Supporters of the National Broadband Plan's recommendation to take 120 MHz of UHF TV spectrum and allocate it for wireless broadband point to a declining audience for over-the-air TV. In 2011, however, I noticed an increasing number of articles on the Web about dropping cable TV and moving to over-the-air TV and Internet video, not only in the United States, but also in Canada as their DTV transition progressed. People are realizing that in many locations, a simple antenna can give them excellent reception of a variety of programs.
One indication of the increased interest in over-the-air DTV is the success of existing antenna companies such as Antennas Direct, and new companies like Mohu and WallTenna. Easy-to-mount, inconspicuous antennas like the Mohu Leaf and WallTenna make it easy for people to try over-the-air TV.
The availability of streamed video from sources like Hulu and Netflix deserves a lot of credit for making it easier to cut the cable cord, but I have to think that the relative ease of over-the-air DTV reception and the high quality compared to analog TV has something to do with it.
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Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.