Digital Switchover
Experience in Canada and
the U.S.
Prepared for the DBSF Caribbean 2012
Presented by
Fred Mattocks
Gener...
Introduction
 This paper represents a broadcaster’s
viewpoint on the transition to Digital
Television, with specific focu...
Digital Television – a Refresher
3©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
DTV and the Citizen
 Citizens – as media consumers, have
more access to digital media than
ever before.
 They have been ...
DTV and the Broadcaster
 Digital TV replaces analogue
TV in all parts of the system.
 It provides opportunities to
creat...
DTV and Government
 Delivery of digitally enabled
services and capabilities has
become the goal of successful
governments...
DTV Benefits
Quality media
Immersive and
utility experiences
Range of products
Immersive
consumer
experiences
More capabil...
DTV in Canada and the U.S.
 Delivery ecosystem of cable, satellite, OTA
Over the Top (OTT) – TV delivered by
Internet).
...
What is Digital Switchover?
Digital Switchover (DSO) refers to the processes by which we shift the delivery of
DTV to citi...
Implications for Broadcasters
 DTV/analogue coverage
issues
◦ Digital cliff/ digital footprint
◦ Spectrum pull back
◦ Spe...
What Happened in Canada and the U.S.?
11©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
Analogue
before
transition
12©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
Digital
after
transition
13©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
U.S. Approach and Experience
14©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
U.S. Approach
 Citizen and political focus from the start –
Clinton and Gore, Bush and Obama
 Relatively high use of OTA...
Preparatory steps
 Transition started in 1999
 Engineering work learning
along the way
◦ UHF vs VHF
◦ “Digital cliff”
◦ ...
Events in the US Transition
 Transition defined as Feb 17th
2009 – 6.5M Americans deemed
“not ready” at end of January.
...
Canadian Approach and Experience
18©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
Canadian approach
 Industry driven within a
regulatory framework (CRTC
for licensing, Industry Canada
for spectrum manage...
Preparatory steps
 Transitional regulatory
structure defined.
 Decision taken to not
follow the US in subsidies
for citi...
Events in the Canadian Transition
 Ended licensing of new analogue stations
in 2007. Defined DSO as Aug 31, 2011.
 Force...
Conclusions and Looking Forward
22©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
Two countries, two stories
 U.S. has maintained a substantial DTV OTA infrastructure.
Work continues on fine tuning the R...
In summary
 Transition is inevitable.
 There are real benefits,
both tangible and
otherwise to doing so.
 There are rea...
Looking forward
 Much discussion about the place of Television in a wired
world. Is OTA media the best use of spectrum as...
Thanks!!!!!
26©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
Your author
 Fred Mattocks – CBC’s General Manager,
Media Operations and Technology, CBC
English Services
 Fred is respo...
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Digital Switchover Experience in Canada and the U.S

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Digital Switchover Experience in Canada and the U.S

  1. 1. Digital Switchover Experience in Canada and the U.S. Prepared for the DBSF Caribbean 2012 Presented by Fred Mattocks General Manager, Media Operations and Technology - CBC 1 ©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  2. 2. Introduction  This paper represents a broadcaster’s viewpoint on the transition to Digital Television, with specific focus on the shift from analogue to digital Over The Air (OTA) transmission in Canada and the U.S. 2©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  3. 3. Digital Television – a Refresher 3©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  4. 4. DTV and the Citizen  Citizens – as media consumers, have more access to digital media than ever before.  They have been investing in two kinds of experiences – immersive digital media experiences that take them out of their day to day, and utility experiences that help them navigate the day to day.  They have been investing in unprecedented amounts. In both kinds of experiences, quality is important to them. In the case of immersive experiences, quality is paramount.  Immersive large screen TV experiences remain the dominant mode of media consumption in North America, with little erosion in the amount of time spent watching TV overall, and actual growth in some areas and demos.  Digital TV is the technology that delivers those experiences. 4©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  5. 5. DTV and the Broadcaster  Digital TV replaces analogue TV in all parts of the system.  It provides opportunities to create immersive media experiences that continue to maintain the dominance of TV as the primary media form citizens use.  It provides increased efficiency in all parts of the value chain, and options to deliver a variety of TV products tailored to the delivery platform and the desired outcome. 5©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  6. 6. DTV and Government  Delivery of digitally enabled services and capabilities has become the goal of successful governments in the 21st century.  Creation of a digital ecosystem that is accessible and attractive to citizens is the key.  Spectrum, as a publically owned resource, is in focus both as an enabler of a variety of digital platforms and as a source of value creation (digital dividend) for governments.  Broadcasting is a traditional and significant user of spectrum. DTV provides opportunities here. 6©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  7. 7. DTV Benefits Quality media Immersive and utility experiences Range of products Immersive consumer experiences More capability less cost Digital ecosystem Digital dividends $$$ Citizens Government Broadcasters 7©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  8. 8. DTV in Canada and the U.S.  Delivery ecosystem of cable, satellite, OTA Over the Top (OTT) – TV delivered by Internet).  Uses the ATSC set of digital TV standards for OTA. Inherently more efficient than analogue in spectrum use and transmission power requirements.  Can deliver a variety of TV formats in a 19.39 MB/s bit stream. One full res HDTV, an HDTV and one or two SDTV, multicast SDTV (up to six), plus Mobile/Handheld.  An evolving standard – M/H added in 2010, interactivity added to the spec in ATSC 2.0, currently has a standard for the delivery of 3D – discussion of ATSC 3.0  OTA was the primary and dominant method of delivery of television in North America for many years. Had been declining in importance as multichannel offers via cable and satellite have increased in popularity.  This decline was much more pronounced in Canada than the U.S., a fact which has influenced the transition.  The transition is essentially completed in the US and is well on its way in Canada. 8©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  9. 9. What is Digital Switchover? Digital Switchover (DSO) refers to the processes by which we shift the delivery of DTV to citizens from the legacy analogue system to digital delivery. 9©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  10. 10. Implications for Broadcasters  DTV/analogue coverage issues ◦ Digital cliff/ digital footprint ◦ Spectrum pull back ◦ Spectrum co-ord and frequency issues  Regulatory structure/measurement structure is based on OTA footprint  Broadcaster Business issues ◦ A replacement medium ◦ Costs for dual operation ◦ Usage decline undermines R.O.I. (full Cdn transition estimated at 500M – for 5% of population???) 10©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  11. 11. What Happened in Canada and the U.S.? 11©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  12. 12. Analogue before transition 12©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  13. 13. Digital after transition 13©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  14. 14. U.S. Approach and Experience 14©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  15. 15. U.S. Approach  Citizen and political focus from the start – Clinton and Gore, Bush and Obama  Relatively high use of OTA as the approach was being designed (20% in 2009)  Freed up spectrum $$$ part of the Federal budget ($19 billion for 700 Mhz auction)  OTA networks essentially replicated where possible  Subsequent focus on maximizing R.O.I. (HDTV, multi-cast, ATSC-M/H) 15©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  16. 16. Preparatory steps  Transition started in 1999  Engineering work learning along the way ◦ UHF vs VHF ◦ “Digital cliff” ◦ SFNs  Consumer Electronic Industry prep ◦ FCC tuner ruling – March 1 2007  Citizen prep ◦ NTIA Coupon program – $1.3B ◦ DTV.gov, (FCC web site) ◦ Broadcaster obligations - $1B 16©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  17. 17. Events in the US Transition  Transition defined as Feb 17th 2009 – 6.5M Americans deemed “not ready” at end of January.  Obama asks for delay - much political churn but eventually Senate bill passed with a “voluntary delay” with much FCC conditioning.  Roughly 600 stations transitioned on Feb 17, and the remainder transitioned June 12, 2009.  Much worry after transition about people left behind but this dissipated quickly. Transition is essentially complete. 17 “All digital transitions are difficult but the US transition was successful in the end, in spite of a number of decisions and policies that made life confusing and overly complicated at one time or another for all concerned.” Jeffrey A. Hart – Indiana University http://www.indiana.edu/~globalm/pdf/transition09.pdf ©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  18. 18. Canadian Approach and Experience 18©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  19. 19. Canadian approach  Industry driven within a regulatory framework (CRTC for licensing, Industry Canada for spectrum management).  DTV Task Force 1997.  Policy framework for transition 2002.  CDTV 2002 – 2006.  DSO defined 2007.  By design lagged US transition  OTA usage much lower than US (estimated at 12% in 2009 and declining – now 5%).  Canadian 700 Mhz spectrum auction deferred. 19 http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/pwc09.htm ©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  20. 20. Preparatory steps  Transitional regulatory structure defined.  Decision taken to not follow the US in subsidies for citizens.  Shaw Local Television Satellite Solution.  Mandatory communications program – broadcasters and government. 20©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  21. 21. Events in the Canadian Transition  Ended licensing of new analogue stations in 2007. Defined DSO as Aug 31, 2011.  Forced ASO only in specific “mandatory markets” or where spectrum/frequency issues forced it. For the rest, analog switch off left undefined.  CBC/Radio-Canada at DSO – 24 DTV, 620 analogue. 38 analogues were shut off because they either replicated or were replaced by DTVs, or because of the spectrum pull back.  CBC/Radio-Canada and TVO switched off analogues July 31 2012.  CBC/Radio-Canada today – 27 DTV, 12 analogue. The 12 are all repeaters operated for affiliated broadcasters. 608 CBC analogue transmitters shut down.  Other Canadian broadcasters have said they will maintain their OTA analogue networks as long as they can do so economically. 21©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  22. 22. Conclusions and Looking Forward 22©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  23. 23. Two countries, two stories  U.S. has maintained a substantial DTV OTA infrastructure. Work continues on fine tuning the ROI of that infrastructure with multicast strategies and with two consortiums working to develop M/H.  Transition in U.S. seems to be “yesterday’s news”  Canada has eliminated a large part of its OTA infrastructure, maintaining it in major markets only (for the most part.) Current activity in both multicast and M/H is low.  Transition in Canada continues as the future of the remaining analogues is decided. Early yet to understand reaction to ASO.  There has been some reaction in both the press and in academia to the low level of public debate on DSO, as compared to the U.S. Thus far, this appears to have no traction. http://www.tvtechnology.com/feature-box/0124/canadas-dtv-transition-off-track/206775 http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/article/view/2235/2159 23©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  24. 24. In summary  Transition is inevitable.  There are real benefits, both tangible and otherwise to doing so.  There are real costs to be managed.  Technological, social and economic factors must be dealt with simultaneously to get to the optimum solution.  Solutions are complex and very specific to the situation in a given territory. 24©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  25. 25. Looking forward  Much discussion about the place of Television in a wired world. Is OTA media the best use of spectrum as opposed to expanding the availability of digital broadband connectivity?  McKinsey report “Mobile Broadband for the Masses” 2009 http://www.mckinsey.com/Client_Service/Telecommunications/Latest_thinking/Mobile_broadband_for_the_masses.aspx  U.S. – The National Broadband Plan – Blair Levin http://www.knightcomm.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/FCBA-030611.pdf  U.K. – House of Lords Select Committee – “Broadband for All” – July 2012 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldselect/ldcomuni/41/41.pdf 25©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  26. 26. Thanks!!!!! 26©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012
  27. 27. Your author  Fred Mattocks – CBC’s General Manager, Media Operations and Technology, CBC English Services  Fred is responsible for the infrastructure, systems, and technology that underlies English Services programming services for all media.  In his various roles in operations he has been responsible for enabling the shift of English Services internal structure from dedicated media silos to a Content Company model where content assets are created and deployed to create the maximum overall benefit for the citizen consumer. Among the projects he has created and led are the move to HDTV, “central-casting” for Television and Radio, and the move of production tools to the desktop.  Fred was formerly the Regional Director of the Maritimes for CBC Television, and while in that role, fostered award winning network, regional and local programming originating from that Region. 27©CBC/Radio-Canada 2012 Fred.mattocks@cbc.ca

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