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Wireless Networking Businesses Government Hardware Entertainment Politics

Broadcasters Oppose Wireless Net Service 146

Posted by kdawson
from the may-look-like-white-space-to-you dept.
kaufmanmoore writes "The AP reports that the National Association of Broadcasters is launching ads to target lawmakers over a push by a consortium of technology companies including Google, Intel, HP, and MSFT who want to use unused and unlicensed TV spectrum (the so-called 'white space') for wireless broadband. Broadcasters are airing concerns about the devices creating interference with broadcast television. In a statement, NAB chairman Alan Frank takes a swipe at technology companies: 'While our friends at Intel, Google and Microsoft may find system errors, computer glitches and dropped calls tolerable, broadcasters do not.'"
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Broadcasters Oppose Wireless Net Service

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:05PM (#20548665)
    During the football (that's football, not soccer) season games are played every week with running commentary and everything runs just fine.

    Then the SuperBowl comes along and everything turns glitchy.

    How come broadcasters who think they are the end-all and be-all of reliability can't get this most important of games broadcast without problems?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They fuck up football all the time. Everyone is just so used to it, people rarely notice. One such fuck up is even an iconic NFL game. The so called Heidi game. Which was a catastrophic fuck up by broadcasters. Then there are cable companies, and then TNT which apparently can't figure out how to operate a HD channel. Hint motherfuckers, stretching a standard format standard definition interlaced picture to widescreen 720p makes people want to vomit. I'm surprised it hasn't killed someone.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        And then there's all those "wardrobe malfunctions"!
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      'Cause their fingers are quivering on the cables in anticipation of "wardrobe malfunctions?"
    • by purpledinoz (573045) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @04:46AM (#20550461)
      Judging by the recent actions by the NAB, they are against anything that is competition to terrestrial radio. They are fiercely against the merger of XM and Sirius and have spent $4 million to lobby against the XM/Sirius merger. The NAB is hoping to block the Sirius/XM merger, in hopes that they will both go under (both are taking heavy losses). This new "whitespace" is a potential problem to terrestrial radio because people would be able to Internet radio over the airwaves: additional competition. Lets face it, regular radio is very repetitive, full of ads, and not very entertaining. We need MORE competition.
    • by Chapter80 (926879)
      I watched last night's Monday Night Football (American Football) on beautiful high-def broadcast (over the air, not cable). Worked great 99.5% of the time, but literally during EVERY big play for the home team, the signal cut out.

      It was a perfect picture during the normal plays. It was TERRIBLE (worse than old-style broadcasting) during touchdowns.

      The only thing I can figure is that crowd reaction of the broadcaster (i.e. the *employees* of ESPN or the local affiliate) during the touchdowns was the pr

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MS-06FZ (832329)
        Hm, interesting...

        A problem with the lossy compression, perhaps? It's easy to provide a good picture when there's not much going on - it's harder to be consistent when movement (on and across the field, in the stands in the background, etc.) peaks...

        It could also be that your reception is marginally bad - to the point that your set is receiving enough information during those low-bandwidth moments that it can pick out a reasonable amount of data - but when the data requirements for the signal go up, redund
    • by samk5310 (1045574)
      The problem with white space and broadcasters is that those frequency bands are used for all their wireless equipment,like broadcast microphones and clearcoms. It no surprise that at the Super Bowl there would be problems The frequency coordination is huge task considering that there are 100s of wireless communication devices trying to operate ant not step on each other. Shure, Sennheiser and other wireless Microphone companies are fighting this as well.
  • by Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:11PM (#20548715)
    What do the broadcasters have against this proposal REALLY. They don't honestly think that this will cause interference. What is really in it for them for opposing this? Working with the Telcos now?
    • by ichigo 2.0 (900288) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:15PM (#20548739)
      Probably want the unlicensed spectrum for themselves.
    • by IvyKing (732111)

      They don't honestly think that this will cause interference.


      They honestly do think that the proposed devices will cause interference - pretty much the same way that the ARRL demonstrated that BPL systems cause enourmous amounts of interference.
      • by SuperQ (431) * on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @02:06AM (#20549701) Homepage
        True, a lot of wide bandwidth data will raise the noise floor in the spectrum, but the power limits for this "unused" spectrum will be in the milliwatt range.. DTV stations transmit in tens to hundreds of kilowatts. A lot of what hams are using the HF range for is fairly weak signal compared to what DTV stations are using. The max power a single ham station can use is 1500 watts.. most are only 100 watts tho.

        This is besides the fact that the FCC rules for this spectrum use dictate that stations must detect DTV and notch their TX out of any DTV in the air.
    • by Nymz (905908) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:45PM (#20548949) Journal
      Allowing others to make use of the white-spaces will create plenty of interference. Because any type of new communication or service will become and indirect competitor, and thus interfer with the broadcasters market and bottom-line.
      • by British (51765)
        Yeah, the oh-so-used TV broadcast spectrum. Here, it's Channels 2,4,5,9,11,23,29,41. What about all those unused gaps between said channels. They aren't doing anything useful to anybody.
    • by Gary W. Longsine (124661) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @01:17AM (#20549417) Homepage Journal
      Anything the broadcasters can do, a packet network can do better. A new wireless broadband network which spanned the country threatens to not only provide entirely new services which could beam a Star Trek like future right into your pocket, but also to slurp the last bit of creme from their audiences. The broadcasters know they are not innovative enough to survive a technology revolution like this. They will be relegated to milking the declining revenue streams from their aging content libraries, until, finally, they are no longer relevant and have no influence. They will be bought by Google or some upstart that hasn't been founded yet.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by timmarhy (659436)
        Incorrect.

        I can receive hidef tv anytime i want. it costs me nothing. it also has a large range. packet network on the other hand are much more expensive to setup then a simple transmitter, and require specialised equipment to communicate with. there is no hd content streamed yet either, not enough bandwidth. broadcast tv is actually very very efficent, and in terms of sending a picture and sound, pisses all over tcp for speed.

        • broadcast tv is actually very very efficent, and in terms of sending a picture and sound, pisses all over tcp for speed.

          How's your upload speed on that connection? Do you just sit there mindlessly and absorb your non-interactive programming from the network Gods? Internets are expensive because they carry interactive content, not just one-way broadcasts that spray a signal to anyone with a receiver. Broadcasting is very important in an emergency situation or in the case of a coach potato watching the la

        • Although I agree with you regarding the particular narrow broadcast-only function of a current generation television network, I should probably clarify a bit. I was not really referring to the technical details, but rather the support that those technical details provide to the business model, which is after all why the broadcasters are afraid of a modern competitor and will move to block it if they can. They will not and cannot provide modern services on their current technology. Google and others certa
    • by vtcodger (957785)
      Well, right now unused TV channels in the US are just that -- unused. They don't cause the TV broadcasters any trouble. Turning over the unused channels to broadband broadcasting can have a whole lot of results and only one of them -- everything works as advertised all the time -- leaves the broadcasters as well off as they are today.

      It's sort of like you've just heard that Union Carbide is applying for a zoning variance to manufacture explosives next door to your house. They claim that the building wi

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fgodfrey (116175)
        > Well, right now unused TV channels in the US are just that -- unused.

        False (this is in the United States and Canada - not sure how it works elsewhere). Unused TV channels are used for low-power local broadcast equipment such as wireless microphones and in-ear monitors (the ear plugs with wires that you see musicians wearing). You may see some total crap wireless mic from Radio Shack that runs in the 900MHz band, but all the good ones (ie, from Shure, Sennheiser, AKG, etc...) run in unused TV channels
        • by vtcodger (957785)

          Thanks for pointing that out. I forgot about it because I knew that unlike AM and FM, you can't run even a flea power TV signal in the US without a license that makes sure you are not on an interfering frequency.

          Turns out that wireless microphones and such are actually a licensed service, although hardly anyone bothers to license them. Because they operate at such low power -- 50-100mw (250mw max) -- and are sensitive to interference, themselves, their users apparently take care of keeping them out of t

    • you're right it's bull - i thought the fcc is forcing an end to analogue broadcast tv [fcc.gov], precisely because the more-efficient digital broadcasting enables better use of the spectrum (= more use / variety)? it will interfere to the extent that it gets in the way of their own use of the extra space.
    • by w9wi (162482)
      Largely, the concern is that the unlicensed devices will not accurately determine whether a channel actually is unused. Recent tests showed that test devices would wrongly assume a channel to be free for use 19% of the time when that channel was actually occupied by a usable analog TV signal. Of course, analog TV goes away in about 18 months, so maybe we shouldn't worry about it -- but the figure was much worse for digital TV.

      58% of the time, the devices would wrongly assume a channel was free for use w
  • thats funny (Score:3, Funny)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:12PM (#20548719) Journal

    Broadcasters are airing concerns about the devices creating interference with broadcast television.
    yes because as we all know the extra bands can't possibly be used in a way to minimize interference.

    In a statement, NAB chairman Alan Frank takes a swipe at technology companies: 'While our friends at Intel, Google and Microsoft may find system errors, computer glitches and dropped calls tolerable, broadcasters do not.'"
    funny they never had any problems doing that sort of thing before...
    • by Moraelin (679338) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @02:09AM (#20549717) Journal
      Just a thought, maybe it's because the initial demo by those companies created plenty of interference? It's easy to take a jab at the broadcasters, but I'd be worried there too. Yes, it can be designed to minimize interference, but I too would first like to see the model which indeed does that.

      Then those companies said, basically, "yeah, well, you should ignore that 'cause the device was just deffective." Well, then show me the model which isn't. Also, did they test it? If they can't take a demo to the FCC seriously enough to have a fully tested prototype, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence... yet.

      Also show me that you've fixed that mode of failure. If a device can just fail in a mode that jams two adjacent TV channels, I'd worry too.

      To give an example from another wave band and type, imagine that a disco opens across the road from your house. Yes, it can be soundproofed to hell and back, but I'd like them to do that first, not just remain at the "it could be done" stage. If the first test could be heard from a mile, dunno about you, I'd probably be at the head of the medieval mob with torches and pitchforks trying to get them out of town.

      And, honestly, the computer-related companies _do_ have a track record of pushing unsafe or untested stuff out the door. Tell anyone who's seen a Windows computer get pwned in 10 minutes flat after connecting to the internet that they should _totally_ trust MS to have their broadcasting equipment fail-safe.

      Google is any better only because they stuck to the "but it's only a beta!" defense for how many years now? In any other tech company, going productive with a beta would be called irresponsible. My boss would probably have my head for lunch if I told him "it's just a beta" about a version that got deployed.

      At any rate, it's again a culture that doesn't inspire confidence when it comes to other domains. If they can run their search engine as a beta and tweak it as it goes, more power to them, but it's not a model I'd want in something that broadcasts stuff. Or generally in anything that involves a physical product. If their page rank algorithm fails it's just a "teh oops" moment, and they'll tweak it some more again. If such a broadcasting device fails, it jams two adjacent TV stations. It's just not the same thing.

      Heck, even in software it becomes an unworkable model if you move out of the free-services-over-the-net arena. If you shipped an OS by the "it's just a beta" philosophy, you'd probably do worse than even MS. Remember, MS at least has the policy of never shipping with known bugs. But even just the unknown ones caused the pwnage-fest when connected to the Internet. Now imagine it shipped as a beta.
      • Remember, MS at least has the policy of never shipping with known bugs.

        Do they? When was this introduced, and do you have a reference? I remember Windows 2000 (?) shipping with some high-number-of-thousands bugs, just wondering when they changed and how they define this, assuming you're right.)

        Eivind.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ultranova (717540)

        To give an example from another wave band and type, imagine that a disco opens across the road from your house. Yes, it can be soundproofed to hell and back, but I'd like them to do that first, not just remain at the "it could be done" stage. If the first test could be heard from a mile, dunno about you, I'd probably be at the head of the medieval mob with torches and pitchforks trying to get them out of town.

        But if you do that, they might demand more for your out-of-court settlement; after all, you rec

  • Hrumph (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ChoralScholar (1062892) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:13PM (#20548723)
    Cry me a river, broadcasters. Communications legislation in America crazy-favors the local broadcaster and cable companies (See SHVA/SHVERA). This is just more "I don't wanna do anything new" rhetoric from these whiny network affiliates.
  • TV quality (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maniac/dev/null (170211) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:14PM (#20548733) Homepage
    Considering the garbage that these TV companies put on the air waves, I wouldn't mind if OTA television was wiped out entirely. Hell, if the old TV stations still own the licenses on the spectrum, why not convert to wireless TVoIP business models?
    • by toddbu (748790)
      Considering the garbage that these TV companies put on the air waves

      You mean like all the "breaking news" that we get every night. I remember when breaking news was that the nuclear reactor next door had just melted down. Now the term is applied to news stories that happened yesterday. Can anyone say KIRO?

    • Re:TV quality (Score:5, Interesting)

      by antdude (79039) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @01:25AM (#20549461) Homepage Journal
      Wipe out entirely? Are you nuts? I don't want to subscribe to cable, satellite, etc. I like OTA since it's free, and its HDTV is higher quality and satellite and cable from what I read.
      • I'm with you there. Although I do miss the pundits on Comedy Central, I'm glad I get most of what I want to watch for free. All it took was a little indoor antenna and capture card, and I've got HDTV OTA!*

        *If only my desktop could handle mythtv's recording and playback simultaneously...

    • Re:TV quality (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tim C (15259) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @01:55AM (#20549621)
      Be careful what you wish for, as the same applies many, many times over to the web. The proportion of generally interesting, worthwhile websites is much smaller than that of generally interesting, worthwhile TV programs.
      • Perhaps it's because I don't watch sports (I can't stand ESPN-culture), but there are MAYBE five or six television programs that I ever find myself watching. In fact, if it weren't for DVR, I don't thing I would ever turn my TV on unless it was to play a video game. In fact, I went about six months last year without cable. Compare that to my internet habits. I check Google News, Digg, and Slashdot daily and I have 19 podcasts, which I avidly keep up with.

        If you can't find interesting, updated content o

      • To the consumer, the proportion is irrelevant. There are far more "good" websites than there are "good" TV shows.
      • by enjahova (812395)
        Proportion? So what if the proportion is smaller? The AMOUNT of interesting sites/videos on the net has to be larger than interesting TV programs, which is all that matters. Who cares how much crap is on the web, since you don't have to look at it. You just go to your friendly neighborhood search engine, or click on a link sent by your friend and you have instant access to interesting entertainment.

        We should wish for internet over radio, pray even! Forget all these lame broadcasters and their one-way commun
    • I used to think so (still think so with regard to AM/FM) but when I bought an HDTV tuner, I found several good TV shows that I could record to watch later.
  • Oh Yea?? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by snowraver1 (1052510) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:17PM (#20548765)

    'While our friends at Intel, Google and Microsoft may find system errors, computer glitches and dropped calls tolerable, broadcasters do not.'"
    I would bet dollars to doughnuts that google has a higher uptime then their tv station. How many times have you been watching the TV and there is dead air for like 30 secs? How about watching a news broadcast and one of the mics isn't turned on. But more closely related to the article, I'm sure that the Broadcasters would oppose this even if it didn't screw with thier signals at all. Noone solely boradcasts anymore, they also sell thier service to cable companies and satellite. The cable company doesn't want a free wireless setup to compete with thier current duopoly. Therefore it is in the intrest of the broadcaster to help the cable company do well so it buys it's product.
    • by jamesh (87723)

      How many times have you been watching the TV and there is dead air for like 30 secs?

      What? They've started using that whitespace already? Those bastards!!!

      If we let Google start using vacant area's of radio frequency then it's just going to get worse!
    • When the scheduling doesn't match the shows, sports games cut in, a program is cut mid-sentence for the much more important commercial brake, the emergency broadcast system cuts in... and I don't even *own* a television set!
    • by toddbu (748790)
      I would bet dollars to doughnuts...

      With the high cost of donuts these days, this phrase doesn't mean as much as it used to. How long before we're saying "I would bet doughnuts to dollars..."

    • by H27790 (1154949)
      When you see black or any other interuption it is not down time. That could be a snafu, but unless it goes completely off (white snow) the broadcaster is putting out signal. Think of it as a DVD player on but not playing a DVD. Uptime for television broadcasters is in the range of 99.999%
      • by imemyself (757318)
        I'm sorry, but when they are not broadcasting a TV show/commercial and this is not planned or scheduled, then it is downtime. It does not matter what part of the system is not functioning properly. If I can ping my server, but the application on it that people use is not functioning, then that is downtime. The association that is bitching includes companies like ABC and Disney according to TFA, so it is not like these are separate entities that are just broadcasting what some other company gives them.
  • So who here has never seen the "Please Stand By" colorbars of death in the middle of the broadcast of their favorite show?
    • by NF6X (725054)
      How about when your favorite prime-time suspense/action/drama serial gets replaced by coverage of the daily car chase, leaving a confusing gap in the season-long story arc that you can't fill in until the summer reruns? Grr.
      • How about when your favorite prime-time suspense/action/drama serial gets replaced by coverage of the daily car chase, leaving a confusing gap in the season-long story arc that you can't fill in until the summer reruns? Grr.

        mininova [mininova.org] to the rescue.
  • Mr. Broadcaster,
    I'd prefer more bandwidth over more TV any day. Many (if not most) of us have cable or satellite now anyway, so you're being marginalized whether you like it or not. Don't pretend that our attempts to distribute more bandwidth to home are what causes your falling profits and "glitches". Wake up - the world is digital, and it's on-demand.
  • by djupedal (584558) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:34PM (#20548887)
    "Gosh, Dad...it looks like we're the first family in the neighborhood to have a TV antenna on our roof!"

    "Right, Alan - this is the newest thing. Now we can pull in another 4 channels, and one of them is supposed to be showing at least an hour of VibraColor every Friday!"

    ...........later, after the family has had their dinner, and Alan's mother finishes washing the dishes, little Alan sits down in front of the Frank family's new Westinghouse 14" ChromaColor television while his father finishes connecting the also new roof aerial to the back of the glowing set.

    "While our neighbors may find it easy to put up with ghosting, rolling images and static..." Mr. Frank said to Alan, "...the Franks do not. One day, Son, everyone will enjoy color TV the way it was meant to be. Why, I bet they'll have at least twenty channels fifty years from now. Imagine!"

    "And since you're sitting right in front of it, flip the channel to six, Alan...careful - clockwise! Boxing starts in ten minutes! Marge - is that cake ready, yet? All this work & I'm still hungry!."
  • I think it's much more likely that the broadcasters are concerned for one of two reasons:

    1) This will give the various companies straight bandwidth to use for pushing their own video content, which has better supported advertising due to targeted ads (you can actually track who sees the ads, and target ads based on content).

    2) The various companies listed might put out devices that would act like a rabbit ears for the internet- cable "websites" beamed directly to a box piped to a user's television, only on
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Short Circuit (52384)
      File under "Poor use of the term "oligopoly.'" There are plenty of independent TV broadcasters. Not so many independent cable providers, satellite TV operators or broadband ISPs.
    • by binarybum (468664)
      (Just think- a channel with nothing but one show 24/7.)

            huh, I already get that, it's called "Bravo" at least I think it's the same show, everytime I turn it on it's just a bunch of not-so-bright kids in a hot tub making a weird beeping noise instead of talking.
  • Broadcast TV is dead (Score:3, Informative)

    by heptapod (243146) <heptapod@gmail.com> on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:50PM (#20548993) Journal
    Satellite and cable are how people get their TV fix nowadays because of the variety and quality of signal. Plus the fed are going to force everyone to go digital come 2009 [hollywoodreporter.com].
    • I bet Comcast loves you heptapod. Your are the hamster in their profit machine. More over the air HD for me please.
    • by Fizzl (209397)
      Here in Finland we already went all digital at the beginning of this month. Nothing spectacular happened.
      Going all digital does not mean getting rid of broadcast. In our scattered population it is quite common to only have antenna on the roof and no cable. The digital signal travels through the air just fine. You just need different kind of decoder for aerial and cable thou. (For reasons I am yet to understand. You actually need yet another type for satellite dish...)

      I perhaps should mention that we also ha
  • This just in... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by symbolset (646467) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:53PM (#20549015) Journal

    Cable companies also oppose municipal fiber internet.

    Cry me a river. You had your chance to help. Now get out of the way.

  • An average Subway Franchise makes more money in a day than airwave TV makes in a month off of ad revenues. And it's not like a nationwide broadband wireless standard that can leverage off of existing infrastructure would help the economy or anything.
    • by timmarhy (659436)
      Oh please, what crap. a single subway shop makes more then a tv channel makes in a month? more like tv stations make more from a single 60 second ad then a subway makes in a day.
  • by Erris (531066) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @12:00AM (#20549055) Homepage Journal

    Broadcast Glitch? There have been plenty but the next one can be permanent for all I care. Broadcast and all push media is a waste of spectrum, unable to deliver what users actually want like pull media can.

    As a side note, someone who does not know the difference between M$ and Google reliability has to be a M$ user.

    • by hernick (63550) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @12:39AM (#20549231)
      Broadcast isn't a waste a spectrum. Consider a broadcast TV station that can reach a half a million homes, with a few thousand TVs tuned in at any given time. How could "pull" save any spectrum?

      Also, "pull" would be completely impractical for TV and radio broadcasts over-the-air - how would the TV request a particular channel? It would need a way to contact the broadcaster and request a channel - meaning it would need a powerful, expensive transmitter.

      I'll tell you what's a waste of spectrum though: analog TV and radio. Digital transmissions use up a lot less spectrum. At least, in the USA, analog broadcast TV is going away - but I figure AM and FM are here to stay; the installed device base is enormous.
      • How Push is a Waste. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Erris (531066)

        a broadcast TV station that can reach a half a million homes, with a few thousand TVs tuned in at any given time. How could "pull" save any spectrum?

        Because half a million people don't want to watch 99% of what's broadcast, broadcast is 99% waste. People put up with "I Love Lucy" when there was nothing else. Pull gives people the power to watch what they want, when they want so it can be 100% efficient.

        "pull" would be completely impractical for TV and radio broadcasts over-the-air - how would the T

        • I mostly agree with your comments but ... what do you have against "I Love Lucy?"
          • by Erris (531066)

            what do you have against "I Love Lucy?"

            Reference Crocodile Dundee looking at a TV, "I've seen one of those once." TV is playing "I Love Lucy". CD, "Yep, that's what I saw." There's nothing intrinsically wrong with I Love Lucy, it's just that the first syndicated and most played TV show in existence has surely been broadcast more often than people actually wanted to see it.

            • Okay, I'll buy that, I just thought you might have a more entertaining complaint. Certainly I've seen enough of that show for several lifetimes.
        • Thank you! We need to wipe out all the broadcasters and use the spectrum for the internet. Then you can let people "broadcast" their shows over the internet that would then blanket 100% of the US.
      • by icebrain (944107)
        AM and FM will probably be with us for a VERY long time, because their relative simplicity (compared to digital equipment) makes them cheap and easy to produce, and therefore still useable even in emergencies (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc).
  • by zoomshorts (137587) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @12:11AM (#20549119)
    I am running for President of the US on MySpace. Vote for me.

    My main thrust is lobbiests, they need to go away. The only
    lobbies that should exist are those that we all may find ourselves
    in, like the lobby for the aged or for the infirm(handicapped).
    All the rest need to be outlawed. Period.

    I would re-instate the original FCC charter with minor mods to
    take into account the technilogical changes that have happened
    since the 1900's. I would make the field level for all, and discount
    monied interests nearly 100 percent.

    Vote for Zoomshorts !!!

    Plus I have some really cool fachist(sp) leanings too.

    When politicials are talking, they are lying. I lie daily!
    You all should feel right at home.

     
  • Technical Difficulties. [mundosimpson.com.ar]

    Actually my Internet is far more reliable than my local broadcast stations.
  • Minimum standards for television receiver quality could limit the amount of interference from devices that use white-space. Unfortunately, the FCC doesn't seem to be interested in the subject. They did set standards for UHF tuners back when it was new technology and the commercial viability of UHF broadcasting was threatened by the poor quality of most UHF tuners.
    • Interesting you say that.
      It's not just broadcasters against the wireless net service. If I read the fine article correctly, cable and satellite providers are also against this idea. Their theory is that an inadequately shielded TV or VCR plugged directly into the cable would still catch this dreaded interference to TV pictures from the new type of equipment.
      They recommend more research--and I don't think they mean into TV shielding. [shrug]
  • The broadcasters are suggesting what? That the service, including all the RF stuff, will be implemented and maintained by a group of undergraduated nerdy 16yo teenagers who happen to know bash scripting?
    Gimme a break...
  • People in the US still watch over-the-air broadcast television?

    Where I live, in a large town, but not in a huge city with signal-obstructing buildings, broadcast TV is unwatchable. And basic cable (local channels + CNN and a handful of other cable channels) is like $8/month.

    • Where I live, in a large town, but not in a huge city with signal-obstructing buildings, broadcast TV is unwatchable. And basic cable (local channels + CNN and a handful of other cable channels) is like $8/month.

      I agree with you on the unwatchable part, but where I live basic cable is some $30/month.
      • by afidel (530433)
        but where I live basic cable is some $30/month.

        I doubt it. Cable providers have to have a tier with just the broadcast channels for a reasonable price, Time Warner calls it lifeline serve and it costs an average of ~$11/month and then there is standard service which is ~70 channels at ~$54/month.
    • Hey !
      I lived in Boston next to Mass. General Hospital (The Emerson Place) and i got PBS(which was interesting) and some 5 other channels.
      Of course i did get to watch Noddy and the stupid dinosaur a lot, but hey the channels were free and it kinda was relaxing.
      Oh and i also watched the Annual Presidential Address to the congress. It was awesome !
      There are some good news (no political coloring of any kind), good local news, events like the Boston Blues, etc.
      For a month i delayed cable, and then ultimately su
    • by sricetx (806767)
      You have it lucky. Here in the Denver area there is no real digital OTA due to a bunch of NIMBYs who have blocked construction of a new broadcast tower http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_5312731,00.html [rockymountainnews.com] And the local cable provider (comcast) will not sell basic cable either.
  • by zonker (1158)
    "While our friends at Intel, Google and Microsoft may find system errors, computer glitches and dropped calls tolerable, broadcasters do not."

    I find that statement by these old curmudgeons and stalwarts offensive and I don't work for any of these companies.

    I do however have cable internet and digital cable television (Comcast) and it is extremely glitchy, both the internet service and the TV. The TV service momentarily blinks out and pixelates about 10 times per day on average and sometimes worse. Quite
  • ... watch broadcast TV. The voters that matter have all got cable.

    Of course this will go through.
  • by tiqui (1024021) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:13AM (#20550041)

    Broadcasters can whine about this and try to convince lawmakers (most of whom are tech-dumb lawyers) that this is all about protecting the radio frequency spectrum, but this is BUNK, Just as the FCC claims its regulation of computers is about protecting the spectrum is also BUNK.

    If the FCC was REALLY about protecting the spectrum, then they would require some of the worst RF noise emitters (electric razors, light dimmers, lawnmowers, etc.) to be certified. There is a lot of money and prestige in regulating computer technology and none in regulating cheap low-tech devices. As long as they regulate important whizz-bang things like TV, radio, and computers, congress sees reasons to fund them at current levels. If they were the regulators of razors and light dimmers they might have less respect and lower budgets.

    Similarly, the broadcasters are not worried about the spectrum (which sounds important and high-tech); This is about trying to keep from losing even more viewers (and the associated ad and/or subscriber revenue). Everybody knows that younger people are getting more of their entertainment from interactive web-based sources (news from the web, online games, etc) and this trend will likely SKYROCKET if low-cost high-speed net access becomes too available. Any roadblock they can throw-up will help hold back the tidal wave of losses.

    Watch-out whenever somebody tells you that he, like some knight in shiny armor, is a defender-of-the-spectrum, (defender of the faith... protector of the realm... ) and all that stands between you and electromagnetic chaos. If he has a financial interest in the outcome then he probably is in it for the cash.

    • Everybody knows that younger people are getting more of their entertainment from interactive web-based sources (news from the web, online games, etc)

      I love getting lumped in with "younger people" like that. Makes me feel like a kid again. :)
  • This is so old ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:15AM (#20550059)
    1. NAB opposes [anything new].

    2. TV studios oppose {anything new].

    3. RIAA opposes [anything new].

    4. Music studios oppose [anything new].

    5. MPAA opposes [anything new].

    6. Movie studios oppose [anything new].

    7. FCC [still hasn't got a clue]

    Nothing new under the Sun, I guess.
    • The status quo always opposes everything that's.. not the status quo
      • Exactly ... except, perhaps, on those rare occasions when the incumbent purveyors of some product or service see something new and different and say, "Whoa, cool!" and jump all over it and make it happen.

        Offhand I can't think of any examples of that, though.
  • "While our friends at Intel, Google and Microsoft may find system errors, computer glitches and dropped calls tolerable, broadcasters do not."

    I'd hate it if broadcast television started dropping calls. Hmmm.
  • Same as their complaints about low-power broadcasters in the 70s. Really, guys, you need a fresh pick-up line.

  • Of course, they don't realize that their own wording is really true, albeit not the way they intend it to be.

    The real 'interference' that high-speed wireless Internet represents is _competitive_ interference, as fewer people feel the need to sit and drool watching the ads on the 'boob tube', and more choose other means of entertainment.
  • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <{su.narima} {ta} {niwrehs}> on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:44AM (#20553483) Homepage Journal
    Even on the cable/FiOS networks, and switch to "switched" (or packet) video entirely.

    Think of it this way; how many hours of the content that is streamed out to the population actually gets watched, versus the number of hours pumped onto the airwaves, or into cable/fiber networks?

    On Comcast, I get 20+ HD channels, 200+ regular channels, with the bandwidth of ONE regular (non-digital) channel allocated to my ENTIRE NODE for internet access (50-400 people, give or take).

    If all those channels were allocated to data, with packet video streaming through the node, there would be much more room for everything.

    It's the same with the airwaves.

    Change _everything_ over to MPEG4, make everything packet based, and watch the available bandwidth skyrocket. It's not like the FCC isn't already forcing everyone to change their analog TVs to digital TVs. And it's not even gov't interference in the market; spectrum allocation is already done entirely by the government, and is currently monopolized by regional players.
  • by mwillems (266506) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:45AM (#20553509) Homepage
    I am afraid I actually agree with him.

    Background: As an ex telecommunications engineer I know about reliability; as a radio ham I know about interference.

    With that background, I am afraid it seems to me that he may have a good point that some industries tolerate failure (Vista bluescreens on me several times a month), while others do not - your (wired) phone, for instance, always works. A public telehpone switch or a TV transmitted do not need "reboots" - a reboot of a phone switch can take hours, so it is engineered to not need them.

    So while there is a legitimate question about the validity of broadcasting TV, the fundamental point, that while it exists interference should not be tolerated, is valid. It took decades to get to reliable TV transmission, and that can all bre broken very quickly.

  • Since signal quality is so important to him, Mr. Frank is welcome to come over and fine tune the bunny ears on my tv at his earliest convenience.

    BTW, my way of limiting TV viewing is to use bunny ears on an HDTV (analog signal, not digital). Fewer channels and you've really got to want to see a show to put up with warped high resolution static. But if Mr. Frank can pull in "Heroes" a bit better, I'd appreciate it.
  • Face it, broadast, for about 80-90 years, was a license to print money. Now it's obsolete except for live events. We need downloads and interactivity. The hell with broadcast.

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