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Multicast Poll Could Illuminate HD Usage

NAB is asking its TV members to let the association know what plans are afoot locally regarding multicasting. Heralded a few years ago as a potential boon to local broadcasters--financially and otherwise--made possible by digital technology, multi-station multicasting has been slow to arrive in most markets, with some notable exceptions. By gauging what plans may be underway, if any, in the markets of NAB members (which is virtually all markets), such data could provide some insight into HD plans, as well.

Although periodic advances in compression technology make the possibility of streaming both multicasting and HD simultaneously more of an option for a single station, financing new multicast services has been a challenge to commercial broadcasters, especially since multicasting likely will lead to a lot of niche-sized audiences.

NAB reports that local general managers were to receive e-mails from the NAB Research & Planning asking them to participate in an online survey, which, according to NAB, will take a few minutes to complete. "This information is vital to NAB's ability to protect broadcasters' interests as DTV legislation moves forward," NAB told its TV members. For any questions, NAB members are asked to call (202) 429-5383.