"Is This My New TV?"

Yes, Grandma, you may very well be right. Seriously, though: while the previous link is to a parody, check how many views it’s gotten. Now compare that to the number of overall viewers that were exposed to the NASCAR “DTV Transition Ford” which, in its four glorious races as-sponsored by the FCC, finished at best in 27th. Crashes aside, was this ‘lil stunt really an outreach effort worth $350,000 of taxpayer money? Granny’s probably more done to elevate DTV in the public mind than the FCC has so far – with a homemade video that clocks in at under two minutes. Continue reading “"Is This My New TV?"”

More HD Radio and DTV Fun

Check this “confidential survey” designed to gauge industry acceptance of HD Radio. Question #10 is my favorite, as it really encapsulates the overall tenor of the survey itself:
Overall, which of the following statements best applies to you and HD Radio technology?
* – I was never a fan, and don’t believe in HD Radio’s future
* – I’m not sure about how I feel about HD Radio
* – I was a fan, but now am very pessimistic about HD Radio’s future
* – I was a fan, but am not so sure about HD Radio’s ultimate success
* – I am a fan and believe that HD Radio will succeed
* – Other (please specify) Continue reading “More HD Radio and DTV Fun”

Catch-Up Notes of Miscellany

Going to try to ease back into the swing of things, though there’s still a lot of non-site work in my life right now still going on. But just a few notes to let you know I’m still alive:
1. Good friend and collagist extraordinaire rx has released an eight-minute trailer of his latest magnum opus – a remix-documentary of the 2008 presidential election. rx isn’t a big fan of deadlines (especially those self-imposed), but he tells me the full doc should be ready for public viewing hopefully by the end of this year or early next. Continue reading “Catch-Up Notes of Miscellany”

Cable-via-DTV Company Goes Bankrupt

This month U.S. Digital Television filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. USDTV used digital television spectrum to broadcast a dozen encrypted basic cable channels at a price designed to undercut basic cable package rates. Subscribers used a set-top box descrambler to watch.
The company got some startup funds from Fox and the Hearst-Argyle station chain, but it wasn’t enough to grow the business to anywhere near a sustainable subscriber base. So after a run in just four cities, reaching an average of about 4,000 subscribers per city, USDTV is looking for an angel, or at eventual liquidation. Continue reading “Cable-via-DTV Company Goes Bankrupt”

DTV Spectrum Appropriated For Non-DTV Uses

You may have heard, as part of the sales pitch for transitioning broadcast television from analog to digital, about the capability of a single DTV channel to carry as many as six distinct program streams. DTV would thus be good for the consumer because it would result in an expansion of viewing choices.
Think again: meet MovieBeam. The service, developed by Disney, uses “unused portions of [DTV] signals” to deliver movies on demand to subscribers. Users pay a fee for the special set-top box used to receive and decode “rented” movies, and then pay between $2-4 per movie. Users have 24 hours to watch their chosen flick before it is automatically deleted from their box. Continue reading “DTV Spectrum Appropriated For Non-DTV Uses”

D.C. Circuit Stymies Broadcast Flag

Looks like the hearing in February pretty well telegraphed the sentiments of the three-judge panel, as they unanimously told the FCC Friday to stop trying to play copyright police:
In the seven decades of its existence, the FCC has never before asserted such sweeping authority. Indeed, in the past, the FCC has informed Congress that it lacked any such authority. In our view, nothing has changed to give the FCC the authority that it now claims. Continue reading “D.C. Circuit Stymies Broadcast Flag”

WebHopper, Meet iBlast

WebHopper, Clear Channel’s foray into datacasting via digital television, is apparently not the only system under development by media companies pursuing the digital convergence gold rush.
iBlast, a DTV datacasting system cooperatively developed and funded by a consortium of several big media firms (including the Tribune Company, Gannett Company, Cox Broadcasting, The Washington Post Company, The McGraw-Hill Companies, The New York Times, Emmis Communications, Bonneville International, and Journal Broadcast Group, among many others), has been in the testing stage for the last 18 months in more than a half-dozen markets around the country. iBlast’s management boasts of extensive experience with other media conglomerates like News Corp., Viacom, Disney, and Sony being among the most notable. Continue reading “WebHopper, Meet iBlast”

Evil Empire to Roll Out ISP?; Stock Market Sponsors Rumsfeld Show

We’ve been keeping tabs on a little-publicized project that Clear Channel has been testing in Cincinnati: offering internet access via digital television. The project, first dubbed the “Delta V Internet Accelerator,” offered 256kbps download speeds to residential subscribers in the Cincinnati area by sending data to subscribers’ computers via a sideband on WKRC‘s new DTV signal.
Clear Channel owns or controls nearly 40 television stations around the country, and it appears that the company is preparing to launch its ISP service nationwide. Delta V has been re-branded as WebHopper, its website has been redesigned, and a “Business”-level 768kbps service class has been added. Continue reading “Evil Empire to Roll Out ISP?; Stock Market Sponsors Rumsfeld Show”