05.04.2004 12:00 PM
Alternative plan calls for cable to downconvert at the set-top, not the headend

Responding to a proposal last month by the FCC Media Bureau setting 2009 for completion of the digital transition and condoning downconversion of broadcasters’ digital signals by cable TV and satellite providers, a group of industry heavyweights put forward their own alternative in a letter to Commission Chairman Michael Powell.

In the letter, the NAB, Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV), ABC, CBS, NBC and FBC Television Affiliates Association objected to the bureau’s plan to count cable and satellite homes as digital when they receive downconverted analog versions of digital signals. They argued that this approach defeats the purpose of the 85 percent threshold currently in place because “Congress intended for consumers to have the choice of viewing local broadcast signals in digital format over new receivers or in analog format with converters attached to their old analog sets.” Cable and over-the-air homes with analog sets not equipped with downconverters don’t quality, the letter said.

There are alternatives that expedite the analog-to-digital conversion that don’t violate the act authorizing the conversion or Congress’s intent, the letter said, pointing to a joint MSTV-NAB proposal from 2003.

The associations then proposed that cable systems be allowed to “terminate carriage of a station’s analog channel if the cable system (a) passes through the station’s digital signal to all digital television receivers and (b) downconverts the digital signal for receipt at no extra charge on all analog-only receivers for carriage on the analog basic tier.”

This approach, the letter said:

  • Ensures non-subscription content in digital signals is passed through without material degradation;

  • Allows MVPD households with analog sets to continue receiving local broadcasts by downconverting at the set;

  • Counts toward the 85 percent threshold only households that receive undegraded digital signals, which is consistent with the act.

Other steps the commission can take to speed the transition are to conclude negotiations with Canada to provide interim DTV channels for all U.S. stations and to develop final DTV channel agreement with Canada and Mexico. The commission should also require stations with analog and DTV assignments in the “core” to make channel election in 2005, the letter said.

For more information, please visit www.nab.org.

Back to the top

Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found

Tuesday 03:07 PM
WMUR-TV Says FAA Drone Rules Preclude ENG
The FAA’s current rules and proposed ban on flight over people, requirement of visual line of sight and restriction on nighttime flying, effectively prohibit broadcasters from using UAS for newsgathering. ~ WMUR-TV General Manager Jeff Bartlett

Sue Sillitoe, White Noise PR /   Tuesday 05:21 AM
Professional VoD/OTT Just Got Affordable With Visual Unity
Clyne Media, Inc /   Tuesday 07:54 AM
Auralex® Now Shipping New Deep6™ Low-Frequency Absorber
Manor Marketing /   Tuesday 09:27 AM
aQ Broadcast announces new video server configurations

Featured Articles
Discover TV Technology