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To cast a slight European flavor on the debate, to which I am severly
tempted to respond in detail but must due to time and small children,
abstain from.

The flavor(s) is added to an outrageous and chaotic situtation in general.
Imagine, in the consumer end of the line,  that  if Mr Smith walked into a
radio store and asked for a digital decoder/receiver the reply would be; 
"Very well sir, which channel do you wish to watch?"

There is such a lack of standardisation and consensus on operation from
content providerers/transporters that what in essence is a true leap
forward in the history of television is totally blown out of the water by
abuse of its capabilities.

But this will settle down as our ways of consuming content changes
radically. The disciplines of computer, video and telecom plus of course
silicon are finally (it was a long wait) converging. It is an extremely
exciting era with extreme opportunites and there is nothing saying that
quality in video and audio is going to be last in the race.

Public service will most definitely be one of the winners. If public
service implies meeting the needs of minorities or groups with special
interests.  The structure of DTV supports regionalisation very well,  with
support for simple things like multiple audio plus additional services
(probably over internet) to support the objective of PBS. This may be
easier to implement in Europe where the concept of public service is still
regarded as important. On the political arena,  the two continents have a
lot to share, in the US decisions are at least made albeit vague and open
ended but still they are made. Thats a lot more I can say about Europe, 
and we are supposed to be united?

/mike reichel


         Thanks to Brian Thomas for support of the TIG in 1997
      TIG subscriber count is 859 on Fri Oct  3 08:49:28 PDT 1997
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