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More from Dale Cripps

Marketplace

Interview - Mark Knox, Toshiba on HD DVD

By Dale Cripps • Feb 23 2006, 6:59am

Just around the corner is the long-awaited launch of the HD DVD, one of two competing high-definition formats for the DVD optical disk. The stakes could not be higher for the movie business, less so for the manufacturers, and a hair pulling nightmare for the ones asked to finally pay for it all - the consumers.

I interviewed Mark Knox last week. You will find below my lead-in. Mark has the task of explaining to you, as well as the motion picture industry, why the Toshiba-backed HD DVD is the right choice.

The current backdrop for this launch ...
The movie business needs a smashing success using a new distribution format to restore expansion and youthful vigor to all parts of the business. They are presently plagued (in good economic times too) by a sagging box office returns and a flat-to-declining packaged goods business. I will not speak of the gamming side of entertainment here for while some ownership is common it is not entirely integrated with the movie culture.

The "collap ...

Global & Worldview

Copyright Piracy in Asia - An Update

By Dale Cripps • Feb 11 2006, 7:18am

There are those among us, even here at HDTV Magazine, who feel an injustice coming from the "draconian" copy protection measures being imposed upon us by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). We tend to think of the reason for those measures as not real and certainly disassociated from ourselves.

The following MPAA press release from Asia dated February 7, 2006 illustrates the piracy problem in that region of the world. The problem is not shrinking. With cheaper home use equipment pirates plunder. Not until the problem withers away through our collective self/social-discipline will copy protection measures be slackened. I know we will not argue over the value to an economic system of copyright laws. We may bicker over the length of a copyright grant and the language governing "fair use," but no thinking person would seek the end of copyright laws.
_Dale Cripps

Politics & Policy

President Bush Signs Historic DTV Bill, CEA Says HDTV Is On A Roll

By Dale Cripps • Feb 9 2006, 12:30am

ALSEA OR-February 8, 2006 - President George Bush signed legislation into law today that set February 17, 2009 as the date when U.S. broadcasters must end their transmission of analog television signals. Some in the press have called it the "end of television as we know it." Others see it as a dawning of a new era. The legislation also allocates up to $1.5 billion to reimburse consumers who purchase digital-to-analog converter boxes, so their analog TV sets continue to work after the shut-off. The legislation excluded a provision that would have allowed cable operators to degrade a broadcaster's HDTV signals to "standard definition," and in doing denying consumers the means to see the highest-quality digital programming.

"With today's action" said Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro, "President Bush set...

Programming

National Geographic Goes HD

By Dale Cripps • Jan 23 2006, 6:16am

The month marks both the fifth anniversary of the National Geographic Channel as well as the birth of NGC-HD, the much anticipated high-definition version. You can now receive all NGC in HDTV... well, you can if you do your part in calling both local cable and satellite operators with a demand that they carry it. (Call 1-877-77-NGCHD for more information).

It's been our tradition to interview the network brass who have had the courage to launch a HD channel. For the second time in our history we called upon Mr. John Ford, Executive Vice President NGC-HD programming. John shouldered much of the responsibilities as he engineered the launch of NGC-HD. I say "for the second time" because he is in the rarefied class of people who have launched more than one HDTV network, his first being the Discovery HD Theater back in 2001.

Politics & Policy

How Many Depend On Over-the-Air?

By Dale Cripps • Dec 30 2005, 10:36pm

The New York Post ran a story today claiming that "22% of all viewers rely exclusively on over-the-air broadcasting for their television viewing". The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) said that
those figures jive with their tally as do those of the Government Accountability Office and the Consumers Union. The NAB has long complained about...

Politics & Policy

House Passed a Compromise DTV Hard Date Bill

By Dale Cripps • Dec 19 2005, 6:27pm

ALSEA 12/19/2009 - The House passed a compromise DTV hard date shut off bill this morning as part of the omnibus budget reconciliation package.

The new bill sets the date for ending all analog television services as Feb. 17, 2009 (the Senate Commerce Committee had set April 7, 2009, the House Commerce Committee Dec. 31, 2008).

January 28, 2008 is the new date set for the auctioning of the analog spectrum.

A paltry $5 million was set aside for a consumer awareness campaign. We can all have a good laugh about that! New York gets $30 million to help terrestrial broadcasters recover from the World Trade Center towers that were lost in the 9/11 attack.

The much anticipated subsidy for DTV-to-analog converter boxes is

Politics & Policy

To Subsidize or Not To Subsidize, That Was Almost The Question

By Dale Cripps • Dec 10 2005, 4:38am

On our "Tips List" – an email forum for those seriously interested in HDTV - a question concerning the proposed Federal "subsidy" for ATSC tuners (to the needy) was hotly argued. One side said it was another example of inept government giving the store away and the other claimed that it was already paid for out of auction money from the analog spectrum, and, while still terribly odious, it was at least comprehensible. The argument was the only thing on target with responses being deeply shaded by political persuasions so, I decided to wade into the conflagration with a little historical memory and perspective. Shane, my stalwart partner in Internet affairs, said he had seen the topic hashed out on other forums with little more then hysteria and hyperbole waging war with one another and would I kindly arrangement my "Tips" comments into an article for wider distribution. With this introduction I hope what follows—the unedited Tips responses—will serve as that article.

The HDTV in ...

Programming

Saturday Night Live In HDTV Starting October 1, 2005

By Dale Cripps • Sep 23 2005, 4:30pm

NEW YORK -- September 22, 2005 -- "Saturday Night Live" begins its thirty-first season October 1 and in High Definition.

The season premiere will be hosted by Steve Carell hot on the heels of his sleeper comedy "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" and the return of the NBC television series "The Office." Outspoken and award-winning hip-hop artist Kanye West will join Carell as musical guest.

Programming

Program Review - Winged Migration on HDNet Movies

By Dale Cripps • Sep 22 2005, 11:50pm

"{For eighty million years, birds have ruled the skies, seas and earth. Each spring, they fly vast distances. Each Fall, they fly the same route back. This film is the result of four years following their amazing odysseys, in the northern hemisphere and then the south, species by species, flying over seas and continents."- Jacques Perrin (from "Winged Migration")

I was heading to bed when I decided to make one last check of my HDTV channels. "Wow!" I heard myself exclaim, "What is that?"

For the next hour and something I sat transfixed and cheered by one of the most beautiful HDTV presentations I have seen since the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.

Marketplace

The Health of HDTV As of September 14, 2005

By Dale Cripps • Sep 14 2005, 10:22pm

The health of HDTV could hardly be better. Sales are up 45% over this time last year. Fully 11% of all displays sold in the second quarter were HDTV. Europe is now entering with lower start-up consumer and infrastructure cost than we did (though they have a tough bandwidth issue for terrestrial). Korea and Japan are booming with 3 more HD channels just licensed from Japan's BS satellite. China is gearing up to deliver 35 million HDTV sets in time for their Olympics. Both Argentina and Brazil are committed to digital television and will make their system choices by January, 2006. Zenith is showing Congress just today a $50 ATSC decoder box for low cost completion of the transition. Best of all is that the traditional enemies are nearly at peace with one another with only cable carriage as the last bone of contention. HDTV has become a world wide phenomenon with no end in sight.

Choosing A New DVD for HDTV

By Dale Cripps • Aug 5 2005, 10:05pm

It is a perilous leap, no question. But as long as both the opening performance of the new is superior to the old and the headroom for the new is deemed worthy of the risk, then the only smart thing to do is to go for the new and drop the old.

2005 - And What About This Subsidy and a Date Certain?

By Dale Cripps • Aug 4 2005, 1:10pm

I am no apologist for Congress, CEA, the manufacturers, or broadcasters, but I have been around long enough to know that this issue is very complex and not very well understood.

The entire reason you have HDTV today is because Eddie Fritts, CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters sold Congress on the idea that free television is essential to our democracy. Free broadcasting provides entirely free signals to anyone who can receive them, be that in their home or in some group home, or whatever the scene is. The point is that an informed electorate is essential to democracy and Eddie convinced the FCC and Congress in 1987 that free TV was threatened until it could compete in the HDTV arena that was just starting to show itself. HDTV was much better fit to cable and DBS (when it would come), and, if wildly popular, could walk away with the power that free TV has to buy original programming and to run a free news service which has accountability (public airwaves-public service) to ...

2001 - Thoughts on HDTV

By Dale Cripps • Aug 4 2005, 12:45pm

Last time on these pages I said HDTV was a love affair between a box of lights and wires and we humans. Replacing NTSC television with a completely incompatible HDTV standard is like changing the side of the road upon which we drive for the sake of the view. This nation is doing that at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars. Not before a leisurely evening of enjoyment with HDTV in their own home do people know why this transition is fully under way, and why it is needed.

Marketplace

Cable On Top Claims INHD

By Dale Cripps • Jul 26 2005, 7:03pm

Education

DisplaySearch HDTV Conference

By Dale Cripps • Jul 25 2005, 7:04pm

With over 300 attendees anticipated, this third annual event will provide two days of content-rich sessions, exhibits and networking opportunities, covering all segments of the TV food chain.

CONSULTING - Dale Cripps

By Dale Cripps • Jul 9 2005, 7:06pm

For more than twenty years Dale E. Cripps has consulted leaders in USA, Japan, Taiwan, and Europe about the HDTV revolution now sweeping the world.

1995 -- Being Wright For HDTV

By Dale Cripps • Jul 9 2005, 4:43am

Radio spectrum is the chief asset of the American broadcast system. As long as available it has been granted free to qualified applicants in the interest of public service. Without radio spectrum the broadcast business would disappear. The more spectrum broadcasters can have, the better it is... for them. That view must be kept in mind when divining the meaning behind statements touching upon radio spectrum.

2002 - The Transition To Digital Television (a cable view)

By Dale Cripps • Jul 8 2005, 11:25am

Digital television (DTV) technology has the capability to provide clear, sharp, cinema-like pictures as well as CD-quality sound. It can also be used to compress video signals, allowing providers to offer multiple video programming streams in the same 6 MHz slot now occupied by one analog channel.

INTERVIEW - 2001 - Richard Wiley, Chairman of ACATS

By Dale Cripps • Jun 24 2005, 9:00am

HDTV Magazine: What are the most important unresolved issues with respect to the H/DTV movement today at the end of 2001?

Richard Wiley: There are some major impediments for the digital television transition. I would identify four. Some of them are on the way to being greatly improved. One (of those) is the equipment. We now have over 350 models in all sizes and shapes, all of the highest quality. The prices are falling faster than anyone expected. The chicken in the 'chicken and egg' dilemma is being solved as we go. Now the egg--that being the programming--is the biggest impediment left. The compelling programming is still in short supply. CBS has clearly done a great job (with their prime time). I am pleased as punch to see ABC coming along. I would like to see Monday Night Football a part of it. I don't understand the plan for the others. When NBC went to all-color in the 60s the whole transition to color took off I would love to see that kind of leadership once ...

The Creation of The ATSC Standard - Dr. Robert Hopkins

By Dale Cripps • Jun 24 2005, 4:21am

In early 1987 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was considering the reassignment of portions of the UHF spectrum from broadcasting to land mobile communications ("two-way"). Terrestrial broadcasters, concerned that the loss of spectrum would preclude their participation in high definition television (HDTV), sponsored a demonstration of terrestrial HDTV broadcasting in Washington, DC. The only operating system at that time was the MUSE (Multiple Sub-Nyquist Sampling Encoding) system which had been designed for satellite broadcasting by NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. The RF bandwidth requirement for the terrestrial demonstration was about 9 MHz - the television channel in the United States is 6 MHz - so two adjacent channels, 58 and 59, were used. The demonstration was very successful.