Published by: Larry Bloomfield & Jim Mendrala
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Bloomfield & Jim Mendrala
or (805) 294-1049
April 3, 1998
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The following two press releases were received and thought to
be of significant value to our readers, we are passing them on as
April 2, 1998
ABC Television NETWORK
ABC SELECTS 720 PROGRESSIVE
FOR HIGH DEFINITION FORMAT
Panasonic to Design, Build and Equip
New York, NY - ABC will adopt the 720 progressive, high
definition, television format, it was announced today by ABC
Television Network President Preston Padden. In addition, Mr. Padden
announced, with Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Company (PBTSC)
President Steve Bonia that the two companies have signed an agreement
in principle to build ABC's HDN Release Center at its headquarters in
New York City. According
to the agreement in principle, Panasonic will build and install the
facility by September 1998, in time for ABC's DTV launch in November
Mr. Padden said, "To make
the best possible pictures, to be ready for 'second generation'
progressive flat panel displays, and to be ready for the multimedia
opportunities of the converged world of computing and television,
ABC has selected 720P as its
HDTV format. We are grateful that Panasonic has elected to support all
of the ATSC formats and has accelerated its 720P product line to
fulfill our ambitious plans."
Mr. Bonia said,
"Panasonic is glad for the confidence ABC has shown in our
understanding of HDTV technologies.
Panasonic is determined to provide customers with flexible and
comprehensive choices in selecting their HDTV systems."
ABC Broadcast Operations
& Engineering President Preston Davis said,'720P makes great
pictures and b the right solution for a converged future."
ABC has also purchased a quantity of DVCPRO equipment for
evaluation and possible inclusion in the network's long-term
Slated for operation in September 1998, ABC's HDTV Release
Center will evolve around the AJ-HD2700 1080i/720p switchable D-5 HD
recording systems provided by Panasonic broadcast & Digital
Systems Company (PBDSC).
Robert Mueller, president, PBDSC, said,'D-5 HD recording
systems are the industry standard for high-quality HDTV recording and
program distribution. The switchable AJ-HD2700 allows Panasonic to
offer customers the choice to record and play back HD programming in
either 1080i or 720p formats."
"Panasonic is the only company offering broadcasters a
complete choice of formats as they plan out their digital
future," Mueller added.
In addition to the AJ-HD2700s, ABC will also purchase a variety
of HD and DTV 16:9 and 4:3 monitors from PBDSC as well as 720p studio
cameras for use in future HD program origination by the network.
CBS Announces HDTV Programming Plans
NEW YORK, April 2
-- Beginning in November 1998, the CBS Television Network will
broadcast five hours of high definition (HDTV) primetime programming
each week, it was announced by Michael H. Jordan, Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer, CBS Corporation.
The CBS HDTV programming will be broadcast in 1080i, the
highest quality HDTV digital format.
The 1080i format has
more than five times the picture resolution of today's existing NTSC
television services with a transmission rate that ensures smooth
motion portrayal. The
choice of this particular format ensures that CBS HDTV programming is
totally compatible with new HDTV television sets, while still allowing
viewers to see programs in normal quality on regular television.
Mr. Jordan said:
"By providing the highest quality HDTV programming, we will gauge
the reaction of consumers to HDTV and the response of television set
manufacturers to the new technology."
While demonstrating the
full benefit of HDTV, the choice of 1080i format does not foreclose
any future digital television options.
CBS will experiment with other features and revenue
opportunities made possible by digital technology. For example,
the new technology will enable broadcasters
to deliver large quantities of program and non-program related
data to television sets and computers simultaneously with the
transmission of the digital TV and HDTV programs.
It is also possible to shift between HDTV and standard TV in
different dayparts, and to deliver several standard quality
programs over a single digital channel to increase viewers'
Concurrent with the
introduction of HDTV programming in November 1998, CBS also intends to
begin digital broadcasting at four CBS Owned television stations.
By November 1999, planned additional digital upgrades at
CBS Owned stations and Affiliates will enable the CBS Television
Network to reach 42% of American households with digital television
The CBS HDTV programming will
be broadcast in a digital format that produces a wide screen, high
definition picture of cinema
quality with Dolby digital sound.
The format employs 1080 scanning lines per frame with 1920
picture elements, or pixels, per line, which forms a picture of two
million pixels per frame, transmitted at 60 pictures per second
(Ed Note: When these two press
releases were received, we called NBC. We were told that they would
make their announcement at 10 AM Monday, April 6th at NAB.
We have not spoken with FOX, UPN or WB, as yet.
-- stay tuned.
Jim and Larry will be there and will not be able to put out another
DTV Tech Notes until we return and have digested the information we
The following was to go in the
next Tech notes so here it is now.
Survival of the Fittest!
Most all America is covered by television signals, one way or
another. Until just a
very few years ago, if you didn't live in an area covered directly by
an UHF or VHF full power station, chances are you were able to see
your favorite shows via translators or LPTV stations.
Even though sets manufactured today won't go there, there's
still a translator operating in Eastern Oregon on Channel 72. Some areas were and still are served via several translator
hops. The accessibility
in the winter and the costs to maintaining these very low powered
devices (typically 10 watts VHF and 100 watts UHF), often times, very
isolated translators, has made them an albatross around the
responsible parties necks.
Hard wire cable companies have been around for a long time and
have helped to fill some of this uncovered area. It isn't always economically feasible, though, to string a
cable into some of the more remote areas though. Then there were
the wireless cable companies in the 2-3 GHz bands.
The reason for this story here is that with the advent of
Direct Broadcast Service (DBS), just a few years ago, the excellent
picture quality can be attributed to the digital transmission.
Weather broadcasters or cablecasters know it or not, many
viewers in these remote areas have switched over to one or more of the
several services offered in this high-flying media without even a
casual look back.
DTV channel assignments have cast a very definite cloud over
the existence of some of these translators and LPTV stations putting
the in jeopardy. Many will probably have to go bye-bye in favor of the
It would appear, however that all is not lost.
Local-to-local television via satellite is on the horizon. If Capitol Broadcasting has its way, they will launch an $800
million satellite that would carry all television station in all
markets. There is much
industry support of this concept.
Jim Babb, president of the National Association of Broadcasters
(NAB) television board and vice president of Lin Television said:
"The Capitol proposal is an enlightened look at the
situation. This should create an excellent opportunity for
put it's full support to the concept in a vote taken during the
board's winter (January '98) meeting in Laguna Niguel, California.
This is an interesting position because broadcasts have
expressed concerned over EchoStar's plans to offer their
"local-into-local" service. EchoStar's plans to retransmit
the local signals of the Four Major network affiliates to unserved
viewers in Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Miami and Philadelphia
for openers. From what I
have seen though, the Capitol approach seems to be much more
aggressive as far as whom they plan to serve from the get-go the
entire nation. EchoStar
maintains that they do not yet have the technical capacity to carry
all stations into all markets to which they broadcast, but eventually
plan to do so. EchoStar's
Chairman Charlie Ergen said, "As technology improves, EchoStar
intends to invest in additional satellites to deliver local signals in
more markets covering a greater number of channels in each
Roger LaMay, vice president and general manager of WTXF (TV) in
Philadelphia has reservations: "We are not happy about it,
because we have real concerns about EchoStar's ability to keep people
from getting the signal when they shouldn't be."
On the other hand, Brian Jones the GM of CBS's affiliate KTVT
(TV), in Dallas says: "We
are happy to provide our signal to anyone who wants to receive it as
long as that does not infringe on any other CBS station's
If and when Capitol's proposal comes to fruition, it would be
legal for satellite companies to retransmit local television signals
into local markets. Stipulations similar to those exposed on cable
companies now would have to be enforced, such as must-carry,
retransmission consent, network non-duplication and the syndicated
Congress has expressed concern with rising cable rates and has
encouraged competitive services like satellite broadcasting or DBS.
In light of this and with NAB's support, Capitol believes its
legislation has a good chance of passing this year.
Dianne Smith, attorney for Capitol Broadcasting says "It
will take 24 to 26 months to build a satellite from the minute we say
go, and we will not say go until we get the legislation. Until that time, Capitol Broadcasting is eating the start-up
costs." In the
meantime, Capitol is seeking financing for this venture they calling
"Local TV on Satellite."
A scenario similar to these proposals will certainly happen
sooner or later. There is no question with this type of service
available the need for translators will vanish.
My question is what impact will this have on the wire and
wireless cable companies?
We received this and are passing it on at face value. Put what ever level of credence to you feel appropriate.)
The following came to Barbra
Wood at E.C.J Law Firm from "CPR" firstname.lastname@example.org
I received a telephone call from an individual identifying
himself as an AT&T Service Technician that was running a test on
our telephone lines. He stated that to complete the test I should
touch nine (9), zero (0), pound sign (#) and hang up. Luckily, I was
suspicious and refused. Upin contacting the telephone company we
were informed that by pushing 90# you end up giving the individual
that called you acess to your telephone line and allows them to place
a long distance telephone call, with the charge appearing on your
telephone bill. We were further informed that this scam has been
originating from many of the local jails/prisons. Please "pass
George Fousek AT&T Global
Account Director 4 Station Square Suite 400 Pittsburgh, PA 15219
412-642-7023 (voice) 412-642-7119 (fax) email@example.com
Jim and I will be at NAB.
We will be staying at the Monte Carlo Hotel.
I'll be there representing both the DTV Tech Notes and
Broadcast Engineering magazine. Jim
will also be representing the DTV Tech Notes and will be gathering
information for a special project he is working on.
Feel free to contact either of us.
I'll have a Cell phone with me and you can reach me at (541)
410-1559 or you can leave a message at one of the Intertec booths.
I'll be glad to pass on message to Jim, if I see him.
Have a good convention.
The DTV Tech Notes are
published for broadcast professionals who are interested in DTV, HDTV
etc. by Larry Bloomfield and Jim Mendrala. We can be reached by either
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