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Letters to the Editor: January 2003 Issue

The Smartest Man In Television?

One Smart Guy
Up until I read your article, I thought Dennis Swanson was the smartest guy in television...but this guy [Christophe Scherer] is pretty damn smart and I’ve been doing this stuff for almost 40 years.

Love your magazine...hard to believe what’s happened to technology in broadcasting since I got my First Class License in 1964, at the age of 16. Keep up the good work.

Phil Olsman
Executive Producer
Los Angeles Marathon, NBC4
Burbank, CA

Thank You
First of all, I would like to thank you for the manner in which you honored me in your article. In all concern, it is my turn to entitle you to such a treatment, for it is certainly true that a very limited number of journalists are able to so accurately synthesize in a few words all the technical content of such a presentation without a fair amount of mistakes. Would it be that you are also “the smartest journalist I ever met”?

The hardest thing for me to achieve after so many compliments is to keep my head on my shoulders and not lapse into self congratulation as in the film (highly recommended) Devil’s Advocate, in which Al Pacino says, as a final strike, “Vanity, definitely my favorite sin.”

Christophe Scherer
Directeur Technique et Informatique
France Télévision Publicité
Paris, France

How To Make Money On The Digital Transition

Fabulous HDTV
I enjoyed reading your article. Your suggestions for promoting DTV are excellent. I must say that I sincerely wish there were other individuals like you out there in many, many television markets.

Here in Dallas/Fort Worth, the only television station personnel who are in any way enthusiastic about DTV are broadcast engineers, who frequently post helpful messages on the early adopter websites.

DTV viewing, especially HDTV viewing, here in Dallas/Fort Worth is fabulous! On any given evening I usually have a choice of two to seven programs that I can watch in high definition. The HD viewing audience is small but growing rapidly. This audience would be growing a lot faster if the local TV stations were doing any promotion of their digital channels. Sadly, they are not, and that’s a shame.

Tim Werner
Freelance HD Editor/HDTV Viewer

Yes, the DFW market is ahead of much of the rest of the country. Plus, you’ve got HDTV Man-Of-The-Year Mark Cuban just down the road!

This will take time...but I think there are enough forward-thinking individuals out there who recognize the value in presenting superior picture quality. There’s a reason that David Stern was recently referred to as the “HDTV Commissioner” of the NBA. He recognizes that a sport’s popularity is enhanced (or even created) by its television coverage.

I understand why local stations don’t promote their digital offerings. The $$$ are still made by counting eyeballs tuned to TV shows. In today’s 200- to 300-channel universe, program promotion is still more important than format promotion, and there’s only so much airtime that can be allocated to any promotion without seriously cutting into revenue. We’ll get’s just taking longer than any of us early adopters have anticipated! —Jeffrey Ulrich