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#1 Tassie Devil

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:24 PM

I've been very active on another forum about this and am trying to get some replies from the various Government departments without any success so far.

You can see the posts at http://www.austech.info/vast/

Full discussion is on the first (sticky) thread. My latest post is at http://www.austech.i...cievers-10.html

John

#2 davep

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:54 PM

Good luck... its a matter of finding the right person so speak to - something that might take a while :/

#3 viewer

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:27 PM

We've had a few discussions on VAST here, not sure if your aware? Here are some links, however, there are splatterings all around, as 9/10 times they got derailed from their original posts, so others were made, in attempts to get back on track.

VAST was a simply a good easy idea, which became quickly complicated for all the wrong reasons.

Unfortunately, I concur with your battle, but reckon it's like facing a mirror?

I would tuely be happy to be proved wrong...good luck in your battles!


http://www.dtvforum....showtopic=89281
http://www.dtvforum....mp;hl=satellite
http://www.dtvforum....mp;hl=satellite
http://www.dtvforum....mp;hl=satellite.

#4 KAKTUS

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 03:50 PM

Tassie Devil, MTV etc.

It's great that you guys are speaking for all of us who depend on satellite for our TV reception in the way you're taking the battle to the appropriate government departments and to the opposition.

Like all of us who have been in some way involved in the debacle that the introduction of VAST FTA TV has become, I can't understand how an implementation that should be basically simple and straight forward has become so complex and ham strung by government regulations.

I suppose we should be grateful that at least so far no one has lost their lives or their homes as a result of this government initiative.

#5 alanh

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:25 AM

VAST is a great government initiative.

Firstly they are paying for the satellite hire which is worth many millions
They selected DVB-S2/MPEG-4 so that those in remote areas can watch the same variety of programs that city people can.
They will also have news and advertising relevant to remote areas.

The viewing is provided free and paid for by advertising (Excluding satellite hire).

This service is designed for remote areas only. The rest of Australia uses terrestrially based transmitters.

The satellite signals can be received nationwide. Commercial stations are the ones who want the encryption of their programs. As a tax payer I do not wish to subsidise the provision of programming in remote areas as I am not doing this for my local area commercial stations. It is advertising which pays for it so we should not pay twice.

Remember that the Aurora Remote Area Broadcast System is currently providing ABC1, SBS1, and a pair of commercial programs using an encrypted system. The same proof of no adequate reception in black spot areas is required for Aurora as it does for VAST.

The only real complaint is that there are many HD Satellite receivers including some TV sets cannot be used. All of these receivers are capable of decrypting signals but usually require cards. The problem with cards is that they can be copied. This wide range of equipment cannot be used.

The current encryption system compares a serial number burnt into the CPU which has to be supplied to the broadcaster. It is combined with an encryption number to make a mask for decryption. This makes it almost impossible to break. This system will allow the broadcaster to change the encryption at regular encryption to keep the content secret.

Alan

#6 viewer

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 09:59 AM

This service is designed for remote areas only. The rest of Australia uses terrestrially based transmitters.

The satellite signals can be received nationwide. Commercial stations are the ones who want the encryption of their programs. As a tax payer I do not wish to subsidise the provision of programming in remote areas as I am not doing this for my local area commercial stations. It is advertising which pays for it so we should not pay twice.
Alan


Thats a nice statement alanh??

In other words, you seem to infer , to hell with anyone in a blackspot or poor reception area?
You say as a taxpayer you don't support being taxed twice.
As a tax payer I do not wish to subsidise the provision of programming in remote areas as I am not doing this for my local area commercial stations. It is advertising which pays for it so we should not pay twice.
What about the rural person that does have no ferry, train, bus service...should they then not have to pay tax either?
Using your arguement, and making the user pay, then make everyone go back to having to pay for a tv licence, and you can then pay for your own terrestrial reception too.

Further, if commercial stations want encryption, then why is ABC and SBS encrypted on VAST, and not fta.

I sometimes get really confused with your statements, and can't figure out where you will go next?

#7 DrP

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:02 AM

The problem with cards is that they can be copied.

AFAIK There is no public evidence to suggest that an 'Irdeto 2' card has ever been successfully copied without taking extraordinary measures such as looking at it with a EM.

Edited by DrP, 20 March 2011 - 10:08 AM.


#8 Tassie Devil

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 11:32 AM

VAST is a great government initiative.

Firstly they are paying for the satellite hire which is worth many millions
They selected DVB-S2/MPEG-4 so that those in remote areas can watch the same variety of programs that city people can.
They will also have news and advertising relevant to remote areas.

The viewing is provided free and paid for by advertising (Excluding satellite hire).

This service is designed for remote areas only. The rest of Australia uses terrestrially based transmitters.

That statement is ignoring those of us who are in black spot areas, and the Government claims it is wishing to cover us also. I can see a battle looming ahead for me to ever get access as their maps suggest I'm in a good terrestrial reception area. Do I have to get written affidavits from technicians, supply recordings to show reception is unreliable or what? I can see this costing the taxpayer (you included) heaps because of the involvement of Government officials investigating. It is an unnecessary waste of time and money. Given access to all the VAST transmissions the only ones of interest to me would be those containing local news etc. But apparently the thinking is that I MUST be prevented from viewing anything other than what commercial interests decide is acceptable. "Free" TV it is not.

The satellite signals can be received nationwide. Commercial stations are the ones who want the encryption of their programs. As a tax payer I do not wish to subsidise the provision of programming in remote areas as I am not doing this for my local area commercial stations. It is advertising which pays for it so we should not pay twice.

Come on Alan are you serious? Remember the Government intends to subsidise the system, a system which as presently set up is far more expensive than it needs to be both from the sense of a big bureaucracy and over expensive receivers. You WILL be paying for this system through taxes and there will be a big waste of public monies because of the way it is presently structured.

Remember that the Aurora Remote Area Broadcast System is currently providing ABC1, SBS1, and a pair of commercial programs using an encrypted system. The same proof of no adequate reception in black spot areas is required for Aurora as it does for VAST.

And who claims the present Aurora system is good - no one I have had contact with. With VAST there was the opportunity for a much better and fairer system. Those in charge have blown it.

The only real complaint is that there are many HD Satellite receivers including some TV sets cannot be used. All of these receivers are capable of decrypting signals but usually require cards. The problem with cards is that they can be copied. This wide range of equipment cannot be used.

The current encryption system compares a serial number burnt into the CPU which has to be supplied to the broadcaster. It is combined with an encryption number to make a mask for decryption. This makes it almost impossible to break. This system will allow the broadcaster to change the encryption at regular encryption to keep the content secret.

Alan

So you think the present complicated bureaucratic encryption of cards is a good one? It is NOT good for the consumer and that is what VAST is supposed to be about. Yes it is good for a big bureacracy and some commercial interests but does that means it passes scrutiny? I think not.

John

#9 Tassie Devil

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 11:47 AM

Alan, please construct what reply you would give if I sent you this letter complaining about the present VAST structure:

Dear Sir

The promise of digital TV is an exciting one and an easy one for those who are in the fortunate position of being able to view terrestrially by aerial. Not so easy for us in black spot and remote areas is the prospect of digital TV via the VAST satellite system.
Not only do we have to run the gamut of a Government bureaucracy to get permission to access it, but then find we have to purchase expensive digital receivers that will only function with one particular encrypted card. This card will function in only one receiver - a ridiculous and expensive situation.
Further there is little choice of suitable receivers as it appears only 3 companies are allowed to supply them, a most uncompetitive situation which encourages prices many times that of the equivalent terrestrial gear.
It is time the Government had a rethink about the VAST structure and I appeal to our local member to take an interest in this. Those living in remote areas have enough extra living costs without the avoidable ones associated with TV via satellite.
The Government offer to subsidise some of us for the VAST service is not the answer. The spotlight needs to be shone on the large bureaucracy around VAST, who is making commercial benefit from it and finally on the excessive entry price to the consumer.

Yours ......


TIA

John
Typo edited

Edited by Tassie Devil, 20 March 2011 - 11:48 AM.


#10 alanh

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 01:30 PM

Tassie Devil,
Firstly For remote area coverage maps for Tasmania
Get the best reception Regional Tas. Viewers in the remote licence area do not have to prove a lack of signal.

Secondly into the Digital Ready website put your address to see your predicted signal strength. This mapping has been produced by a digital 3 dimensional map of Australia and propagation software. This is was not available at the start of Aurora.

You need to re-read my previous post about the costs to commercial broadcasters which is why remote area (VAST and Aurora) have always been encrypted.
The encryption key authorisation is run by Southern Cross Broadcasters for the eastern/central satellite footprint because it is one of the broadcasters for this footprint.


The word "Free" means no charge, not freedom of selection. It is not Pay TV like Foxtel, Austar etc. The "Free" commercial TV whether VAST/Aurora or terrestrial is paid for by advertising.

Your "I'm poor rural Australian" does not wash. The DBCDE compensates for the distance, by paying the satellite costs. The broadcasters have to pay for the programming regardless of where you live. In the commercial case, there is no specific subsidy for remote TV. The only subsidy is the satellite.

Remember that VAST is primarily designed for the 200,000 people in the eastern/central remote area TV licence area which is basically all of the NT except Darwin, inland Queensland for places like Mt Isa, Long reach, inland NSW excluding Broken Hill but for places like Lightning Ridge, a tiny part of Victoria, a part of Tasmania and inland SA. In WA it is most of the state excluding Perth. A new feature in VAST will require the local news of each commercial broadcaster by region to be transmitted on a separate channel sequentially. ABC/SBS is their appropriate state feed.

I agreed with you about the variety of receiver which it is said there will be more available later this year.

You will not get any VAST TV until within 6 months of the analog switch off in your area, which looks like the beginning of 2013 for you. This is to allow the terrestrial broadcasters to complete the installation of all terrestrial transmitters in your licence area. This is a government decision no doubt at the request of the broadcasters as this will help maintain the viability of local news for Northern Tasmania in your case.

In what way has the Government blown it? They are providing all Australians with 16 program streams for no charge. The viewer has to buy the receiving equipment including antennas regardless of where they live.

As far as the encryption using cards, there is no point if they can be copied as happened in the past. That is why the encryption was changed in Aurora. Again the reason for encryption is to control costs of programs and to improve advertising revenue to pay for broadcasting. Currently there is only one satellite receiver (UEC) brand which will work with this encryption. Others will be available later this year. There is more than 3 retailers selling these receivers.

This remote area TV is not a huge money spinner with only 200,000 viewers which makes this one of the smallest audiences in the country. The WA footprint contains around another 200,000 people but will be served by Prime TV (GWN) and WIN.

Lastly if Tassie Devil, if Southern Cross/WIN/ABC/SBS put in a set of translators to cover your house, this posting would not occur. So your complaints to the politicans should be aimed at ABC/SBS and Southern Cross Broadcasters Tas and WIN TV Tas. In this way you would get identical programs to those in Launceston, including Tasmanian daylight savings time programming. VAST does not need a large bureaucracy. This is because those living in the remote area licence area only need ot register. The number of people in black spots is not large, because if they were, the local broadcasters would install translators.

Viewer,
As for ABC/SBS using encryption, most viewers want to watch both government and commercial broadcasters so they will have to register. The main reason for encryption for the Government broadcasters is for news. There are times when a court will require that in its state there be not broadcasting of the details of a trial. This to reduce bias in potential juries in high profile cases. The broadcasters are however allowed to broadcast the details outside that state. This can easily be achieved with terrestrial broadcasting, but with the large footprints in satellite broadcasting, encryption of the recevier is the only way to achieve this.

AlanH

#11 DrP

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 01:57 PM

Blah blah blah, yet the regional transmitter ABC and SBS feeds readily available to all and sundry remain open for all and sundry regardless of anything.

All indications are there will only be three receiver vendors for VAST (and that's assuming the two additionals actually follow through and finally release VAST certified receivers - there is no guarantee that this will happen) and they will all have products that are locked down in the same way the UEC boxes are and follow the FTA 'freeview' wishlist of what the broadcasters don't want a viewer to be able to do with their own possessions*.

No matter which how much wriggling is performed there can be no doubt at all that VAST viewers simply will not have the same facility nor product choice that terrestrial viewers get. VAST receivers will always be more expensive than the same hardware sans VAST+freeview lockdowns but VAST viewers will be forced to use VAST+freeview locked down receivers. The reasons for this are entirely artificial - ie, government and commercial organisations imposing limitations on VAST viewers that no terrestrial viewer in the country has to put up with.



*thou shalt not skip ads
*thou shalt not keep content recorded for longer than we say
*thou shalt not record something if we decide we don't want it recorded
*thou shalt not make recordings of broadcasts for later personal use
*thou shalt not transfer content off the PVR to a computer for any purpose
*thou shalt not....
<insert the shopping list of what 'freeview' says you can't do here>

Edited by DrP, 20 March 2011 - 02:10 PM.


#12 Tassie Devil

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:16 PM

Thanks for taking the trouble to reply.

Tassie Devil,
Firstly For remote area coverage maps for Tasmania
Get the best reception Regional Tas. Viewers in the remote licence area do not have to prove a lack of signal.

Secondly into the Digital Ready website put your address to see your predicted signal strength. This mapping has been produced by a digital 3 dimensional map of Australia and propagation software. This is was not available at the start of Aurora.


Yes have done that before and get the message " This is a very good coverage area. You can expect to receive all available channels."
Sure I can expect it BUT am in the shadow of a hill for Mt Barrow and am on the extreme edge of the Juliana St translator -> result it is not reliable. I'm sick of spending hundreds of dollars on aerials and techos with no resultant improvement.

You need to re-read my previous post about the costs to commercial broadcasters which is why remote area (VAST and Aurora) have always been encrypted.
The encryption key authorization is run by Southern Cross Broadcasters for the eastern/central satellite footprint because it is one of the broadcasters for this footprint.


The word "Free" means no charge, not freedom of selection. It is not Pay TV like Foxtel, Austar etc. The "Free" commercial TV whether VAST/Aurora or terrestrial is paid for by advertising.

This is where I get lost. You say that VAST is basically catering for only 200,000 people so why is there so much concern about advertising revenue? - it just does not add up. As I posted before, people in an area will look at their local news etc so are covered by the statistics of the area in which they live. People will not be interested in viewing channels covering news etc away from their area so I still cannot understand the Draconian restrictions being used for VAST.

Your "I'm poor rural Australian" does not wash. The DBCDE compensates for the distance, by paying the satellite costs. The broadcasters have to pay for the programming regardless of where you live. In the commercial case, there is no specific subsidy for remote TV. The only subsidy is the satellite.

Sorry but I cannot understand what you are saying here.

Remember that VAST is primarily designed for the 200,000 people in the eastern/central remote area TV licence area which is basically all of the NT except Darwin, inland Queensland for places like Mt Isa, Long reach, inland NSW excluding Broken Hill but for places like Lightning Ridge, a tiny part of Victoria, a part of Tasmania and inland SA. In WA it is most of the state excluding Perth. A new feature in VAST will require the local news of each commercial broadcaster by region to be transmitted on a separate channel sequentially. ABC/SBS is their appropriate state feed.

Fine, no worry about the intention of VAST, it is the implementation that has many of us foxed.

I agreed with you about the variety of receiver which it is said there will be more available later this year.

But this is one of our main concerns. Many of us already have receivers etc that are capable of receiving VAST if the signals were not so encrypted. And these receivers are a lot less expensive than the "specials" being produced by only 3 (and why only 3?) companies. And why is a particular card tied to only one receiver? Even accepting the encryption (something I still do not agree with) why cannot a card be issued that will work in a variety of receivers? Is there so much paranoia about card copying that this unwieldy and expensive high encryption has to be used. Time to get it in perspective.

You will not get any VAST TV until within 6 months of the analog switch off in your area, which looks like the beginning of 2013 for you. This is to allow the terrestrial broadcasters to complete the installation of all terrestrial transmitters in your licence area. This is a government decision no doubt at the request of the broadcasters as this will help maintain the viability of local news for Northern Tasmania in your case.

In what way has the Government blown it? They are providing all Australians with 16 program streams for no charge. The viewer has to buy the receiving equipment including antennas regardless of where they live.

The Government has blown it by making the VAST system inaccessible without a lot of expense, much more than FTA terrestrial users have. Yes they have to buy an aerial, STB etc, but the cost of these is far less than it looks like the VAST receivers will be. particularly with so little competition from only 3 manufacturers.

As far as the encryption using cards, there is no point if they can be copied as happened in the past. That is why the encryption was changed in Aurora. Again the reason for encryption is to control costs of programs and to improve advertising revenue to pay for broadcasting. Currently there is only one satellite receiver (UEC) brand which will work with this encryption. Others will be available later this year. There is more than 3 retailers selling these receivers.

This remote area TV is not a huge money spinner with only 200,000 viewers which makes this one of the smallest audiences in the country. The WA footprint contains around another 200,000 people but will be served by Prime TV (GWN) and WIN.

Well if it is not such a big money spinner why make it so complicated and expensive?
If I had my way I would make it part of every commercial licence that they must make available their programming by satellite to VAST. There can be regulations to make it an offense for any pub or other public facility to show TV from VAST without a licence - that would overcome the sport argument and would most likely generate more income for S.Cross etc.
Make VAST available to ANYONE who want to go to the bother of installing satellite gear and possibly offer subsidy to those who have no option for DTV except VAST.
Consumers will look at their local news etc and are unlikely to bother with other TV streams. Why would they if the local stream covers their viewing needs?

Lastly if Tassie Devil, if Southern Cross/WIN/ABC/SBS put in a set of translators to cover your house, this posting would not occur. So your complaints to the politicans should be aimed at ABC/SBS and Southern Cross Broadcasters Tas and WIN TV Tas. In this way you would get identical programs to those in Launceston, including Tasmanian daylight savings time programming. VAST does not need a large bureaucracy. This is because those living in the remote area licence area only need ot register. The number of people in black spots is not large, because if they were, the local broadcasters would install translators.

OK, if the numbers are not large, why all the restrictions? Yes, more translators might solve my personal problem but the complexity and expense involved with VAST that is the issue here. It is just unnecessary and your arguments about advertising needs make no sense in the context of the small number of people who will use VAST. I just cannot accept that a freely available VAST system will adversely affect commercial operators. However it does appear they have the political clout to enforce their restrictive practices on us.

But thanks again for the response,

John

#13 alanh

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:01 PM

John,
Commercial companies do not operate at a loss, so they have to have an income to pay for program purchase prices along with the provision of journalists, presentation etc. This has to be paid for by advertising.

To get the program from the studio to the viewer, most of the programs in your case eminate from Canberra, Ingleburn NSW and Artarmon NSW (for SBS). Your news is fed from its collection in Tasmania to these centres. This is because these Canberra, Ingleburn and Artarmon contain the playout centres for all your networks. This enables the networks to play the programs to each of the regional licence areas including Tasmania. So the same program can be played at the correct time, insert the news, advertising and local announcements. Not only is the news from each of the licence areas fed into the playout centre is the input from the Metropolitan play out centres. From the playout centre the programs then have to be linked to transmitters all over the country. For the commercials this can be by fibre optics (Telstra Digital Video Network), microwave and a small amount of satellite. Terrestrial translators are fed by receiving the main transmitter for the region off air. All of this has to be paid for by advertising in the commercial stations.

The link between the playout centre and the remote viewer is not practical due to the distance. Satellite distribution directly to the viewer is considerably more expensive due to the cost of hiring satellite time which would be uneconomic for commercial operators, which is why the DBCDE is subsidising satellite hire so that all Australians can watch TV.

It is not economic to put all licence area's programs on the satellite additionally there are additional costs for the viewer if everyone has to buy satellite receivers.
If there was not the terrestrial licence areas there would not be local news at all. The government had to force Southern Cross, Prime and WIN to produce local news in each region.

The ABC and SBS use satellite distribution to transmitters.

The DBCDE has used new and better technology for VAST. Ku band HD satellite receivers are compatible with the VAST other than the encryption. It is pointless in a new system to use an encryption which is easily broken. You may well not use encryption at all. The reason for encryption has been discussed, additionally it will prevent reception in NZ and New Guinea.

Since the method of encryption is new, and Australia is a tiny market worldwide, 3 manufacturers is probably fair enough. (At present there is only UEC). There will probably increase as more countries adopt this method.

The reason for encryption to to provide commercial viability of not only remote area but also regional coverage. The alternative is Sydney or Melbourne only programs complete with their advertising. There will be no Tasmanian news at all unless its a disaster. Not only will it annoy you, it reduces the local businesses to compete between each other.

It's a pity one of the techos did not do the measurements, find you have insufficient signals and put you on Aurora years go.

AlanH

#14 DrP

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:17 PM

The bulk data encryption system is the same as found all around the world, DVB CSA. The CA system employed is a bog standard Irdeto system and the particular variant was in use elsewhere before Australia decided to pick it for the VAST services.

The encryption is not 'new'.

#15 Smacca

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:45 PM

John,

Seriously, posting about VAST on here will only drive you crazy. If you want to keep your sanity, then keep the discussion about VAST in the Austech Forums. We're all in the same boat as you over there and we all contribute and share our experiences with eachother. The DTV Forum on the other hand is dominated by Alan. All he'll do is insult your intelligence and lecture you on how TV works.

#16 Tassie Devil

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 05:05 PM

John,
Commercial companies do not operate at a loss, so they have to have an income to pay for program purchase prices along with the provision of journalists, presentation etc. This has to be paid for by advertising.

Understood but what I cannot follow is how on earth the 200,000 you mention, spread all over Australia, will pay for the advertising.

To get the program from the studio to the viewer, most of the programs in your case eminate from Canberra, Ingleburn NSW and Artarmon NSW (for SBS). Your news is fed from its collection in Tasmania to these centres. This is because these Canberra, Ingleburn and Artarmon contain the playout centres for all your networks. This enables the networks to play the programs to each of the regional licence areas including Tasmania. So the same program can be played at the correct time, insert the news, advertising and local announcements. Not only is the news from each of the licence areas fed into the playout centre is the input from the Metropolitan play out centres. From the playout centre the programs then have to be linked to transmitters all over the country. For the commercials this can be by fibre optics (Telstra Digital Video Network), microwave and a small amount of satellite. Terrestrial translators are fed by receiving the main transmitter for the region off air. All of this has to be paid for by advertising in the commercial stations.

Again understood, but this does not explain why the signals have to be encrypted or how this somehow makes it viable/more attractive for commercial operators.

The link between the playout centre and the remote viewer is not practical due to the distance. Satellite distribution directly to the viewer is considerably more expensive due to the cost of hiring satellite time which would be uneconomic for commercial operators, which is why the DBCDE is subsidising satellite hire so that all Australians can watch TV. .

So where is the terrible extra expense or loss of income that the commercial stations are so worried about?

It is not economic to put all licence area's programs on the satellite additionally there are additional costs for the viewer if everyone has to buy satellite receivers.
If there was not the terrestrial licence areas there would not be local news at all. The government had to force Southern Cross, Prime and WIN to produce local news in each region. .

OK, so why cannot the Government go further and refuse to encrypt signals for their benefit?

The ABC and SBS use satellite distribution to transmitters. .

Understood and that service is working fine.

The DBCDE has used new and better technology for VAST. Ku band HD satellite receivers are compatible with the VAST other than the encryption. It is pointless in a new system to use an encryption which is easily broken. You may well not use encryption at all. The reason for encryption has been discussed, additionally it will prevent reception in NZ and New Guinea. .

By "better" you mean better for encryption, and that is our whole beef.

Since the method of encryption is new, and Australia is a tiny market worldwide, 3 manufacturers is probably fair enough. (At present there is only UEC). There will probably increase as more countries adopt this method.

The reason for encryption to to provide commercial viability of not only remote area but also regional coverage. The alternative is Sydney or Melbourne only programs complete with their advertising. There will be no Tasmanian news at all unless its a disaster. Not only will it annoy you, it reduces the local businesses to compete between each other.

You keep claiming that the encryption gives "BETTER VIABILITY" but you have not explained how this will be the case. As said before, 200,000 spread right across Australia is hardly a population which will generate advertising revenue as it will be in small pockets. I still cannot understand how local businesses will be inspired to advertise on VAST. If the commercial stations are going to charge at a level to recoup the costs then no one will advertise. This whole set up makes no economic sense - it will cost the TV stations + cost the consumer heaps more than it would without encryption. The more I'm told the more I look around for Alice in this Wonderland. It is crazy.

It's a pity one of the techos did not do the measurements, find you have insufficient signals and put you on Aurora years go.

But I've never been wrapped with the Aurora offerings and gear either.
There is heaps of reasonably priced satellite gear out there and we should be able to use it for VAST. The present system seems to have been dictated by commercial interests who have lobbied politically to get this rotten control in. It beats me what they expect to get out of it. The Government is very remiss in allowing the situation to progress as far as it has.

John

#17 alanh

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 06:05 PM

John,
Remember that Eastern/Central VAST is divided into NT, Remote Qld or one and NSW, SA, Tas and Vic for the other.
SCB and Imparja still have their proportion of National advertising and state advertising. For example products for the cattle and mining industry will be unique to much of this footprint. In southern areas sheep and mining would be more predominant. In the northern footprint, advertising for Alice Springs, Darwin, Mount Isa would predominate.

AlanH

#18 alanh

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 06:05 PM

John,
Quote 1

Non Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth population is 9 Million.
This 9 million people pay for their 40 % of the total cost of providing TV and the cities above the rest.

200,000 in the West plus the 200,000 in the east and central footprints. This is achievable because it has been going on for many years with the Aurora system. The Aurora system has satellite subsidies as well.

Quote 3.
As state previously the program cost is partly controlled by the number of people in the licence area. So for example the Sydney and Melbourne pay the greatest proportion of the program costs because they have the greatest population. So black spot viewers once licenced are removed from their terrestrial licence area and added to the appropriate remote area licence area population. Additionally advertisers pay per "actual" viewer. Since different companies work in each licence area it is important to keep the money trail separate. These separate companies have to pay for the local content such as news.

In 2006 the total population of Tasmania was 476,481 which was 2.4 % of the Australian Population. The removal of encryption will result in nationwide programs so as you pointed out you would like to see Tasmanian news. At 2.4 % of the population this would not be worth it without quote 3.

Quote 4.
Without the subsidy for satellite time, there would be no VAST or Aurora commercial TV for remote areas or blackspots. This is because of the many millions required by Optus.

Quote 5
ABC & SBS do not use Aurora or VAST for transmission to their own transmitters.

Quote 6
"Better" because the selection of DVB-S2 and MPEG-4 has allowed all the extra programs including HD at the lowest possible satellite hire cost.

Be careful about quoting satellite reception equipment costs. Firstly you must compare like with like. UEC Receiver $279, Strong SRT 4669X $250, Strong SRT 4930 $260.To all of these you have to add the dish, LNA and installation, all of which are identical. So the added cost is less than $20.

Lastly the commercial broadcasters have also been subsidised for the installation of many hundreds of transmitters. If you were unhappy with Aurora which also had the same situation with a single manufacturer of encrypted receivers, the DBCDE has bitten the bullet and drastically improved TV for a small and isolated part of the population. For the rest of the population they have bitten the bullet and is rapidly completing a conversion process which started at the start of this century. If they had not done this you would still have a maximum of 2 government and 2 commercial programs.

Since this setup is up and running now it is unlikely to change, so I would either pressure for an increase in the power from the Launceston translators or save for a VAST receiver at the start of 2013.

AlanH

#19 DrP

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 07:29 PM

The mere fact that someone owns a VAST receiver can not be used to determine ratings figures for advertising disbursement. A given receiver may not be used to view any commercial networks at all, instead all that is viewed via that receiver may be ABC or SBS.

Any attempt to explain away VAST restrictions based upon ratings is fundamentally flawed.

#20 viewer

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 07:53 PM

Be careful about quoting satellite reception equipment costs. Firstly you must compare like with like. UEC Receiver $279, Strong SRT 4669X $250, Strong SRT 4930 $260.To all of these you have to add the dish, LNA and installation, all of which are identical. So the added cost is less than $20.
AlanH



Oh dear alahh...you obviously have not bought an HD satellite receiver lately have you?

I recently received my latest HD receiver that can play out all HD signals, play the fta ABC on VAST now, has a card slot, as well as a cam slot, usb record, hdmi,epg,ethernet...all $100 delivered to my home.

Go back and do some new sums.

#21 alanh

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 09:01 PM

Viewer,
If you can only receive ABC/SBS HD, are you watching the transmitter feeds which are in DVB-S MPEG-2. This is not comparing like with like.

I used a current website which sells both using a well know brands. The Strong is not currently VAST capable.
I have Googled prices for HD DVB-S2 and the cheapest I can find is an ebay retailer for $150 Au bought directly from the USA. All of the others are between just over $200 - $600

So are you sure that you have not bought a DVB-S, MPEG-2 receiver which are all around this price!

So why did you buy it if it will not receive commercial stations?

You did not say if you bought it overseas or locally. If it was locally what price do they sell VAST capable receivers?

The main issue is that the satellite receiver manufacturer has to supply the burned in serial numbers to the MysatTV administrators.

AlanH

#22 DrP

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 09:27 PM

I used a current website which sells both using a well know brands. The Strong is not currently VAST capable.

Well then we must exclude anything but the current sole approved receiver on that basis, or, perhaps such silly comments from alanh are better off left outside in the cold where they belong. :rolleyes:

Using prices for a basic receiver (ie, not a PVR) from 'well known' brands its not too difficult to discover that $100-$150 is a quite easily obtained figure and one doesn't need to go overseas either.. As I said before, VAST viewers are always going to pay a premium for a VAST receiver compared to a non-VAST receiver and that is solely because the government (and by proxy the broadcasters) is forcing them to purchase a 'VAST approved' receiver, which is also a functionally hobbled receiver.

Of course I fully expect alanh to sweep this observation until the carpet, much the same as he's ignored every other post that has pointed out fundamental flaws in his posts.

Edited by DrP, 20 March 2011 - 09:30 PM.


#23 alanh

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 09:51 PM

All,
Satellite receivers advertised as HD are all DVB-S2, MPEG-4 capable.

Those receivers which do not say HD are all DVB-S, MPEG-2 only capable.

These days most MPEG-2 decompressors are fast enough to decode HD MPEG-2. As a result they can receive and decode present ABC/SBS transmitter feeds including ABC24 and SBSHD which are only 1280 x 720P/50. The programs are only 25 frame/s so every frame is repeated, meaning that there is no increase in data over 25 frame/s.

They are not capable of receiving VAST signals in DVB-S2, MPEG-4.

So don't get conned into buying SD receivers as being HD satellite receiver. Just because they can receive ABC24 and SBSHD does not mean this receiver can ever be used for VAST.

Unless the receiver says that it can receive DVB-S2/ MPEG-4 signals it is not HD as used widely around the world and is used for VAST SD as well as HD.

Alah

#24 DrP

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:24 PM

Satellite receivers advertised as HD are all DVB-S2, MPEG-4 capable.

Those receivers which do not say HD are all DVB-S, MPEG-2 only capable.

Which of course has no bearing at all on the fact that MPEG-4 AVC capable HD boxes are available at a price point that doesn't line up with alanh's prior statements.

These days most MPEG-2 decompressors are fast enough to decode HD MPEG-2.

Speed (presumably this refers to the 'CPU' part of an integrated decoder device) has never been the issue. Video RAM and the number of iDCT units in the (typically) hard wired video decoder has been the issue. In fact, it still is the differentiating factor between a HD and SD MPEG-2 decoder device.

As a result they can receive and decode present ABC/SBS transmitter feeds including ABC24 and SBSHD which are only 1280 x 720P/50. The programs are only 25 frame/s so every frame is repeated, meaning that there is no increase in data over 25 frame/s.

Actually no. A SD MPEG-2 decoder may make valiant attempts to decode these particular programs but they will fail. This has been pointed out in another thread recently where someone commented that their SD receiver 'half worked' on these HD services. Some will even attempt to decode and render the 1080i channels but fail just as spectacularly.

#25 Tassie Devil

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:42 AM

All,
Satellite receivers advertised as HD are all DVB-S2, MPEG-4 capable.

Those receivers which do not say HD are all DVB-S, MPEG-2 only capable.

These days most MPEG-2 decompressors are fast enough to decode HD MPEG-2. As a result they can receive and decode present ABC/SBS transmitter feeds including ABC24 and SBSHD which are only 1280 x 720P/50. The programs are only 25 frame/s so every frame is repeated, meaning that there is no increase in data over 25 frame/s.

They are not capable of receiving VAST signals in DVB-S2, MPEG-4.

So don't get conned into buying SD receivers as being HD satellite receiver. Just because they can receive ABC24 and SBSHD does not mean this receiver can ever be used for VAST.

Unless the receiver says that it can receive DVB-S2/ MPEG-4 signals it is not HD as used widely around the world and is used for VAST SD as well as HD.

Alah

Alan

You come across as very knowledgeable about VAST, yet many of your statements are challenged by others who are also technically etc proficient so I'm puzzled about where you sit in all this and would appreciate answers to questions to clarify your position & situation.

1. Are, or have you been involved, in the design of VAST either in the capacity as a paid or volunteer consultant?

2. Are you associated with DBCDE as a member of the Digital Switchover Taskforce or are involved in any way with DBCDE or any other Government Department concerned with VAST in either a paid or unpaid capacity?

3. Do you hold shares or have any commercial interest in Impaja, Southern Cross Television or any other commercial enterprise concerned with VAST or the receivers etc which are or will be used with it?

4. What is your professional expertise and background in TV?

I ask the above so I can put your contributions to discussions into context.

For the record I am a retired individual with absolutely no financial or other links to any aspects of TV besides being a (frustrated at times) consumer.

John