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Re: Digital TV is coming to a screen near you!

<<On Fri, 4 Apr 1997 17:49:23 -0500 (EST), Kevin Vahey <fenway@ziplink.net> said:

>   The cable companies must be screaming foul over this. With this weeks
> ruling on must carry, what is going to happen when all the new digital
> UHF's are launched?

Actually, it's great for the cable companies, because the 16 VSB
modulation designed for cable can carry ten channels of (NTSC-like)
programming, or two ATV broadcast (8 VSB) channels.  The reason for
this is that the 16 VSB coding has less error correction, which is not
needed in the (theoretically) cleaner cable RF environment.

Cable companies are unlikely to be required to carry both the ATV and
NTSC signals simultaneously.  Furthermore, in an ATV world, it is
almost certain that broadcasters will use their new-found extra
capacity to broadcast additional video services rather than HDTV; so
in Boston, it seems likely that the only way the cablecos will be able
to carry services like ESPN, ESPN2, and A&E will be to get it from
WCVB-HD (and similarly the Fox channels from WFXT-HD, the CBS channels
from WBZ-HD, the NBC channels from WHDH-HD, the Tribune channels from
WLVI-HD, the Viacom channels from WSBK-HD, and god knows what from the
others).  This represents an enormous potential windfall for
broadcasters, since they are much more likely to be able to do a
creditable job selling local spot time on these channels than the
cableco is.  (Imagine, for example, a station able to sell the
same spot in both Sunday and Monday Night Football [assuming both
nights were carried by the same national programming company, such as

- -GAWollman

- --
Garrett A. Wollman   | O Siem / We are all family / O Siem / We're all the same
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