Digital TV (was: RE: Globe editorial calls FM radio "outdated technology")

Garrett Wollman
Tue Aug 31 18:58:10 EDT 2010

<<On Tue, 31 Aug 2010 08:17:31 -0400, "John Mullaney" <> said:

> often with humans trying to line them back up by eye. This standard will
> also spell the end of "the must carry rule"

Must-carry isn't a rule, it's a statute, part of the Cable Act of
1992, and it's not going anywhere.  (It's also not particularly
relevant: the broadcasters that benefit from must-carry are less
likely to even have HD programming -- think of all the religellators
and home-shopping stations -- and will likely be the first ones to
fall when broadcast TV shuts down in five or ten years.  The
broadcasters with the large portfolio of HD programming and audiences
to match are all in the "retrans consent" regime, not must-carry.)

> Comcast is not compressing HD currently (Contrary to what many folks
> believe..)

That statement implies something that is not true, which is that
*anyone* has uncompressed HD.  Comcast may not be transcoding the HD
that they get, but you can be sure it's still compressed, because
that's how all HD programming comes from the provider.

> but I wonder how long they will be able to keep that up as
> consumers continue to cry for the same HD line ups that other carriers both
> satellite and cable are delivering who are? All of this didn't have to
> happen if the cablelab folks (who develop the cable standards) had been
> invited in during the HDTV standards development.

What does that have to do with anything?  The ATSC standard specifies
MPEG-2, which was current when it was developed; the cable industry
didn't have anything to offer that wasn't already available to the
ATSC.  Many countries where digital TV is just now being deployed are
opting for MPEG-4 instead.

> Was the TV industry living in the past when they felt cable
> companies didn't matter or actually thought that over the air
> reception would make an incredible come back? Whatever TV was
> thinking it was incredibly short sighted to push an HDTV standard
> they wanted

What makes you think ATSC was what the TV industry wanted?  It was
what the *government* and the *consumer electronics industry* wanted;
from all available evidence, the TV industry just wanted *some*
standard to be set in stone before Uncle Sam was going to force them
to spend millions of dollars to upgrade their infrastructure.

PS to all list members: please don't top-post, and please do trim
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