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From: FCCTSR51 [[email protected]]

Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2001 10:52 AM

Subject: Re: Follow-up on potential for obsoleted HDTV equipment


Hello MR. LEVITT - - hope you are doing well and thank you for contacting the FCC.


I applaud your efforts to be an "informed/educated" consumer; however, your complaint/concerns about a "possible" arrangement between "equipment manufacturers and the entertainment industry" is really misdirected when submitted to the FCC. The FCC does not regulate, or have any oversight on either one of these entities.


The FCC's involvement with "digital" TV deals strictly within the "BROADCAST ARENA". We have provided frequencies that TV stations may use to broadcast their programs in a digital format, as opposed to an analog format. A "broadcast" standard was selected (please see a report at: http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineeri.../dtvreprt.pdf, and that is basically the extent of our present involvement with digital TV.


A proposed, or possible arrangement between equipment manufacturers and the entertainment industry regarding "encryption" may be in reference to the industry's concerns with "copyright" infringement. However, this is NOT within the realm of the FCC; as we are not involved with copyright laws.


I would like to think that the "industry" would be "consumer-oriented" enough to make "DEcrypting" devices compatible with most, if not all, modern day TVs; should an "arrangement" of this nature be concluded. Meanwhile, I suspect that your recent (or soon to be) purchases are, and will continue to be, compatible with the FCC's digital TV broadcast standard; and sincerely hope that you will use and enjoy them for quite a long time.


Thanks again for contacting the FCC - - have a wonderful day!!!
 

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BLAH!BLAH!BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH!
 

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Now ask them why they don't pull Fox's liscense for their spectrum space on the basis that they are not complying with the spirit of the law by thumbing their nose at HD. THAT'S in their jurisdiction.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by lorelevitt:
I would like to think that the "industry" would be "consumer-oriented" enough to make "DEcrypting" devices compatible with most, if not all, modern day TVs; should an "arrangement" of this nature be concluded.
There's a very interesting piece in the most recent email HDTV magazine, an interview with the Mitsubishi guy in charge of their HD equipment rollouts; he didn't mince words at all by saying that he thought the movie industry is using the implementation of this new technology as a chance to get rid of our rights of home recording, and that is the only reason for the DVI connection. (we all knew that, but I've never heard it so bluntly put from an industry person) I also got the impression that the "Mitsubishi promise" only covers IEE1394, not DVI.



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"interesting"


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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I now believe that Mitsubishi will not incorporate DVI in their sets or Promise Module. Mits. wants to preserve fair use copying to their new HDTV VCR.


I do not think HBO or Showtime will be encrypted or downrezed by the new satellite boxes with DVI. I think that PPV HDTV might be affected and downrezed if you do not use DVI. However, I have purchases less than a dozen PPV movies in my lifetime and I am sixty-three. So I do not care what they do with PPV movies.


I think my Mits WS-55805 will last for a long time after I install the promise module next year.


This might be a change in my position from previous posts.


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Hot
 

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Unless they encrypt broadcast signals, I don't see how this would be an FCC actionable item.


Try sending the letter to the Federal Trade Commission. You should point out that set manufacturers have, and continue to market "HDTV" capable televisions, while at the same time they have been developing a standard that would potentially make such television sets obsolete. Throw in the term "unfair trade practice".




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Alex
 

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My head is spinning from all this! It's hard to know what to believe anymore. Who's lying? Who's telling the truth? Maybe their all lying! Maybe it's all just out of control rumor. It now very much seems like the FCC is trying to distance itself big time from this whole sordid mess. I do know this . . . I'm going to enjoy what I've got for as long as I can and if the MPAA, FCC or any of these companies render my equipment obsolete before I'm done with this stuff, then I swear I will never again help to pioneer any of their future electronic "here to day, gone tomorrow garbage". Hell I need to get outta the house more often anyway!


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Cobra
 

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I don't think they will need to downrez anything. It seems to me that all future HD recording devices will do it with only firewire type connection. Also if you do use component connection to record the copy is not identical due to the analog conversion. So why should they care. Has anyone even anounced a component HD recorder?
 

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"So why should they care."


"They" care a great deal. The pirated copies of movies on the web that are still in the theater are often poorly-produced video-cam recordings. Yet, the MPAA still goes after websites that allow these downloads.


Of course, this whole issue of encrypting consumer broadcasts isn't about piracy, since any idiot with a camcorder can still record a copy of a movie no matter what is done on the front end. The crux of the issue is making the exercise of fair-use by consumers impossible through technological means.


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Quote:
Originally posted by Hot:
I now believe that Mitsubishi will not incorporate DVI in their sets or Promise Module. Mits. wants to preserve fair use copying to their new HDTV VCR.
I don't see why one should necessarily prohibit the other. The supposed benefits of DVI are that the display device doesn't have to have an MPEG decoder in it, and (more importantly) that the set-top boxes don't have to be able (somehow) to cram their menus, EPGs and such into the MPEG stream so that they can be shipped over 1394 to be decoded and displayed by the display device. The STBs can just have MPEG decode with OSD overlay with the resulting signal shipped over DVI, rather than having to have MPEG *encode* to insert the menus into the signal. These sound like good reasons to me.


It has been argued by some that DVI is in essence a "trojan horse" from the evil Hollywood types to get rid of fair use recording by displacing 1394, but I believe at least several of the STB manufacturers have said they'll include both.


Mitsubishi could perfectly well put a DVI connector on their display device and a 1394 (input) connector plus a DVI (output) connector on the VCR.


Where it get sticky, though, is in the situation where you have, both a set-top and a recorder that both have DVI output, but a TV with *one* DVI input. In this respect, 1394 is nice because of its chaining ability.

Quote:
I do not think HBO or Showtime will be encrypted or downrezed by the new satellite boxes with DVI. I think that PPV HDTV might be affected and downrezed if you do not use DVI.
I hope you're right about that!


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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OK, Hot what is a promise module? I heard that MIT will be able to upgrade the TV for firewire or DVI at no cost to use. True or not?
 

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I meant why should they care if they are no boxes that contain component inputs to record. I haven't seen any recording devices that have component inputs announced, I might be wrong but I don't recall any announced for the US.

 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JustMike:
I don't see why one should necessarily prohibit the other. The supposed benefits of DVI are that the display device doesn't have to have an MPEG decoder in it, and (more importantly) that the set-top boxes don't have to be able (somehow) to cram their menus, EPGs and such into the MPEG stream so that they can be shipped over 1394 to be decoded and displayed by the display device. The STBs can just have MPEG decode with OSD overlay with the resulting signal shipped over DVI, rather than having to have MPEG *encode* to insert the menus into the signal. These sound like good reasons to me.

It has been argued by some that DVI is in essence a "trojan horse" from the evil Hollywood types to get rid of fair use recording by displacing 1394, but I believe at least several of the STB manufacturers have said they'll include both.


Mitsubishi could perfectly well put a DVI connector on their display device and a 1394 (input) connector plus a DVI (output) connector on the VCR.
I've been saying this over and over in other topics. This is the intended purpose of DVI--to be a cheap, simple copy-protected downstream-only interface from a video-source into a display. It is not intended to replace 1394 completely in a system, though if you didn't need a recorder in your system (or if your recorder is integrated into your STB, like DirectTivo or DishPVR), 1394 might be superflous in your current set-up. Even in that case I'd want to have it around for possible future expansion.


BTW, you'd only ever need a single 1394 connection between two devices--it's bi-directional. So if a recorder used the built-in tuner of a monitor with a 1394 connect to tune what its recording, it could later play back what was record over the same cable.
Quote:
Where it get sticky, though, is in the situation where you have, both a set-top and a recorder that both have DVI output, but a TV with *one* DVI input. In this respect, 1394 is nice because of its chaining ability.
No more sticky than an NTSC TV with a single line input--you either use a switching receiver with multiple inputs or put some kind of switch box in there. Firewire is just a bundle of four or six conductors; DVI switching would be uglier, since it involves 24 lines. One nice thing about DVI switching through a receiver would be that the receiver could become non-passive, decrypt and snatch the audio off the signal, re-encrypt it and pass it downstream (or maybe not http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif ).


-- Mike Scott



[This message has been edited by michaeltscott (edited 08-09-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Carbo:
I meant why should they care if they are no boxes that contain component inputs to record. I haven't seen any recording devices that have component inputs announced, I might be wrong but I don't recall any announced for the US.
Mitsubishi's promise is to offer a non-user-installable upgrade module for sale for their HD upgradeable models (most if not all of their 16x9 HD capable sets) which will include a 1394 connector (and an ATSC tuner, which is what the upgrade module is for). All of these sets were designed to be able to have tuner modules added in the future as an option. They don't know what it will cost yet but expect it to come in for under $1000. They aren't doing anything for free.


They will not be supporting DVI; in today's HDTV Magazine, the director of their HDTV marketing program stated that they view the current announcement of DVI on future STBs by Echostar and DirectTV as an attempt to end-run consumer's rights to record for personal use. He further stated that so far only "a couple freaky computer monitor products out there and a couple weird technology products" will incorporate DVI (by weird techonology, I think he's referring to JVC's D'Ahlia D-ILA based set--I guess if all you offer the public year after year is a selection of bulky RPTVs based on ancient 7" CRT tech--with one 9"--anything fresh and cool might seem "freaky"--that 61" set's about half as deep as their comparably sized model and, having a single display element, doesn't know the meaning of "convergence adjustment" http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif ). His feeling was that none of the mainstream set manufacturers will mount DVI interfaces, so let the service providers use them if they want--no one will have equipment to connect to their boxes.


-- Mike Scott


[This message has been edited by michaeltscott (edited 08-10-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jerryez:
BLAH!BLAH!BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH!
Jerryez,


Come on! Give the guy a break. He seems to have taken the time to write an actual response, as opposed to giving the typical say nothing boiler plate. It is simply that the FCC has no jurisdiction here. Not his fault.

Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Ross:


Now ask them why they don't pull Fox's license for their spectrum space on the basis that they are not complying with the spirit of the law by thumbing their nose at HD. THAT'S in their jurisdiction.
Is this true, Ken? I thought the FCC left it up to the broadcaster to decide if they wanted to do one HDTV and one SD channel, or up to 5 SD channels.


Bob

 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Carbo:
I meant why should they care if they are no boxes that contain component inputs to record. I haven't seen any recording devices that have component inputs announced, I might be wrong but I don't recall any announced for the US.
Supposedly there already is at least expensive pro equipment capable of recording component video. If they continue to broadcast valuable IP in full HD over component video, someone will make near perfect copies of it that will be eternally perfectly reproducible. I wouldn't be surprised if pirates hadn't already archived much of the best of what's been broadcast in the clear.


If you ask me, they're hosed any way you go. A lot of the copy protection schemes are based on authentication using a single shared secret--how long can that last? Even the DTLA, on the fifth page of their DTCP Tutorial display a little graph of how the effectiveness of these copy-protection measures wanes as the sophistication of the attacker increases. Of course, the number of attackers dwindles as sophistication grows, and maybe the most sophisticated crowd is small enough to be handled by the law. That's their theory, anyway.


Hollywood's mistake is embracing digital technology. Once their product exists as bits, it can much, much more easily be stolen and propogated electronically for fun and profit. They have too much to lose. Of course they've gained a lot to this point--DVDs increased their after-theater sales tremendously, and if they could be secure, HD DVDs or tapes would do so too. However, they can't ever be made permanently secure, and even prosecuting under the stupid DMCA won't change that. Every hacker you put in jail will make every other hacker just that much more angry and determined.


I think that they're right to be scared, but all this copy-protection nonsense is a waste of time and money. Go back to film and don't ever transfer valuable theatrical releases to HD until such time as you're ready for any unscrupulous person to be able to easily pick it up for free.



-- Mike Scott



[This message has been edited by michaeltscott (edited 08-10-2001).]
 

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Originally posted by Ken Ross:

Quote:
Now ask them why they don't pull Fox's license for their spectrum space on the basis that they are not complying with the spirit of the law by thumbing their nose at HD. THAT'S in their jurisdiction
It's actually (but sadly) kind of funny. Under the emerging license agreements a fairly probable way of down rezzing for analog inputs would be to convert or filter it to 480p or 540p (or 540i) and then upconvert and send it as 720p or 1080i for compatibility with existing sets. This would be allowed.


Here in Detroit Fox sends 480p content upconverted to 720p. So that's pretty much what all of us will see watching movies through analog connections in the future.


The studios have already shown they are much more willing to release prime content down rez'd so I guess the Fox style will become much more common.


It is very easy to imagine OTA broadcasters finding they can only get movies if they also agree to down rez in this fashion, just like the cable and sat companies. The idea will be somewhat more seductive to them because after compression they will have more room for sub-channels.


Please don't flame me here. I'm not advocating this, just pointing out the possibility.


- Tom




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HTPC FAQ , DScaler , Xcel's Links , and
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Someone help refresh my memory. Did the FCC not have something to do with the enforcement of SHVIA and syndicated exclusive programming restrictions on the superstations that are carried on Dish? I am pretty sure they did and both of those are copyright law issues.


Also maybe I am wrong but does the FCC not regulate satellite broadcasting in this country? Aren't satellite broadcasts the main place we will have a problem with this aince it is the satellite data stream that allows thi ssystem to work. I guess cable would fall in the same category and the last I heard, the FCC had something to do with the regulation of cable programming as well.


These guys messed up big time by creating a standard that had no real standards with the whole DTV thing and it seems clear they are going to do nothing to change that now.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Racer:
OK, Hot what is a promise module? I heard that MIT will be able to upgrade the TV for firewire or DVI at no cost to use. True or not?
Do a search of this forum. There are many discussions on the Promise Module. It adds IEEE1394, ATSC receiver, Cable comparability and HAVi to current HDTV upgradable sets. The Promise module will cost less than $1000. and have to be installed in your set by a technician. Mitsubishi will not add DVI. They want to protect fair use recording of HDTV and will have a HDTV VCR out this fall.


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Hot
 
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