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Re: ATV / DTV Standards



In a message dated 98-07-14 15:45:20 EDT, Martin writes:

<< Yes, of course, we all understand that NTSC/PAL are not going to dissapear
from one day to the next.  My line of reasoning was that compatibility with
the old standards shouldn't have a place in the new standard.  Compatibility
should be achieved via standards conversion.   >>

I'm sure the standards converter manufacturers are crying in their beer over
the fact that the ATSC denied them such a nice new business!

<< I think that the whole thing could have been sold very well at the
production and post-production level simply on the basis of a greatly
simplified process flow, tape and disk savings and a less violent line of
communication with film-makers.  >>

If you see the sole purpose of DTV to be watching movies at home, then why are
we even bothering with this?  It would be one heckuva lot cheaper and easier
to just give everybody a 16mm movie projector and ship out rental film prints.

<< >It was realized that about one million new HDTV receivers per year was
>about the most the consumer electronics industry could be expected to suppy,
at
>least for the first few years. 

Well, I don't know who came up with these figures.  The computer industry
produces and sells no less than 40 million PC systems a year.  Clearly the
production capacity exists.  >>

CEMA (Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association) came up with the
figures, which I've seen cited in a couple of different trade publications.
Even if you can compare a Mac or a PC to a (H)DTV receiver--I don't think such
comparisons are realistc--why should we expect the computer industry to stop
making those PCs that are doing so well and go into the television business? 

<< Do you think people would go out in hordes to buy sets and see Oprah [ ...
] in high-def?  Nope.  NTSC is more than adequate for this type of programming
[ ... ] The only two segments of programming that could be used as bait are
sports and movies.  And, within those segments, only those viewers that are
hard-core fans ... 

By this logic, we should have stayed with monochrome TV, or radio for that
matter, since there's an awful lot of programming that would be the same in
black-and-white, or just plain black.  By my observations, once people get
used to SDTV, most won't be happy with NTSC again, regardless of what they
watch.  And once they see a few hours of HDTV, they'll wonder why everything
isn't that way.  Assuming we don't have an economic downturn this fall due to
events in Asia, I think DTV sets will go flying out of stores as soon as the
initial sticker shock wears off.

<< Being that stations these days run on automation systems based on timecode,
the importance of a stable and consistent delivery format might be self-
evident. >>

You'll be glad to know that there's now such a thing as "metadata," which
takes the place of timecode, and contains a whole lot more information
besides.  Assuming SMPTE can get the standardization issues wrapped up soon,
there should be no problems with automation.  I know it's quite a leap
compared to what we have now, but MPEG-2 means we no longer have video frames
in the traditional sense, nor do they follow a predictable sequence, so frame-
based timecode is useless anyway.

<< I don't see anyone complaining about how little money Titanic [ ... ] Take
golf for example, is anyone really going to get worked-up because of motion
blurr of the ball at 24fps... probably not. >>

I'd be willing to bet you've never hung out in a bar with a bunch of gamblers
while the horse races were on!

<< My thought was that the initial standard should have been something of a
more well defined product with a linear resolution scale.  Easy to understand,
easy to use, easy to sell and with no room for confusion >>

You mean like ATSC "Table 3" ?!?

Best regards,
Christopher Bacon

---
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