USDTV subscribers: HD-channels or SD-only

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

For those of you *subscribing* to USDTV's service (all 10,000 of
you or so...), does USDTV plan on adding HD-channels?

A certain poster in this forum (who shall remain nameless)
keeps extolling the virtues/necessities/eventuality of
a 'pay-TV' business model for broadcast-TV. (I.e.,
broadcasters will provide 1 free program at standard-def,
and everything else will require a subscription model of
some sort.)

I just don't understand how USDTV can 'squeeze' in HD-channels
on the scarce airwaves.
17 answers Last reply
More about usdtv subscribers channels only
  1. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    On Sat, 28 Aug 2004, Gkdeys wrote:
    > For those of you *subscribing* to USDTV's service (all 10,000 of
    > you or so...), does USDTV plan on adding HD-channels?

    Not that I've heard. USDTV's business model seems to be to bottom-feed by
    providing a few of the more popular cable/satellite channels on the cheap
    to people who don't want to pay for cable/satellite. On a per-channel
    basis, they're more expensive, but that's the usual case with
    bottom-feeding services (think pre-pay cell phones).

    It's actually a pretty clever idea. The question is if they can get
    enough customers who only want (what will always be limited to) a relative
    handful of cable/satellite channels. The cable and satellite companies
    can always offer many times more channels.

    There's probably many people like me who primarily watch the same 5 or so
    channels. The question is whether there's sufficient concensus on what
    constitutes "my favorite 5 channels" with a wide audience that USDTV can
    support it.

    The biggest selling point for cable/satellite are the premium channels:
    movie channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.), premium sports, and of course porn.
    All of this is moving to HDTV, and there simply is not enough OTA
    bandwidth to support all of it.

    > A certain poster in this forum (who shall remain nameless)
    > keeps extolling the virtues/necessities/eventuality of
    > a 'pay-TV' business model for broadcast-TV. (I.e.,
    > broadcasters will provide 1 free program at standard-def,
    > and everything else will require a subscription model of
    > some sort.)

    That poster has been proven on multiple occasions to be a crank and
    crackpot with his own psychotic agenda. Remember, anything that he says,
    the opposite is true.

    I wish that he would start advocating stocks. It would be nice to have a
    reliable source of information for what stocks are guaranteed safe to
    short.

    > I just don't understand how USDTV can 'squeeze' in HD-channels
    > on the scarce airwaves.

    They aren't, and that isn't their intent.

    -- Mark --

    http://staff.washington.edu/mrc
    Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    Mark Crispin <mrc@CAC.Washington.EDU> wrote (in part):

    >There's probably many people like me who primarily watch the same 5 or so
    >channels. The question is whether there's sufficient concensus on what
    >constitutes "my favorite 5 channels" with a wide audience that USDTV can
    >support it.

    Exactly right. I looked at USDTV's offerings, and they wouldn't be my
    choices. $19.95? With apologies to Robocop, I wouldn't buy that for
    a dollar. If I could choose 10 shows from a complete list of
    non-premium cable channels and had already chosen my favorite 5, I
    might add Discovery and TLC to help fill it out. That's about it.

    I like USDTV's idea of offering cable channels OTA, but they'd need a
    much greater selection and they'd still have to price it well below
    the competition. I don't see how they can do that.

    I'd also want to be able to add and drop favorites at will. I'd want
    USA when they're running new shows in the summer, but I don't need
    wall-to-wall Law and Order repeats the rest of the year.

    I wouldn't buy anything that didn't offer Comedy Central. How could I
    keep up with current events if I couldn't watch The Daily Show?

    Del Mibbler <mibbler@nycap.rr.com>
  3. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    "Del Mibbler" <mibbler@nycap.rr.com> wrote in message
    news:9uj1j0pbktmpo6f46afcnguv086dbbog5g@4ax.com...
    > Mark Crispin <mrc@CAC.Washington.EDU> wrote (in part):
    >
    >>There's probably many people like me who primarily watch the same 5 or so
    >>channels. The question is whether there's sufficient concensus on what
    >>constitutes "my favorite 5 channels" with a wide audience that USDTV can
    >>support it.
    >
    > Exactly right. I looked at USDTV's offerings, and they wouldn't be my
    > choices. $19.95? With apologies to Robocop, I wouldn't buy that for
    > a dollar. If I could choose 10 shows from a complete list of
    > non-premium cable channels and had already chosen my favorite 5, I
    > might add Discovery and TLC to help fill it out. That's about it.
    >
    > I like USDTV's idea of offering cable channels OTA, but they'd need a
    > much greater selection and they'd still have to price it well below
    > the competition. I don't see how they can do that.
    >
    > I'd also want to be able to add and drop favorites at will. I'd want
    > USA when they're running new shows in the summer, but I don't need
    > wall-to-wall Law and Order repeats the rest of the year.
    >
    > I wouldn't buy anything that didn't offer Comedy Central. How could I
    > keep up with current events if I couldn't watch The Daily Show?
    >
    > Del Mibbler <mibbler@nycap.rr.com>


    You are obviously NOT their target audience which appears to be families who
    want some family content and a reasonably low price. There are many people
    who don't have anything but rabbit ears and just can't justify even the
    basic cable or sat prices with their budget or their morals. This gives them
    HD and digital SD from locals as well as a few additional channels for kids
    and other family viewing for $20 bucks a month.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
    > This gives them
    > HD and digital SD from locals as well as a few additional channels for kids
    > and other family viewing for $20 bucks a month.

    For that same price, though, you can get a "basic analog" cable package from
    most providers, and it will give you about the same mix of channels with
    no up-front costs.

    Likewise, if you have an antenna already (which you need for USDTV), you
    don't need to buy satellite locals, so Dish Network's AT60 package for
    $24.99/month would give you everything that USDTV gives you except for
    Fox News, HGTV and Toon Disney, plus a *lot* more.

    If you can afford the display to show HD, you can afford a few more bucks
    a month for a full-blown subscription to cable or satellite.

    --
    Jeff Rife | "You keep using that word. I do not think it
    SPAM bait: | means what you think it means."
    AskDOJ@usdoj.gov |
    spam@ftc.gov | -- Inigo Montoya, "The Princess Bride"
  5. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    Within these hallowed halls, Mark Crispin of <mrc@CAC.Washington.EDU>
    added the following to the collective conscience:
    > On Sat, 28 Aug 2004, Gkdeys wrote:
    >> For those of you *subscribing* to USDTV's service (all 10,000 of
    >> you or so...), does USDTV plan on adding HD-channels?
    >
    > Not that I've heard. USDTV's business model seems to be to
    > bottom-feed by providing a few of the more popular cable/satellite
    > channels on the cheap to people who don't want to pay for
    > cable/satellite. On a per-channel basis, they're more expensive, but
    > that's the usual case with bottom-feeding services (think pre-pay
    > cell phones).
    >
    > It's actually a pretty clever idea. The question is if they can get
    > enough customers who only want (what will always be limited to) a
    > relative handful of cable/satellite channels. The cable and
    > satellite companies can always offer many times more channels.
    >
    The problem is unlike their forfathers (SelecTV & OnTV) these are commercial
    laden channels (except for the Disney channels, but I don't think they could
    carry commercials).

    The joke is Fox News Channel should be carried on the FOX digital channel in
    the same way ABC News Now is on most ABC affiliate digital channels along
    with the 720p HD and radar subchannel.
  6. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 19:07:30 GMT, "21C BBS" <dontlook@here.net> wrote:

    >The problem is unlike their forfathers (SelecTV & OnTV)

    ^^^^^
    There is a name I thought EVERYONE forgot about!
  7. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    "Jeff Rife" <wevsr@nabs.net> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1b9c1fd37b33f249897f6@news.nabs.net...
    > Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
    >> This gives
    >> them
    >> HD and digital SD from locals as well as a few additional channels for
    >> kids
    >> and other family viewing for $20 bucks a month.
    >
    > For that same price, though, you can get a "basic analog" cable package
    > from
    > most providers, and it will give you about the same mix of channels with
    > no up-front costs.
    >
    > Likewise, if you have an antenna already (which you need for USDTV), you
    > don't need to buy satellite locals, so Dish Network's AT60 package for
    > $24.99/month would give you everything that USDTV gives you except for
    > Fox News, HGTV and Toon Disney, plus a *lot* more.


    Does that AT60 package give you an HD OTA tuner or are you suggesting that
    these folks should be happy with an ATSC analogue signal from thier locals?


    >
    > If you can afford the display to show HD, you can afford a few more bucks
    > a month for a full-blown subscription to cable or satellite.


    For some people it's not a matter of affordability but of principal. There
    are actually people out there who have the money to buy an HDTV and only
    watch an hour or two at most of television per day. I still stand by the
    notion that USDTV is not a bad buy for someone who wants to get an OTA HD
    tuner and also have the ability to pick up a news channel a movie channel
    and a couple of other extras. I'm sure USDTV's choices will expand somewhat
    if they get some more markets and figure out their niche better but I see no
    reason to be highly critical of a company like this that is giving it a shot
    at a market segment that is totally ignored. The Sat and Cable companies
    really act like everybody wants or need 200 channels to choose from and
    really don't offer much service to the lower tiers of their base.
  8. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
    > Does that AT60 package give you an HD OTA tuner or are you suggesting that
    > these folks should be happy with an ATSC analogue signal from thier locals?

    I know this is an HDTV newsgroup, but USDTV isn't aimed at people that want
    HDTV, so I don't think that it's really an issue.

    > I still stand by the
    > notion that USDTV is not a bad buy for someone who wants to get an OTA HD
    > tuner and also have the ability to pick up a news channel a movie channel
    > and a couple of other extras.

    No, it's a terrible deal for those extra cable channels. But, if you buy
    the $200 USDTV HD receiver and use it to get local ATSC signals and then
    add a cheap (less than $30/month) cable or satellite subscription for those
    extra channels, it's a great deal.

    One problem with the USDTV business model is that they don't require a
    subscription for the ATSC receiver to work. This is great for people that
    just want OTA HD, but it really makes the extra channels that USDTV offers
    a very bad deal, although the picture quality should be decent for the few
    channels they offer.

    Another problem that will start to show up is that USDTV can't add channels
    without reducing quality to cable/satellite levels plus they might have
    to reduce quality anyway if they are using bandwidth from a station that
    decides to go to HD (or sell bandwidth to somebody that pays more).

    --
    Jeff Rife |
    SPAM bait: | http://www.nabs.net/Cartoons/RhymesWithOrange/NoWetFood.gif
    AskDOJ@usdoj.gov |
    spam@ftc.gov |
  9. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    Within these hallowed halls, the_professor@atbi.com of
    <the_professor@atbi.com> added the following to the collective
    conscience:
    > On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 19:07:30 GMT, "21C BBS" <dontlook@here.net> wrote:
    >
    >> The problem is unlike their forefathers (SelecTV & OnTV)
    >
    > ^^^^^
    > There is a name I thought EVERYONE forgot about!

    Naw, I lived in Los Angeles area (Huntington Beach) when both were popular.
    Both were easily hacked as they merely tweaked the video standard to be
    unwachable (well, unstable but somewhat watchable) without the overpriced
    decoders.

    USDTV has the edge as it's digital and not big enough to put the effort into
    hacking (though it would be a fun weekend project for hacking enthusiasts).
  10. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    Jeff Rife wrote:
    > Charles Tomaras (tomaras@tomaras.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
    >
    >>Does that AT60 package give you an HD OTA tuner or are you suggesting that
    >>these folks should be happy with an ATSC analogue signal from thier locals?
    >
    >
    > I know this is an HDTV newsgroup, but USDTV isn't aimed at people that want
    > HDTV, so I don't think that it's really an issue.
    >
    >
    >> I still stand by the
    >>notion that USDTV is not a bad buy for someone who wants to get an OTA HD
    >>tuner and also have the ability to pick up a news channel a movie channel
    >>and a couple of other extras.
    >
    >
    > No, it's a terrible deal for those extra cable channels. But, if you buy
    > the $200 USDTV HD receiver and use it to get local ATSC signals and then
    > add a cheap (less than $30/month) cable or satellite subscription for those
    > extra channels, it's a great deal.

    The deal is $19.95 for 12 cable channels and $19.95 for the HDTV
    receiver for a USDTV subscriber with a year contract. In new markets
    they will have the ability to double at least the number of cable
    channels since they will use WM9. The same receiver can be bought
    without a subscription for $198.76 at WalMart.

    But USDTV is not the end all of this new trend. Other more interesting
    models are in the works.
    >
    > One problem with the USDTV business model is that they don't require a
    > subscription for the ATSC receiver to work. This is great for people that
    > just want OTA HD, but it really makes the extra channels that USDTV offers
    > a very bad deal, although the picture quality should be decent for the few
    > channels they offer.
    >
    > Another problem that will start to show up is that USDTV can't add channels
    > without reducing quality to cable/satellite levels plus they might have
    > to reduce quality anyway if they are using bandwidth from a station that
    > decides to go to HD (or sell bandwidth to somebody that pays more).
    >
  11. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    Bob Miller (robmx@earthlink.net) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
    > > No, it's a terrible deal for those extra cable channels. But, if you buy
    > > the $200 USDTV HD receiver and use it to get local ATSC signals and then
    > > add a cheap (less than $30/month) cable or satellite subscription for those
    > > extra channels, it's a great deal.
    >
    > The deal is $19.95 for 12 cable channels and $19.95 for the HDTV
    > receiver for a USDTV subscriber with a year contract.

    Then, it's definitely better to not subscribe to USDTV. The receiver plus
    subscription is $259.35 for the first year. Buying the receiver alone is
    $200 (give or take a few pennies), so you are left with $59.35, which pays
    for 2-3 months of minimum cable or satellite. After that, you can either
    toss the cable and just live with OTA or spend the $25-30/month and get
    40-60 channels instead of 12 channels for $20/month.

    > In new markets
    > they will have the ability to double at least the number of cable
    > channels since they will use WM9.

    I keep hearing claims like this, but every WM9 demo I have seen shows that
    the actual bitrate savings for the same quality picture is only about 25%,
    and that is on multi-pass, non-realtime compression. For single pass, the
    savings isn't very much at all, and doing it in realtime would require
    a pretty hefty CPU just to keep up.

    --
    Jeff Rife |
    SPAM bait: | http://www.nabs.net/Cartoons/Dilbert/SupportTraining.gif
    AskDOJ@usdoj.gov |
    spam@ftc.gov |
  12. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    >>The deal is $19.95 for 12 cable channels and $19.95 for the HDTV
    >>receiver for a USDTV subscriber with a year contract.
    >
    > Then, it's definitely better to not subscribe to USDTV. The receiver plus
    > subscription is $259.35 for the first year. Buying the receiver alone is
    > $200 (give or take a few pennies), so you are left with $59.35, which pays
    > for 2-3 months of minimum cable or satellite. After that, you can either
    > toss the cable and just live with OTA or spend the $25-30/month and get
    > 40-60 channels instead of 12 channels for $20/month.

    I don't follow your logic. If a family does *NOT* have an HDTV, then
    I agree, why waste $259 (1 year) for 10-20 channels? On the other hand,
    if the family has an HD-ready (but no ATSC capability) TV, then the
    USDTV box is actually worth considering.

    And let's get one thing straight ... in the markets USDTV is targeting,
    the 'basic cable' rate is well over $40/mo. Here in Los Angeles,
    California, it's a ridiculous $50/mo (Comcast.) You don't even want
    to know the cost of (residential) electricity in California, you'd
    laugh to death...(you really would...)

    > I keep hearing claims like this, but every WM9 demo I have seen shows that
    > the actual bitrate savings for the same quality picture is only about 25%,
    > and that is on multi-pass, non-realtime compression. For single pass, the
    > savings isn't very much at all, and doing it in realtime would require
    > a pretty hefty CPU just to keep up.

    Ok, I admit this doesn't address your point directly (i.e.
    'WM9 vs MPEG-2 at standard-definition bit-rates'), but have you
    seen the high-definition 'tech-demos' put out by Microsoft?
    http://www.wmvhd.com
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/content_provider/film/ContentShowcase.aspx

    You'll need an AMD 2600+ or Pentium4/2.8 (or faster) to watch these.
    (Sadly, Microsoft's MacOSX player doesn't yet support DRM (digital
    rights management), so most won't play on a Mac platform.)

    These demo-clips were all prepared/supervised by Microsoft, so it's
    safe to say they received 'the upmost scrutiny,' (best encoder
    settings, multi-pass, D-5 professional digital video source.)
    Most of the time, they're nearly reference quality. (Some of the
    clips, like the 'Speed' trailer with flying birds, do show obviously
    severe compression-artifacts.) Not bad considering they're encoded
    between 6-9Mbps.

    If you don't trust Microsoft's prepared clips, then look at the
    Bourne Supremacy trailer at the official movie site,
    http://www.thebournesupremacy.com/trailer/BourneSupremacyT3_720p_8mbit_SRD_NR_bt-1.zip

    Again, the quality is superb to my eyes, and at a bitrate half of
    OTA/ATSC.

    Divx.com just posted the *same* Bourne Supremacy trailer, compressed in
    DIVX5 (MPEG-4, 1280x720.)
    http://www.divx.com/movies/
    The employee stated the trailer was sourced from a D-5 digital reel
    (so it's *NOT* just a re-encode of the official WMV9 trailer.)

    DIVX's trailer is encoded at just 3.5Mbps. And even though the
    picture-quality is obviously inferior to the WMV9 clip (@ 7-8Mbps),
    it's still surprisingly good. My local ABC affiliate's broadcast
    (@ 15Mbps) doesn't look as good as the MPEG-4 clip @ 3.5MBps.

    Given these 2 data points (for the Bourne Supremacy Trailer),
    this gives me hope for a Pay-per-view HD movie-service. The
    movies could be encoded offline using multi-pass and the highest
    quality possible, and still deliver excellent quality at just
    4-5 MBps. For a TV-viewing environment, the quality would
    surpass any other widely available consumer HD-source (not
    counting DVHS/DTheatre.)
  13. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    annoyed (annoyed@nowhere.net) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
    > I don't follow your logic. If a family does *NOT* have an HDTV, then
    > I agree, why waste $259 (1 year) for 10-20 channels? On the other hand,
    > if the family has an HD-ready (but no ATSC capability) TV, then the
    > USDTV box is actually worth considering.

    The box is good...just not the subscription.

    > And let's get one thing straight ... in the markets USDTV is targeting,
    > the 'basic cable' rate is well over $40/mo. Here in Los Angeles,
    > California, it's a ridiculous $50/mo (Comcast.)

    I have a very expensive local Comcast, too, but if you look closely, they
    have an analog-only package for less than $30/month.

    > Ok, I admit this doesn't address your point directly (i.e.
    > 'WM9 vs MPEG-2 at standard-definition bit-rates'), but have you
    > seen the high-definition 'tech-demos' put out by Microsoft?

    Yes, and those are the ones that prove that they only get about 25% extra
    compression, because most are filtered down to *far* less than 1920x1080,
    or use 1920x1080/24p, which takes *far* less bandwidth than 1920x1080/60i.

    > Again, the quality is superb to my eyes, and at a bitrate half of
    > OTA/ATSC.

    Again, not a big deal. Do the math:

    For 1080/60i:
    1920 * 1080 * 60 / 2 = 62,208,000 pixels/sec

    For 1080/24p:
    1920 * 1080 * 24 = 49,766,400 pixels/sec

    Just to start with, the raw pixel rate is 80% of that of 1080i. Thus,
    you get a savings of 20% without even doing anything. So, if the actual
    bitrate is 50% of the full 19.3Mbps ATSC MPEG2, they're only saving about
    35% off what MPEG2 would take to encode 24p data. Plus, they don't have
    a single example of realtime compression.

    We all know that the very best DVDs can look astonishingly good at a "mere"
    5Mbps, yet 5Mbps is barely enough for good realtime encoding of MPEG2
    without spending literally *millions* of dollars on encoders.

    > Divx.com just posted the *same* Bourne Supremacy trailer, compressed in
    > DIVX5 (MPEG-4, 1280x720.)
    >
    > DIVX's trailer is encoded at just 3.5Mbps. And even though the
    > picture-quality is obviously inferior to the WMV9 clip (@ 7-8Mbps),
    > it's still surprisingly good. My local ABC affiliate's broadcast
    > (@ 15Mbps) doesn't look as good as the MPEG-4 clip @ 3.5MBps.

    Then your local ABC affiliate is doing something hideously wrong. 24p
    encodes wonderfully into the 60p transmission that ABC does. You get
    lots of "repeat frame" flags that allow all those extra bits to go towards
    dealing with every problem.

    In theory, you can do 24p in just 40% of the bitrate of 60p, so 8Mbps
    isn't all that big a deal for 720/24p.

    > Given these 2 data points (for the Bourne Supremacy Trailer),
    > this gives me hope for a Pay-per-view HD movie-service.

    Keep dreaming.

    > The
    > movies could be encoded offline using multi-pass and the highest
    > quality possible, and still deliver excellent quality at just
    > 4-5 MBps.

    This won't happen because there isn't a TV station in the world that
    can deal with pumping out the bits unchanged. That may happen far in
    the future, but it's actually quite an expensive proposition, and who
    is going to pay for it at those small-time stations that are selling their
    bandwidth to USDTV?

    --
    Jeff Rife |
    SPAM bait: | http://www.nabs.net/Cartoons/RhymesWithOrange/CatBed.jpg
    AskDOJ@usdoj.gov |
    spam@ftc.gov |
  14. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    >>Ok, I admit this doesn't address your point directly (i.e.
    >>'WM9 vs MPEG-2 at standard-definition bit-rates'), but have you
    >>seen the high-definition 'tech-demos' put out by Microsoft?
    >
    >
    > Yes, and those are the ones that prove that they only get about 25% extra
    > compression, because most are filtered down to *far* less than 1920x1080,
    > or use 1920x1080/24p, which takes *far* less bandwidth than 1920x1080/60i.
    >
    >
    >>Again, the quality is superb to my eyes, and at a bitrate half of
    >>OTA/ATSC.
    >
    >
    > Again, not a big deal. Do the math:
    >
    > For 1080/60i:
    > 1920 * 1080 * 60 / 2 = 62,208,000 pixels/sec
    >
    > For 1080/24p:
    > 1920 * 1080 * 24 = 49,766,400 pixels/sec
    >
    > Just to start with, the raw pixel rate is 80% of that of 1080i. Thus,
    > you get a savings of 20% without even doing anything. So, if the actual
    > bitrate is 50% of the full 19.3Mbps ATSC MPEG2, they're only saving about
    > 35% off what MPEG2 would take to encode 24p data. Plus, they don't have
    > a single example of realtime compression.
    >
    > We all know that the very best DVDs can look astonishingly good at a "mere"
    > 5Mbps, yet 5Mbps is barely enough for good realtime encoding of MPEG2
    > without spending literally *millions* of dollars on encoders.

    Ah, for some reason my basic math was failing me, and I just now see
    your point. Indeed, accounting for the inherent bitrate-reduction of
    24fps vs 30fps, the compression-gain no longer looks as 'fantastic' as
    it once did.

    > Then your local ABC affiliate is doing something hideously wrong. 24p
    > encodes wonderfully into the 60p transmission that ABC does. You get
    > lots of "repeat frame" flags that allow all those extra bits to go towards
    > dealing with every problem.

    You're probably right. The Los Angeles TV stations were among the early
    adopters of ATSC, so they all got stuck with early encoders.
    Our local stations never use the repeat-frame flag (at least, not
    according to my ATSC-captures), but I've seen other reports that say
    other stations and the cable-channels (HBO-HD) do make proper use of the
    repeat-flag for 3:2 material.

    >>movies could be encoded offline using multi-pass and the highest
    >>quality possible, and still deliver excellent quality at just
    >>4-5 MBps.
    >
    >
    > This won't happen because there isn't a TV station in the world that
    > can deal with pumping out the bits unchanged. That may happen far in
    > the future, but it's actually quite an expensive proposition, and who
    > is going to pay for it at those small-time stations that are selling their
    > bandwidth to USDTV?

    Sorry, I probably didn't explain myself clearly. Let me try again.

    USDTV (and others) are investigating a broadcast-based 'movie service.'
    I guess it's a lot like satellite or cable pay-per-view systems. The
    cable-operator transmits a pre-selected batch of movies (rotated on
    some schedule.) A customer orders a movie, and his 'box' is
    allowed to decode it.

    In USDTV's scheme, the transmission medium is the ATSC broadcaster
    (instead of satellite or cable.) Each customer has a USDTV
    receiver with a hard-drive. The customer orders the movie the night
    before, then the movie is 'streamed' over the nighttime.
    The following day, the entire movie is on the DVR's hard-drive,
    and ready for play.

    I guess the idea/model isn't really new. The 'twist' is that
    companies want to buy ATSC bandwidth to operate this service over
    the TV-airwaves.

    My point is, USDTV would arrange for the delivery of their
    'service bitstream.' I would think the ATSC TV-station doesn't
    care what the bitstream contains; live programming or 'streamed'
    movie packages. It's just a separate feed they plug into their
    station multiplixer.

    But since I don't work in industry, I hvae on clue whether this
    is 'easy' or 'difficult.' I think the very few ATSC-transmitters
    that are already sending out USDTV-content, could easily accomodate
    USDTV's propsed PPV movie-service.
  15. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    annoyed (annoyed@nowhere.net) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
    > > This won't happen because there isn't a TV station in the world that
    > > can deal with pumping out the bits unchanged. That may happen far in
    > > the future, but it's actually quite an expensive proposition, and who
    > > is going to pay for it at those small-time stations that are selling their
    > > bandwidth to USDTV?
    >
    > My point is, USDTV would arrange for the delivery of their
    > 'service bitstream.' I would think the ATSC TV-station doesn't
    > care what the bitstream contains; live programming or 'streamed'
    > movie packages. It's just a separate feed they plug into their
    > station multiplixer.

    Right. Pseudo-VOD over OTA. That can be done, but it won't make any money.
    Eventually, all the providers are going to figure out that giving a plain
    old DVR to every subscriber will allow them to save bandwidth by chucking
    the VOD idea entirely, as long as they have the room for 100 PPV channels
    (and most do, although USDTV won't). So, they up their PPV channel count
    by 20 or so and they can chuck all that expensive hardware that "bandwidth
    multiplies" for VOD.

    They then just run everything that they would have offered on VOD in a
    continuous loop on the 20 PPV channels.

    --
    Jeff Rife | "Wheel of morality,
    SPAM bait: | Turn, turn, turn.
    AskDOJ@usdoj.gov | Tell us the lesson
    spam@ftc.gov | That we should learn"
    | -- Yakko, "Animaniacs"
  16. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    Jeff Rife wrote:

    > annoyed (annoyed@nowhere.net) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
    >
    >>>This won't happen because there isn't a TV station in the world that
    >>>can deal with pumping out the bits unchanged. That may happen far in
    >>>the future, but it's actually quite an expensive proposition, and who
    >>>is going to pay for it at those small-time stations that are selling their
    >>>bandwidth to USDTV?
    >>
    >>My point is, USDTV would arrange for the delivery of their
    >>'service bitstream.' I would think the ATSC TV-station doesn't
    >>care what the bitstream contains; live programming or 'streamed'
    >>movie packages. It's just a separate feed they plug into their
    >>station multiplixer.
    >
    >
    > Right. Pseudo-VOD over OTA. That can be done, but it won't make any money.
    > Eventually, all the providers are going to figure out that giving a plain
    > old DVR to every subscriber will allow them to save bandwidth by chucking
    > the VOD idea entirely, as long as they have the room for 100 PPV channels
    > (and most do, although USDTV won't). So, they up their PPV channel count
    > by 20 or so and they can chuck all that expensive hardware that "bandwidth
    > multiplies" for VOD.
    >
    > They then just run everything that they would have offered on VOD in a
    > continuous loop on the 20 PPV channels.
    >

    With the "Pseudo-VOD" your offerings are limited by the hard drive size.
    Hard drive capacity will increase while cost and size decline. MPEG4 AVC
    or VC-9 will continue to improve offering a steady virtual increase in
    bandwidth/storage capacity. MPEG2 will not keep up. This is not a static
    business, it is dynamic. Your business plan has to reflect that.

    "Pseudo-VOD" looks like a winner in that race to me. Their
    infrastructure build and maintenance cost are minuscule while they are
    new on the block and do not have massive debt to maintain or a skittish
    market to worry about which will swoon if they ever see real competition.
  17. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    Bob Miller (robmx@earthlink.net) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
    > Jeff Rife wrote:
    > > Right. Pseudo-VOD over OTA. That can be done, but it won't make any money.

    Well, my prediction is now looking quite good, isn't it?

    > "Pseudo-VOD" looks like a winner in that race to me

    With a track record of being 100% wrong in such things, Bob Miller shows
    that I'm feeling even more confident.

    --
    Jeff Rife |
    SPAM bait: | http://www.nabs.net/Cartoons/OverTheHedge/HDTV.gif
    AskDOJ@usdoj.gov |
    spam@ftc.gov |
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