Advice on video over IP
I enjoyed your article on video over IP in the June issue. I am considering this technology for video delivery. Have you had any experience with VPNs streaming real-time video or telco LSS services over relatively closed IP networks? It appears latency and rerouting of packets would not be so much of an issue on a network within a LATA or limited geographic area. A 45Mb/s pipe should do wonders. Any thoughts?
Robert J. Wyatt
Brad Gilmer responds:
I have had experience using video over IP through closed IP networks, and it works quite well. If you can control network traffic and configure the routing so that you do not have disruptions due to dynamic rerouting of network traffic, video over IP can be a reliable and cost-effective way to transport broadcast-quality video. I am not specifically familiar with LSS. Also, the addition of VPN should add a valuable layer of security, and may simplify routing and network address translation issues across firewalls. Sounds like you may have a wining combination.
Why receive OTA?
To the editor:
The article “NAB commends House bill to accelerate consumer adoption of DTV” in the Sept. 3 issue of the “RF Update” newsletter, says that it is desirable for a cable-ready receiver to be able to receive over-the-air signals. Why would that be the case?
If I can buy a cable-ready receiver without the capability to receive OTA signals for a substantially lower price, why shouldn't I have that option? I'm just going to hook my DTV set up to cable anyway. When would a consumer with cable tune to an OTA channel? That would require two RF inputs and an automatic switch that switches to the over-the-air input. I would guess very few consumers have that type of setup.
It will not take long for consumers to realize that they can use a cable STB and a DTV (or even analog) TV monitor, since the STB has all the needed outputs for a 4:3 or 16:9 screen, and digital or analog signals. Will NAB then ask Congress or the FCC to mandate that every monitor have OTA tuners?
I hope the FCC has better sense and better judgment. Let the CE industry make the products the consumer wants. Consumers don't need to pay more for a cable-ready receiver that receives over-the-air signals. After all, about 70 percent of the country is on cable anyway.
Dear Mr. Martin,
I appreciated your July column. I find myself making a similar argument. Our analog signal is not as good as our digital. Can you please tell me what case this was and how I may read it? I feel certain this would help us.
Harry Martin responds:
The link to the FCC case granting must-carry rights to a broadcaster based on the reach of its DTV signal is hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-03-1286A1.pdf.
Keep in mind that the station was responsible for converting the signal back to analog and delivering it to the headend in that mode.
Watching ad dollars
There's an elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. When the radio consolidation took place, one of the results was that the big owners made it attractive to buy a package of spots on their multiple stations in the market. To pick specific stations where you wanted the spots to go, you had to pay top dollar. In radio that was no big deal. In TV, having some of your ad budget go where you don't want it to becomes quite expensive. I don't want to say these big owners have lunch together, but I'd hate to buy time in a market with fewer owners. I think the politicians are worried that their already expensive TV campaigns will become even more so.
Q. In the mid '80s JVC developed a series of cameras under the PROCAM name. What was the key marketed feature of this series of cameras and what technology was used to enable it? (Answers had to include both to be considered correct.)
A. Plumbicon tubes provided the low-light sensitivity the line was known for. No one was able to correctly give the feature and the enabling technology.
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