For what it's worth, I recently sent a letter to the WSJ. Don't know if it will do any good but at least they might think about it...
I would like to suggest a possible article for the WSJ. This has been widely discussed in the HDTV areas of avsforum (www.avsforum.com
The destruction of the World Trade Center building had an enormous effect on the Nation. Congress rapidly passed bills authorizing payments to those who lost their lives, and pledged billions more to help the city. It seemed that the US came together following 9/11.
Yet one aspect has been largely ignored. Before 9/11, NYC, the number one television market, had HDTV broadcasts for the three major networks, Channel 11, and a digital signal from FOX. Following the attack, only channels 2 and 5 remained (with channel 9 sharing channel 5's bandwith).
One might think that in a time of crisis the area would have pulled together to provide rapid installation of the antennas that were lost. Possibly the best site - Governors Island - was rapidly rejected by the mayor. Problems with government agencies and local townships caused the collapse of efforts to install transmitters in NJ.
Finally, the stations "agreed" to piggyback on the transmitters that were in place in the Empire State Building. Some problems were real - such as the need to run new power lines up to the top of the building or to get new equipment. Others were money - there appears to have been a lot of conflict and negotiating over the rates CBS (and perhaps FOX) would charge other networks to piggyback their signals. The "long-term" interrim goal is to build a $M 50 temporary tower on Governors Island. All that means is more delay and an increase in advertising rates as the local stations cover their costs.
Two facts seem to have been forgotten. Broadcast TV is a means of reaching almost everyone in the metro area that has a television set, regardless of whether thay have cable. And, the FCC is pushing the conversion to digital of all broadcast stations.
I know this is not a story of major interest, but I think it does indicate how the interests of the public are subsumed to politics - even when the interest is the potentially critical one of being to receive television news and programming. Approximately 2.1 million ditigal sets were sold in 2002 - see http://www.digitaltelevision.com/200...igital_1.shtml
- so the market is not small.
In summary, it would be interesting to see the WSJ investigate the delays in getting a permanent solution to NYC digital transmission. Something is going on here - money or politics - and the end result is that the public is being shortchanged.