FCC 07-170 does not seem to order anything that wasn't expected, as far as I can tell. http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-170A1.pdf "No material degradation" of HD programs, no multicast must-carry, and cable can either provide analog and digital tiers, or be all digital and provide appropriate STBs for analog customers. And this that I hadn't noticed this previously, but now, "Like CEA's proposals, our rules are designed to ensure that all subscribers to a cable system have 'in the clear' access to all must carry stations." But they do not insist that this must mean "using QAM and MPEG-2 compression." So I'm not sure what teeth this has. If the FCC does not insist on 64 or 256-QAM and MPEG-2 compression, the supposedly "in the clear" channels could be sent using 8-PSK and Quicktime, and switched video, mandating use of their special STB anyway. So what's the point? Feel-good words? The CEA wanted for cable companies to make their must-carry channels available directly to TVs, just like their unencrypted analog channels are now. I'm sure consumers want that too. Much is made of not mandating that "every bit" of the broadcaster's signal must be carried, and Commissioner Adelstein especially seems to have listened to some indignant cable industry execs insisting how these bits "are not even perceptible to humans," or words to that effect. (FWIW, if I were Adelstein, I would have instead used the argument that cable should be free to adopt new codecs, given their above stance on MPEG-2, which makes the all bits argument moot.) http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-170A4.pdf Chairman Martin, instead, takes more the tack of saying that without this order, cable companies could just as easily have dropped all local broadcast stations at 0001 hours, 18 Feb 2008. http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-170A2.pdf Copps, Tate, and McDowell also commented. The effect this order OUGHT ot have, in a sensible marketplace, would be that OTA broadcasters would compete with their now-available multicast streams with interesting content that people want to see. Shame the cable companies into carrying the multicasts, or convince the viewing public to use their OTA receivers. I think the decision of NBC to air third party content is exactly the sort of thing broadcasters could use in their multicasts, for example, and would do so more readily if they had cable carriage. The effect it will likely have, instead, is that most OTA broadcasters will only make use of OTA multicast if they get cable carriage, or otherwise devalue this bonus spectrum. Bert ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.