MPEG-2 compression has proven itself to be a workhorse for the television industry, enabling DTV multicasting channel count to grow with successive generations of encoders. In its closing act, the compression technique has enough performance left to help make the spectrum repack a success and position the industry for a successful transition to a next-generation TV standard. This is Part 4 of a four-part special report on multicasting. Parts 1, 2 and 3 appeared yesterday. You can read the other stories here.
MGM and its partner, Sinclair Broadcast Group, looked to the stars for the inspiration for its latest multicast network, Comet. Central to the channel’s sci-fi programming is the Stargate franchise comprising three live-action series, one animated series and three Stargate movies. Comet’s execs are pleased that the diginet is “skewing younger than most of these other [classic TV] channels.”
Adam Buckman: On my cable system, Time Warner Cable in New York City, multicast networks are given short shrift. I have, at my count, seven of them. All seven are available in a diginet ghetto located way up on the 1200 block of Time Warner’s Manhattan channel lineup — from MeTV at ch. 1239 to Get TV at ch. 1284. They — and TWC’s subscribers — deserve better.
While the spectrum auction and repack could raise challenges, most multicast network players say they’re bullish on the business, especially with the likely adoption of ATSC 3.0. Diginets keep adding affiliates and expanding coverage and the top ones have begun attracting general market advertising. This is Part 1 of a four-part special report on multicasting. Parts 2 and 3 also appear today. Part 4, running Thursday morning, will focus on the technology of compression and channel sharing. You can read the other stories here.