February 18, 2002
Tech-Note - 097

Sponsored by: Bloomfield & Associates


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Subject: Arrogance From:
Burt I. Weiner 

This is from the New Zealand Herald: 
Telecom has ordered an investigation after a customer received an account charging him a "penalty for being an arrogant bastard". 

Auckland businessman James Storrie discovered the $337.50 charge, printed under "product or service", when he opened his mobile phone bill on Monday.


Subject: Tidy Up The Tower 
From: Roy Trumbull

Roy Trumbull tells us that a few years ago, he had problems with a normally quiet [satellite] receive-only site as did several other microwave type dish users at the same location. He said that this was located near a tower with several FM antennas on it and old pieces of transmission line and waveguide  that hadn't been removed. When there was enough wind, the old pieces of  transmission line and waveguide would wave back and forth and the induced RF  from the FM stations. The induced energy was sufficient to make them arc to  the tower leg and would take out a range of transponders on several birds.


Subject: How The XIX Olympics are Broadcast 
By: Jim Mendrala 

ISB (International Sports Broadcasting) is the host broadcaster and is the  technical group hired by the Olympic Committee to implement the host broadcasting function. They hire all the trucks and people, contract with  various telecom companies to provide circuits, and hire a systems company to build the actual facilities. 

Most of the key and support people of the ISB have had the same  responsibilities for multiple Olympic broadcasts over the years. For some reason, though, the name of the organization changes for each Olympics. 

The ISB does all the pickups and distributes all the television and radio  venue (remote) feeds to all the countries that paid for the Olympic broadcast rights. These signals are brought into a central transmission area inside the  IBC (International Broadcast Center) and then are handed off to the various countries whose facilities are located inside the IBC. There are about 85  countries involved with the televising of the games. 

Most broadcasters take these host feeds, which are intentionally generic in  nature, and air them either live or in edited form adding graphics, and announcing in their own language. This keeps the costs down and prevents chaos from having 85 countries trying to do their own thing. 

The host broadcaster (ISB) also supplies the HDTV feeds to NBC, HDNet and the  Japanese. The feeds are done with just natural sound with no announce. It is assumed the broadcaster will add their own announcers. 

NBC struck a deal with HDNet for the NBC part. The HD signals come to the NBC  transmission area of the IBC and are passed on to the HDNet production truck out in the IBC parking lot. In addition HDNet has a modular building set up next to this truck that houses an HDTV tape room where the HD feeds are recorded and logged on HDCam tape decks. The building also has a very small single camera studio where HD announcers are located. 

In addition there is a satellite uplink dish to get the HD signals to HDNet  and the NBC-DTV equipped affiliates via a transponder normally used for 'The  Tonight Show with Jay Leno'. In order to keep the transponder clear for this  service 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' is not being broadcast for these two  weeks. 

As the program goes live to air over NBC in SDTV the HDTV is recorded on a server in the HDNet truck. This server then plays it back twice more to fill  the broadcast day and is in operation from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. MST. Because of  the agreement between NBC and HDNet, the server plays back the recordings  made the previous day, adding commercials, graphics, and voice overs. This goes to the NBC-DTV network and HDNet for their HDTV channel on DirecTV ch. 199. 

As for the SDTV, the NBC broadcast that originates from the NBC UBC (Unilateral Broadcast Center) located at Snowbasin, UT, the ISB is providing about 30 cameras feeds with natural sound. NBC takes each camera (not a  switched feed) and adds about 12 more unilateral cameras, 39 tape or disk  recorders (includes slowmo and editing) and announcers. For editing NBC has a double wide business trailer with two Editware linear systems and three Avid systems with a Unity server. 

It is not clear yet at this time as to what type of HDTV cameras are being used and if some of the signals, both SDTV and HDTV, are off the same  cameras. The HDTV signals, however, are all digital and are being encoded into an HD MPEG-2 bit stream with 4:2:2 resolution. 

Subject: Tri-level Sync
From: Prinyar Boon, Snell Wilcox 

A conventional SD analogue video signal with embedded syncs are 'bi-level'.   In the HD analogue domain the bi-level sync is replaced with a tri-level  version. The tri-sync does exactly the same job as the bi-syncs. 

So why bother?  well.....basically the reason is jitter. 

There is a fundamental problem with building a bi-sync sync separator.  To do  the job properly you have to determine the exact half height of the sync  pulse and use this as a reference voltage to a comparator which will then  trigger at the correct point in time.  So what is the problem? 

The reference edge of the bi-sync pulse is the leading [falling edge].  So you do not have the exact height of the sync pulse you are using - until it  is too late.  All you can do is infer the mean sync half height value from  previous sync pulses.  This involves some sort of integration/averaging  process which is required to suppress noise.  One of the design parameters is to select the time constants for this loop.  In addition to this the rise and fall times of the sync edges are carefully controlled about - and are quite  slow.  These two effects meant that there is a window of uncertainty in the  comparator – which leads to jitter in the output of the sync sep.  There are  ways to overcome some of these effects - but there are practical limits. 

This relatively LF jitter may be then transferred onto any clock and time  base circuitry - yes we do use VCXO's so that does help - but this jitter can  build up through a TV system. 

Remember the at some point you have to generate an output image - this will  wobble, and at some point you will probably have to meet the jitter  specification of an serial digital link. 

A much better [clock] reference is the color burst. You have 10 cycles of a  relatively stable clock every 64us - much better signal to noise ratio - but  the sub-carrier to line relationship is complex. 

The bi-sync pulse also falls below the normal picture range - and is quickly  affected by any non linearities in the system - which usually tend to  manifest themselves at the extremes of the voltage ranges [we don't use class B amps - too much diff gain and phase distortion] 

Vertically you have a similar problem.  You can only determine the Vertical reference point after it has happened - and then count back. 

In the HD world, meeting the HD-SDI jitter spectrum specification is a bit of a black art and the allowable amount of picture wobble is also we need a better reference. 

With tri-syncs, the engineers had an opportunity to address these issues.   The reference value is now blanking - which should still be the half height  of the tri-sync - and the reference H edge is the rising edge of tri-sync.   The rise time is also much faster - takes advantage of the increased  available bandwidth of the HD system: This all leads to better jitter performance from a practical sync sep. 

Vertically the V point is flagged in advance - just before the appropriate H  point. 

Tri-syncs are also DC balanced. 

There is still work going on to define an HD equivalent of SD black and burst  system reference from an SPG - what are the HD equivalents of SD line 6 for  1080I and 720P?  How do you embed timecode? 

In a facility with mixed SD/HD plant - this can get complex. 

An update of the SMPTE switching point recommended practice (RP 168) is now  published for public comment on the SMPTE website at: 

This document illustrates tri-level sync in detail and defines a relationship with standard reference signals. The important characteristics of the tri- level sync signal are that it is analog so not subject to offsets caused by  re-clocking and the timing datum is at black level avoiding the uncertainties  caused by variation of sync amplitude and rise time. 

Now, whether you NEED it is another question.... 


Subject: A Digital Squatter’s Tax
By: Larry Bloomfield 

According to a number of sources, President Bush is not going to let the transition to digital continue at a snail’s pace. According to NAB, as of  February 12, there are 249 stations in 86 markets delivering in digital  signals. With just under 1300 commercial stations all supposed to be on the  air digitally in May, you do the math; something is not going as planned. 

Earlier this month the president proposed that broadcaster be taxed as much  as $500 million a year if they don’t make the transition to digital by 2007  and return the loaned second channel so it can be auctioned. The proposal was  part of the president’s 2003 budget which has gone to Capitol Hill for  review. 

This is the second attempt at getting revenue from the all but stalled  transition. Last year a similar plan was defeated by congress, who said it  wasn’t fair to penalize broadcasters for the delays in their migration to  digital TV. This year’s budget proposal is two and a half times stiffer than  was proposed for the 2002 budget. 

The idea of stiffing broadcasters with fines for the delays is not an  original Bush idea. President Clinton had also proposed fees but was likewise  turned down. 

The proposed tax was a small part of the president’s proposed $278 million budgeted for the FCC. There isn’t much hope for broadcasters being all  digital by 2007. The concept is to get the money – one way or another. If the  broadcasters don’t turn over the loaned spectrum, they should have to pay for  it as if it had been auctioned. 

NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton pointed out: “What the (Bush) administration  fails to acknowledge is that broadcasters are the only participant in the  digital transition who've made real progress. The real stumbling block is  cable's refusal to carry broadcasters’ DTV signals, and a lack of DTV tuning  devices in TV sets.” 

A long list of factors are contributing to the delay, including matters of  copy protection, equipment supplies and development, and a fierce spat  between the broadcasters and cable companies over carriage of digital  terrestrial channels.  Wharton also pointed out that broadcasters are doing  their part to make the transition to digital TV, with more than 248 stations  now broadcasting in digital, which can be viewed over a regular set with a  converter. But digital TV sets still do not allow access to local broadcast  programming and cable providers are not carrying digital signals. 

In Tech-Notes #94’s Parting Shots, there were three things mentioned as the  major road blocks to the transition to digital TV: cable must carry, TV sets  with analog and digital tuners built-in and inexpensive STB converters for  legacy analog TV sets. Until these are addressed, all the budget proposals in  the would won’t make digital happen any faster. 


Subject: Wavelet Modulation - 10Gbps (500 HDTV channels) to the home over exist 
From: Jim Taylor

Soon, It's Gonna Rain. A New Modulation Technology Promises to Turn Your  Cable TV Connection Into a 10 Gigabit-Per-Second Digital Fire Hose 

The following article by Robert X. Cringely says how. 

One of the great problems with technical progress is that it often requires  throwing away much of a previous investment. I have boxes filled with old  modems, ISDN routers, and Ethernet hubs that are all perfectly functional,  but useless to me. I have closets filled with old computers that run like a  charm, but do so at 16 MHz. Still, I gladly replaced this equipment each time  I could increase performance or decrease cost. And it is this willingness to  throw away what's perfectly good in favor of something perfectly better that  is the very basis of high-tech industry. It is exactly what makes Microsoft  and Intel so powerful, yet both companies have to know they could be replaced  in a moment if the right competitor comes to market with the right product.  What makes a product right enough to create such disruption? My rule says a  10X increase in price-performance will do the trick. If a new application,  operating system, computer, or piece of networking equipment comes along that  has 10 times the performance at the same price or the same performance at one  tenth the cost, it doesn't matter who makes it, that product will take the  market. Brand loyalty is nothing against the power of 10X. 

As systems become more complex, it is easy to think of them as being more  difficult to replace, but that isn't really true. What's true is the more  complex a system, the more points of opportunity there are for improvement.  When personal computing was truly personal, and every user's desktop was its  own little world, the areas for improvement came down to applications,  operating systems, processor speeds, hard disk capacities, graphics subsystem  performance, and the speed of your modem. Those all still exist, but now we  can add to them the Internet, the servers that sit at the other end of the  wire, the wire itself, and a myriad of new services headed our way courtesy  of initiatives like Microsoft's .NET. Today, it is possible to gain that 10X  increase without changing a thing at your house, or at least by changing very  little. And sometimes the things that change aren't at all what you expect.  Rainmaker Technologies, for example, is a Silicon Valley startup that simply  wants us to use a new technique for modulating the network signal coming into  our homes and offices, thereby gaining for each user a 10X increase in  bandwidth. Bandwidth is good. 

At the heart of Rainmaker's business plan is an awful truth: The part of the  network most resistant to change is the wire itself. Plugging in a new box is  easy, but replacing the wire that is in our walls and under our streets,  well, that takes decades and isn't undertaken lightly. If it was easy, we'd  all have optical fiber connections to the Net, yet few of us do. The very  heart of network infrastructure, then, is the wire, and Rainmaker claims to  have a way to use the same old wire to carry 10 times as much data or more.  While their modulation technique can be applied to many media like phone  lines, optical fiber, and even wireless applications, Rainmaker's initial  plan is to improve the capacity of cable television systems so they can carry  more video channels and more data. 

As a modulation scheme, Rainmaker's technology exists on layer two of the OSI  seven-layer networking model. If you are not familiar with the OSI model,  just understand that layer two is the data link layer that specifies how  signals fire over the wire. Level one is the wire, itself, and level three is  the network layer that differentiates Ethernet from, say, Token ring. The  beauty of the OSI model is that it allows designers to make changes in one  layer that have little or no effect on the layers above or below. So  Rainmaker's modulation scheme, which affects only the data link layer, can  run on any physical layer (layer one) like twisted pair, coax, optical fiber,  or wireless, and can serve up bits for any network layer like Ethernet, Token  Ring, SONet, you name it. The modulation scheme on the cable, then, has no  effect on your internal network other than to deliver viruses and worms 10  times faster. 

Modulation is the most basic definition of how to inject information onto a  wire. The simplest form of modulation is just turning the power on and off,  but that doesn't give us very much data capacity, carrying information at  only the modulation rate. Each time the power is turned on, it sends one bit  down the wire, giving us one bit per hertz, which is not enough for  Everquest, believe me. The modulation scheme that Rainmaker has to compete  with is called QAM for Quadrature Ampitude Modulation, and is simply a way of  using various lower and phase levels to trick an electrical signal into  carrying more bits of data per hertz. But eventually, Shannon's Theorem  throws QAM up against a wall as line noise limits the amount of data that can  be carried. 

Rainmaker's patented modulation technique is not immune to Shannon, either,  but its noise resistance makes the total bandwidth capacity of the line  substantially greater. Rainmaker uses wavelet modulation. Wavelets are  mathematical transforms that are typically used at higher levels of the  network to compress images or digital video signals. In this instance of  modulation, though, we aren't so much interested in wavelets' ability to  compress data as much as their immunity to noise and ability to coexist both  with other wavelets and with other modulation schemes. Because it is very  resistant to noise, wavelet modulation can use the whole data pipe and not  have to give up bandwidth on the margin to separate it from other traffic.  Indeed, wavelet modulation can be thrown right on top of the current cable TV  signal, so old and new systems can coexist. Old customers can have their 30  to 50 channel analog cable service, while new customers -- connected to the  very same wire -- can have hundreds of video channels and very high speed  data service. 

Where current cable modem users share a data pipe that can carry about 30  megabits-per-second, Rainmaker customers will get 170 megabits-per-second or  more. With wavelet modulation filling the entire one gigahertz capacity of  coaxial cable at 10 bits-per-hertz, the ultimate capacity of the system is 10  gigabits-per-second for each segmented subnet. That's enough room for 500  HDTV channels on the same cable that's connected to your house right now. If  we forget for a moment the heroic effort required to marshal 500 HDTV  channels on the cable head end, all that moving to wavelet modulation  requires is a new $10 modem chip at each end of the line, according to  Rainmaker CEO Paul Chin. Rainmaker, of course, wants to sell those chips, 152  million of which would be needed to retrofit the entire U.S. cable system. 

Rainmaker's is a compelling argument for cable operators who can see their  infrastructure lasting years longer than they ever hoped. Suddenly, the fight  over whether and how to carry HDTV is over at the same time that wavelet  modulation enables new services at both the top and bottom of the digital  food chain. Ten gigabits-per-second would make possible practical  videoconferencing with high quality video at the same time that wavelet  modulation's lower power requirements would support lifeline voice-over-IP  telephone service even after the power goes out. 

I have no connection of any sort to Rainmaker Technologies, which is right  now finishing-up the chips that will enable wavelet modulation. But if it  gives me 10 times the bandwidth for no increase in cost -- heck, I say, "Let  it rain!" 

Welcome to Wavelet University 


Subject: Digital Cinema Summit
From: United Entertainment Media 

United Entertainment Media's (UEMedia) Digital Cinema magazine announced today it will produce the first-ever NAB 2002 Digital Cinema Summit with the  National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Society of Motion Picture  and Television Engineers (SMPTE). The Digital Cinema Summit will be held at  NAB's annual 2002 Convention April 6 - 7 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas,  NV. For more info: 


Subject: ALTV is dead 
By: Fred Lawrence 

As expected, the Association of Local Television Stations board agreed on Jan  31st to ax the organization, sources said. We’ve still seen no official announcement. Sources attributed the decision to the loss of key ALTV members  and a soft advertising market. One can not help but ask if there is much of a  future of other trade organizations? For more info:  http://www.emonline.com


Subject: HDTV is moving ahead 
From: The wire services 

Check out the website at the end of this article. Some new and interesting  HDTV capabilities are afoot. HDTV Recording Unity Motion DTC100 DTC-100 Uma  HDR-1000A HDTV test tape HDR-1000 hdvr-uma DVHS PV-HD1000 HDTV high definition Integra TV HDTV DTV recording timeshifting DV miniDV IEEE-1394  firewire ILINK HDTV Recording.

Subject: Easing of caps could spur TV merger frenzy
From various sources and edited by: Fred Lawrence 

An easing of federal limits on station and cross-media ownership is expected  to unleash a wave of mergers and acquisitions among television station owners  groups this year. The television networks and their parent conglomerates  already are mapping out strategies to bolster their station holdings in  anticipation of a relaxing or outright repeal of FCC rules that currently bar  companies from owning stations that reach more than 35% of U.S. TV  households. If the FCC lifts or eliminates the cap, it could set off another  wave of consolidation in the TV station business and leave far fewer "pure  play" broadcast companies a year from now. Comparatively tiny, often family- owned broadcasters might hold on to their independence on principle, but  midsize firms will be under pressure to decide whether to buy or sell  stations, get gobbled up by larger rivals or risk sitting on the sidelines.  Easing of FCC regulations has sparked other waves of consolidation, as with  reforms of the 1996 Telecom Act, which eliminated rules limiting companies to  owning no more than 12 stations and raised the limit on national audience  reach to 35% from 25%. That same deregulatory act led to a radical  realignment of the radio industry, with Clear Channel Communications alone  being able to amass more than 1,200 stations by buying rivals. In 1999, the  FCC further eased limits on duopolies. 


Subject: Digital Sensor Is Said to Match Quality of Film
By John Markoff

If Carver Mead is right, photographic film is an endangered species. 

Dr. Mead, who is 67, was a pioneer of the modern computer chip industry in  the 1970's. But he has never stopped inventing. And on Monday his Silicon  Valley start-up, Foveon, plans to begin shipping a new type of digital image  sensor that outside experts agree is the first to match or surpass the  photographic capabilities of 35-millimeter film. 

The company's sensor chip is being used in a single-lens reflex camera that  Sigma, a Japanese camera and lens maker, plans to begin selling for about  $3,000 later this month. A second generation of Foveon's sensors is scheduled  for shipping this fall and, if other camera makers embrace it, could become  available early next year in more popular brands of digital cameras selling  for less than $1,000. 

The first new sensor the company is now shipping is made by National  Semiconductor (news/quote) and will have approximately 3.53 million pixels.  Such a resolution would put the device in the middle of the market for  digital image sensor chips used in digital still and video cameras. Because  of the new technology's color-capturing technique, however, its designers say  it is actually comparable to existing sensors with 7 million pixels that are  currently available only in cameras costing $6,000 or more. 

"It will completely transform the industry," George Gilder, an economist and  an information industry analyst, said of Foveon's sensor. 

Executives at Eastman Kodak (news/quote), one of the largest makers of both  consumer and professional digital cameras, say they have talked with Foveon  about possibly using the company's sensors in at least one part of the Kodak  product line. 

"We've been very aware of what they're doing and monitoring their progress,"  said Madhav Mehra, manager of Kodak's professional digital-capture  group. "Our contention is that if this technology gets proven out, it's very  significant." 

If Foveon is to realize its goal of becoming a dominant player in the market  for digital image sensors, the company will need to attract manufacturers  like Kodak. The sensor market is currently dominated by consumer electronics  giants like Sony (news/quote) and the big European chip maker ST  Microelectronics, which have invested billions of dollars in their own  technologies. 

"I have no doubts this is a great technology," said Chris Chute, a senior  analyst at the International Data Corporation, a research house. "The rub is  that the market has heavily entrenched competitors. The No. 1 digital camera  manufacturer in the world is Sony. They're the 5,000- pound gorilla compared  with little Foveon." 

Still, photography experts say Foveon's approach to sensors could be the most  significant breakthrough in digital photography since the original black-and- white sensor was invented at Bell Laboratories in 1969. Foveon's sensor  significantly simplifies the process of capturing a digital image and avoids  most of the color aberrations that have plagued digital photography. 

The current crop of digital sensors capture light using a mosaic of red,  green and blue filters that limit color information to one color per picture  element, or pixel, on the sensor surface. The technique requires the chip to  perform as many as 100 calculations per pixel to approximate the color, which  can cause inaccuracies. The limitations also sacrifice picture resolution and  limit the sensor's ability to operate in low light. 

"Most digital cameras don't do a good job of giving you the colors you  actually see," Dr. Mead said. 

Foveon's sensor, rather than break images into separate colors and distribute  them among separate pixels, captures color by measuring how deeply photons of  light penetrate the surface of the imaging material. Not only is there higher  resolution from a given number of pixels, but there is less loss of light and  less need for the correcting calculations that can distort the image. 

"There is no longer any need to use film," Dr. Mead said. 

With more than a billion film cameras in the world, conventional photography  is unlikely to disappear soon, in the view of Don Franz, publisher of the  trade publication Photo Imaging News. But Mr. Franz notes that the digital  camera market is growing fast, with about 8 million digital cameras sold in  the United States last year and an additional 10 million internationally, for  a global market valued at about $8.6 billion 

Alexis Gerard, publisher of The Future Image Report, a newsletter that tracks  the digital photography market, said the industry was at "a crossover point"  in terms of digital technology and Foveon's technology could help speed the  transition. "Having a sensor that measures all three colors at every element  at full exposure has been the engineering holy grail," Ms. Gerard said. 

Industry experts say that one of the most intriguing aspects of the Foveon  sensors is that they might allow for a hybrid digital camera that performs  equally well for both video and still photography. Currently, the markets for  still and video digital cameras are separate because most sensors cannot  easily adjust from high resolution for still pictures to lower resolution for  moving images. 

Foveon's new sensor technology, which the company calls X3, is a departure  from the two types of image sensors that have proliferated in a wide range of  consumer products: CMOS, which is pronounced SEE- moss and stands for  complementary metal-oxide semiconductor, and a more complex variety called  C.C.D., for charged coupled device. 

Two years ago, Foveon was concentrating on expensive, professional cameras  based on CMOS sensors but abandoned them after coming up with the X3 approach. 

Foveon is being deliberately vague about its manufacturing methods but says  its design greatly reduces the cost of making sensors and could create an  opening for American chip makers in the digital-sensing field. National  Semiconductor, one of Silicon Valley's oldest chip companies and the maker of  Foveon's current sensors, is an investor in Foveon. 

Brian L. Halla, National Semiconductor's chief executive, is optimistic but  does not assume it will be easy to gain ground on the entrenched  players. "Sony has invested in a brand new C.C.D. FAB, and they could fight  this technology by driving price down," Mr. Halla said. A FAB is a chip- fabrication plant. 

Dr. Mead, who founded Foveon in Santa Clara, Calif., in 1997, was a longtime  physicist at the California Institute of Technology before his retirement two  years ago. In the 1970's he pioneered design techniques that helped form the  basis for the modern semiconductor industry — most notably, a process known  as very large system integration, or V.L.S.I., which made it possible to  imprint tens of thousands of transistors on a single silicon chip. 

Dr. Mead was a co-founder of Synaptics, the dominant maker of computer  touchpads. He also helped start Impinge, a maker of analog semiconductor  technology, and Sonic Innovations (news/quote), a maker of hearing aids. 

"Carver's strength is his clever understanding of physics," said Carlo  Sequin, an electrical engineering professor at the University of California  at Berkeley, who was the co- inventor of the digital video camera at Bell  Labs in 1973. "He comes up with fundamental shortcuts to make things simple  again." 


Subject: Getting the facts straight
By Jim Mendrala 

In a recent article by Peter Carlin entitled: "Cable Provider Doesn't Show  HDTV," that appeared in the Oregonian Newspaper, he quoted AT&T Broadband's Lindy Bartell saying that "each HDTV signal takes up as much space on the  wire as six or seven cable channels would require." 

This statement has to be taken with a big grain of salt. The truth is that one SDTV analog channel takes as much space as one HDTV digital channel. The broadcasters with there old analog transmitters occupy 6 MHz of bandwidth as  well as the new DTV digital stations on the air. What Lindy Bartell is  alluding to is that, in the digital domain, you could transmit six or seven  SDTV channels in the space of one HDTV channel. To support six or seven SDTV  channels you have to have six or seven feeds from six or seven studios or sources. 

With the cables offering upwards of 100's of channels and not much to choose  from, is AT&T Broadband suggesting that they can make more money by keeping  the viewer in the old 20th century television system? 

Digital Television can support many channels in the same space as one present  analog channel or it can mix and have one HDTV channel and one SDTV channel at the same time or it can use the residual "bits" for interactivity,  something the new 21st century DTV television systems has yet to demonstrate. 

I agree with Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of  Broadcasters: the cable providers' bandwidth problem is "bogus" when you know  the facts. 

Carlin concluded that HDTV will become more affordable and the increased  demand should surely prompt cable systems to get with the program can only be successful if the broadcasters would carry more HDTV themselves. The problem at the moment is; where do the television stations or cable companies get  the "content" to show? Hollywood studios and the MPA have been, so far,  reluctant to let out HDTV because that's what Hollywood is showing on their D-Cinema screens of which there are 40 worldwide. 

Cable companies carry, in addition to their Pay-Per-View (PPV), local television stations. If the old analog television system in SDTV is presented in DTV then there isn't any real incentive for viewers to make the switch  because of the cost. But if HDTV is the reward for going digital then the new digital television (DTV) will be a success and all television carriers will step up to the plate. 

Remember one SDTV analog channel is 6 MHz and one HDTV digital channel is also about 6 MHz. It is true you can put six or seven SDTV signals into one digital channel but you can also squeeze an HDTV channel as well as one SDTV  channel into the same 6 MHz with some room left over for data. 

I have found that the average viewer is not aware that the broadcasters are transmitting DTV signals. The stations seldom, if ever, promote that fact. 


Subject: Hi-Definition D-VHS Backers Long On Visuals, Short On Specifics
From: Craig Birkmaier 

Warren Publishing's Consumer Electronics reports: 
Studios backing D-VHS are Artisan, Dreamworks, Fox, Universal. Warner and  Sony's Columbia TriStar said they had no interest in format. Other Hollywood  majors Disney and Paramount haven't commented on their plans. D-VHS system doubles picture resolution of DVD, and 28 Mbps data transfer rate of its High Speed (HS) mode even exceeds 19.2 Mbps standard for HDTV broadcasts. Cassette has 44 GB capacity, good for 4 hours' recording in HS mode. 

The report goes onto include some interesting comments from a Fox spokesperson: Studios said they would issue D-VHS software to support DTV owners with alternative programming to slim DTV broadcast fare. "This is a very viable platform for people with high- def TVs to see 1080i content in a way we haven't been able to show it to them before, so it's going to be  market-led by that," Fox spokesman said. He called DVD "a mass market platform," whereas D-Theater content would be marketed to high-end consumer, at least at first. "We do not believe it will cannibalize the DVD platform or else we wouldn't do it," spokesman said. 


Subject: 24P HD Adoption Rate Among Post Houses on the Rise
From: Desmond Chaskelson, Research Director, SCRI International

According to the 2001 - 2006 DTV Migration Trends Survey, conducted by SCRI  International (, almost one in three (32.1%) post facilities are  currently providing 24P frame progressive HD digital format capability --  this is expected to increase to about half of all facilities (49.1%) by the  end of 2002, and to almost two thirds of post houses by the end of 2003  (64.2%). With 19% of post facilities currently unsure as to when they will  offer 24P HDTV capability, the actual adoption rate is likely to be somewhat  higher. 24 fps progressive mastering format in 1080x1920 was originally  proposed back in 1998 to simplify the process of converting to the various  video standards for the networks and broadcasters worldwide 

The recent 2001-2006 DTV Migration Report Series conducted by SCRI  International includes the Production / Post Production DTV Migration Trends  Report, plus TV Station Trends and Products Reports. To view the table of  contents for the DTV Migration Reports online, go to: 

SCRI also has a new HDTV Overview Report available for $495 | $295 to SCRI's  Insider Report Subscribers ( For more  information and table of contents, contact 

Parting Shots
By Larry Bloomfield

A friend, and yes I have friends, suggested: To avoid spreading computer  viruses, create a contact in your email address book with the name : !0000  with no email address in the details. He says that this contact will then  show up as your first contact. If a virus attempts to do a "send all" on your  contact list, your pc will put up an error message saying that: "The Message  could not be sent. One or more recipients do not have an e-mail address.   Please check your Address Book and make sure all the recipients have a valid  e-mail address." You click on OK and the offending (virus) message would not  have been sent to anyone. Of course no changes have been made to your  original contacts list. The offending (virus) message may then be  automatically stored in your "Drafts" or "Outbox" folder.  Go in there and  delete the offending message. Problem is solved and virus is not spread. Try  this and pass on to your email contacts.  This process works in Outlook and  Outlook Express and it helped me before I got Norton 2002, which scans  everything coming in and going out. 

Just a brief observation before closing out, as this has been a very full  Tech-Notes:  I have been called un-American, biased, having a highly slanted  view of the (broadcast) industry and it has been said that I’m not an  impartial observer. Gee…. If that’s all, I guess I’m lucky. You don’t want to  know what my wife says when she’s upset with me and we’ve been married going  on thirty-seven years; I’ve only been doing Tech-Notes for going on five  years. It is interesting, when I’ve been challenged with comments like these;  none of my accusers seem to want to come out into the open and meet me head- to-head, like most other school-yard bullies. 

If you think that I’m biased because I see the broadcast industry being  slowly swallowed up by a handful of companies, (ownership caps) I see cable  screwing broadcasters by not carrying their digital signals, because I don’t  see set manufacturers helping with the digital transition and I see secret  meetings taking place where the future standards of our industry are hammed  out, then yes, I biased and will continue to be until these injustices are  addressed and corrected. 

What do you think about all of this?  Time to get out of the bully-pulpit.   Let’s go to press! 


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