[LINK] Fwd: MR59-10: ACMA issues licences for 3D TV trials [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Sun May 23 10:41:38 AEST 2010

Richard Chirgwin wrote:
> Tom Worthington wrote:
>> ... "Scientific" trials of 3D TV for rugby league sounds like a spoof worthy
>> of Professor Klerphell. ... The spectrum was previously planned to be used for mobile TV ...
> To be fair, Tom, the mobile TV trials just didn't go that well. Nobody 
> cared; my feeling is that it was already overtaken by what you could get 
> on a mobile phone. ...

I can't imagine that many saw mobile TV as a viable product. It seemed 
to me to just be a way for TV broadcasters to keep more spectrum to 
themselves and stop competitive services.

> Since IP TV doesn't need wireless spectrum, how does the spectrum 
> prevent the competition? ...

By reserving spectrum for mobile TV, or 3D TV, the current broadcasters 
prevent it being used by competitors: either conventional TV 
broadcasters or Internet services. This strategy was used in the past to 
reserve spectrum for extra viewing angles in sport, HD simulcast, and 
extra channels of content. Most of the spectrum the broadcasters were 
provided with is being wasted, simply squatted on to stop it being used 
by a competitor.

> Finally, since there are still millions of TV viewers in the country, 
> myself included, it is at least reasonable to balance the supposed 
> obsolescence of the technology against the interests of the citizen. ...

The current plan is to phase out analogue TV over the next few years in 
favour of terrestrial digital TV. This will require old sets to have a 
set top box. Those are getting very cheap and I expect that by the end 
of the period the government will give away vouchers to people to buy 
STBs for the few sets left.

Digital broadcasting is more efficient in the use of spectrum, resulting 
in a "digital bonus" from the changeover. The question is then what to 
do with the freed up spectrum. The current TV broadcasters would prefer 
that they retain the spectrum so they can stop it being used for rival 
services, thus their interest in mobile, 3D and other variations on TV 
which use up bandwidth.

The obvious uses for the spectrum would be to provide more content, 
either as conventional digital TV from new broadcasters, or for wireless 
Internet access. However, the small number of existing broadcasters 
would not welcome this competition.

The best use I can see for the spectrum is wireless Internet, to 
complement the NBN. This could then be used for TV-like services, as 
well as other content.

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Lecturer, The Australian National University t: 02 61255694
Computer Science http://cs.anu.edu.au/user/3890

More information about the Link mailing list