[opendtv] Re: News: FCC Sets Schedule for Next Round of White Space Tests

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 07:24:17 -0500

At 3:01 PM -0500 1/21/08, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
Craig Birkmaier wrote:

 The device that the FCC will test are as you describe,
 however, point-to-point systems have already been
 demonstrated that do not cause interference, using white
 space channels that CANNOT be used by TV broadcasters in
 those markets.

It remains to be seen why they can't use the spectrum already allotted
to them, assuming you're talking about MMDS/LMDS type of systems.

This stuff is at much higher frequencies and I don't think that there is anywhere near as much spectrum that could be used in each market. But I could be educated on this...

My problem is the notion that other systems can use this spectrum, for
more than just very short range devices, but that in that location, TV
cannot. I have a hard time understanding the "cannot" part. If these
non-TV users are extremely directional, as you seem to suggest, then
they ought to be using much higher frequencies anyway, where they would
be able to implement very high gain, directional antennas. The TV
spectrum is not ideal for this, especially not in the frequencies that
remain assigned to TV. And I'm not even clear why TV broadcasters
couldn't use directional beams to help even out their coverage, in
certain difficult cases.

Yes, Bert. as I explained, broadcasters COULD use this spectrum, IF they wanted to implement tightly controlled SFNs that would not interfere with the distant signals. And there would still be some issues in the overlap areas. FOr example, a high powered station could be located 100 miles to the south of your market. You might be able to reuse that channel on the north side of your market, but on the south side there would be too much interfering signal coming in.

The real problem is that broadcasters LIKE the high powered approach and the fact that more than half of "their" spectrum cannot be used for anything that might be competitive. They are using the lowest cost infrastructure possible to deliver their signals to the laggards. Some stations would turn off their transmitters, were it not for the requirement to keep them operating to preserve the right to negotiate for re-transmission consent payments.

If broadcasters were to choose to compete with cable and DBS, rather than relying on them, they would abandon the high powered approach in densely populated areas in a heartbeat. This might happen anyway, if it turns out that MHP -VSB is the killer app that allows them to survive.

Your were almost there, and then lapsed into illogic.

Of course, what you said initially is what I was arguing. But just
because on-channel repeaters or translators can be useful even if low
powered, this does not mean that big sticks aren't also very useful. We
have been over this time and time and time again.

In geographic areas where markets are very large and well separated, the high powered stick still have their place, with low powered cells to fill in the areas where there is terrain blockage. But in the NE corridor, Most of California, and around most major cities, the big sticks are a major problem, causing vast blocks of spectrum to lie fallow.

Using on channel repeaters helps, but it does not cure the root cause of the problem. To gain real specteral efficiency (as measured by spectral reuse in adjacent markets, you need to move to carefully controlled SFNs that do not radiate into adjacent markets like the big sticks.

This argument never made any more sense to me than the "protecting the
NTSC franchise" argument. You can be absolutely certain that even if OTA
TV were to disappear, broadcasters transmitting over cable and DBS nets
would be required to air certain political programming, such as State of
the Union addresses.

There is only one TV franchise that is delivered to EVERYONE, and that is the OTA full powered broadcasters. Yes, the politicians have learned how to use cable - especially the news channels. But the real leverage they have is the lucrative franchise that they gave the broadcasters.

The market structure of broadcast TV is perfect for the politicians as it gives them the opportunity to get face time on local newscasts in all of their districts. In return the broadcasters get the lion's share of the money the politicians collect from the special interests, running the TV ads that help the politicians get re-elected. Broadcasters are expected to have the highest increase in revenues this year that they have seen in a decade - thanks almost exclusively to the billions that will be spent on the 2008 elections.


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