back to article EU sets ball rolling on ominous telly spectrum review

The Electronic Communications Committee, Europe’s continent-wide guardian of radio, has kicked off a "major study" of the TV broadcast bands with a view to presenting its findings at the World Radio Conference in 2015. A new Task Group will look carefully at the band, which runs from 470-694MHz and is earmarked for broadcast TV …

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Bronze badge

IP

Efficiently sending TV over the Internet is no technical challenge as existing regional distribution boxes could have proxy or multicast hardware put in them. The challenge, especially in the US, is all the greedy fingers that want a cut of the money. Toll trolls can't do anything about over-the-air TV because it's direct and uninterruptible. Cable TV suffers channel outages as the media company owning the wires battles the media company owning the programs for more money. Now imagine every ISP, from mega media corp to mom'n'pop, installing a hierarchy of simple TV proxy boxes. Toll trolls would have a feeding frenzy. You'd end up with such a ludicrous mess of DRM, activation dongles, usage tracking, ad injection, and fees that it would never work.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IP

It would never work in the US. The majority of the world's population live elsewhere.

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Re: IP

"...The majority of the world's population live elsewhere."

I think similar situations could arise anywhere, in fact just think back to Virgin dropping Sky's channels for the same reasons, until they sorted it out. The only difference in the UK is that we are very much used to receiving our TV through an aerial, whereas Cable TV is extremely commonplace in the US.

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Re: IP

> just think back to Virgin dropping Sky's channels for the same reasons, until they sorted it out.

Or the summer only BBC Red Button HD service not being available on Sky at the moment which is rumoured to be because of the ongoing argument about carriage fees from the BBC to Sky. That issue even managed to make it disappear from Freesat for about a week because of issues with running EPG data through Sky's systems.

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Silver badge

Re: IP

"whereas Cable TV is extremely commonplace in the US."

For the quite simple technical reason that multipath reception on NTSC signals usually made people go green (literally).

This isn't such a technical issue with the digital terrestrial formats. 60 years of real-world experience means they had good incentive to make sure this doesn't happen.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IP

"It would never work in the US. The majority of the world's population live elsewhere."

Doesn't matter. MPAA has infested _every_ TV-related organization in every country. At least those who show anything bought from global markets.

See RIAA which basically runs European Comission and Parliament as a puppet. MPAA does the same and if something like this comes to there, it will be obvious.

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Freeview isn't a broadcaster

It is essentially a marketing organisation. Arquiva does all the actual broadcasting and there are several different multiplex owners.

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Re: Freeview isn't a broadcaster

Agreed. Bill made the same mistake in his earlier piece in March about the £240m annual spectrum charge. For the record, Freeview the marketing company will not have to pay for this directly. The entities that will face this Administrative Incentive Pricing charge for spectrum are the spectrum rights owners and these are called the mux operators that underpin the Freeview DTT service. There are six muxes and they are owned by a mixture of Arqiva, BBC and the other FTA broadcasters. These entities use the mux capacity for their own channels or rent out to 3rd parties for significant amounts ~£10m+

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Freeview isn't a broadcaster

You are right - have tweaked the story to reflect that Freeview isn't a sole broadcaster a la BBC.

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Bronze badge
Flame

TV

I don't know about the TV in every country, but most of the TV that I have seen (terrestrial and other) is utter crap, so I really don't know if it would be seriously missed.

The search for market share has driven down quality standards a lot, and most of the what remains of intelligent and interesting content left is spoilt by gimmicky camera work and irritating hype.

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@ Bill Ray

"It's strange to think that broadcast TV, probably the most significant technical development of a generation, will likely have an operational span of less than a human lifetime."

Even if _terrestrial_ broadcast TV is gone, it seems unlikely that satellite and cable broadcast TV won't be around for some time to come.

UHF band TV broadcasts made sense for a while in the analogue era, but arguably digital satellite broadcasts make more sense for TV (better use of available bandwidth, better coverage, more available bandwidth).

Digital terrestrial is a blip and the analogue switchover probably should have been to DVB-S and not to DVB-T. In fact, I'm struggling to think of any advantage that terrestrial TV broadcasts have over satellite.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Bill Ray

" I'm struggling to think of any advantage that terrestrial TV broadcasts have over satellite."

Well, there's the minor detail that people who cannot legally have satellite dishes or cable service due to planning / listing restrictions can actually watch TV using terrestrial TV broadcast?

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Anonymous Coward

" I'm struggling to think of any advantage that terrestrial TV broadcasts have over satellite."

The obvious one is they don't involve several dishes lashed to the front of buildings to get line-of-sight to a satellite.

Many of these houses are the same ones that store their many rubbish/recycle bins outside the front door - and neglect the weeds growing in their lawns or through the block drives. It appears that many people are living in a bubble - with no outward perspective to their homes.

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We live in a rainy country- and this means that the satellite signal can fade out (this is called, er, "rain-fade").

Freeview therefore exists so that we can always get the telly.

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Anonymous Coward

satellite doesn't fly ...

"The obvious one is they don't involve several dishes lashed to the front of buildings to get line-of-sight to a satellite."

Especially when city ordnance specifially prohibits those, any size, any place. Around here that is the basic rule and only exceptions are those on the roof (must be at least 6 stories high to be allowed).

Of course, everyone must have their own dish, as signal sharing is specifially and strictly prohibited by copyright laws. And you can bet your whole fortune that _that won't change_.

Also, we get a foot or two snow every year here in North: That means no satellite as signal dies into snow.

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If terrestrial broadcast goes, so does my TV. No line of sight to the astra location, and I can't be the only one.

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Any proposal that canned terrestrial broadcasting in favour of satellite would have to provide for those situations where satellite is not practical, for whatever reason. Assuming IP will solve all problems is a non-starter. My house (in a distinctly rural setting) would need at least 100Mbit/sec downstream to cope with the peak full HD viewing/recording requirement, and I certainly wouldn't put up with iPlayer-like performance.

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Stop moving the TV signal

Yippee for Govt more below the expected revenue from flogging the Freeview spectrum and making them move to a new one. Just what we need more money for govt less money for the mere mortals as salaries and benefits fail to maintain parity with inflation never mind not increasing. The costs to the consumer of this constant buggering about with the spectrum means new televisions, digital receivers etc. At the same time the quality of the reception starts to fail as bad weather (which Britain sees a lot of and will probably see a lot more of over the coming years) interferes as it does today for satellite and DVB-T.

Think of the people just this once.

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Silver badge

Re: Stop moving the TV signal

Indeed. We need to get over the lie that companies pay for the spectrum. All that money represents work that people do. Its always the people's effort which pays for such things.

That feeds through into advertising costs which feed through into product costs. We all pay.

Especially with things that are intrinsically zero-cost, such as spectrum, it should be allocated based on benefit to the people, not converted into a stealth tax.

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Bronze badge
Devil

Perhap the end of TV is a "Good Thing"

If we all turn off the idiot box, the "Man" will not have a way to instill fear uncertainty and doubt any longer.

Mess around with the girlfriend, pick up a book, watch a movie, take a walk, do anything but feed their machine with your soul and your wallet.

Of course we know that won't actually happen but hope springs eternal.

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Alert

Re: Perhap the end of TV is a "Good Thing"

Heh, 'The Man(tm) has more to gain by ensuring everyone uses point to point communications. Makes it easier to find people who disagree with govt policy domestic terrists.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Not a chance in hell that they will ever be able to switch off TV and move to IP - regardless of all the big talk it is just completely unfeasible that every single UK home will be covered by a decent broadband signal, hell every single UK home does not even have access to the GAS pipeline.

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