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USDTV coming to Los Angeles (bye bye free/HD-OTA?!?)

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September 16, 2004 7:52:45 AM

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

USDTV.com is coming to Los Angeles. They will pay broadcasters
for their precious ATSC station bandwidth, then send their
own pay-service (standard-def) over the same bandwidth.

For $20.00/mo, subscribers will get a dozen channels, and
as an added bonus, they can watch the digital-TV programming
sent by the location stations (CBS, NBC, ABC, WB, Fox, UPN, PBS.)

On the one hand, LA has almost *all* the networks (except UPN)
broadcasting in high-definition. USDTV hopes the 'added bonus'
of access to over-the-air HD-programming (which USDTV built into
every USDTV receiver) may entice a small niche of customers into
a trial-service, but due to the high cost of living in LA, the
dizzying array of options for TV-watchers, and the fact that
cable/satellite penetration is already extremely high in urban
areas, whether the added-bonus draws in the sales remains to be
seen.

The small (but vocal) minority of existing OTA/HDTV-viewers
fear USDTV.com's expansion will come at the expense of their
precious HDTV-quality. Some even fear broadcasters will kill
their HDTV-broadcasts altogether, in favor of selling the
reclaimed bandwidth to USDTV. While USDTV does offer DTV-
broadcasters a revenue stream from the otherwise 'budget
blackhole', others point the finger at DVRs and other 'Tivo'
devices as a more imminent threat to free (advertising-supported)
TV. TV-viewers can zap advertisements on TV-recordings much
more easily on a Tivo than they could on the analog VCRs.

So with free/OTA HDTV and USDTV competing with each other for
bandwidth on Digital-TV broadcasts, will the two co-exist?
Anonymous
September 16, 2004 4:35:39 PM

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

roberto wrote:

>
> So with free/OTA HDTV and USDTV competing with each other for
> bandwidth on Digital-TV broadcasts, will the two co-exist?
>

HDTV requires the full 6 MHz bandwidth for quality images during motion
with MPEG2 compression. There are some broadcasters, in my area, trying
to simulcast HDTV and 1 or 2 SDTV channels. However, the HDTV image
severely breaks up during motion and really ruins HDTV. UDSTV is like
the rotten apple and will spoil HDTV broadcasting over the public airwaves.
Anonymous
September 16, 2004 8:54:11 PM

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

In article <h682d.16093$QJ3.4990@newssvr21.news.prodigy.com>,
roberto <roberto@juno.com> wrote:

> USDTV.com is coming to Los Angeles. They will pay broadcasters
> for their precious ATSC station bandwidth, then send their
> own pay-service (standard-def) over the same bandwidth.
>
> For $20.00/mo, subscribers will get a dozen channels, and
> as an added bonus, they can watch the digital-TV programming
> sent by the location stations (CBS, NBC, ABC, WB, Fox, UPN, PBS.)

I'm wondering if they are going to have a problem with all the stations
broadcasting at partial power (often at 10% or less of what they are
licensed for broadcasting ATSC). Even with a "5th generation" tuner,
they could still have a reception problem for months to come.
September 17, 2004 7:17:53 AM

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

> I'm wondering if they are going to have a problem with all the stations
> broadcasting at partial power (often at 10% or less of what they are
> licensed for broadcasting ATSC). Even with a "5th generation" tuner,
> they could still have a reception problem for months to come.

Aren't most of the Los Angeles stations broadcasting at least 50%
power? (I don't know how to check this info the fcc's website.)

There are a number Spanish language channels (and 2 independents.)
None of them are transmitting HD, and none of them are using their
full ATSC bitrate. So at least for initial USDTV rollout, in
theory the Los Angeles rollout could be done without involving
any of the HD/networks.

(But I think KTLA-DT/31 will rent to USDTV -- according to my
ATI HDTV Wonder, they're sending out a 'private stream' of 3-4 Mbps.)
Of ocurse, our WB affiliate has never transmitted primetime
programming at full bitrate. The only times it comes close is
the Tournament of Rose Parade coverage (New Year's Day).
Anonymous
September 17, 2004 12:19:18 PM

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

roberto <roberto@juno.com> wrote in message news:<h682d.16093$QJ3.4990@newssvr21.news.prodigy.com>...
> USDTV.com is coming to Los Angeles. They will pay broadcasters
> for their precious ATSC station bandwidth, then send their
> own pay-service (standard-def) over the same bandwidth.
>
>[snip]
>
> So with free/OTA HDTV and USDTV competing with each other for
> bandwidth on Digital-TV broadcasts, will the two co-exist?

>
Who cares, quite honestly? USDTV is great. Let free OTA die. I
haven't received OTA for at least 20 years. I've gone with 10 years
of horrid cable (basic package -- never really watched it) and 10
years of DirecTV. Most of my life, I never watched more than 10 hours
of TV a year.

I don't want to continue to subsidise broadcasters with my tax money.
Make them pay for bandwidth and make CBS, ABC, NBC try to sell their
terrible content to the distribution companies (cable, satellite,
etc.) Market forces will destory the networks. Let it happen.
Anonymous
September 17, 2004 7:16:24 PM

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

Within these hallowed halls, numeric of <numeric@att.net> added the
following to the collective conscience:
> roberto wrote:
>
>>
>> So with free/OTA HDTV and USDTV competing with each other for
>> bandwidth on Digital-TV broadcasts, will the two co-exist?
>>
>
> HDTV requires the full 6 MHz bandwidth for quality images during
> motion with MPEG2 compression. There are some broadcasters, in my
> area, trying
> to simulcast HDTV and 1 or 2 SDTV channels. However, the HDTV image
> severely breaks up during motion and really ruins HDTV. UDSTV is like
> the rotten apple and will spoil HDTV broadcasting over the public
> airwaves.

Let em come. With the mass market that Los Angeles is there will finally be
incentive to hack USDTV and get it for free. I'm sure the hackers from
SelecTV and OnTV are up for the challenge.

I'm sure the major stations (2,4,5,7,9,11,13,28) will be underbid by the
minor stations (18,22,30,34,40,46,52,56,58,62) who have no plans to carry
any HD.

Andrew Cheadle
was in CA now in DE ;-(
September 17, 2004 10:15:35 PM

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

t_pascal@my-deja.com (T. Pascal) wrote in
news:2611b663.0409170719.2383fc5c@posting.google.com:

> roberto <roberto@juno.com> wrote in message
> news:<h682d.16093$QJ3.4990@newssvr21.news.prodigy.com>...
>> USDTV.com is coming to Los Angeles. They will pay broadcasters
>> for their precious ATSC station bandwidth, then send their
>> own pay-service (standard-def) over the same bandwidth.
>>
>>[snip]
>>
>> So with free/OTA HDTV and USDTV competing with each other for
>> bandwidth on Digital-TV broadcasts, will the two co-exist?
>
>>
> Who cares, quite honestly? USDTV is great. Let free OTA die. I
> haven't received OTA for at least 20 years. I've gone with 10 years
> of horrid cable (basic package -- never really watched it) and 10
> years of DirecTV. Most of my life, I never watched more than 10 hours
> of TV a year.
>
> I don't want to continue to subsidise broadcasters with my tax money.
> Make them pay for bandwidth and make CBS, ABC, NBC try to sell their
> terrible content to the distribution companies (cable, satellite,
> etc.) Market forces will destory the networks. Let it happen.
>

We are poor and only use over the air. Could you send us some money to
get cable??
Anonymous
September 18, 2004 2:33:14 AM

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

T. Pascal wrote:

> Who cares, quite honestly? USDTV is great. Let free OTA die. I
> haven't received OTA for at least 20 years. I've gone with 10 years
> of horrid cable (basic package -- never really watched it) and 10
> years of DirecTV. Most of my life, I never watched more than 10 hours
> of TV a year.
>
> I don't want to continue to subsidise broadcasters with my tax money.
> Make them pay for bandwidth and make CBS, ABC, NBC try to sell their
> terrible content to the distribution companies (cable, satellite,
> etc.) Market forces will destory the networks. Let it happen.


First, OTA is not free, its paid for by the advertisers. Second the
broadcasters have the highest ratings over cable/satellite
programs. The cable or satellite audience would go into shock if
suddenly the broadcasters were to remove their programming. With digital
OTA this might now be feasible. Third, you do not subsidize the
broadcasters. They were legally licensed by the FCC and are required to
follow public service requirements. Also they spent a fortune on
converting their equipment to digital as mandated by the FCC. The
broadcasters led the way toward HDTV, they spent the money, they
provided the effort. If it weren't for "free OTA" there would be no
HDTV. Since however, you think USDTV is great you should have no
problem subsidizing USDTV. After all, they sponge off the broadcaster's
"subsidize" spectrum.
Anonymous
September 19, 2004 5:31:12 PM

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

On 17 Sep 2004 08:19:18 -0700, t_pascal@my-deja.com (T. Pascal) wrote:

>roberto <roberto@juno.com> wrote in message news:<h682d.16093$QJ3.4990@newssvr21.news.prodigy.com>...
>> USDTV.com is coming to Los Angeles. They will pay broadcasters
>> for their precious ATSC station bandwidth, then send their
>> own pay-service (standard-def) over the same bandwidth.
>>
>>[snip]
>>
>> So with free/OTA HDTV and USDTV competing with each other for
>> bandwidth on Digital-TV broadcasts, will the two co-exist?
>
>>
>Who cares, quite honestly? USDTV is great. Let free OTA die. I
>haven't received OTA for at least 20 years. I've gone with 10 years
>of horrid cable (basic package -- never really watched it) and 10
>years of DirecTV. Most of my life, I never watched more than 10 hours
>of TV a year.
>
>I don't want to continue to subsidise broadcasters with my tax money.
>Make them pay for bandwidth and make CBS, ABC, NBC try to sell their
>terrible content to the distribution companies (cable, satellite,
>etc.) Market forces will destory the networks. Let it happen.

Virtually all cable co's get their local HDTV feeds using OTA
broadcasts. Distributing HDTV signals via land lines would be way
too expensive. So, think twice before you wish harm on OTA HDTV, the
collateral damage can be a bitch..
Anonymous
September 19, 2004 10:13:17 PM

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

On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 13:31:12 -0400, Tim Keating wrote:

> Virtually all cable co's get their local HDTV feeds using OTA broadcasts.

Our local CBS affiliate, WINK, is way behind getting their DTV act in
gear. (It's partly their fault, partly the FCC.) Their engineer told me
they hope to have a feed to the local cable TV company by optical fiber soon,
so the cable TV subscribers can have CBS in HD. I don't know if that's
done commonly, though, or if this is a special case.
--
Gerry Wheeler
Naples, FL
Anonymous
September 20, 2004 11:56:16 AM

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

Tim Keating wrote:

>
> Virtually all cable co's get their local HDTV feeds using OTA
> broadcasts. Distributing HDTV signals via land lines would be way
> too expensive. So, think twice before you wish harm on OTA HDTV, the
> collateral damage can be a bitch..

What do you think the chances are that cable companies will carry USDTV
stations without stripping out the pay channels?

Matthew
Anonymous
September 20, 2004 12:07:28 PM

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

me <me@nospamm.com> wrote in message news:<Xns9567728943485menospammcom@207.217.125.202>...
> t_pascal@my-deja.com (T. Pascal) wrote in
> news:2611b663.0409170719.2383fc5c@posting.google.com:
>
> >> So with free/OTA HDTV and USDTV competing with each other for
> >> bandwidth on Digital-TV broadcasts, will the two co-exist?
> >>
> > Who cares, quite honestly? USDTV is great. Let free OTA die. I
> > haven't received OTA for at least 20 years. I've gone with 10 years
> > of horrid cable (basic package -- never really watched it) and 10
>
> We are poor and only use over the air. Could you send us some money to
> get cable??

>
How about telling you where to line up to get free government cheese?
Here's a tip: don't watch TV. Get bored and go outside and commit
some crimes. I don't mind subsidising your room and board at a
penitentiary.
Anonymous
September 20, 2004 12:16:13 PM

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

numeric <numeric@att.net> wrote in message news:<KCJ2d.385046$OB3.56800@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>...
> T. Pascal wrote:
>
> > Who cares, quite honestly? USDTV is great. Let free OTA die. I
> > haven't received OTA for at least 20 years. I've gone with 10 years
> > of horrid cable (basic package -- never really watched it) and 10
> > years of DirecTV. Most of my life, I never watched more than 10 hours
> > of TV a year.
> >
> > I don't want to continue to subsidise broadcasters with my tax money.
> > Make them pay for bandwidth and make CBS, ABC, NBC try to sell their
> > terrible content to the distribution companies (cable, satellite,
> > etc.) Market forces will destory the networks. Let it happen.
>
>
> First, OTA is not free, its paid for by the advertisers. Second the
> broadcasters have the highest ratings over cable/satellite
> programs. The cable or satellite audience would go into shock if
> suddenly the broadcasters were to remove their programming. With digital
> OTA this might now be feasible.
>
I'm not referring to the programming (which is bad), but the delivery.
They can be decoupled. I suppose the only really bad casualty would
be local news broadcasts where the local toothless yokel dimwits joke
about puppies and make passing reference to Iraq... you could move
those to some sort of PBS-type channels and give the rest of the
spectrum back to us.

> Third, you do not subsidize the
> broadcasters. They were legally licensed by the FCC and are required to
> follow public service requirements. Also they spent a fortune on
> converting their equipment to digital as mandated by the FCC. The
> broadcasters led the way toward HDTV, they spent the money, they
> provided the effort. If it weren't for "free OTA" there would be no
> HDTV. Since however, you think USDTV is great you should have no
> problem subsidizing USDTV. After all, they sponge off the broadcaster's
> "subsidize" spectrum.

>
My heart bleeds for the networks. You haven't calculated opportunity
costs of the spectrum. The bottom line is they do not have to compete
on content or spectrum. Let's turn up the competition. Turn off
regulation, turn off "must carry" etc. Cellular or broadband
companies litterally drool for the spectrum. Let everyone compete and
watch the networks die. If they survive, then I'll take back my
comments. Until then, we suffer.
Anonymous
September 21, 2004 9:09:46 AM

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

T. Pascal wrote:

>>>I don't want to continue to subsidise broadcasters with my tax money.
>>>Make them pay for bandwidth and make CBS, ABC, NBC try to sell their
>>>terrible content to the distribution companies (cable, satellite,
>>>etc.) Market forces will destory the networks. Let it happen.
>>
>>
>>First, OTA is not free, its paid for by the advertisers. Second the
>>broadcasters have the highest ratings over cable/satellite
>>programs. The cable or satellite audience would go into shock if
>>suddenly the broadcasters were to remove their programming. With digital
>>OTA this might now be feasible.
>>
>
> I'm not referring to the programming (which is bad), but the delivery.
> They can be decoupled.

You copuled the delivery method and content. "Make them pay for
bandwidth and make CBS, ABC, NBC try to sell their terrible content to
the distribution companies". Regardless of the delivery method,
broadcast TV does get the highest ratings share.


>
> My heart bleeds for the networks. You haven't calculated opportunity
> costs of the spectrum.


You think 'calculated opportunity' is a good thing. How about the real
estate developer who presents to the local government a better plan for
the use of your property, promises a higher tax revenue and gets the
government to take the property under emanate domain. Subsequently your
property is handed over to the developer. Your compensation could be far
less then the fair market value. Keep in mind that this use of emanate
domain authority is not for road construction but solely for corporate
profit. Obviously property rights are being trampled on by the
government, to gain a source of revenue, by embracing market forces.
Ironic, corporations have no Constitutional rights, and yet their
demands supersede those who do have Constitutional rights.


The bottom line is they do not have to compete
> on content or spectrum. Let's turn up the competition. Turn off
> regulation, turn off "must carry" etc. Cellular or broadband
> companies litterally drool for the spectrum.

I find that WiMax, WiFi or wireless broadband are an extreme waste and
frivolous use of broadcast TV spectrum (or any other licensed user's
spectrum). If I had my wish, I would want the broadcasters to get back
all the lost spectrum.
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 1:39:20 AM

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

T. Pascal wrote:

>
> Second, the broadcasters don't OWN the spectrum, they have the license
> or right to USE the spectrum.

I totally agree, never said that they did own the spectrum. As you say
"It's our airwaves'. The only problem is that the government is
auctioning off the spectrum under pressure to get the revenue and
combined with industry pressure for more spectrum, the outcome may not
be in our best interest. The amount of spectrum planned for auction is
significant, maybe too much loss of the TV frequencies and other
spectrum. The result will likely devalue the spectrum and part of it
being used for frivolous use.


Janet Jackson almost did us a favour by
> putting CBS's license in jeopardy. In your example, that would be a
> lease, except the broadcasters don't pay market-value for their lease
> (that's an opinion, but I think it's right). The FCC makes a lot of
> lip service regarding "the People's Airwaves". If it's ours, then we
> should have a say in it. If you enjoy watching "Wife Swap" and
> "Survivor 29" then I'm in the minority.

I do not like "Wife Swap," the "your fired" show (don't remember the
title), "Big Brother", and the majority of reality shows, especially
those which reward or entertain deception. What I like however, is
irreverent. The mainstream broadcasters whether they pay for the
spectrum or be as it is now, will inevitably migrate toward the shows
which have the highest ratings. If everyone else likes "Wife Swap" and
the service, as an example, is paid subscription you will end up paying
to see "Wife Swap".

>

>
>
> It's our airwaves. If you think analogue transmission of blurry NTSC
> is a good use of resources, so be it.


I have no problem ending NTSC, scheduled for 2006.
!