[LINK] Datacasting in doubt
Mon, 19 Jun 2000 09:38:50 +1000
Oh my God. No datacasting? No corporatised pre-digested Big Mac faux-Internet
for my TV? I can't buy CDs in a sub-window that obscures the tits in Sex in the
City? I'll have to talk to a (gasp) human being to order a pizza, and maybe say
thank you at the end of the call?
That's it. Open the window, I'm jumping.
To put it another way, datacasting has never managed to even twitch the needle
on my give-a-shit meter...and regrettably, we must remember that correlation
isn't causality. Alston is a twit, yes. Datacasting is a dog, yes. But they're
independent events. The dog-ness of datacasting is because consumers never
cared, not because of political failures.
It's been a shocking weekend for datacasting, digital TV and HDTV all over.
Which is why flacks like myself get the up-vibe save-the-industry press release
this morning from FACTS - the acronym is a malapropism, it stands for Federation
of Australian Commercial Television Stations.
So having heard that (a) nobody gives a damn about datacasting, (b) nobody wants
to fork out the price of a medium-sized car for an HDTV and (c) so why bother
with digital TVs when we won't be watching HDTV and aren't they the same thing
(because all parties have perfected the art of confusing the consumer)? -- with
all this happening, FACTS is obliged to blow some air into the balloon.
I can't insert the text, because -- displaying a laughably lamentable grasp of
technology, they send the release as a fax scan turned into a PDF and attached
to an e-mail -- it's not copyable. So some excerpts:
>Early purchasers of HDTV receivers can expect to find many hours of HDTV
programming >available each week
>this will include popular American series [rc: maybe the ETs in the X-files are
only visible in >hi-res?] sitcoms and movies, as well as many top Australian
programs [caveat coming] once >local HDTV production facilities are in place
Much more of this pathetic drivel. When a vested interest feels obliged to
remind you how wonderful your life is going to be, watch out.
Subject: [LINK] Datacasting in doubt
Author: "Jan Whitaker" <jwhit@PrimeNet.Com>
Date: 17/06/00 10:27
They're jumping off the Alston Titanic .....
And add this to the reports about no receivers until at least 2nd quarter
2001 for digsets, looks like the Link members called it right and Alston
screwed up again. are we surprised? ...not
Uncertain Telstra dumps datacast
16:45 Friday 16 June 2000
By BARRY PARK
TELSTRA has withdrawn from upcoming datacasting trials,
"serious questions" about the long-term viability of
Australia's largest telecommunications carrier said
today it not be taking
part in the July trials and would be considering its
participation in a trial of the service later in the year.
"Telstra is disappointed with the outcome of the digital
Datacasting Bill as it raises serious questions about
the viability of
datacasting," the company said in a statement issued
"The opportunity to provide new and innovative services
consumers may not be realised unless changes are made to
the Bill," it
Telstra said the significant outlay needed to support
the datacasting trial
needed to be assessed "due to the high level of
uncertainty for datacasters contained in the Bill".
"In addition to this, uncertainty surrounding the
timing and process for allocation of the spectrum
licence for datacasting
is also a key factor in whether participation in the
trial is viable."
Last week, print and online publisher John Fairfax
it had suspended its datacasting trial, citing
"substantial deficiencies" in
the federal government's digital television legislation.
Making the announcement, Fairfax said it would assess
proceed with datacasting trials in Canberra, scheduled
for October and
November this year, depending on subsequent legislative
Fairfax chief executive officer Fred Hilmer said this
datacasting bill "will not permit us to proceed with a
service on a commercially sustainable basis".
Telstra also announced last week its $67.5 million
online content deal
with national media group ABC had fallen through after
Fairfax is the publisher of IT Breaking News.