Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

US DTV Patent Royalties Are $24–$40

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the declining-market-share-brand-names dept.

Patents 262

shiroobi writes "Wow! $24-40 USD a pop? This would seem to mean that every TV is already marked up with this cost now that ATSC tuners are required. Looks like Vizio is fighting something like this already against Funai."

cancel ×

262 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Shouldn't happen..... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189707)

If the FCC mandates that all television must be broadcast in digital they either A) Need to remove that requirement, B) Have someone invalidate the patent or C) Buy the patent and release it to the public. This is nothing more than government assisted extortion.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28189729)

Not really, there's patents covering all sorts of FCC mandated things, like wifi, CDMA, 3g, GSM, I could go on & on & on.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (4, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189771)

The difference is that its not mandated by the FCC. If I want to create Bluetooth internet rather than use Wi-Fi thats perfectly fine (so long as my signal limits are good), however if I want to broadcast TV I only have one thing that I can pick from. I used to be able to choose a public-domain one (NTSC) but now it requires a patent to do the same thing. If the FCC didn't mandate that all stations (save for low-powered ones) use it, it would be a non-issue, but they do require it.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (3, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190211)

I used to be able to choose a public-domain one (NTSC) but now it requires a patent to do the same thing.

NTSC is RCA television - and remained RCA through the introduction of color. There were significant bit players like DuMont in the early days, of course. But Sarnoff held all the cards which mattered. You can call NTSC "public domain" if you like, but the realities of patents, tech, politics and power were perfectly clear at the time.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190303)

But today in 2009 NTSC is effectively public domain especially when compared to DTV. Also NTSC was really the only standard* for TV at the time it was created, whereas stations now are being forced to convert to DTV when NTSC which costs less for everyone is available.

*NTSC was really about the only color TV standard at the time, both PAL and SECAM were still being developed

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190823)

[blockquote]
*NTSC was really about the only color TV standard at the time, both PAL and SECAM were still being developed
[/blockquote]

Wikipedia commenters would call "really about the only" "[weasel words]", so I'm not exactly sure what you mean, but the following was actually adopted by the FCC and then withdrawn:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-sequential_color_system [wikipedia.org]

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

crispin_bollocks (1144567) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190525)

Yep, RIP CBS motorized color wheel - thank god!

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28189795)

Those are all "optional" services and technologies. Over-the-air television is completely different.

This is what happens when money-grubbing for-profit entities dictate what becomes "standards". For that amount of 'control' over the process, the patent holders should've been required to give the patents to the public.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (3, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189861)

Those are all "optional" services and technologies. Over-the-air television is completely different.

How is watching over-the-air TV anything BUT optional?

OTH, how do you use 3g technology without paying some "money grubbing for-profit" enterprise?

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189931)

So far as I know, if you wanted to build a 3g transmitting tower, you don't need an FCC license.

So in theory, if you had the money for the equipment, you could build a 3g LAN, if you wanted to... I don't know... provide LAN access over your 100-acre property.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (2, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190055)

Are you sure you don't need to license bandwidth in that spectrum?

Weren't google, verizon, etc. all squabbling over the freed up portion last year?

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (2, Informative)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190379)

I think you're right; you can't just build a cell tower on your roof and run your own interfering service. You do need an FCC license.

What If... (1)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190627)

What if I did license some spectrum, ensured that my emissions were always at least attenuated -80 dB outside of my bandwidth, and ran a non-dictated service?

It should never matter HOW the licensed spectrum is modulated so long as other licensees aren't affected.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190419)

That was for the spectrum that standard def TV is vacating. That is in the 700MHz range. 3G operates at 1900-2025MHz and 2110-2200MHz in the US.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (3, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190439)

You are incorrect. A radio tower able to do 3g strength broadcast over 100 acres will almost certainly need an FCC license to be legal. I suppose that if you live far enough into the sticks, were very careful not to cause any sort of interference on on local radio transmissions (including any local HAMs) and simply neglected to tell anyone about it you might be able to fly under the radar, but that doesn't make it legal, just difficult to regulate.

Anyway, provided you DID have the proper FCC licenses to operate a large range broadband broadcast tower, there wouldn't be any FCC regulation with regard to whether you used CDMA, GSM, iDEN, WiMax, or shoe polish to broadcast it... so long as you didn't broadcast outside of your allotted frequency or power range.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190633)

" there wouldn't be any FCC regulation with regard to whether you used CDMA, GSM, iDEN, WiMax, or shoe polish to broadcast it"

But you might have to pay patent fees (directly or indirectly) to the patent holders o those technologies (apart from the shoe polish).

Except (3, Interesting)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190753)

Some frequency bands DO regulate the permissible modulation as a term of the license. In the "TV Bands" broadcasters are required to use the patented ATSC system, which includes patented MPEG.

The issue isn't mandating technical standards at all. What IS an issue is mandating the use of something that requires a private-party royalty payment.

Perhaps a better model would be something similar to bidding on a public contract. A patent adopted as a public standard under such a system would revert to the public domain in exchange for a payment, which could be collected from licensees as part of the license fee, but must remain free for use in recievers.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190813)

You absolutely would need an FCC license to do that.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190119)

Not watching, BROADCASTING. The point is that it is now illegal to broadcast over the air television without this patent. :(

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190597)

So do what any other intelligent human being does in such a situation.
Refuse to recognize the authority of any organization or government who would limit your freedom...

Then fucking do it anyway.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (3, Insightful)

ragefan (267937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190037)

And if the gov't does remove these license fees, which of the following do you think is more likely to happen? Every manufacturer lowers the cost of their products by $25 to $40, or just pockets the money and the consumer continues paying the same amount for the TV as though nothing changed.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (5, Informative)

dada21 (163177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190069)

All it takes is ONE manufacturer seeing their sales slip to cut their profits. Then the rest follow.

I've been in the wholesale, retail AND manufacturing businesses, and I can tell you that profit margins are flexible in things such as this. The moment one company does it, while still being profitable overall, they all do it.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (4, Insightful)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190485)

Mod parent up.
I think the slashdot crowd is so used to talking about monopolistic markets they've forgotten how most commodity markets with actual competition work.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (2, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190085)

They could try to keep the money, but they'll change their tune quick when the flood of cheap Chinese knockoffs for $40 cheaper shows up.

Under patent laws, such imports are (in principle) stopped at the border.

I think the consumer would find a differential fairly quickly.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (4, Insightful)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190463)

"This is what happens when money-grubbing for-profit entities dictate what becomes "standards". For that amount of 'control' over the process, the patent holders should've been required to give the patents to the public."

They developed it, they deserve to profit. Some giant electronics company who wants to make TVs doesn't deserve to profit from another company's engineering without compensating the original developer.

Sorry, that's just how it is.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (0, Flamebait)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189731)

Yeah, this is the first time a gov't agency, in conjunction with industry, has selected a standard that requires royalty payments.

Is this the first time off the clue-train for you?

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28189745)

This just in! Life isn't fair!

To quote one of the world's most prestigious and loved music artist, Micheal Jackson:

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror. I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways. And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer... If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place, Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190029)

Micheal Jackson

he could make a change, make the world a better place .... by not molesting children

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (3, Insightful)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189821)

1) Develop semi-public transmission protocol and patent it
2) Convince/Lobby/Bribe FCC to require your protocol/device to be sole method of data transmission for a widely used and veeery popular (populous?) medium
3) Profit!

Oh Sorry, I forgot the ??? Step, guess there isn't one in this corrupt equation.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (5, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189871)

Buy the patent and release it to the public.

Can you elaborate a bit on how this is better than the current licensing scheme? Perhaps there would be some economy of scale, giving the public a better overall price. But it's even less fair in the sense that the cost would have to be borne equally (as tax burden) by someone who buys many ATSC tuners and someone who buys none!

This is nothing more than government assisted extortion.

But buying patents with Federal funds is preferable?

-Peter

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189935)

The FCC has a lot more than taxpayer dollars, perhaps they could waive a fee or two. But if they were to buy it, it would even out due to the taxpayer money that are already in place to help people get ready for DTV. Sure, it might be a bit too late now, but you could have cut down a lot of the cost of those boxes by paying just a bit of money. Then, yes there is the scale where there comes a time when you buy it now and then things are cheaper and it evens out in the long run because most businesses would rather take a quick large sum that is less then what they will get in the years having their patent + all the legal fees associated with suing for infringment, etc. So a quick sum could have saved US citizens a lot of money and after time even those who didn't buy tuners would have already made up the difference.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190043)

I sincerely want to understand your position. I doubt this is what you mean, but it seems like you're saying that "government assisted extortion" is okay, as long as it's economical. Could you clarify a bit further for me?

Thanks,
Peter

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190093)

Well, basically what I would like to happen would be either the FCC would invalidate the patent or allow stations to feel free to broadcast in either digital or analog or both. And really only buy the patent if it was the only chance. Yes, I would rather it not happen and either the patent be invalidated or the freedom of choice of broadcast, but yes, it would still be government assisted extortion albeit at a more minor scale for each individual person.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190583)

Well since your name is Peter and you are behaving like a dick and repeating "extortion" every chance you get, can you clarify how you're not a rapist? Emotionally charged words don't make your point any less muddled.

One is a recurring fee that we will ALL pay within the remaining years of the patent since there's not much chance that satellite receivers and televisions are going to last that long they might but the odds are against it. The other is a one-time fee that, even if it amounted to more than a billion dollars would still only amount to $3-10 per person. Whoopteeshit. $10. I paid more for my tuner even with the stupid coupons.

Now, the real question, can you tell me how forcing the entire industry to pay for a patent required for a public service is NOT government assisted extortion?

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190359)

The FCC has a lot more than taxpayer dollars...

No, they don't. The part nobody seems to understand is that it's all all taxpayer dollars. Consumer tax payer dollars.

Let's look at an FCC broadcast fee, for instance. The TV station/channel pays this. They, in turn, pass on that cost, plus a haircut, to their advertisers. The advertisers reflect the cost of advertising in their prices, plus a haircut. In the end, who pays that FCC fee?

Not some big ugly faceless corporation. No. You do.

Once you understand that the taxpayer pays for everything, your politics are likely to change, I believe.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190521)

"No, they don't. The part nobody seems to understand is that it's all all taxpayer dollars. Consumer tax payer dollars"

The part you don't understand is that the FCC makes a /lot/ of money from fees and fines, and very much less in taxes since the Reagan era.

For instance, you do not want to know what kind of fine you'll get if you're running a kilowatt linear amp in the Citizens Band frequencies. Last I looked, it's $8K and that was 10 years ago. It's likely more now.

So how much does the FCC get in taxpayer money in relation to its overall budget?

Let's look.

http://broadcastengineering.com/RF/Kevin-Martin-FCC-20050506/ [broadcastengineering.com] (It's from 2005, but it's close enough for 2 digit precision)

"Newly appointed FCC Chairman Kevin Martin went before the House Appropriations Committee April 26 to ask for authority to spend a little more than $304 million in fiscal year 2006.

Of the $304 million, all but about $4.8 million will come from regulatory fees, Martin proposed."

So what was that you were saying?

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190599)

As a follow up, go to the FCC here:

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-279991A1.pdf [fcc.gov]

And look at the chart on page 41.

"Appropriations" is from Federal Funding
"Regulatory Fees" is from People Who Actually Use The System (TM).

And I correct myself. It was during the CLINTON administration that the ball really got rolling with making the FCC self-sufficient. Reagan started it, but it was actually put into practice under the CLINTON administration.

Let me say that again:

CLINTON.

--
BMO

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190613)

He is saying that those fines aren't productive activity and that the money that pays them comes from some productive activity. It isn't explicitly called a tax, but it takes money out of the private sector and gives it to the government...

(Of course, there is some chance that regulated radio spectrum is more efficient than unregulated radio spectrum, who knows (in that case, the fees would presumably be enabling additional productive activity))

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190793)

"Of course, there is some chance that regulated radio spectrum is more efficient than unregulated radio spectrum,"

There was a time when radio spectrum was totally unregulated.

It was utter chaos. Stations would literally jam other stations offensively. This is why the FCC came into being in the first place. The air waves are a public good and to avoid the "tragedy of the commons" it needs to be regulated, because we learned the hard way as the commons were already figuratively overgrazed.

That is not even to discuss the health effects of an unregulated electronics industry. How much X-Rays would you like to have with your CRT monitor, Mr. Smith?

The poster I replied to is arguing from total ignorance of the facts.

--
BMO

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190749)

Television stations do not 'pass the costs on'. They charge every last dime they can convince the advertiser to pay, regardless of what their costs are.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

djrok212 (801670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190831)

How does the FCC have more money then taxpayer dollars? Aren't all dollars taxpayer dollars?

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28189887)

If the FCC mandates that all television must be broadcast in digital they either A) Need to remove that requirement, B) Have someone invalidate the patent or C) Buy the patent and release it to the public. This is nothing more than government assisted extortion.

Or require that the patent be licensed on reasonable & non-discriminatory terms. Which seems to be the case.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (4, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190047)

That would be perfectly fine if The FCC required switching it would be a non-issue if stations could still use the NTSC standard, but the problem is they can't. When there is an open alternative available that does the same thing it should be up to the stations, not the government to decide which method to broadcast in. What this ruling has done is made anyone dependent on traditional NTSC broadcasts to put $24 or more into the hands of these patentholders at either the expense of taxpayers (with the cards) or their paycheck without it.

If you want the government to keep a patented thing as a standard it is only fair to allow stations the economic freedom and basic right of choosing which standard to broadcast in or whether to dual-broadcast in both standards. A government should listen to the people and not mandate a standard that requires patent fees to be paid, sure, standardize it but don't mandate it whenever a viable alternative is available.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190067)

Wow, I suppose I should have clicked preview, the first part of my post should read, That would be perfectly fine if the FCC didn't require switching. Apparently the bold tags went in but the crucial part of the post didn't. I suppose thats what I get for posting on only a few hours of sleep....

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190841)

" When there is an open alternative available that does the same thing it should be up to the stations, not the government to decide which method to broadcast in"

But it doesn't do the same thing, because it would prevent the reallocation of the bandwidth, and would require many stations to continue broadcasting in both formats, which is expensive and wasteful.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (5, Informative)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189889)

If you think DTV is bad, you should check out HD Radio. Rather than use one of several much more open standards available to them, the FCC requires that digital radio be in ibiquity's crappy format.

Want to transmit in digital? You need to use ibiquity's software, there is no other option. Oh, and you owe them a few grand per year per transmitter as well. Building a receiver? You get the decoder chips from them, and pay them fees. I hear they've finally let some other companies start building chips since they've been too inept to make one that will work in a portable device.

It's too bad, I think digital radio could be pretty valuable as far as keeping radio relevant, but the FCC decided to screw everyone instead.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190127)

I've heard of that before, and it is unfortunate. However, I suspect that pervasive cellular-type wireless will marginalize broadcast radio, you won't need a separate device for everywhere because you already take a capable device with you. It might be a boon for a new era of small broadcasters too, they won't have to worry about tower maintenance or the FCC.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190515)

Where have you been? Radio is already marginalized. Sirius/XM are bankrupt. Some company called Clear Channel bought up every last radio station for pennies on the dollar, and they aren't doing that well. Digital Media Killed the Radio Star.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190665)

I suspect that you're right about wireless internet eventually taking over, but we aren't even close to being there yet. Right now a single AM station can cover several states, and reach millions of people. Try serving a few million people with individual audio streams at 64kbps. The bandwidth adds up fast, and our cellular networks are already performing pretty dismally under the relatively light load they have now (at least in my area). Until telcos get their asses in gear and build out their networks (yeah, right) radio is going to remain a much cheaper way to bring audio to all the people stuck in rush hour traffic every weekday.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190225)

HD radio is not mandated. It is approved. There's no phase-out of analog AM or FM planned, and the non-hybrid HD radio has not been approved, AFAIK. Also, there are dozens of approved FM sideband formats out there, from traffic radio to pagers, and there's nothing stopping you from proposing a competing digital radio sideband standard. For that matter, I think you can already use the the FMeXtra standard as an alternative (at least on the FM band), but I'm not positive about that.

Either way, the HD radio story is a far cry from mandating that the old standard must go away by a particular date so everyone is forced to buy the hardware in question. There's still plenty of time to come up with a better digital radio standard.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190569)

I wasn't suggesting that analog radio was going away. I don't know about the status of all digital HD either, but there isn't anybody even beginning to think about it yet.

As far as I know there aren't any other digital audio formats approved for use in the sidebands. Actually, nothing I know of period is approved for the sidebands. The things you're thinking of are subcarriers on the analog signal, which for the most part don't require explicit approval. FMeXtra is one of those subcarrier formats. It's not a bad idea, except for the fact that a lot of stations already have a pretty full subcarrier load that they'd have to completely wipe out to implement it.

You're right, we could see a subcarrier format rise up to compete with it. Hell, HD radio and a subcarrier format could actually both be used at the same time. We could also see another sideband format come in to play, but I highly doubt the FCC would ever approve another one. They did learn a little something from crap like AM-stereo.

Radio really needed some kind of boost to prove that it could still be revelant, and I think it's sad that things have gone this way. Like it or not, digital radio means ibiquity HD radio now.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190341)

>>>FCC requires that digital radio be in ibiquity's crappy format.

In defense of the FCC, there really was no other choice. They had decided they wanted to reuse the same AM/FM band that had always been used, and iBiquity offered the only viable format. Yes there was the option of Digital Radio Mondiale/Worldwide (DRM) but only for AM. The FM version did not yet exist so that only left HD Radio.

Also I don't think HDR is all that bad. It has the ability to support upto 7 channels on a single station, or 5.1 surround sound for a high-quality experience (like classical music). It's a huge improvement over the nearly-100 year old analog technology.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190601)

Doesn't HD radio downsample past even FM standards?

"Promotion for HD Radio does not always make clear that some of its capabilities are mutually incompatible with other of its capabilities. For example, the FM system has been described as "CD quality;" however, the FM system also allows multiplexing the data stream between two or more separate programs. A program utilizing one half or less of the data stream does not attain the higher audio quality of a single program allowed the full data stream. The FCC has declared "one free over-the-air digital stream [must be] of equal or greater quality than the station's existing analog signal".[30] (If the FCC discontinues analog simulcasting, each station will have over 300 kbit/s bandwidth available, allowing for CD or even Surround Sound-quality audio together with multiple sub-channels.)"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_Radio#Bandwidth [wikipedia.org]

That's interesting, but it totally doesn't answer my question. I know FM is something like 96kb and that's not all that great. I think AM is around 22khz and FM is something like 32-38khz (I couldn't find hard numbers....). HD doesn't really seem like that much of a step forward when it requires taxed hardware and offers little if any advantages over traditional FM analog signals, asides from more streams of top 40 crap followed by commercials of course. I don't see how fragmentation can help the state of radio today. Look at it this way, stations will have to show smaller markets for their channels as users start listening to different streams. I guess they could sell a package that covers all of their substations, but I could see smaller numbers of listeners ultimately hurting their market price for advertising. 30 thousand is a lot better sounding than 15 thousand. It is also expensive to operate a legal radio station. You need a real legal antenna and a lot of cash for licensing. I understand that XM and Sirius are really not much better, but the 128k or so they are pumping is a definite improvement over 96k with far less frequency range. Face it. Radio is nearing death. I don't know what broadcast format will take over, but something tells me its a four letter word that starts with an i and ends with a d. You could just podcast some of your favorite internet radio shows and listen to them at your leisure if hearing something new is important. Lots of good quality streams out there too. I totally understand the need to have a radio that you can just turn on and listen to some jazz (thanks NPR!) or whatever might be soothing for background music, but if it really went away, after you missed it for a while, I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to fill that void in your life and chances are you might never look back. I know I didn't. For that oldschool radio flavor check out black and white radio from spain (I think it was spain) spitting out the classics from the 40s and 50s mostly all in glorious 22khz mono (AM quality).

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190169)

Should there be tax on liquor? Should there be car insurance requirements? Fees for filing govt paperwork? All of these ( and thousands more similar items) are legislated things you must pay for to play a certain game. Requiring TV to adhere to standards is a proper use of legislation.

From your argument you'd rather the govt seizes things from private enterprise (read citizens) whenever they want new laws that utilize private goods. Be careful what you ask for. Your typical knee-jerk reaction solution will likely be much worse than the current situation.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (4, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190201)

If the FCC mandates that all television must be broadcast in digital they either A) Need to remove that requirement, B) Have someone invalidate the patent or C) Buy the patent and release it to the public. This is nothing more than government assisted extortion.

Yes, and it's a shame that practically nobody realized this until these systems were already rolled out.

Europe, Russia, India, Australia, and China have been using DVB-T for their digital broadcast television. Support for DVB hardware in free operating systems like Linux is already in-place and also covers digital satellite and digital cable (DVB-S and DVB-C, respectively) because the standards are so similar.

I guess using existing, deployed, open standards would have just made too much sense.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190399)

DVB-T wouldn't work properly in the mostly-rural U.S. The standard chosen by the FCC can broadcast 100-150 miles (via VHF) with about half the power requirement of DVB.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (3, Insightful)

mwooldri (696068) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190725)

If the FCC standard chosen actually worked for VHF then that would be true. Low VHF (i.e. between channels 2 and 6 inclusive) is actually not very good for the 8-VSB modulation method. The complaints I hear are from TV DX reception enthusiasts and they're talking about their LOCAL stations... TV DX enthusiasts are more than likely to have decent receiving equipment and antenna installations, and they're having problems with the low-VHF signals. High VHF is better but is still more susceptible to interference compared to a UHF signal.

The main advantage to ATSC is its power requirements - i.e. more bang for the watt.

DVB-T has a nice capability that ATSC doesn't and that is its design to use different modulation techniques - QPSK, 16-QAM or 64-QAM. This allows a broadcaster to choose between a more robust signal with a lower bitrate, or a higher bitrate with more programming but a more sensitive signal. Also DVB-T can support single-frequency networks, which ATSC cannot. However DVB-T has been improved and there's DVB-T2, along with Mpeg4 will allow for 3 HD channels to be broadcast on a 8Mhz TV frequency.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190577)

I had the same reaction, nice gig if you can get it.

Re:Shouldn't happen..... (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190581)

"This is nothing more than government assisted extortion."

Get a grip, it's only television. I bet you could use some time away from the tube.

Somewhat dubious. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28189709)

MPEG is counted twice. There's a thing that has nothing to do with ATSC called Wi-LAN in there too. Wonder how useful the table is in practice?

Re:Somewhat dubious. (5, Informative)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189759)

ATSC added to the already large sum of patent royalties required. ATSC is under the "Mpeg2" header, since MPEG-2 is part of the ATSC standard. the "MPEG-LA" header is for all other licenses owned by the Licensing Authority that are required in DTVs.

There's a thing that has nothing to do with ATSC called Wi-LAN in there too.

Look at the chart -- Wi-LAN charges $0.65 per TV to put in a V-Chip, which is federally mandated in all new TVs.

Re:Somewhat dubious. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190019)

Look at the chart -- Wi-LAN charges $0.65 per TV to put in a V-Chip, which is federally mandated in all new TVs.

Well, hey, if we didn't all pay for V-Chips then parents would have to pay more per V-Chip. Isn't the purpose of non-breeders to financially subsidize all those fertile people who managed the herculean task of rutting without birth control?

Re:Somewhat dubious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190395)

Don't worry about MPEG-2 we may be switching to totally patent-free H.264 [wikipedia.org] ... oh, wait.

Re:Somewhat dubious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190519)

In all analog TVs, yes. The digital equivalent of V-chip isn't licensable using the same patents, in ATSC ratings are just part of the protocol.

Also your explanation of MPEG2 vs MPEG LA makes no sense. MPEG2 is under the MPEG LA tag. "ATSC" isn't "under" MPEG2 because that makes no fucking sense whatsoever. If the "MPEG2" license is actually for everything except MPEG standards, then it's the most stupidly named tag under there.

The generic MPEG LA license gives you MPEG2 rights. I don't know what "MPEG2" is doing counted twice, but it shouldn't be.

um what? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28189859)

This has to be the worst summary I've seen on slashdot. I'm sure if I had any clue wtf it was talking about it might be alright, but that's not the point of a summary now is it?

Re:um what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190631)

This is /. It's a site about news for nerds. We just like hearing ourselves talk, so only about 10% of us RTFS (*), and about 1% RTFA.

Besides, we all come here for the discussion. Most of us read all the articles the day or two earlier on Digg or Reddit. :P

(* = The "editors" obviously don't RTFS, so why should we?)

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28189937)

I remember watching DTV [wikipedia.org] when I was a kid.

Public standards MUST be royalty free (5, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189965)

It is well established that public airwaves are subject to strict regulation, for example to exclude obscenity. It doesn't make sense to allow private entities to charge fees of their choosing to anyone who wants to receive these airwaves. It would be fine to patent one particular implementation of the decoder, but not all or most realistic implementations. The standard should have been chosen with royalty-free interoperability in mind. Now that the die is cast, the patents involved should be nationalized under eminent domain and owner compensated for development expenses and risks, but not $25 for every TV in America.

Re:Public standards MUST be royalty free (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190477)

"It is well established that public airwaves are subject to strict regulation, for example to exclude obscenity. It doesn't make sense to allow private entities to charge fees of their choosing to anyone who wants to receive these airwaves."

What do you think the patent fees are like for cellphone manufacturers?

Early adopters (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28189979)

This was, I recall, the situation with DVD. IIRC, there was a time when the licensing fees were high, and combined with the fact it was new techology, these things were quite expensive. Then quite suddenly, they became cheap. Now everyone wants us to buy the expensive HDTV and Bluray. People even say a computer is junk without a bluray, and as a toy it probably is.

I don't know if there is a real issue here. I don't know if the converter boxes have to pay the license fee, if they do it is certainly at the low end. I don't suspect you have to pay the fee to cable companies to use your old tv. This seems to be the case of early adopters paying to adopt early.

Re:Early adopters (5, Insightful)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190163)

People even say a computer is junk without a bluray, and as a toy it probably is.

Show me these people. I wish to mock them. Seriously, a Blu-ray drive is about seven times the cost of a plain ol' DVD drive, and doesn't really come with a lot of advantages. Sure, you can play a Blu-ray disk. Except for this one fellow I know who found that his drive could only play SOME disks. Solution? Wait for a firmware upgrade. And wait. And wait. At least he hadn't bought an HD-DVD drive, right?

The prime disadvantage of the cutting edge is that sometimes you get cut. Once Blu-ray gets cheap and the drive quality levels out more, it might be worth it. But even then, some people just can't see any difference in quality and thus no reason to go Blu-ray. And then there's people like me, who use their DVD drives for burning data disks only.

Re:Early adopters (4, Informative)

fahrvergnugen (228539) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190181)

DVD licensing fees are STILL quite high, and all the money goes to Toshiba, who own the patents. Toshiba's patent trolling is why blu-ray exists.

Toshiba built HD-DVD on top of their existing patent portfolio, and unilaterally altered the rules of the trade association charged with helming DVD's future, the DVD Forum, in order to push through adoption of their arguably-inferior standard over Sony's more advanced, more open, less expensive competing proposal.

Sony, Panasonic, and several other key players walked rather than spend another hardware generation paying through the nose to Toshiba, and formed their own standards body to back Sony's proposed spec.

Thus the format war was born: Toshiba's standard was named HD-DVD, and Sony's Blu-Ray. For once, Sony was the company that had the widely supported, more open standard. This is why you only saw Toshiba HD-DVD players, while dozens of companies were making blu-ray players.

Mind you, they're both closed formats, but of the two, HD-DVD was way more evil. The lesser evil definitely won in that case.

Re:Early adopters (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190497)

>>>Sony, Panasonic, and several other key players walked rather than spend another hardware generation paying through the nose for Toshiba's HD-DVD, and formed their own standards body to back Sony's proposed Bluray spec.
>>>

So basically this was a repeat of the 1970s, but with different players. Sony controlled the Umatic standard for VCRs in the late 60s and early 70s, and then Sony developed Betamax for recording, but JVC, Panasonic, and several other key players walked rather than spend another hardware generation paying through the nose, and formed their own standard body to back JVC's VHS spec.

Re:Early adopters (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190821)

Thank you Captain Obvious!

Re:Early adopters (3, Interesting)

Sehnsucht (17643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190681)

Don't paint Sony & Co as being any nicer than Toshiba. They were just as greedy and actually a little more underhanded, which helped their win. BR has it's points but HD DVD had it's. Yes, Toshiba did a lot to throw things in their favor at the DVD Forum but the other members of the forum let them - including Sony and other BR companies (as generally the BR companies were also DVD Forum members due to producing DVD hardware/software too). Mainly what separated the BR companies from the HD DVD companies at the outset, was that they wanted their slice of the pie (each generally only getting a small specific piece of the action), and they wanted to lock in the prices higher for longer than Toshiba would have, in order to maximize each slice. BR group wanted big margins up front on hardware (which would guarantee slow sales after the early adopters were covered) and for as long as possible (initially locking out the low cost Chinese firms) to get their individual slices to be highly profitable. The software margins weren't as good but the prices still high due to initial production issues. Toshiba would have had such a large slice of the HD DVD pie, that they wanted to go for overall volume as fast as possible (less per unit but more units), and rake in their profits from a wide range of patents (i.e., players and discs). The HD DVD discs were just barely more expensive than DVD to produce, so software prices were mostly profit. The more discs they sell, the more money they make. Most of the BR guys other than Sony (who did most of the initial disc manufacturing) were going to only see profits from the hardware sales themselves.

Also, as far as Toshiba forcing anything... technically, for most of the format war, the BR companies could have outvoted the HD DVD companies, they outnumbered them on the DVD Forum. But they didn't, they just kept not voting on things, being all passive aggressive like a teenager. That's when Toshiba changed the bylaws such that only yes and no votes were the only ones counted, previously yes votes had to outweigh no votes and non votes. BR companies kept going the non vote route, as before, but Toshiba could finally move ahead.

Sony and Panasonic had a patent empire previously with CD, lost the SD video round to Toshiba for DVD (honestly their multimedia CD standards were junk compared to DVD, essentially glorified SVCDs), and have now gotten the next round with BR. BR actually is built like an upside down CD. CD had the data close to the top, which meant it was well protected when set down (but easy to damage from the top), BR is the opposite (in order to get the data closer to the lens and improve data density) whereas DVD and HD DVD are both in the middle (well protected on both top and bottom, but not as high a density, density increase only from laser wavelength and not laser wavelength + closer to lens). This would also explain why BR discs require special coatings on them to protect the data layer from damage, since at the density the data is on the disc, even the slightest scratch can be unrecoverable. So both groups have modified existing techniques and mixed them with new technology. One trades capacity for reliability and cost of production (HD DVD), while the other trades reliability and cost of production for storage (BR). Most other features are comparable, at least if you compare the newer BR Profile 2.0 players vs HD DVD (and not the older 1.0/1.1 players, though I'll grant you most people have no use for the extra features ... )

Mostly the production issues have been reduced (although I'm sure they still cost more to make than ye olde DVDs still, should become more fine tuned and cheaper over time as with anything else). And pretty much all current players are 2.0, and most of the 1.0/1.1 will be early adopters who (hopefully) knew what they were getting into. So now we're down to BR has a higher bitrate ceiling and more space, which are definitely points over HD DVD, even if most of the time you don't really need either, they don't hurt to have. I'll admit those are advantages, and tip the scales in BR's favor, evil Sony empire and all.

Disclaimer: I was a HD DVD supporter. Got a ton of discs and a few players (mostly cheap used spares off eBay after people tried to cash out post-war), and I'm not ditching them. I still have LaserDiscs and players, after all. Mainly I liked my stuff to be cheaper, and I don't trust Sony to do anything in the consumer's interest. I know Toshiba is just as motivated by corporate greed, but at least they haven't screwed over people as much in the past (even if only because they hadn't had the opportunity) ... also I liked the idea of having all players capable of all features. I've been waiting for the right BD player, which is out but I haven't yet purchased (other things to spend money on these days), I'm not going to refuse myself entertainment, it's not like I'd make a dent in anything by doing so.

Re:Early adopters (2, Informative)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190305)

These are fees on new televisions, so your cable subscription reference isn't relevant. Next you're gonna claim that an Electronic Waste Disposal fee that many municipalities charge on new TVs doesn't affect using your old TV with cable. No shit it doesn't...

Re:Early adopters (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190313)

This was, I recall, the situation with DVD. IIRC, there was a time when the licensing fees were high, and combined with the fact it was new techology, these things were quite expensive.

The prices didn't really come down until very recently. [dvd6cla.com] The 4C (DRM) and 6C (various DVD stuff) and MPEG-LA patents still aren't terribly cheap. What happened is that the chinese manufacturers ignored the patents. Because part of the patent licensing agreements is enforcement of anti-consumer stuff (like non-skippable advertisements, upscaling without DRM, etc) these chinese players also dumped the anti-consumer parts too, making the cheapest players on the market also the most functional.

Ignorance is bliss (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190557)

People even say a computer is junk without a bluray, and as a toy it probably is.

If Blu-Ray has become important, the geek really ought to be paying attention. Because it implies a lot about the future form factor of the home PC, the convergence of the home PC and video game console, PC audio and graphics, and the prospects for OEM Linux.

Please increase the cost of televisions (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190003)

There's only one true path in life... Enlightenment cannot be attained while watching this seasons' American Idol.

Re:Please increase the cost of televisions (3, Funny)

crunch_ca (972937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190157)

Don't you wish there were a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence?
There's one marked 'Brightness,' but it doesn't work.

-- Gallagher.

Makes Sense Now (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190059)

I think this might finally explain something I observed when preparing for the switchover. I was trying to find a VCR/DVD recorder with an ATSC tuner so I could record programs. (A converter box->regular VCR setup doesn't work well because the VCR doesn't have the ability to tell the converter box to change channels.)

I couldn't find anything in a low end VCR. All of the low end VCRs or DVD recorders were all tuner-free. You had to go up to the mid- to high-range models before you found one with a tuner, and even then it was hit-or-miss. Contrast that with VCR buying 3-5 years ago, where even the lowest of low end VCR had an integrated NTSC tuner.

At the time I thought it was a reflection of changing viewing habits, that no one was using VCRs to record television shows anymore, but it makes sense that if you need to spend $25-40 on just ATSC licensing fees, you'll just drop the tuner, or would only put it into more expensive models.

(BTW, I finally went crazy, bought an ATSC capture card and converted an old computer into a MythTV box. It's slicker and arguably better than a VCR, but with more headaches and frustrations.)

Re:Makes Sense Now (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190299)

I suspect that has more to do with VHS being a legacy tech then the license fees. Try buying a dvd recorder or a DVR without an ATSC tuner.

Consumers buying all the the most high end model VCRs are almost certainly doing to play back their old home movies and tapes. They probably are not interested recording much at all, its just that adding a record head adds almost nothing to the unit price, the tuner on the other hand does and consumers would select the tuneless units. Honestly if you are buying a unit to make recordings, why would you want to use tape at this stage? Its not nearly as easy as disk. Disk looks just as nice for similar recording lengths and its more portable. Just about everyone has a dvd player now that will play burned disks or a computer. Its actually getting harder to find working VCRs in the wild.

Re:Makes Sense Now (2, Insightful)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190603)

"I suspect that has more to do with VHS being a legacy tech then the license fees. Try buying a dvd recorder or a DVR without an ATSC tuner."

Hell, try finding a VHS tape storage rack. I've been looking for one to organize bare SATA drives, but they're nowhere to be found.

Re:Makes Sense Now (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190529)

Please elaborate on the frustrations of using a MythTV PC for recording. The only VCR I've ever seen with an integrated ATSC tuner was JVC's last Digital VHS model, which could directly record 1080i or 720p HDTV. It was no more expensive than the non-ATSC models. As for DVD-Recorders I've never seen one with an ATSC tuner?

My solution was to buy an external tuner box with a built-in timer. The timer automatically changes the channels at set times, and my VCR (or DVR) simply records the output from the box.

Re:Makes Sense Now (2, Interesting)

Optic7 (688717) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190549)

(BTW, I finally went crazy, bought an ATSC capture card and converted an old computer into a MythTV box. It's slicker and arguably better than a VCR, but with more headaches and frustrations.)

I'm thinking about doing this as well, but I think I'm going to use an HD Homerun http://www.silicondust.com/ [silicondust.com] which gets really good reviews and seems to be relatively headache- and frustration-free since it's an external networked device, so no drivers issues, etc.

Re:Makes Sense Now (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190637)

At the time I thought it was a reflection of changing viewing habits, that no one was using VCRs to record television shows anymore

When you make the move to HD and the digital cable PVR there really isn't much reason to fire up your old VCR. In some ways, it would be easier and less painful to track down the external eSATA or Firewire drive that can give you five to ten times the storage of encrypted HD content.

That explains the $40 coupon (4, Funny)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190131)

The government is footing the bill for the patent fees. The consumer then pays the actual cost of the device.

Re:That explains the $40 coupon (2, Insightful)

Keys1337 (1002612) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190619)

The government is footing the bill for the patent fees. The consumer then pays the actual cost of the device.

This kind of retarded thinking is sadly much too common. The question of how all this gov't idiocy actually gets funded seems to escape most people.

Re:That explains the $40 coupon (2, Insightful)

N!NJA (1437175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190747)

the "consumer" and the "taxpayer" are the same entity. therefore, the consumer *is* paying for the patents.

Analog TV was better than Digital (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190247)

Number of stations I received via analog: 25 (across three markets - Baltimore, Harrisburg, Philly)

Number of stations with digital: 12

I basically lost half my entertainment. Yes some of the analog signals may have degraded to black-and-white over 80 miles distance, but at least I could still catch the football or baseball game, whereas with digital I merely see a blank screen! :-( Thanks FCC and Congress for giving me less variety. This could easily be fixed if they boosted the digital signal to match the power level of analog signals (basically twice current DTV levels), but they won't bother to do that.

Re:Analog TV was better than Digital (5, Insightful)

RubberDogBone (851604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190353)

Do a rescan on June 12 when all of them go to full digital and begin DTV broadcasts on new frequencies and higher power levels. After June 12, you may find that you are able to receive more channels.

If not, try a better antenna. If that doesn't work, then get upset. But at least wait until June 12 to write it off.

FWIW, I used to live in Baltimore but WDCA-20 was what we watched, with rabbit ears and and old UHF loop antenna. It may have had snow and static but we liked it better than channel 45. Fun memories.

It's kinda sad that kids coming up now won't know about those experiences. First TVs came with blue screens to politely mask the static and hidden faint signals, and now, there won't really be any faint signals. No more catching the show on the distant TV station because your local one won't carry it. It's a shame.

Re:Analog TV was better than Digital (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190609)

>>>After June 12, you may find that you are able to receive more channels.

Bzzzz. I've already examined the pre and post-transition stations. NONE of my stations are boosting their levels. In fact, one of them (WBAL-DT) is actually going to a lower level such that they will disappear completely from my screen. So my channel count's going to drop even further than I indicated previously.

Also I'm not the only one in that boat. According to tvfool.com's report and computer simulation, the average American home will lose 3 stations when analog stops, and about 3 million people will lose their television reception completely (no channels). For whatever reason digital is harder to receive than the old analog signal.

Thanks Congress.

Bullshit (3, Interesting)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190431)

Looks like most of the patent fees are in the 'confidential licensors' category. That's the *only* category that increases as the screen size goes up.

And that category, being 'confidential', doesn't describe how, exactly the fees fit into Digital TV.

MPEG2 and MPEG-LA are fixed fees, at $2.50 and $5, respectively, no matter how big the screen is.

Somehow they "estimated" that the 'confidential licensors' category ranged from $6.15 to $20.65. Which looks like blowing smoke. They don't actually know, they just made up a number based on the price of the TV.

(I'd also note that bigger, fancier TVs tend to have more features, including more advanced signal-processing features, so that also would explain why manufacturers might pay more, unspecified patent fees on larger TVs.)

How much do you people think early TVs were? (4, Informative)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190495)

The first US color TVs in 1954 cost the equivalent of nearly $8000 in today's money, for a 14" screen.

Re:How much do you people think early TVs were? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190697)

Hell, our 19" Sony color TV in the early 1980's cost almost $700. But...it also lasted 20 years.

Re:How much do you people think early TVs were? (3, Insightful)

barzok (26681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190777)

Your B&W TV (or radio) didn't quit working because color TVs came out.

On June 12 (unless it's delayed again), your analog OTA TV receiver becomes a brick.

Re:How much do you people think early TVs were? (2, Insightful)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190807)

"On June 12 (unless it's delayed again), your analog OTA TV receiver becomes a brick."

Most people have cable. That remains an option if you want to keep your old TV and not buy a digital tuner.

Non-vital luxury item (3, Interesting)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190625)

Did I miss something, or are we or are we not talking about television? From all the outrage being flung around, you'd think we were talking about something vital and necessary, like food or medical care.

Requiring people to pay extra for access to lowest common denominator spectacle -- and actually getting them to do it by the tens of millions -- isn't an outrage, it's a hack. With extra bonus points for genuine irony.

The Vizio/Funai thing is entirely unrelated! (2)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190673)

Sheesh. The Vizio thing is about Funai using Vizio LCD panel patents without a license.

Summary (1)

Reckless Visionary (323969) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190735)

Sadly this summary has no information at all, provides no description of the issue to be discussed, and provides no content other than links to other sources. Perhaps the submission could have contained:

- A description of the issue at hand
- A reason why an uninformed reader would care about patent royalties at 24-40 dollars (per what?)
- An explicit argument about why this is or is not a good thing

I have been a member of this website for years, and while I am as guilty of not reading the article(s) as the cliche suggest of most readers, I still do so if the summary has some, any, information as to why I should. This summary provides no context whatsoever to evaluate the article's worth nor describes in any way it's content.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>