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Broadcasters Oppose Wireless Net Service

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the may-look-like-white-space-to-you dept.

Wireless Networking 146

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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146 comments

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20548659)

lol @ neo-nazis in Israel!

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20550645)

I'm LOLing @ the jews in Israel!

If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20548731)

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:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20549009)

And then there's all those "wardrobe malfunctions"!

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20549307)

they fuck them up all the time and your best example is from 1968

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (-1, Troll)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#20548965)

> During the football (that's football, not soccer)

You just excluded the most popular use of the word - ie association football - but there are still several others :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football [wikipedia.org]

The English word "football" is also applied to American football (also known as gridiron), Australian rules football, Canadian football, Gaelic football, rugby football (rugby league and rugby union), and related games.

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20549007)

You just excluded the most popular use of the word ie association football

C'mon, how can you call a game where the guys kick the ball with their feet and never handle it on the field (except for the clown in the colorful suit), football?!

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20549157)

C'mon, how can you call a game where the guys kick the ball with their feet and never handle it on the field (except for the clown in the colorful suit), football?!

That's why it's called football.

There's a north american country where people, for some unknown reason, refer to rugby as "football".
Weird, I know.

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (0, Offtopic)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549305)

C'mon, how can you call a game where the guys kick the ball with their feet and never handle it on the field (except for the clown in the colorful suit), football?!
That's why it's called football.
Ah, so the head, chest, and knees are part of the foot. Good to know.

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549693)

That whooshing sound you just heard was the joke passing way over your head.

-jcr

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (1)

catprog (849688) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549987)

Because they do not play on horses.

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550637)

We have a winner!

I've always wondered why, what with horses going out of fashion, no-one plays moto-polo. That would be awesome.

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (1)

catprog (849688) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551031)

They do play on those wheel things you stand up on(can't rember the name)

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551961)


There's a north american country where people, for some unknown reason, refer to rugby as "football".
Weird, I know.
It used to be called armoured battle rugby but since they stopped using the morningstars the name was a bit silly.
Granted the new name doesn't make much sense either.

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20549229)

'Cause their fingers are quivering on the cables in anticipation of "wardrobe malfunctions?"

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (3, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20551383)

MOD PARENT DOWN!
he just said the superbowl is the "most important of games."
this is news for NERDS, asshole.
D&D is the most important of games.

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (1)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551555)

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 problem. I can't imagine it was interference from crowd reaction at the local bars. I suppose it could have been from the stadium interference, but that doesn't explain why the low-def TV next to it was fine.

It got to the point where I gave up on High Def. Who wants to watch crappy plays in high def and good plays in static? (I caught them later on the news.)

Re:If broadcasts are so critical, how come.... (1)

samk5310 (1045574) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553457)

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.

Sounds like Bull to me (5, Interesting)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 6 years ago | (#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?

Re:Sounds like Bull to me (1)

IvyKing (732111) | more than 6 years ago | (#20548751)

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.

Re:Sounds like Bull to me (3, Interesting)

SuperQ (431) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549701)

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.

They Are Telling The Truth (5, Funny)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#20548949)

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.

It is bull, here is why: (5, Interesting)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549417)

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:It is bull, here is why: (2, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549597)

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.

Re:It is bull, here is why: (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551045)

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 latest Hollywood drivel, but interactive wireless Internet access is much more important for the future.

Re:Sounds like Bull to me (1)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550301)

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 will be tasteful, the grounds gorgeous, the traffic light, noise and pollution non-existent and everything will, of course, be perfectly safe. You'd be happy about that? Not if you can spell Bhopal you wouldn't.

I'm in favor of anything that will get broadband to rural areas, but the TV broadcasters should get reasonable assurance of protection from this new service. And I sure as hell wouldn't trust the techies never to dynamically plant their broadband data transmitter on the same frequency as someone's soap opera. At the very least the data people likely need an incentive (e.g. fines) to take interference avaoidance seriously.

digital tv (1)

Potor (658520) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550981)

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.

Re:Sounds like Bull to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552393)

It is not bull....for me at least there is a great reason to not auction this off for broadband. I run a wireless mic system for one aspect of my business. It runs off of the broadcast TV spectrum, and is legal because the transmitters are low power. Just about every wireless microphone you see anywhere runs off of this same spectrum. I will personally have to replace 3 mic systems for my business. At a cost of $1000 each, it can get expensive. Now think of all the TV stations, video producers, live event venues, churches, etc that will have to replace complete systems. What the FCC does not realize is how much relies on that spectrum other than TV stations. I am definitely in support of NAB on this.

Re:Sounds like Bull to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20553331)

Working the entertainment industry, the bigger problem is not interference with TV broadcast signals. It's interference with auxiliary devices that's the problem. Wireless microphones, intercom, in-ear-monitors, and IFBs are used by the thousands at the Superbowl, political national conventions, and rock concerts. With other devices grabbing up spectrum, these devices will be completely unusable.

I'll laugh if they have to use hard-wired microphones at the product release because the stupid device was killing the ability to use other devices.

No one will be laughing when the superbowl, theme parks, and community and educational theatres are brought to their collective knees.

thats funny (2, Funny)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20548719)

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...

Maybe because it did in the tests (4, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549717)

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.

Re:Maybe because it did in the tests (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550525)

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:Maybe because it did in the tests (2, Funny)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550629)

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 received their service (disco music) despite effective copy protection measures (soundproofing), making you a criminal. Furthermore, can you prove that you didn't record any of the disco music you unlawfully obtained ? Better get ready to have your home searched.

But I'm sure that you can negotiate a very reasonable monthly payment to compensate them for your unfitting infringement. Sure, it may feel high, but artists have to live too, you know. You don't want to be a music thief, now do you ?

Remember, MS at least has the policy of never shipping with known bugs.

Yes, when don't beta test your products, you won't know of any bugs prior to shipping, now will you ?-) A twisting of words which would make Aes Sedai proud.

Hrumph (3, Insightful)

ChoralScholar (1062892) | more than 6 years ago | (#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 (5, Interesting)

maniac/dev/null (170211) | more than 6 years ago | (#20548733)

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?

Re:TV quality (1)

toddbu (748790) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549193)

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 (4, Interesting)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549461)

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.

Re:TV quality (1)

spirit of reason (989882) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549589)

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 (3, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

The Web makes up for it in volume (1)

Grym (725290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550793)

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 on the web, you aren't looking hard enough.

-Grym

Re:TV quality (1)

enjahova (812395) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551747)

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 communication, they are doing nothing but holding our country back. If we could blanket the entire nation with internet using the broadcast spectrums, not only would we see huge progress in streaming-over-IP and better delivery of entertainment, but we would have internet EVERYWHERE. Can you imagine? Forget suffocating cell phone data plans that roam, no matter where in the US, you could send and receive messages, surf the web, watch video, check email etc.

Why do people still hold on to this notion that you won't be able to find the good stuff if there is a lot of crap? With every technological change, from books to radio to TV and now to the internet there is a massive increase in publishers, yet somehow people still manage to find the good stuff!

Re:TV quality (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551279)

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?? (4, Interesting)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Oh Yea?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20548831)

Oh Yea??
(Score:2, Interesting)
by snowraver1 (1052510) Alter Relationship on Mon September 10, 09:17 PM (#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.
--
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. This comment may not be copied in any way, including but not limited to caching.

Re:Oh Yea?? (1)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20548873)

Hey, if he doesn't want to share his comment, leave it to him, he can take it and go home. Here, have mine instead. :)

Re:Oh Yea?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20548911)

Hey, if he doesn't want to share his comment, leave it to him, he can take it and go home. Here, have mine instead. :)
--
The creator of this post (Jacob Smith) hereby releases it, and all of his other posts, into the public domain.
!!

Re:Oh Yea?? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549037)

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!

Not to mentions... (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549113)

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!

Re:Oh Yea?? (1)

toddbu (748790) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549209)

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..."

Re:Oh Yea?? (1)

H27790 (1154949) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552573)

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%

Fuck Television (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20548803)

we can just bittorrent that garbage if we want it over our slick ass wireless connections :)

but one would hope that it would be used for something of a higher quality than that crap they pander as entertainment.

We are experiencing technical difficulties... (1)

fragMasterFlash (989911) | more than 6 years ago | (#20548835)

So who here has never seen the "Please Stand By" colorbars of death in the middle of the broadcast of their favorite show?

Re:We are experiencing technical difficulties... (1)

NF6X (725054) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549683)

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.

Re:We are experiencing technical difficulties... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550011)

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.

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but... (2, Insightful)

CountryGeek (35546) | more than 6 years ago | (#20548875)

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.

Those were the days... (4, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#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!."

File under "oligopoly" (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 6 years ago | (#20548931)

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 a more local basis. You don't have direct control over what is currently playing on a certain channel, but the variety of channels is larger. (Just think- a channel with nothing but one show 24/7.)

1 is more likely, but 2 would be cool.

Re:File under "oligopoly" (2, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20548987)

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.

Re:File under "oligopoly" (1)

binarybum (468664) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549279)

(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 (3, Informative)

heptapod (243146) | more than 6 years ago | (#20548993)

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].

Re:Broadcast TV is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20550765)

Just because you don't need OTA TV, everyone doesn't? I have satellite and still require use of an antenna for my HD locals. Also, at my elevation I can pickup NY and MA stations as well. And the quality?? The fox local that I pick up from the air is 720p.

Re:Broadcast TV is dead (1)

RegTooLate (1135209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20552663)

I bet Comcast loves you heptapod. Your are the hamster in their profit machine. More over the air HD for me please.

This just in... (3, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549015)

Cable companies also oppose municipal fiber internet.

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

Who even pays for broadcast TV lobbyists? (1)

crumplez (1050548) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549053)

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.

Re:Who even pays for broadcast TV lobbyists? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549219)

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.

Alan Frank, You Have Nothing. (2, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549055)

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.

Re:Alan Frank, You Have Nothing. (4, Insightful)

hernick (63550) | more than 6 years ago | (#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. (2, Interesting)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549411)

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 TV request a particular channel?

The same way you watch YouTube in a coffee shop or on your iPhone. Well, you might want to P2P it out through a mesh or cell system, but the previous examples should demonstrate to you that it's easy enough.

... it would need a powerful, expensive transmitter.

I can't imagine anything more expensive and wasteful than the $500,000 broadcasting license the FCC charges to allow people to pollute precious public spectrum with megawatts worth of "I Love Lucy". The principle is general regardless of media - push is wasteful, pull is better.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

enjahova (812395) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551813)

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.

Re:Alan Frank, You Have Nothing. (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551723)

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).

Running for President (4, Funny)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

 

Receiver Quality (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549161)

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.

Re:Receiver Quality (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549335)

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]

yeah right (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549189)

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...

Huh? (1)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549453)

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.

Not where I live ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550031)

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.

Re:Huh? (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550539)

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 succumbed to the temptation of Desperate Housewives and SG Atlantis.

NAB is full of idiots... (1, Insightful)

zonker (1158) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549537)

"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 often I get loud blasts of a split second static. These glitches are incredibly annoying if you are watching a movie and take you out of the experience.

The cable internet I have is one of their premium packages and though it is very fast it blinks out about once a week or so and I regularly have strange bouts of extremely slow speeds.

I can't help but think that a company like Google could do a better job of providing these services if they were so inclined. NAB is all about protecting their business interests by any means necessary. They've done their best to fight satellite radio: http://www.orbitcast.com/archives/the-nab-a-history-of-hypocrisy.html [orbitcast.com]. The unfortunate thing is these guys have deep pockets and (which they buy their friends in Congress with) and influence policy without any concern of the common good of the people. These are OUR radio waves right? We employ the government to mange the airways to suit our interests right? Well at least that was the the idea...

Only poor people and Democrats ... (0, Flamebait)

supersnail (106701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20549653)

... watch broadcast TV. The voters that matter have all got cable.

Of course this will go through.

Re:Only poor people and Democrats ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20551801)

Actually poor people tend to "invest" more in entertainment (such as cable TV, premium packages) than middle class. Poor people often spend foolishly, which is why they remain poor.

... watch broadcast TV.
The "Subject" line of a post is meant for the Subject (topic) of the post, not the Subject (part of speech) of the first sentence. It drives me crazy to read lame posts that start half-way through the first sentence, and then I need to scroll up to see the first part.

Once you grow up and need to communicate in the business world, you'll find that this style of communication is unacceptable.

Ancient Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20549737)

Ancient Technology impeding new technology and the market via the government. So much for U.S. capitalism eh? I'm still wondering why I have to "record" shows that I want to watch on a tv instead of just watching them whenever the hell I want by going to a website. Ads work just as well online as they do in the middle of my damned show.

This is not about signals, it's about viewers (4, Insightful)

tiqui (1024021) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

I love the way you put that... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550483)

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 ... (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Dropped calls (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#20550245)

"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.

It's the interference. Yeah, that's the ticket (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 6 years ago | (#20551719)

Same as their complaints about low-power broadcasters in the 70s. Really, guys, you need a fresh pick-up line.

what they really want to say.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20552033)

While our friends at Intel, Google and Microsoft may like an environment
in which consumers are free to decide what to watch, when and where to watch it,
broadcasters do not.

Interference (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553385)

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.

Scrap broadcast entirely (2, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553483)

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.

Dissenting view - I agree with him (4, Insightful)

mwillems (266506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20553509)

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.

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