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DTV Inquiries Level off in Latest FCC Summary of Top Consumer Inquiries

The FCC's recently released First Quarter 2010 Report on Informal Consumer Inquiries and Complaints lists "Digital Television Issues" as one of the categories and shows 551 inquiries in 1Q2010 compared with 741 in 4Q2010. Over the six month period, the number of DTV inquiries reported dropped from 291 in October 2009 to168 in March 2010, a slight drop from 170 in February. Broadcast interference inquiries increased to 1,315 from 1,181 in 4Q2010.

The number of complaints in the Digital Television Issues category dropped significantly throughout the six month period from October 2009, where 782 complaints were registered, to 146 in March 2010, down from 154 in February 2010.

As expected, the complaints in the category "Programming – Indecency/Obscenity" dwarfed all other categories, broadcast and non-broadcast, with 130,651 registered in the first quarter of 2010.

In previous reports I used to see the inquiry category "How to Start Broadcast Station" listed. That was missing in the last two reports. The summary only includes the top categories processed by the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, so the apparently there isn't as much interest in starting a broadcast station as there was in the first quarter of 2002, when "How to Start Broadcast Station" and "Low Power Broadcast Information" combined (1,459) exceeded the next most popular topic, "General Programming and Content" (1,374).

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.