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Broadcast Engineering recently ran a good summary of Powell's 5-point DTV plan for those who are looking for a summary. It's at the end of the article at this link .


1. The top four broadcast networks (i.e., ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC), and several cable networks including HBO and Showtime, should provide high-definition or other “value-added DTV programming†during at least 50 percent of their prime-time schedule, beginning with the 2002-03 season.


2. By Jan. 1, 2003, or as soon thereafter as they commence broadcasting, DTV affiliates of the top four networks in markets 1-100 will obtain and install the equipment necessary to pass through network DTV without degradation of signal quality (e.g., pass through HD programming, if that is what the network provides).


3. By Jan. 1, 2003, cable systems with 750 MHz or higher channel capacity are asked to offer to carry, at no cost, the signals of up to five broadcast or other digital programming services that are providing value-added digital programming during at least 50 percent of their prime-time schedule.


In addition, they are asked to provide cable subscribers the option of leasing or purchasing a single set-top box that allows for the display of high-definition programming.


4. By Jan. 1, 2003, DBS services are asked to carry the signals of up to five digital programming services that are providing value-added digital programming during at least 50 percent of their prime-time schedule.


5. Consumer electronic manufacturers are being asked to commit to meeting the demand for cable set-top boxes that allow for the display of high-definition programming, and to market broadcast, cable and satellite DTV options at point-of-sale.
 

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Regarding #4, are there 5 signals that the DBS services can legally carry nationwide? I'm thinking HBO, Showtime, maybe HDNet, maybe Discovery, then what else exists? Could this be an opening to get the statutes altered regarding carriage of network programming by the DBS providers?
 
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