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Guest Message by DevFuse

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The End of HDTV Broadcasting?


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80 replies to this topic

#61 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 07:48 PM

Sorry, but you have that wrong.

No I had it right. The PP said that the broadcasters had the spectrum. I said that the PP was wrong. I'm correct.

The public airwaves belong to we, the American people, the "public" as it were.

Some news for you: "We the People of the United States ... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Just in case you thought there was someone else behind this magical thing called "government". :rolleyes:

Yes, you and I own the airwaves...isn't that great? Only problem is, except for a few of very narrow exceptions we (the people) can't use our own airwaves, and we (the people) can't derive any revenue from them.

I think I understand your confusion: You seem to think that you and I own the airwaves, ourselves, individually, in some way, instead of the reality, that we own them collectively (hence my earlier mention about the "government"). As such, "we" absolutely can and do use our own airwaves and even derive revenue from them.

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#62 OFFLINE   FogCutter

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:59 AM

Gloria,
As long as the OTA networks give us something we want to watch they will stay in the game. But the fraction of viewers watching the networks via dbs and cable is growing, making the analysis more challenging. With this segment comes fees from the dbs/cable companies to pay by the viewer for content from the networks. The networks have the incentive to increase non-OTA viewers for that reason.

Personally, I wouldn't want to own a television station right now.

#63 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 12:01 PM

Me neither. The whole sector of the economy, I feel, is unstable from the perspective of folks taking the long-term view. Why invest in a television drama, when you can make more money investing in a new pharmaceutical that will likely pay a better return? The only thing that seems to offer a chance for regaining some stability in this regard is the ascendancy of retransmission fees, but even that's under attack.

#64 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 09:26 AM

Very interesting blog post today....

http://tvbythenumber...dience-go/47976

The chart is very informative, especially if you just look at the over-the-air audience numbers, for a minute: It not only shows the obvious, i.e., how the over-the-air network affiliate audience has contracted, but it also very clearly shows how the independent television station audience has utterly evaporated, by comparison to the over-the-air network affiliate audience. This speaks directly to the point that perhaps a lot of over-the-air television bandwidth is wasted, serving fewer and fewer viewers year-after-year, with the drop far more precipitous on a percentage basis than the drop that over-the-air network affiliates are experiencing. (About 18% of the over-the-air audience watched independent stations in 1985-1986, as compared to only 5% of the over-the-air audience today.) This helps foster calls for perhaps using multicasting (perhaps 4 x 480i streams) to serve independent stations, instead of devoting full channels to each.

#65 OFFLINE   FogCutter

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 03:44 PM

bicker1,
Very cool. It's empirically obvious, but seeing the numbers graphed like that is striking. Down she goes.

I have to say again, OTA is dying and needs to go away. The tiny handful of folks who can't connect via IP or DBS will just have to read the newspaper if there are any of those left. It looks like the market will take care of OTA before long.

#66 OFFLINE   kenglish

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 08:33 AM

When OTA is gone, there will be nothing left but PAY TV.
(What do you think will happen then?) :eek2:

TV for only the wealthy?
TV "stamps" for the poor.
Middle class viewers squeezed out?
Everything in YouTube quality?
Amateur local journalists?

#67 OFFLINE   FogCutter

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 11:11 AM

Dogs and cats sleeping together?

I could say that TV is not a right, but that chord has been struck enough on other issues. Like anything, if no one is willing to pay (viewer or advertisers) and the service cannot support itself somehow -- it will just have to go dark.

Like CDs and LPs. Even before music downloads took over, it was up to the consumer to upgrade to a CD player if they wanted the newer music. The record companies should not and were not required to issue everything in both formats.

Something I just found out -- in some communities the cable companies give free basic service -- just plug into the wall and there are 15 channels or something like that. Perhaps the DBS folks will be pressured into such an arrangement.

You and I will pay for it even though we won't benefit, but someone has to pay. And no we don't get to vote on it. We just pay --

#68 OFFLINE   Jtaylor1

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 01:19 PM


NAB 2010: Broadcasters Announce Mobile DTV Joint Venture


Source: Broadcasting & Cable

#69 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 05:16 AM

We do get to vote on it -- every November we have a chance to start spinning the nation to the left or to the right. The decision that most people make -- talking about members of both parties -- is to give a certain amount for the good of all, and keep most of the rest of what they earn for themselves.

#70 OFFLINE   cousinofjah

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 10:36 AM

Very interesting blog post today....

http://tvbythenumber...dience-go/47976

The chart is very informative, especially if you just look at the over-the-air audience numbers, for a minute: It not only shows the obvious, i.e., how the over-the-air network affiliate audience has contracted, but it also very clearly shows how the independent television station audience has utterly evaporated, by comparison to the over-the-air network affiliate audience.

well, the article does qualify that most of the independent stations have become network affiliates over the years (Fox, UPN, PAX, Telefutura, ION, etc.)
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#71 OFFLINE   kevinturcotte

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 10:50 AM

If they get rid of OTA, what are people going to do about local news? Find out about local parking bans when it snows, if school is canceled or gets out early, if certain streets are closed. What the weather is going to be (Not that you can actually rely on that,I know lol). What if there's some sort of emergency (I notice they still broadcast that Emergency Alert thing)?

#72 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 11:30 AM

If they get rid of OTA, what are people going to do about local news?

That's a red herring. No one is seriously suggesting getting rid of OTA entirely.

#73 OFFLINE   FogCutter

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:05 PM

That's a red herring. No one is seriously suggesting getting rid of OTA entirely.


I find it ironic that so much effort went into defining the HD standard in terms of OTA transmissions only to see the broadcasters wither away just as things become fully implemented.

One thought -- there is a big push to spread real broadband IP across the nation. The final service is supposed to be cheap or free and very inclusive. That might just end the need for OTA. It would be easy enough to give the holdouts a converter box to take IP content to NTSC or whatever they have.

Be fun to see what happens.

#74 OFFLINE   kevinturcotte

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:08 PM

I find it ironic that so much effort went into defining the HD standard in terms of OTA transmissions only to see the broadcasters wither away just as things become fully implemented.

One thought -- there is a big push to spread real broadband IP across the nation. The final service is supposed to be cheap or free and very inclusive. That might just end the need for OTA. It would be easy enough to give the holdouts a converter box to take IP content to NTSC or whatever they have.

Be fun to see what happens.


For somebody like my Mother and her b/f, they've got to get that signal there wirelessly, and display it on their TV (They don't have computer, internet, or cell phones). They also need to do it free, or if they're going to charge like $10, allow them to somehow pay with cash, or with a money order (They don't have credit cards either).

#75 OFFLINE   FogCutter

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:36 PM

For somebody like my Mother and her b/f, they've got to get that signal there wirelessly, and display it on their TV (They don't have computer, internet, or cell phones). They also need to do it free, or if they're going to charge like $10, allow them to somehow pay with cash, or with a money order (They don't have credit cards either).


http://www2.ntia.doc.gov/about

This website doesn't mention it, but I've seen it discussed that by taking the OTA bandwidth a good portion will be given over to national free broadband, which implies that it will take place wirelessly. Then it's just a matter of another converter box to service TVs, radios, whatever.

I'm stuck with 1.5 meg download with enough streaming pauses to kill Netflix for me, so there is lots of room for improvement.

Your Mom could still wind up in the dark if the broadcast/advertiser model collapses. Somebody, somewhere has to pay for content. Some vendors are charging more to take cash payments, and it's not hard to imagine cash going away, too.

To be alive is to live with change. . .

#76 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:40 PM

I find it ironic that so much effort went into defining the HD standard in terms of OTA transmissions only to see the broadcasters wither away just as things become fully implemented.

One of the main ways that the use of OTA spectrum can be made more efficient (which is what the point of all this is) is multicasting, something that is only possible because of the "HD standard" (as you referred to it) that was defined.

One thought -- there is a big push to spread real broadband IP across the nation. The final service is supposed to be cheap or free and very inclusive. That might just end the need for OTA.

It seems unlike that generally stingy, self-centered American taxpayers would spring for "real broadband IP" that is truly "across the nation", at least not in my lifetime. So while broadband deployment might reduce the need for OTA, it won't "end" it.

#77 OFFLINE   FogCutter

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:48 PM

It seems unlike that generally stingy, self-centered American taxpayers would spring for "real broadband IP" that is truly "across the nation", at least not in my lifetime. So while broadband deployment might reduce the need for OTA, it won't "end" it.


But it isn't a big leap from universal wireless IP to OTA -- the end user need not even be aware of the difference beyond the converter box.

I've seen that they are talking using the UHF spectrum and even the existing towers -- that would certainly lower the start up costs, and who knows, it could even spin enough revenue to the local stations to keep them on the air a while longer.

Of course I thought that powerline IP connection was really cool, and that never took off. Everybody is already wired save for the end of the roaders and the Amish.

#78 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:57 PM

It isn't the matter of the leap, itself, technically, but rather the coinage necessary to bring it about. There are simply too many other ways people would rather use their money rather than pushing their way up this hill. You outlined ways that they could "lower" the costs, but to make this a reality, including the guy I know who lives midway between San Francisco CA and Portland OR, where even OTA is difficult (but not impossible), you cannot eliminate the costs, and that's going to prevent this from being available to everyone for the foreseeable future.

#79 OFFLINE   cousinofjah

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 01:38 PM

If they get rid of OTA, what are people going to do about local news? Find out about local parking bans when it snows, if school is canceled or gets out early, if certain streets are closed. What the weather is going to be (Not that you can actually rely on that,I know lol). What if there's some sort of emergency (I notice they still broadcast that Emergency Alert thing)?

radio? until that goes all digital :)
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#80 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 12:38 PM

The simple fact is that the broadcast TV business model is not sustainable. Most people watch syndicated programs or network shows and only 30% of the population watch locally produced shows. An most of that group is 50+. Another decade and the FCC won't have to shut down any TV channels, they will simply go out of business.

Network and syndicated programs can be distributed via satellite or cable directly to the viewer. The broadcaster just gets in the way with local commercial spots that the networks would just as soon sell themselves.

One reason it survives at all is the built in protection of broadcasters by politicians who trade their congressional vote for cheap access to constituents. But once they find a more effective way to hoodwink the local voter, the TV access won't be so important. Withing the next decade we'll see congress providing subsidies to broadcasters to stay powered up for localism, meaning access to the voting public.

It would be cheaper to provide every household with cable access or a dish and be done with the spectrum hogs. This is settled science, so let's just move on.


I guess I'm an odd ball because I don't watch network television now.

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