[mythtv-users] DTV: It Has Begun

Allen Edwards allen.p.edwards at gmail.com
Tue Sep 9 03:47:42 UTC 2008

If  you all really want to know the driver for ATSC was PBS and FOX.  They
came late and had, in most markets, frequencies the led to poor reception.
 They were the drivers behind the early work.  The goal was digital
reception that wasn't subject to snow and other quality issues.   There was
also the feeling that if they didn't improve reception OTA, that cable would
take all their market.  Another of the driving companies was Zenith.  They
felt that they needed something new or they would be out of business.
If you remember, the early competition was between standards proposed by
Zenith and standards proposed by General Instruments.  Zenith proposed 8VSB
and their own encoding system.  GI proposed QAM and MPEG.  The final
specification, as you know, is one from each, 8VSB and MPEG.  There was also
a spec war between the two with one proposing 720p and the
other proposing 1080i.  The final spec allowed either and almost any
resolution.  So, it was opened up from an original HDTV race to just DTV
with lots of options.

Well, things took way longer than they expected, Zenith doesn't exist in
its original form and GI doesn't either.

At some point, the government realizes that they could cram all the stations
into less spectrum with the new format and sell off the parts that were
better used by other services.  I think that came later.

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