There was a bit of a technical problem and so while the show did go on, I don't think anyone was able to hear it. As such, here's the link to my appearance on last night's Satellite Nation:
Thursday, November 14 2013
By Trip Ericson on Thursday, November 14 2013, 10:37
Sunday, November 10 2013
By Trip Ericson on Sunday, November 10 2013, 03:00
This Wednesday at 8PM ET, I will be appearing on Satellite Nation. If you wish to listen in, it will be streamed here: http://radio.satelliteguys.us/
After the recording is posted, I will make a post with a link to the recording. Have a great week!
Thursday, October 3 2013
By Trip Ericson on Thursday, October 3 2013, 22:07
I usually like to let dhett's excellent Arizona Station Update have the top slot here on the blog for several days before posting something else, but this month will have to be an exception.
I have sad news to report. Reader, contributor, and friend Terry Knab, of Springfield, Missouri, died yesterday afternoon (October 2) after suffering a pair of strokes on September 27.
Terry found me in March 2008, around the time that RabbitEars only had a text list of subchannels and not the extensive collection of data it has today. We chatted via AOL Instant Messenger, and his first message to me was a correction to the Springfield data I had, which was sparse at the time. The second day we chatted, the chat ran until 4AM and covered all manner of TV subjects. Our near-daily conversations after that rarely deviated from that subject. When I needed opinions on something, he always gave an honest and constructive opinion, and more than a few changes to site layout and presentation were made on the basis of his opinion. More than once, he was able to help me or put me in touch with friends of his who could help me with rather difficult issues I had with the site, like figuring out what font I had used to make the RabbitEars logo, and with testing of the Mobile RabbitEars code on hardware besides my own.
In more recent times, I got busy with work and other things in life. I still received messages from him at least once per week, and answered as often as I was at my computer to do so. Our most recent conversation of length was on September 17, when we discussed the sale of KCAU, WOI, and WHBF to Nexstar. I had been planning to chat with him last Friday (September 27) about the subchannel shuffle in Kansas City to get his thoughts and opinions, as well as any information he may have picked up that I missed (he did quite often), but he was not online. Later that evening, I saw the bad news on Facebook.
I feel very sad that I never got to meet him in person. In 2011, I nearly went to Springfield for a job interview and would have met him while I was there, but I was offered the position at Luken before that happened and thus never made it out there. I eventually hoped to get out to Springfield on a road trip with Elizabeth, and still hope to do so, though it won't be the same now.
Terry Knab. September 6, 1973 - October 2, 2013. He was 40. It was much too soon.
You will be missed.
Wednesday, August 28 2013
By Morgan Wick on Wednesday, August 28 2013, 03:00
Technology has radically changed how we consume video, and how we will consume it in the future. Though much of the current landscape still reflects the cable television paradigm that became mainstream in the 80s and 90s, we are fast approaching a critical point that will establish the new paradigm going forward, as on-demand streaming of TV shows becomes more and more popular. The Internet has blown the “thousand channels” once promised by cable out of the water with a seemingly limitless selection of video, all waiting for you whenever you want. Soon, your television and cable box could be replaced by a computer that can pull up shows from the Internet, rendering any older concept of the “television” obsolete.
Yet another aspect of technology may in some ways shake up the landscape even more, if only in how it shakes up our definition of a computer itself. This is the rise of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, devices that connect to the same Internet as more conventional computers even if they do so in ways that present themselves differently to the end user. There may not be any distinction between TV and Internet in the future, but these devices are counting on it, because they have no way to connect to cable TV other than by using the Internet as an intermediary. And if the Internet itself changes when we consume content, mobile devices change where we consume content. Ironically, this shift could make the question of “when” less relevant by making sure you’re never unable to catch your shows when they’re on (unless perhaps you’re behind the wheel of a car). Perhaps partly because of this, for the moment the consumption of content on mobile devices reflects the current cable television paradigm even more than the general landscape, with cable companies embracing the future they call “TV Everywhere” where any channel you can watch at home you can watch on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – if you “authenticate” with your cable provider.
The notion that in the future, there will be people that get all their video off the Internet in some way should give one pause, raising the question of what the implications are on a more basic level. What sort of infrastructure are we building for the consumption of video, and is it the right tool for all the jobs we might end up asking it to do?
Tuesday, August 20 2013
By Morgan Wick on Tuesday, August 20 2013, 03:00
There have been several posts on RabbitEars opposing efforts by the FCC to reclaim spectrum from broadcasters for the sake of wireless providers and touting the value of broadcast television, and many in and out of the industry have refuted the notion that broadcast television is an outmoded technology obsolete in the age of the Internet. While I sympathize with the cause and don’t disagree with the message (a change of heart for me), I think it’s worth considering why people might think the Internet makes broadcast television obsolete, and from that determine how broadcasters might be able to leverage their strengths to survive and thrive going forward.
Monday, August 12 2013
By Morgan Wick on Monday, August 12 2013, 03:00
Hey everyone, Trip's been kind of busy since moving to DC, not entirely for reasons directly related to his job, so he's asked me to provide some posts to liven up the blog at least for the rest of the month. First up is something I originally wrote for Radio-Discussions.com back in March:
What would it take for people to start cord-cutting en masse? Well, what programming is available to them if they do? Here's the channel lineup I put together based on the lineup Trip was supposed to have during his time in Chattanooga, assuming an antenna capable of picking up any station on the plus side of that big gap from 15 to 4 dB (without directional bias because I don't know any of the technical specifics of that). I'm listing PSIP ID's based on what's listed at Trip's site, with affiliations in parenthesis when it's not clear from the ID's.
Tuesday, March 12 2013
By Trip Ericson on Tuesday, March 12 2013, 13:27
Below is a link to the comments I filed yesterday on proceeding 12-268 about the FCC's incentive auction.
Monday, June 18 2012
By Trip Ericson on Monday, June 18 2012, 14:54
RabbitEars and I are in the Chattanooga Times-Free Press today.
Wednesday, April 4 2012
By Trip Ericson on Wednesday, April 4 2012, 08:00
(You're not having deja vu; I've changed the date so this post appears at the top of the page.)
For the first time, I will be in Las Vegas this year for NAB. I will be there with Luken Communications, who is exhibiting there for the first time this year, so my visit won't be the only first. =) I suspect I will be away from the booth much of the time, between meeting with vendors and trying to find people who I already know will be there.
Are there any users of RabbitEars who will be in Las Vegas for it? Can't promise anything regarding my availability outside of the show floor, but I would love to meet many people, both those who use RabbitEars and those who send me the data and updates that make RabbitEars possible.
I am very much looking forward to this show!
EDIT: One important note, for those who may not know me too well, the name "Trip Ericson" is a pseudonym. Confusingly, Luken Communications has hired a new Director of Sales, who will be at NAB, whose real name actually is Tripp. My real first name is Mark, and as such if you come to the booth looking for me, that is who to ask for, not "Trip." I hope to have a RabbitEars button or tag to pin to my shirt in time for NAB which should make me easier to identify.
Sunday, April 1 2012
By Trip Ericson on Sunday, April 1 2012, 03:00
In a surprise move, the FCC and the wireless industry today announced that they had "come to [their] senses" and have discontinued their pursuit of television spectrum.
While the FCC and the wireless industry still intend to try to clear most stations off of channel 51 for a guard band, no further reclamation will take place.
"We looked at the name of the service we provide, 'cellular telephones,' and realized that's the answer," said a high-ranking engineer at Verizon Wireless. "Clearly, making the cells smaller, and thus making more efficient of the spectrum we already have, is the best way to improve our service and solve our issues with speed and throughput for 4G Internet connectivity. In addition, having more tower sites means people will be closer to any given tower and have better service as a result."
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski acknowledged that the National Broadband Plan was never about rural broadband. "It's plainly obvious that spectrum availability is not the reason for low availability of broadband in rural areas; there is a ton of unused spectrum in those areas. Service issues for those in urban areas were the main reason for this push, and we now realize how much more sense it makes to use smaller cells and existing spectrum allocations."
The sudden about-face came as a shock to members of the broadcast industry, including broadcasters who had been buying up stations to sell in incentive auctions. A high-ranking official at one such company, who wished to remain anonymous, commented on the situation. "I can't believe that I now have to provide actual programming people want to watch in order to serve the public interest instead of simply filling my own pockets at the public's expense!" His statement continued, but used language that could not be published in this article.
Most other broadcasters breathed a sigh of relief. One station owner was very pleased with the situation. "Stations which were afraid to invest in equipment to add additional channels are now going to feel secure enough to make those investments and make free over-the-air television a more viable competitor to cable and satellite. Having 30 or more channels available over the air, even if many of those are not in high definition, makes it much easier for people to cut down one of their largest expenses every month: cable television."
One industry was predictably upset with this turn of events, the cable industry. An official for the National Cable and Telecommunications Association told us, "I am disappointed that our largest competition is not going to be killed off. We're going to have to cancel the big party we had set up." He went on to note that, "now we can't jack up prices on our customers because they will continue to have free competition to jump to. If we can't collude with all our competition to raise prices, how will we ever make money!?"
The cellular companies have already begun working toward making upgrades in accordance with their new upgrade strategy. It is expected to be completed shortly after the US Congress attains a positive approval rating.
Happy April Fool's Day, everyone. =)
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