09.27.2005 12:00 AM
National Journal Article Looks at Impact of DTV Transition on Disaster Recovery
Broadcasters tired of reading how the lack of spectrum slated to be returned after the DTV transition is hampering first responders should check out the National Journal article After The Storm, New Orleans Stations Add Fuel To DTV Transition Debate by Lee Hall. The article notes that under current FCC DTV transition rules, the smallest TV sets, the ones most likely to be used in a disaster, would not have to receive DTV broadcasts. To receive DTV signals on a battery-operated analog TV set, a set-top converter that most likely would not operate on batteries would be required.

The article quotes Fred Young, a vice president at Hearst-Argyle, owner of WDSU-TV in New Orleans. "The critical role the broadcast industry plays in times of natural disaster may not be fully understood by those who advocate premature return of the analog spectrum. Our role in communicating information during a disaster reveals just how critical it is that all viewers, not just those who can afford to pay for television service, have access."

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