As much as everyone complains about free HDTV, I wonder if anyone here would miss it if it were gone. I'm guessing most of us would. I know that there is a small difference in 720P and 1080i, I understand that progressive scanning is better for sports, but some posters don't consider it real HDTV. I also know that I view everything from 720P to 1080P on my 52" Sammy, and all HDTV standards are vastly superior to the the old analog SD broadcasts. I am reassured that I will be able to watch free TV if I am going through a difficult financial situation. I do not need to pay a cent to watch local news, and some pretty fantastic network programming. I don't even need a broadband connection. For many years I survived with free analog TV and the local library's collection of free DVDs. I was paying an insane amount of child support at the time. A $40 cable bill was out of the question! I still had access to weather maps, local news, and great programming. Newspapers and radio are not all that great for weather radar. On 9-11-2001, I watched, on free TV, the terror attacks on the trade center. Imagine if something was happening locally, and I had to read it in the paper the following day...
Congress is debating the future of free broadcast television. There is a call to take channels 31-51 as soon as possible. Some would like to move broadcast television back to VHF, and take the entire UHF spectrum. This would end free HDTV, and at some point end free TV altogether. Digital TV (digital anything) doesn't work all that well at VHF, and that is exactly why the broadband proponents want to move broadcast television there. The folks pushing the national broadband plan really don't care about what happens to free TV, they want to sell you more broadband. This is about money, your money! That is what they want to get their hands on. ("They" includes Microsoft, cell phone companies, cable companies, both local and federal government, you know who "they" are) They are not suggesting an advertiser supported "free" broadband, they want to charge you for the spectrum that you are currently receiving for free.
We have asked for an analysis of available spectrum. The government has no idea exactly what frequencies are actually in use and where or when they are used. The frequency spectrum charts show a willy nilly approach to allotment.Frequency Chart
Here's an idea that we should pass along to our congress person. Why don't you figure out what spectrum is in use and where before you grab more? Why don't you take your time and do this correctly? Sure we can approve a new broadcast standard that will provide HDTV on less bandwidth. Awesome. We will have a bunch of new jobs in China building the televisions, we will have a bunch of new jobs in China building the new broadband devices that utilize the spectrum, we will have a bunch of new taxes on the new services that Americans are utilizing (for a small fee.) We will have more cell phone companies charging for using more than 2GB of data (what's up with that?) Sure we will have better access to porn, but our pockets get emptied. Why can't we think these things through?
I expect some haters out there. I know we need to make many changes as time progresses. I just think we need a modern look at the entire spectrum, not just broadcast TV, and that it is thought all the way through. Creating more jobs in China should not be our goal. Before we provide the Feds with spectrum to sell, we should have a solid plan that protects free HDTV. This is an important service for our elderly and our poor. We need to have a plan to build the new televisions and broadband devices in the US, not China. I don't expect America to sit around and "do nothing", I do expect us to think things through and use our brains!
Obama's health care plan, the stimulus bills, the jobs bill. Don't think about them, certainly don't read them, just pass these bills! Congress is currently debating taking a large chunk of free TV spectrum, please tell them to leave free HDTV alone while they think it through.
You can contact your congress person here:Contact Congress