Looking to jumpstart the snail-like

  • Looking to jumpstart the snail-like pace of Digitial / Hi-Definition TV, USA Today reports that the FCC is likely to begin requiring TV manufacturers to put digital receivers in their sets. The electronics industry complains that this will add $1000 to the cost of a TV, while Sinclair broadcasting counters that once production ramps up the cost is more like $20.
    This looks like one of the last acts for current FCC chair Kennard, who will resign after the FCC approves the AOL/TimeWarner deal. Given that Michael Powell, the likely new FCC chair, has espoused laissez faire as his approach to regulation, I wonder if this requirement would have a chance were Powell chair, or if it is likely to be killed once Powell becomes chair. Further, one rationale for stepping up the pace on DTV is to free up the spectrum currently hogged by having both digital and analog TV signals–something the industry would love to hold on to as long as they can.

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