in Washington's Digtial Fee, why bother to keep the old WTTG-TV FOX 5 analog signal up on the satellite. Its a simulcast of the same channel. Put it to sleep.
While I agree that's it would make a lot of sense to uplink only one, I don't believe that it would be possible. First of all, you'd have to, like Sean said, replace all the non-HD receivers out there (which would be the majority of receivers), then you'd have to deal with the people complaing about their local news having black bars on the sides or black bars on the top and bottom on Hi-Def programming. Cropping feature could take of most of that, but I suspect that DirecTV would still have a lot of complaints!


I don't see that happening any time soon!


~Alan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan Gordon
While I agree that's it would make a lot of sense to uplink only one, I don't believe that it would be possible.
Sure it's possible, uplink digital once, downlink native format digital, center cut it, downconvert for 480i, and downlink again for SD users using existing "analog" spot-beams.


As one of my old middle school teachers always said, "Can't means won't."
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan Gordon

... you'd have to deal with the people complaing about their local news having black bars on the sides or black bars on the top and bottom on Hi-Def programming...
This is incorrect. DirecTV HD STBs, when setup for a 4:3 480i TV, will zoom out the "black bars all the way round" from the local news or any other 4:3 programming. For true 16:9 HD downconverted to a 4:3 480i set, you can zoom+crop to fill the screen or choose letterbox format.
 

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Originally posted by arxaw
This is incorrect. DirecTV HD STBs, when setup for a 4:3 480i TV, will zoom out the "black bars all the way round" from the local news or any other 4:3 programming. For true 16:9 HD downconverted to a 4:3 480i set, you can zoom+crop to fill the screen or choose letterbox format.
Along the same lines, I have seen posts from the engineers that mention that there is equipment in the field that passes the center 4x3 box of local digital channels to cable companies for its analog cable service.
 

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Originally posted by jsb_hburg
Along the same lines, I have seen posts from the engineers that mention that there is equipment in the field that passes the center 4x3 box of local digital channels to cable companies for its analog cable service.
Most any OTA tuner will do this when set to 4:3/ZOOM, and it is what some cablecos now use for receiving some of their local OTA channels.
 

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"Sure it's possible, uplink digital once, downlink native format digital, center cut it, downconvert for 480i, and downlink again for SD users using existing "analog" spot-beams. "


Still gonna require new boxes for every customer.
 

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Originally posted by kenglish
Still gonna require new boxes for every customer.
No it won't (although that is a better solution if not for the cost) ... re-read my post ... The existing "analog" spot-beam infrastructure is still going to be there, all I'm saying is feed it from the digital transmitters instead of the analog xmitters.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CycloneGT
There is always compression being used at some level. Hopefully they can use the proper settings to achieve a great picture along with efficient bandwidth use.
it'll be pretty strange to see people defecting to cable because of better PQ as HD programming and channels expand


oh the irony..


back in the day satellite launched and they were offering "100% digital quality" channels so you don't have to be stuck with grainy analog..


and the reverse will likely happen in the transition to digital..add this to the fact that cable requires no yearly committments and it will be sayonara satellite
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTVChallenged
No it won't (although that is a better solution if not for the cost) ... re-read my post ... The existing "analog" spot-beam infrastructure is still going to be there, all I'm saying is feed it from the digital transmitters instead of the analog xmitters.
He means feed all stations via fiber instead of a central receiving point via OTA analog. (You have to decode what he is saying. After debating him on another thread, I am starting to pickup his "language" ;) )


In my market ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and PBS are fed via fiber and the UPN, WB, PAX and indies are picked up via OTA analog and then digitally uplinked to D*. E* uses an analog OTA central receive site for all stations and then uplinked via ciphered DVB and you can see a HUGE difference in PQ on an analog set between the fiber feeds on D* and the OTA feeds on E*. There is no comparison. In my market, if you watch, the "big four" and PBS, D* has the better PQ because of it.
 

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Originally posted by foxeng
There is no comparison. In my market, if you watch, the "big four" and PBS, D* has the better PQ because of it.
Kind of a mix for D* here, at least 3 stations are (obviously) being picked up via analog OTA, the other two might be fiber or may be "hosting" the POP. The local cable co's 70's vintage head-end tower has been converted to a cellular tower, so I assume they are running fiber cable(s) from *somewhere* though not necessarily directly from the stations.


Note: In my "evil planning" I'm assuming that such fiber cables would be capable of handling an ATSC stream. Granted that is probably a big assumption. Nevertheless, there's no reason cable co's couldn't do things the old fashioned OTA way like those of us on the bleeding edge ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTVChallenged
Kind of a mix for D* here, at least 3 stations are (obviously) being picked up via analog OTA, the other two might be fiber or may be "hosting" the POP. The local cable co's 70's vintage head-end tower has been converted to a cellular tower, so I assume they are running fiber cable(s) from *somewhere* though not necessarily directly from the stations.
Cable has been consolidating headends since they can fiber their signals around. In my market we have 11 cableco's and Time-Warner is the largest with 50% of the market. In their coverage area TW alone had over 6 headends, The have now pared that down to just 2, one each in the two largest cites and they use them in a primary, backup configuration so if they lost one headend, they can put the other on line and maintain service.

Quote:
Note: In my "evil planning" I'm assuming that such fiber cables would be capable of handling an ATSC stream. Granted that is probably a big assumption. Nevertheless, there's no reason cable co's couldn't do things the old fashioned OTA way like those of us on the bleeding edge ;)
They do it all the time. My station sends not only our analog signal but our ATSC stream via a single fiber feed to TW and they also can pick up both off air signals at both headends in case the fiber link goes down (which it has a couple of times). The other cablecos have to pick us up off air since the cost to lay fiber to their headends are cost prohibited right now since they would have to lease fiber from either Time Warner or the phone company.
 

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DirecTV said the Ka-Band satellites will increase capacity available for HD programming through higher order modulation, more advanced compression and the better use of spot beams.
Note the "more advanced compression" statement. Anyone care to guess if they are referring to better MPEG-2 compressors or perhaps a new compression format (that would be incompatible with today's HD boxes)?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by arxaw
This is incorrect. DirecTV HD STBs, when setup for a 4:3 480i TV, will zoom out the "black bars all the way round" from the local news or any other 4:3 programming. For true 16:9 HD downconverted to a 4:3 480i set, you can zoom+crop to fill the screen or choose letterbox format.


I did not know that. Even though my HD receiver is still hooked up to a analog TV, the TV is 16:9, and all the HD channels I've ever picked up (one OTA is the only constant HD channel) has black bars on the sides of commercials and non-HD programming. I have a flat-screen 20-inch Panasonic Tau in my bedroom hooked up to my HD receiver in the den, and HD programming (in the 16:9) still looks great.


However, while DirecTV HD STBs may be able to crop, the analog receivers do not have that capability and would display letterbox on HD programming and a window style picture on 4:3 program. I can hear the complaints now...


~Alan
 

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Originally posted by Rich Peterson
Note the "more advanced compression" statement. Anyone care to guess if they are referring to better MPEG-2 compressors or perhaps a new compression format (that would be incompatible with today's HD boxes)?
Last year, in an article, they mentioned DirecTV playing with 8PSK. Nothing may have come of this, but they did mention it in the article.


~Alan
 
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