"to derail the technology before the rules of the road are even written."Incompatible metaphors :-)
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As a sound technician I work with wireless microphones all the time. Even without the deregulation clean bandwidth is limited.After this regulation passes, my experience tells me that there is no conceivable way for my mics operate cleanly.Professional wireless microphones are very expensive often over a thousand dollars for a single microphone. There are easily millions of dollars worth of audio equipment in America that uses this air space.What will become of all this equipment once this regulation passes? Assuming new technology will be able to provide clean audio, how much will it cost to switch? Will the old gear be worth anything?My point is that after this regulation a lot of concert production companies will have start investing lots of money into new technology, with out being able sell their old stuff for any value. Shouldn't the FCC, or the businesses which hope to operate in this bandwidth subsidize the development and transition of the new technology from the old?
I posted a version of this on the Denver Metro AVS Forum, but it also seems appropriate here.Could broadcast digital television fail? And if it did, would that be a bad thing?Here's the deal: Cable and satellite penetration is such that only something like 20% of Americans get their televised entertainment from terrestrial broadcast. Cable and satellite providers won't require their viewers to to buy new sets, and the value proposition of HD is questionable, at least at this point.OTA viewers will probably depend in large part on coupon-eligible set top boxes (CECBs) for reception for some time (I know I will), so it's looking like the retail market for new sets will be pretty thin, especially with a recession on. So what's the motivation for buying a digital set at all? Many viewers may be so pleased by the picture quality out of their CECBs that they will regard a new set as unnecessary for years -- assuming that they can get reception under the new regime.If reception is spotty, things get squirrely. That population of OTA viewers may shrink dramatically after the February changeover if reception is as problematic as indicated in the recent test, because a lot of them will go to cable or satelite.If the small population of current viewers begin to desert OTA in earnest, what economic motivation is there for broadcasters to spend on broadcasting? They might be motivated to maintain a broadcast presence only to oblige cable and satellite vendors to keep them on due to the must-carry rule. If they could convince those carriers to keep them on cable and satellite without a broadcast presence, and if the FCC allowed it, why should they remain on the air?The whitespace initiative (http://freetheairwaves.com/) is interesting in this respect. The idea is to deploy unused bandwidth in highband VHF and/or UHF TV for use in constructing a stupendous (and largely ad-hoc) wireless Internet infrastructure, implemented as a mesh network. If broadcast TV has a lower net market value than such a network, why should it be subsidized -- especially when those video services might be delivered with higher economic efficiency over a wireless broadband mesh?Jim McCauley
Let me know if I can help. This is serious, and would not be at no charge. I own TV stations on UHF and VHF in Anchorage Alaska, and believe freeing unused spectrumwould release vast potential, and believe it can be done without interference. I also believe existing proposals are flawed. What I can provide is a field test bed for whatever technology you would like to try on channels where the nearest licensed co or 1st adjacent station is beyond coordination radius. And maybe some helpful lobbying. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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