06.28.2010 03:00 PM
Broadcasters Urge FCC Chairman to Protect Free TV
WASHINGTON: The top major broadcast TV associations today delivered a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski urging him to protect the coverage of over-the-air television. It came just as President Obama delivered a memo to the Commerce Department directing it to manage an initiative to free 500 MHz of spectrum for a national wireless broadband network. Several prominent broadcast engineers gathered at the FCC last week to discuss how they could use spectrum more efficiently.

“America’s free and local broadcast engineering community appreciated last week’s opportunity to gather and discuss the technical aspects and implications of the National Broadband Plan and proposals to reallocate a portion of the broadcast television spectrum for wireless broadband service on a voluntary basis. We look forward to working with you, your fellow commissioners, and agency staff in a fact-based process founded upon the engineering realities of sound spectrum management,” said the
letter signed by David Donovan, chief of the Association for Maximum Service Television, and Lynn Claudy, senior vice president of science and technology a the National Association of Broadcasters.

Both men attended the FCC Broadcast Engineering Forum, where advanced compression, cellular architectures and VHF reception improvements were among topics considered. At the end of the day, it appeared that current technology was unlikely to create DTV transmission efficiencies such that spectrum could be freed without significant loss of coverage. (
See, for example “Advanced Compression Unlikely to Free Up TV Spectrum for Broadband.”)

“We appreciate your assurances that any reclamation of broadcast television spectrum will be undertaken on a completely voluntary basis,” the letter continued. “We also fervently support the principle that any spectrum reclamation must not force a reduction in the number or quality of services potentially offered by broadcasters or a reduction in number of television homes served by broadcasters.”

The two note that a great deal of money and effort was just spent to transition the nation’s analog TV broadcast infrastructure to digital technology.

“Collectively, untold billions of dollars were invested by broadcasters, government and consumers to ensure America’s leadership edge in digital and high-definition television, and the fruits of those investments are just beginning to be realized.”

They also emphasized that the point-to-multipoint broadcast architecture would be more efficient in the delivery of mobile DTV than would a cell-phone network.

“Our system provides the most spectrally efficient means to meet the demand for high-quality wireless video that is transmitted simultaneously to millions of consumers,” they said.

“This innovation will prove not only beneficial to viewers and television stations; it will also inevitably alleviate congestion experienced on wireless networks due to the increasing demand for mobile video,” the said. “Television broadcasting remains the most efficient way to deliver rich video to the masses, a fact reinforced in local towns and cities during a weather-related crisis, or nationally when President Obama addresses Americans from the Oval Office.”

Deborah D. McAdam

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Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Mon, 06-28-2010 07:15 PM Report Comment
When will free mobile TV become available to the public?
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Tue, 06-29-2010 02:47 PM Report Comment
If everyone watches TV on the internet we won't need Nielsen any more. Your viewing habits will be automatically logged. Google is Big Brother.
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Tue, 06-29-2010 03:24 PM Report Comment
Speaking of Local Broadcast TV's Future, does anyone remember CB Radio it is gone replaced by the Cell Phone, so with Cable & Telephone both turning to Broadband for sending their video signals to customers nationwide who needs a local Broadcast affilate for their respective network feed(s) and we all know without a Network affilation there's little hope to have local news and with no news, no local identity etc. etc. etc. I predict by 2012 the big 4 will start ping under performing affilates then demand a certain basic channel location from local Cable for their network feed. Then the Cable companies could get into the Syndie business to program said basic channel during off-network hours. Time-Warner has got their Local News channel which could be waiting in the wings to shine by 2015.
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Tue, 06-29-2010 06:42 PM Report Comment
Perhaps it's time we start making sure an app is "broadband worthy" before all these little wing dings eat up our spectrum like an out of control Pac Man and all the ghosts are constantly blue.
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Tue, 06-29-2010 09:13 PM Report Comment
Really, shouldn't AT&T's recent imposition of a 2 GB/month cap on their wireless broadband service disabuse people of the notion that wireless broadband can somehow replace broadcast TV? Using a single transmitter to broadcast mass appeal programming to multiple receivers is just a far more cost efficient and spectrum efficient option than attempting to stream that same programming. And the idea that the Big Four will dump their local affiliates within two years is similarly off-base. Ask CBS if they took a hit in Dallas/Fort Worth when off-air viewers had trouble receiving KTVT after it shifted it's digital signal back to VHF channel 11? CBS has spent the money to fix that problem because they recognize that their broadcast audience is still quite sizeable in many markets.
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Tue, 06-29-2010 09:22 PM Report Comment
re: the 06/28 post MDTV is available in many areas NOW! There are dozens of posts to read about it here: http://www.dtvusaforum.com/mobile-dtv/
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Sun, 07-24-2011 08:42 PM Report Comment
I would really appreciate a separation between govt and sponsor-driven TV, much the same as religion and state... Of course, we all still fantasize about the separation of govt and news networks, but untangling the propaganda machine looks impossible now that it's become so pervasive.

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