[opendtv] Re: FCC TAKES STEPS TO ALLOW NEW LOW POWER DEVICES ON VACANT TV CHANNELS

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 11:35:23 -0400

Tom Barry wrote:

> It seems everyone has gotten into habits of challenging anyone
> else's use of spectrum for any reason. Sort of a monopoly game
> where you try to stop other players from making best use of
> the air waves.

Remember when terrestrial TV subscription services tried to make use of
satellite TV spectrum? Whatever came of that? I think it died, didn't
it?

I think broadcasters have a legitimate gripe here. I also think that
handing back UHF channels 52 through 83 was a good thing. It shows that
compromises are made and that things are allowed to change as technology
improves.

The problem I see with using the white spaces for supposedly low power
unlicensed devices is that there's no control of where these low power
devices will end up being located. For example, if you live in an
apartment and use an indoor antenna to receive OTA TV (and oh by the
way, you have to do this because the apartment complex kindly took away
your central antenna infrastructure to serve the cable community), then
it's very possible that your TV viewing will be impaired.

The TV signal at your indoor antenna, inside an apartment building, is
often going to be weak. The unlicensed device in the apartment next door
might use the same frequency as a (weak indoors) OTA station, or it
might grab an adjacent channel. Even if it's a low power device, it
could end up being quite a bit stronger than the legitimate TV signal,
at that location.

Another very likely scenario is that the unlicensed device will
determine a particular frequency band is "white space" at its own
location. But in your apartment, the TV channel in that band is (was)
plenty strong enough to decode. So the unlicensed device, even at sub-1
watt levels, will now swamp the TV signal in your next door apartment.

The guy using that unlicensed device won't notice any problem. He has
cable, so what does he care?

That's the problem.

Bert
 
 
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