Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Digital TV Fiasco

First, the Communications Minister, Mr. Hélio Costa, decided to choose the worst possible digital TV system he could. We were offered to use the American, the European and the Japanese systems and -- don't be startled -- he chose the Japanese.

Let's see what's behind this decision. The American system (ATSC) puts us close to the equipments market (USA) for buying and selling; the European format (DVB) is the most used format. Both are very friendly to new broadcasters and would give the opportunity for new content providers to come into the market.

The Japanese system (ISDB) puts us really far away from the market, it's a system used only in Japan and, surprisingly, is very unfriendly to new broadcasters. That means that the current broadcasters will be in an excellent position, since they can be assured that it will be a hard-to-get-in competition for newcomers.

Can you say -- cough -- deep -- cough -- pockets?

But this is all old news.

The new piece of information here is that after having a fine lunch with the major broadcasters' managers, the poor minister decided to change his mind about what he thinks is "unconstitutional", and allow the broadcasters to block recording of HD content at their will.

According to the minister, not being able to block recording would make it harder for broadcasters to buy international content, such as movies and sports programs, because of concerns about piracy.

That's bull----! Really!

We are talking about OPEN TV here, not Premium content. Who would pirate a 4 years old movie out of open TV?

This is total disregard to our ability to time-shift programs, or taping a movie for our kids to see again the next week. Where's our fair use?

Mr. Hélio Costa, you've made one too many idiotic decisions. We need someone with at least a clue about technology to be in your position. Can you at least program your VCR? Do you know what a VCR is?

Please resign. Have some decency. Please resign.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a funny feeling that the "rabbit ear" folks won't know what happened in 2009 until it happens.

9/23/2008 07:07:00 PM  

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