What About Digital TV

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2002-07-24 Print this article Print

?"> What About Digital TV? Im glad you asked. I mentioned above that broadcast television utilizes antiquated technology. No ones disputing this, and as you may have heard, the broadcast industry, the FCC and the consumer electronics industry has come up with a plan to fix that. Digital TV, or DTV, is slated to replace completely our current analog television system by 2007. The FCC has even been kind enough to give broadcasters additional free spectrum in which to simulcast their programming in digital and analog while we all buy new televisions or set-top boxes to receive 2007s all-digital transmissions.
DTV was initially intended to provide for enough compression to fit high-resolution, surround-sound TV programming (HDTV) into the space in which TV stations currently broadcast. However, broadcasters realized they could use digital compression to broadcast four separate channels in that same space instead of broadcasting in HDTV.
The FCC has chosen not to require stations to broadcast in HDTV, so it looks as though, come 2007, the same small group of spectrum freeloaders will see their spectrum fiefdoms quadruple in capacity. These additional channels are likely to carry pay-per-view programming and other for-profit services. As a result, the owners of those swaths of spectrum, the American public, are unlikely to experience a similar quadrupling of the value of their spectrum "investments." I cant imagine how watching "Jerry Springer" or "Guiding Light" over HDTV would do anything to augment my viewing experience, but if this or any other disruptive video content technology is ever to take off, what better platform from which to launch than the Internet, where anyone can put their wares on display, and anyone so inclined to sample them may do so?

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at jbrooks@eweek.com.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel