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nthnthn

Fta - Move To Satellite?

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All,

The allocation of LCNs is not the problem

Consider this;

The satellites were once controlled by the Australian Government (Aussat) but are along with new satellites by a foreign power (Optus is owned by the Singapore Government)

What do you do if there is a satellite failure? This happened to New Zealand last year. Fortunately around 75 % of their population had TV coverage by terrestrial means.

All high powered TV transmitters have digital equivalents except for 1 x Upper Namoi NSW, 1 x Central Western Slopes, 2 x SW WA, 2 x Great Southern WA and 2 x Central Agricultural WA.

Note there is only 2 commercial networks in regional WA.

So nearly all of the most expensive transmitters are already operating along with their feed systems. Lots of lower powered repeaters are fed off air from the high powered parent. So your suggestion is too late.

It is important to the regions to get specific programs particularly news for their area and for the buyers of advertising that they only target the audience they want and are prepared to pay for.

Remote areas are already covered by Aurora satellite using MPEG2. Unfortunately they only have 2 commercial programs per foot print.

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy have had a discussion paper on remote TV where they propose limiting terrestrial retransmission to populations of <500 people.

This must be the break even point between the cost of domestic satellite installations compared to a single satellite receiver and very low powered DTV transmitters.

The ABC has stated it wants upto 6 TV channels in the future. SBS wants 3 channels.

I do not think radio should be multiplexed with TV programs because they cannot be received by portable equipment. DAB+ radio starts 1st May next year using band 3 channels. For Australia wide coverage HF DRM from a high powered transmitter site in the centre of Australia has advantages. Terrain does not affect the signal, it can be received in moving vehicles and on kitchen radios. It is an alternative to satellite for reliability reasons.

I do agree however that I would like to see a conversion to MPEG4 H264 in 2013 of all programs. It should be 1920 x 1080 coded progressive at 25 frame/s. The existing main SD channel should go to HD at that time. This will then allow a pair of HD channels and an SD channel using an 7 MHz TV channel. This is sent at DVB-T. I do not recommend DVB-T2 because a power increase in all transmitters will be required to give the same level of reliability.

The problem now is that the viewer has better equipment than the broadcasters can send hence the wish for Full HD signals. The Australian Government must mandate that all new receivers must be able to decode these signals from 1st July next year.

AlanH

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It should be 1920 x 1080 coded progressive at 25 frame/s.

1920x1080p25 is well able to be carried as 1920x1080i50 and with the consumer using weave de-interlacing for film sources will reproduce the originally 1920x1080p25.

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Not only that, forcing 25p immediately makes transmission of interlaced 50 field content impossible with out de-interlacing thereby significantly reducing spacial and temporal resolution. There is no significant advantage to 25p, especially in the domain that alanh as suggested - bitrates.

Edited by DrP

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Aurora's very purpose is remote and black spot coverage. It is precisely why it was established. Sure it may not carry local broadcasts for those in black spots, but that does not lessen nor alter the reason for its existence.

Hi,

I'd like to "buy" into this too.

It is important to note that blackspot areas are no longer guaranteed their right to now receive commercial coverage on Aurora from the likes of Imparja etc. The old rule of out of area reception/authorisation for black spot viewers is now in jeopardy, as on the Imparja web page, it says they will not now authorise any new cards that are out of their licensing area, even if they are blackspot.

This opens up a whole can of worms for persons like me, whom even though digital terrestrial has been progressed, still receive marginal digi terrestrial, suffering dropouts etc, due to our locations. No antenna persons can gain us a better signal, and analogue is also to be turned off. When all these things combine, I then have nothing but ABC and SBS via Aurora to watch. Is that fair?

Many moons ago, pre Aurora and back in the analogue satellite days, all the commercial channels uplinked via satellite, and local translaters simply inserted the local ads. We used to watch those feeds to see tv, and when the ads came on, we got a blank screen for 3 minutes, then the feed recommenced. Why couldn't that still be done via digital Ku satellite, and then no advertising is lost, as those viewers couldn't see their terrestrial station anyhow, so no advertising costs lost?

So, can the poor suckers that get nothing have something?

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Imparja's actions are taken supposedly on a financial basis, not a legal nor technological basis. Essentially they claim that their service has become so popular and there are 'so many' requests for activations coming through that its costing them 'lots' to do it. Solution: levee a small activation fee, say $10 and use that to form the wages of a single employee dedicated to the task.

As for your local advertising insertion point, that would simply be modifying how the terrestrial transmission is distributed, not switching everyone to a sat service as has been proposed.

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Aurora needs to be overhauled.For my wish list the current WA- Eastern States footprint needs to be broken up into WA- Central Australia ,Queensland and South Eastern Australia.

For example in WA you would get ABW ,ABC2 ,SBS 1 and 2 WIN GWN and the 3rd commercial station.

Central Australia SA and NT still get their separate ABC , ABC2 SBS 1 and 2 ,7 Central Imparja and the 3rd commercial station.

Queensland ABQ ABC2 ,SBS1 and 2 , 7 central Imparja and the 3rd commercial.( I guess 7Central and Imparja would like to keep its Queensland viewers.

South East Aus including Tassie would get their state ABC , ABC2 SBS1 and 2 , Prime, WIN and SCTen. ( I figure people in Warnambool would rather watch WIN than Imparja as they may currently be entitled to.)

Naturally it be in 16:9 as most if not all satellite stb's can handle it.

No HD that can come later as HD satellite stb's become more mainstream.

Edited by dryfry

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The reasons for not broadcasting all the Australian FTA channels on satellite are legislative only.

And a couple of other little trivial things

- the FTA couldnt control which markets you got, so you could watch Melb ch9 in Syd (this has historically been a big issue with sports rights)

this would completely disrupt the current system for many reasons. Not just affiliates, but also networks with different timezones. Why would Seven want someone in Perth to watch the Sydney signal if it has Sydney ads.

Even if you "locked" the signals you would then have the silly situation that people would just get cracked cards.

- I think most people would be pretty annoyed at having to get a dish to receive their tv signals!!

you said in another post this would be $200 - it that for the stb or the dish? Houses with multiple dvb-t devices (pvrs, digital tvs) would probably be very annoyed with you if they need multiple new boxes.

Also you couldnt have a very portable system

- the tv stations might not having a system with no backup, currently most of the main city stations have backups including transmitters

So its far from just legsilation - it would be a huge change to how we do tv, a bigger change than the analog to digital change (which for most people didnt involve changing antenna)

Yeah its an idea. Just not one that would ever happen for quite a few reasons.

Personally I think it would be a very bad move.

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Imparja are defending their own licence in ensuring no out of area transmissions can be received. They are simply abiding by that governmental requirement. I do not believe the cost of enabling a card is the issue at all. Genuine Ird 1 subscribers swapping to an Ird 2 card, as will be required shortley in blackspots, will be disenfranchised. I have written to my Federal member saying this is against the initial rollout parameters, where blackspotters were still enabled, as long as they were scrutinised via registered antenna installers supplying the supporting documentation proving normal reception other than satellite was unavailable.

Simply having even one WA Zone feed and Eastern zone satellite feed as they are via Aurora now, with no ads whatsover, would mean that broadcasters such as Imparja, 7Central, WIN, GWN would not be invoking any ads against anyone else, and as such, it could be unencrypted, and free to all. I cannot see how this would be expensive in any way, as Aurora does that now, but with ads. Take the ads away, and there are no issues, and no real additional costs. Other than that, let the ads be national or generic ads, just like are on sbs now.The only reason really for encryption is ads, and the sport that is shown regionally, but not in metropolis.

Comment?

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- I think most people would be pretty annoyed at having to get a dish to receive their tv signals!!

you said in another post this would be $200 - it that for the stb or the dish?

But if you couldn't get terrestrial, what would you do?

Many many households, including those in the bush, and in bad reception areas, also have a foxtel/austar dish on their house...they aren't portable either, but it is no real impost?

Not many know, but that same paytv dish, is also pointed at the same satellite that now delivers Aurora.Simply having a satellite box that can do both pay tv, and fta via satellite would fix this. Yes, paytv are reluctant to enable their boxes to see fta, but if they did, they have the potential at getting more subscribers, and a bigger profit. Mystar and IQ are close to this now anyhow, but still rely on a terrestrial fta aerial. A simple govt rule to to force the pay providers to enable their boxes to receive satellite fta would be simple. Without that happening, all a person needs to do is buy another satellite box (cheap as chips, less than 100 these days), and you have satellite fta.Most people having an installer coming and installing a tv aerial etc pay up to 200 now to get it all done, satellite installation is not much more. People could take their choice...fta via aerial or dish...what's the problem with that.

What would your suggestion be to offer those people who can't get digital terrestrial now?

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The IQ has no way to receive terrestrial programming. Everything comes via C1.

Ok, sorry, my error...I'm in an Austar zone,...I'm still wrong but.....

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viewer,

if the aurora service was without ads and everyone had access to it regardless of their location, everyone would quickly be changing to Aurora to avoid ads, this means that the terrestrial broadcasters won't reach as many people as they do now and as a results it will cost less to advertisers to put ads on their channels and result in less profit, potentially not enough to run operate their channels any more. The reason for requiring documentation to enable out of area reception is to prevent the above to maximise viewers of the terrestrial broadcasts and hence allow the broadcasters to operate effectively.

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Dryfry,

Firstly the WA footprint of Aurora is used to feed all WA transmitters. So a decision has to be made about conversion of Aurora to HD.

DVB-S are used for Aurora and Foxtel however the compression standards (MPEG2 and MPEG4 H263 in that order)are different. HD DVB-S2 (MPEG4 only) receivers are available in Europe now.

The analog switchover timetable has Remote WA very late perhaps to allow HD DVB-S2 receivers to drop in price.

Warnambool has Victorian terrestrial feeds.

Look at the Get the best reception links to each state's posts in the East. In Tasmania for example there is only one site (Avoca), which has QQQ and IMP transmitters, which is Aurora fed. In Victoria there is only 4 sites. etc.

I think that encryption for commercial stations is required to protect the investments in various sites and to ensure that the tiny amount of region specific programs remains.

AlanH

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viewer,

if the aurora service was without ads and everyone had access to it regardless of their location, everyone would quickly be changing to Aurora to avoid ads, this means that the terrestrial broadcasters won't reach as many people as they do now and as a results it will cost less to advertisers to put ads on their channels and result in less profit, potentially not enough to run operate their channels any more. The reason for requiring documentation to enable out of area reception is to prevent the above to maximise viewers of the terrestrial broadcasts and hence allow the broadcasters to operate effectively.

Hi,

I can't argue what you write, as you are correct.... :P

Having said that, and I know I am harping on like a broken record, but what alternative is there for a person who can't receive digital terrestrial, will lose analog on demise of same, and is denied the access to a commercial fta aurora station, as the person is not in their authorised viewing/licence area?

I know the answer, but it is considered innappropriate to have a friend in an authorised area to get a card for you, and have it hit, then mail it to you to use in your own decoder. However, this is what the system will force people to do. Surely that is not what is intentioned, and thus needs changing to suit these persons?

:D

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Sorry about the numbering. You can only put a bazillion quote blocks in a post and I've got more than that...

----

1. There is no legislation in operation that prevents global transmission in the manner that you suggest. It any FTA network felt it was a worthwhile thing to do right now it could. Steps would have be to taken to prevent out of area reception, but that could be covered by your encryption suggestion.

1. Yes there is.

It's not very well known, but I read about it on MediaSpy when NBN was snatched up.

Here it is:

http://www.mediaspy.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=12040

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EI..._27/ai_17769566

http://multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/issu...0/chadwick.html

2. So why aren't the FTAs already doing it if its such a good idea and is as cost saving (or at least cost neutral) as you suggest? Are they deliberately holding back to incur additional costs just to spite their balance sheets?

2. Because they aren't allowed to.

3. What happens in 5 years time when HD programming (may) have become more popular and is now the main focus of FTA viewing? Under your system the FTAs would have to increase their expenditure by adding additional sat capacity to carry separate HD programming for each broadcast area. Right now their systems are capable of carrying separate HD into each broadcast area as it is.

3. If, if, if... the government was trying to push HD at least 5 years too early and it didn't work.

4. There's a big flaw in your thinking then. The ABC's retransmission figures you provided are based on reception of the existing ABC sat distribution, not a terrestrial system that may or may not be relying upon translators.

4. Erm... I was advocating a satellite distribution system.

5. Who is paying for the installation? The terrestrial system is set up to incurr minimal costs to the viewers, ie purchase a STB / TV and plug it into the existing FTA terrestrial antenna. You are proposing that not only does all existing equipment need to be tossed out and new equipment purchased for '$200', each premises has to be recabled for sat reception which may involve multiple dual runs of coax.

5. Who is paying for HD STBs at the moment? People are getting these, even though they only get an additional few hours a day worth of programming. Now look at a market like the UK and compare the digital take-up rate. In countries all over Europe, analogue terrestrial is or already has been turned off.

6. The allocation of LCNs is not the problem

6. It isn't. But best to put it in there now already, as it makes a few other issues clearer.

7. Consider this;

The satellites were once controlled by the Australian Government (Aussat) but are along with new satellites by a foreign power (Optus is owned by the Singapore Government)

7. Who then had a conflicting interest because they wanted to introduce PayTV.

8. What do you do if there is a satellite failure? This happened to New Zealand last year. Fortunately around 75 % of their population had TV coverage by terrestrial means.

8. What would happen to Imparja and Southern Cross retransmitters if the satellites went down? That's something that could happen right now. There's plenty of backup transponders on a satellite to make this a non-issue. And if it really is that daunting a prospect, co-locating it with another satellite is always an option. On top of that, if this doomsday scenario may happen, another satellite could move into that position.

9. All high powered TV transmitters have digital equivalents except for 1 x Upper Namoi NSW, 1 x Central Western Slopes, 2 x SW WA, 2 x Great Southern WA and 2 x Central Agricultural WA. Note there is only 2 commercial networks in regional WA.

9. And literally thousands of lower-powered ones.

10. So nearly all of the most expensive transmitters are already operating along with their feed systems. Lots of lower powered repeaters are fed off air from the high powered parent. So your suggestion is too late.

10. Albeit not even close to all of them. And moving redistribution to satellite while also enabling reception by viewers would also make this a non-issue at a cost not much greater.

11. It is important to the regions to get specific programs particularly news for their area and for the buyers of advertising that they only target the audience they want and are prepared to pay for.

11. Why? I don't think it hurt any Gold Coast advertiser that their advertisements are shown on Brisbane's southside. Why wouldn't someone who has moved to the East Coast from Perth want to watch Perth News if the incremental cost is nil?

12. Remote areas are already covered by Aurora satellite using MPEG2. Unfortunately they only have 2 commercial programs per foot print.

12. And that sucks.

13. The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy have had a discussion paper on remote TV where they propose limiting terrestrial retransmission to populations of <500 people. This must be the break even point between the cost of domestic satellite installations compared to a single satellite receiver and very low powered DTV transmitters.

13. That sounds about right. But I'm not against very low powered DTV transmitters in communities like that. I am however against the simplistic view that they also need to carry HD, requiring 6 multiplexes, when it could be squeezed down to 1 or 2 and HD would be available over satellite.

14. The ABC has stated it wants upto 6 TV channels in the future. SBS wants 3 channels.

14. Which they can't do in the current system. At least not until digital is turned off and then it'll take another 10 years for the additional channels to trickle into every single community. Satellite - boom - done.

15. I do not think radio should be multiplexed with TV programs because they cannot be received by portable equipment. DAB+ radio starts 1st May next year using band 3 channels. For Australia wide coverage HF DRM from a high powered transmitter site in the centre of Australia has advantages. Terrain does not affect the signal, it can be received in moving vehicles and on kitchen radios. It is an alternative to satellite for reliability reasons.

15. Radio I've kept to separate transponders. They can be in a different frequency range - like Sirius or XM in the US.

16. I do agree however that I would like to see a conversion to MPEG4 H264 in 2013 of all programs. It should be 1920 x 1080 coded progressive at 25 frame/s. The existing main SD channel should go to HD at that time. This will then allow a pair of HD channels and an SD channel using an 7 MHz TV channel. This is sent at DVB-T. I do not recommend DVB-T2 because a power increase in all transmitters will be required to give the same level of reliability.

16. DVB-T2 doesn't require a power increase per se. It's just that most broadcasters would rather get a higher bandwidth than care about viewers more distant from the towers - hey - I just found another reason why moving FTA terrestrial programs onto satellite is a good idea!

17. The problem now is that the viewer has better equipment than the broadcasters can send hence the wish for Full HD signals. The Australian Government must mandate that all new receivers must be able to decode these signals from 1st July next year.

17. And a good thing too.

18. - the FTA couldnt control which markets you got, so you could watch Melb ch9 in Syd (this has historically been a big issue with sports rights)

18. At this point in time I'm just going to say - that's a good thing for everyone who'd rather watch the sport they are fond of - it's not like in this hypothetical scenario that it's shown in Sydney anyways - more advertising revenue for Melbourne Ch9 and a larger overall audience for Ch9 and audience share for Ch9.

19. This would completely disrupt the current system for many reasons. Not just affiliates, but also networks with different timezones. Why would Seven want someone in Perth to watch the Sydney signal if it has Sydney ads.

19. Why would or should they care?

20. Even if you "locked" the signals you would then have the silly situation that people would just get cracked cards.

20. Don't people already get Aurora cards when they're not really supposed to anyways because they don't have any other terrestrial choice?

21. - I think most people would be pretty annoyed at having to get a dish to receive their tv signals!!

21. This won't affect most people at all. Most people will only know that they can get channels from all over Australia via satellite if they choose to. And people in remote communities would prefer this over being able to get 3 channels only within just a few kms of the transmitter.

22. you said in another post this would be $200 - it that for the stb or the dish? Houses with multiple dvb-t devices (pvrs, digital tvs) would probably be very annoyed with you if they need multiple new boxes.

22. Most households are getting multiple boxen for DVB-T already. Look at Europe - it's the indicator of prices here in Australia. STBs went from $200++ to European prices. Ultimately, I'd expect places like even Bunnings to be selling HD STBs + Dish + LNB for around $200 by the time it's been in the market for a while. Similar to European levels.

23. Also you couldnt have a very portable system

23. I haven't seen a very portable DVB-T system either.

24. - the tv stations might not having a system with no backup, currently most of the main city stations have backups including transmitters

24. They don't for any place outside the capital cities anyway. And I'm not proposing that they shut of these transmitters anyway.

25. So its far from just legsilation - it would be a huge change to how we do tv, a bigger change than the analog to digital change (which for most people didnt involve changing antenna)

25. Why, did you have a brighter future in mind for FTA TV?

I'd rather take this than the immediate prospect of many more cases like 4 MBps Ten and One SD. With crappy One HD quality.

26. Aurora needs to be overhauled.

26. That's effectively what I'm proposing.

27. Imparja are defending their own licence in ensuring no out of area transmissions can be received. They are simply abiding by that governmental requirement. I do not believe the cost of enabling a card is the issue at all. Genuine Ird 1 subscribers swapping to an Ird 2 card, as will be required shortley in blackspots, will be disenfranchised. I have written to my Federal member saying this is against the initial rollout parameters, where blackspotters were still enabled, as long as they were scrutinised via registered antenna installers supplying the supporting documentation proving normal reception other than satellite was unavailable.

27. And if the FTA TV stations would put their programming on satellite, this whole problem will just go away.

28. Simply having even one WA Zone feed and Eastern zone satellite feed as they are via Aurora now, with no ads whatsover, would mean that broadcasters such as Imparja, 7Central, WIN, GWN would not be invoking any ads against anyone else, and as such, it could be unencrypted, and free to all. I cannot see how this would be expensive in any way, as Aurora does that now, but with ads. Take the ads away, and there are no issues, and no real additional costs. Other than that, let the ads be national or generic ads, just like are on sbs now.The only reason really for encryption is ads, and the sport that is shown regionally, but not in metropolis.

28. Yeah. Well, if Channel Nine in Brisbane and Imparja both carry the same game, a person in Mount Isa will rather tune into Imparja, as it's a local station. And the LCN of Imparja would be mapped to '9' instead of needing to dial in '940'.

This is the only change in typical STBs and DVB-S2 that I think should be necessary. Making sure that a few LCNs are flexible and can be mapped to other stations depending on what location the user has set. That little feature alone should make this entire thing a lot more appealing for stations like Imparja.

----

I've made an additional scenario showing what might happen with 3 Mbit/s for SD, 9 Mbit/s for HD and 45 Mbit/s per transponder. I created it before Ten announced One HD. At least I was right in guessing that they would most like to add a sports channel. Add to that Southern Cross, Prime and WIN deciding to start their own Australia-wide channels, universities and other institutions clamouring for some spectrum and two or new three FTA broadcasters deciding they want in too. I sort-of think that this is the maximum market that the Australian population can support. And a lot of regional channels owned by big broadcasters will collapse into each other and will probably become regional-only channels instead of general entertainment. Which would be... different. It would likely still come out balanced. If you don't support my view point, just think the Australia-wide WIN, Nine, Seven, Prime, Southern Cross and Ten away and you should be happy.

See here.

Here's a list of what the corresponding two DVB-T multiplexes would look like in not-quite remote communities (where typical transmitter power would be around 0 - 10 kW):

7 Mbit/s each for ABC1, ABC2 and SBS - owned by the government.

7 Mbit/s each for Seven, Nine and Ten - owned by FreeView.

Everything else, including HD, would be available over satellite.

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I think that encryption for commercial stations is required to protect the investments in various sites and to ensure that the tiny amount of region specific programs remains.

AlanH

Your right to AlanH.. :D

As the post above says though, what is the alternative?

I'm actually hoping these discussions may come up with some sort of alternative I have not yet thought of, and one I can perhaps send to our Mr Conroy, for consideration.

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Hi,

I can't argue what you write, as you are correct.... :P

Having said that, and I know I am harping on like a broken record, but what alternative is there for a person who can't receive digital terrestrial, will lose analog on demise of same, and is denied the access to a commercial fta aurora station, as the person is not in their authorised viewing/licence area?

I know the answer, but it is considered innappropriate to have a friend in an authorised area to get a card for you, and have it hit, then mail it to you to use in your own decoder. However, this is what the system will force people to do. Surely that is not what is intentioned, and thus needs changing to suit these persons?

:D

you could relocate if TV is such a necessity. :P

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you could relocate if TV is such a necessity. :P

Mate !!!!

I know that is tongue in cheek, but perhaps the other people need to appreciate the plight of the minority, and as Australians always agree, "fair go mate" should apply.

It's a bit like the "poor old farmer" syndrome.....tell him to move is always the cry. Then people start to wonder where they get their food from.

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As the post above says though, what is the alternative?

I'm actually hoping these discussions may come up with some sort of alternative I have not yet thought of, and one I can perhaps send to our Mr Conroy, for consideration.

Let's say you're in Mount Isa. You set the location on the STB to Mount Isa and it puts Imparja on LCN 9. You can still get Nine Brisbane for whatever reason on a much much higher LCN - 940.

95% of people won't bother switching to LCN 940 from LCN 9. No need for encryption and Imparja will have probably 5% fewer viewers. Especially since Nine Brisbane doesn't offer anything over Imparja except in rare circumstances for someone in Mount Isa. Instead they get probably 5 or 10% more viewers and get 100% unencrypted coverage of their market. Is this a solution? Yay or Nay?

Edited by quink

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