DTV Education, White Spaces Style

I don’t know if it is a PSA or not, but I heard some NAB-sponsored DTV Education on the radio this morning in the Nation’s Capital.

Broadcasters are this week rolling out PSA’s on the digital transition, but this appeared to be part of a different campaign..

The spot was lobbying against the use of mobile unlicensed devices in the DTV broadcast band, a big issue for broadcasters as the computer industry lobbies just as hard to be able to use the so-called "white spaces" in the band for spectrum-sensing devices like PDA’s and laptops that they argue can use vacant spectrum without intererence.

The spot featured a woman saying she had just bought an expensive HDTV set but that some computer companies were trying to use devices in the band that could interfere with her reception.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has said he wants to be able to get more efficient use out of the spectrum by allowing remote sensing devices, and that he thinks that ultlimately the technology will allow it, but he says the FCC is still testing the devices.

Broadcasters do not share his confidence. One device failed spectacularly in earlier testing, but computer companies say it was broken. An even earlier test of eight DTV’s found that all suffered interference from an unlicensed device.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.