Monday, March 19, 2007

NAB's Paid For Report Has A Major Flaw

March 17, 2007

The NAB commissioned Meintel, Sgrignoli, and Wallace, a Maryland firm to do a study on the interoperability of satellite radio.

The study is interesting, but is full of ASSUMPTIONS, and LACKS DETAIL in specific areas from which conclusions are drawn.

The study totally ignores the overlay modulation techniques currently in operation for Sirius, and in development for XM. Overlay modulation is likely to produce a 25% efficiency in the systems of each provider. Additionally, the study misses the techniques of statistical multiplexing which is a fluid method for bandwidth efficiencies. It barely breaches the idea that bandwidth is not a stable and static figure for channels.

How these major factors can be missed in such a study leaves one to wonder about whether the study was rushed, misguided, or simply done to create a desired outcome from the entity commissioning the study (the NAB).

One particular shortcoming can be found in this statement:

"These various bitrates may change dynamically based upon the program content and the need for additional bandwidth for various programs. Thus in order to allocate enough bandwidth to offer the combined services of 291 program channels, the audio bitrate would need to be significantly reduced."

Please forgive me for being frank here.......There is not a person in this nation that thinks that it is a good idea to offer 2 fox news', 2 cnn's, two espn's, two classic rock stations, 2 CNBC's, etc.......Anyone who researched this issue for 10 minutes would have to be a complete moron to assume that the combined service is going to come out of the box offering 291 channels.

To compound matters, this report insinuates that an interoperable unit has not been developed. Sirius and XM have both stated in very public forums that they have indeed developed such a receiver. And, for the record, who is the NAB or MSW to define the "spirit" of the FCC regulation?????

We here at SSG placed a call into MSW and left a voice mail. As of yet we have not heard back from the firm that issued the report.

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3/19/2007 02:57:00 PM

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  • Let's remember that Sirius has already committed its gains from HM to backseat video. This was necessary for them to entice Chrysler to do factory installs.

    XM's HM, which has been operational since last year, has not been committed -- but it is unknown the extent to which existing receivers can decode it.

    Most importantly, the savings from offering only one 60s channel versus two is minimal, in fact, almost nominal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 19, 2007 4:32 PM  

  • I agree that there is a commitment to the video service, but no one has stated what kind of bandwidth would be required for that purpose. From comments at CES, the video service would not use all of the HM bandwidth.

    The savings from offering two 60's channels, etc. are found in two places:

    1. Dollars - minimal as you stated.

    2. saved bandwidth. This is the major factyor here. The combined service will not offer 140 music channels. Perhaps 70 or 80 will be the magic number. That is substantial bandwidth

    By Blogger SSG, at March 19, 2007 5:28 PM  

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