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Headline Singularity


Deborah McAdams is Executive Editor of TV Technology.

Let's consider a few recent headlines. Like this one: "Scientists Create the First Universal Quantum Network, Are Scared to Restart the Router," a synopsis of the successful transmission of data in the form of atoms over fiber. The bit about fiber is particularly important, because the most advanced data network we can perceive of next to telepathy would be... wired!

This should come as no surprise, because fiber-optics networks are secure, robust, fast, and not dead, despite Verizon's abandonment of FiOS. Verizon has elected to monopolize airwaves, but even with its "advanced" network architecture, it will never have enough spectrum to supply every iPad with HD, much less 4K. And this matters because "Canon Adds 4K HDSLR" signals the introduction of 4K videography into the consumer electronics market. The EOS HDSLR isn't for everyone at $15,000 a pop, but it'll be a handset feature in two years.

Speaking of handsets, a few recent headlines have implications therein, I hope. One is "LiveU Introduces LU70 Mobile Uplink Unit." LiveU makes signal-bonding uplink transmitters that clip on a belt. The signal-bonding's the key to providing 10 Mbps throughput. That, and H.264 compression will be enough to handle 4K.

Then we have "Livestream Introduces Camera-Top Live HD Streaming Device." This $500 router-sized box attaches to a camcorder and streams video online in real time at 2.3 Mbps in H.264 for relatively respectable HD.

Both technologies augur the migration toward instant, egalitarian, multiplatform mobile broadcasting, and, one might note, a case for Verizon's TV spectrum grab—were Verizon not sitting on more spectrum than it's using.

In fact, former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps says "There's a Whole Lot of Spectrum Lying Fallow." Copps said therein lies an argument for a "full spectrum inventory," to which we can only reply, "Where in the world have you been?"