Digital Television: What's the Gov's motive?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ChrisWiggles, Jan 1, 2003.

  1. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I'm writing up a simple paper on the transition to Digital Television, and realized I never really figured out why the FCC and Congress are mandating the move. Sure, being a HT buff, I appreciate the technology, but what does the Government have to gain by mandating a switch to digital?

    Any thoughts?

    (btw, I couldn't find much on this, so if someone has links, or books, well recent magazine articles more likely, that would indeed be wonderful. thanks)
     
  2. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    One of the big motives to pushing the Digital transistion is so the government can regain control of the analog bandwidth and auction it off. The analog spectrum is highly sought after by the cellular, wireless and global communication entities and the government stands to make alot of money by selling the bandwidth.

    Another aspect is the technological side of it. We are moving into an ever-more digital age and the FCC is trying to keep up.

    Bruce
     
  3. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Bruce accurately states the publicized reasons.
    Conspiracy theorists hold that the real reasons are to sell everyone a new TV and recording device and to sell broadcasters new transmitters. Sales tax, bribes, and illegal kickbacks from manufacturers would help swell state and federal coffers.
    Also, new federal regulations concerning the recording and playback of digital transmissions would make it easier for Big Brother to observe and ultimately control your every move, without having to go through that nasty analog-to-digital conversion.
    Please note that I have no proof whatsoever of any of this. [​IMG]
     
  4. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Chris, this could become an interesting paper if you take time to contact the politicians and government organizations responsible for the move to digital. At the same time, you should call the politicians who were opposed to the move and ask them what they think about the conversion.
    Your best bet is to "follow the money". That will give you all the answers! [​IMG]
     
  5. Marque D

    Marque D Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are looking solely for recent Digital Television related articles then the best place to go is the HDTV-Digital Television News Forum.
    http://pub1.ezboard.com/fdigitaltele...ionne wsforum
    Lets just say I kind of collect HDTV related websites. Maybe they will be useful when I want to write something about HDTV when I go to college.
    http://www.ilovehdtv.com/ - HDTV Magazine (e-mail based publication)
    http://pub1.ezboard.com/bdigitaltelevisionhdtvforum
    http://www.howstuffworks.com/dtv.htm
    http://www.howstuffworks.com/hdtv.htm
    http://www.pbs.org/opb/crashcourse/ - simple overview of HDTV
    http://www.ptvdigital.org/ - public television DTV web site
    http://www.hdpictures.com/ - HDTV info center (one of the best resource sites)
    http://www.henninger.com/library/hdtvfilm/ - good overview of resolutions & conversions; resolution charts
    http://gehon.ir.miami.edu/com/classes/cbr535/hdtv.htm - good links; very good collection of links to pertinent HDTV documents
    http://www.digitaltelevision.com/dtvbook/toc.shtml - The Guide to Digital Television, Third Edition
    http://www.digitaltelevision.com/dtvbook/glossary.shtml - full glossary
    http://www.tech-notes.tv - DTV Newsletter
    http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/tcom/hdtvhistory.html - HDTV Highlights (Feb. 1981-March 1998)
    http://faculty.uscolo.edu/ebersole/handbook/hdtv.html - HDTV background
    http://www.calcote.com/hdlinks.htm?KeohiHDTV - A comprehensive list of high definition (HDTV) links
    http://www.nab.org/Newsroom/Issues/digitaltv/ - NAB DTV links
    http://futuresedge.org/hdtv.html - HDTV GreenTops Resource Databank
    http://www.high-techproductions.com/...television.htm - History of TV & Film
    http://www.novia.net/~ereitan/ - History of Color TV
    http://www.atsc.org/ - DTV standard adopted by U.S.
    http://www.cybercollege.com/tvp_ind.htm - A slew of Television standards info
    http://www.cybercollege.com/tvp009.htm - World Television Standards and DTV/HDTV part 1
    http://www.cybercollege.com/tvp009-2.htm - World Television Standards and DTV/HDTV part 2
    http://www.coolstf.com/mpeg/HDTV/index.html - HDTV - Way cool looking TV
    http://www.ce.org/publications/books...e_fall2002.pdf - DTV Guide from CE
    http://www.ce.org/shared_files/resources/77DTVlogo.pdf - DTV Logo's
    http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...C-225221A1.pdf - FCC's Tuner mandate phase in plan
    http://www.a-ten.com/z/hdtv.html - HDTV Highly Recommended Books
    http://www.ce.org/publications/books...v_archives.asp - CE DTV Guide's
    http://www.nab.org/newsroom/issues/digitaltv/DDTV/ - NAB DTV Guide's
    http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...C-02-230A1.pdf
    http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/digitaltv.html - FCC DTV FAQ
    http://www.avsforum.com/hdtvfaq/HDTV-FAQ.htm AVS Forum DTV FAQ
    http://web.mit.edu/6.933/www/HDTV.pdf MIT HDTV info
    http://www.highdef.org/ - HighDef Magazine
    http://www.laurasnyctales.com/latest/colortv.html - Great article on negative press color television received back in the 50's
    http://www.eetimes.com/sys/news/OEG20020918S0033
    http://www.ee.washington.edu/consele.../hdtv/95x5.htm
    http://www.choisser.com/primetime.html - HDTV Progress in Prime Time
    http://web-star.com/hdtv/history.html - HDTV History
    http://energycommerce.house.gov/107/...192002_731.htm - Tauzin Issues Statement on Digital Television Bill
    http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu/time/2000s.html - Media History Timeline
    Recommended Books: (one of the sites listed these)
    Digital Video Broadcasting: The International Standard for Digital HDTV
    Digital Television Fundamentals, 2nd Edition by Michael Robin, Michel Poulin
    The Guide To Digital Television, second edition by Michael Silbergleid, Mark J. Pescatore
    Defining Vision: The Battle for the Future of Television by Joel Brinkley
    Digital Video Broadcasting: Technology, Standards, and Regulations
    by Ronald De Bruin,
    Dtv : The Revolution I Electronic Imaging by Jerry Whitaker.
    HDTV: High-Definition Television by Stan Prentiss
    Guide to HDTV Systems by Conrad Persson
     
  6. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Selling off the bandwidth is the only reason the Feds are pushing this. The government doesn't give a rat's ass about how good our picture quality is.
     
  8. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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    But also remember the NAB begged for HDTV saying their members needed it to compete in the future.
     
  9. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Interesting. Do you know how much that was? I suspect it to be in the billions, but do you have a source for that? Again, this kind of info is very interesting and important, but unfortunatly, the most difficult to find.

    And Marque D, WOW thanks for that HUGE list of links. I've visited a lot of those sites, gonna look at the ones i've not yet seen. Thanks a bunch.
     
  10. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    At the time, the government expected the spectrum auctions to bring in $24.3 to $33.7 billion, according to http://www.senate.gov/~budget/republ...ealoutline.htm
    A search for "balanced budget" and "spectrum auction" will turn up a lot of information. But you have to sift through all the rhetoric to separate the facts from the opinions. You have to realize that anyone who has anything to say about it is going to have his own spin on it.
     
  11. Roberto Carlo

    Roberto Carlo Second Unit

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    There's another reason, albeit one that doesn't come up too often nowadays. When HDTV was first discussed, there was a concern that the US had lost its place as a technological leader. This was in the mid to late 1980s and Japan already had or was working on its own high-definition system. Developing our own, better, system was seen as a way of re-gaining some technological luster and status. I know this because my then-wife worked for NASA at the time --she still does -- and she told me about these discussions and we went to events discussing the subject.
    As I said, this reason has long since fallen by the wayside. Now its about getting the analog spectrum back, as Jack and others have noted.
     
  12. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    That's right. But in the time it took them to develop and get approval for a HDTV standard, the U.S. had lost the last American TV manufacturer (Zenith) to LG of Korea.
     
  13. VicRuiz

    VicRuiz Second Unit

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    The answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE (spectrum reallocation, auctions, new equipment sales, technological supremacy, etc.). For the ultimate insider's look at the entire process that culminated with the ATSC standard, pick up Defining Vision: The Battle for the Future of Television by Pulitzer Prize winner Joel Brinkley. It's an excellent read.
     
  14. VicRuiz

    VicRuiz Second Unit

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    The answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE (spectrum reallocation, auctions, new equipment sales, technological supremacy, etc.). For the ultimate insider's look at the entire process that culminated with the ATSC standard, pick up Defining Vision: The Battle for the Future of Television by Pulitzer Prize winner Joel Brinkley. It's an excellent read.
     
  15. Matt Pasant

    Matt Pasant Second Unit

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    Also, I would add:

    The NAB used its leverage on the hill and allegedly hinted that those who were opposed to the donation of spectrum for HDTV would have a hard time getting exposure on the television.

    A fact:, less than 30 minutes or so over all major networks for a total of two years I believe was devoted to the allocation of spectrum and the passage of the telecom act of 1996.

    So don't underestimate the NAB's influence in ramrodding this down our throats.

    As that book defining vision points out, the upstarts for paging and mobile phone, and god knows what else wanted that very spectrum that is currently allocated to HDTV. So like a wise man always said, follow the dollars.

    -- Matt
     

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