[mythtv-users] "Free Antenna TV" threat?

Devin Heitmueller dheitmueller at kernellabs.com
Fri Jan 22 15:42:24 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 10:31 AM, Colin McGregor <colin.mc151 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am just north of the Canada-USA boarder, so, I admit that some of
> the subtleties of US politics sometime escape me... So, could someone
> explain to me a commercial that showed up LATE last evening on WGRZ
> (Buffalo, NY) claiming that special interest groups were planning to
> take away "Free Antenna TV", and the the viewers should contact
> congress to stop this. The commercial was produced by the "National
> Association of Broadcasters".
> I have real trouble seeing any government anywhere in the
> industrialized world taking away over the air TV (would annoy too many
> people). Further, the "National Association of Broadcasters" must have
> some sort of agenda in all this, but at the moment I don't quite see
> what it is.
> So, could someone explain to this Canadian what is REALLY going on
> with this ad.?

You can read the details in Ars Technica, but essentially the cell
phone carriers are complaining that there is not enough spectrum to
support all the users of newer smartphones like the iPhone, and they
want the FCC to recover some of the spectrum that is currently
allocated for digital TV and reallocate it for cell phone use.  The
assertion is that this means "taking away over-the-air tv", which may
or may not be valid depending on how much of the spectrum in your area
is in use.

It's also worth noting that the NAB is a trade association
representing the companies that were given free licenses to use the
spectrum for TV in the first place, so they have consider bias in the

In reality, it is unlikely to happen.


Devin J. Heitmueller - Kernel Labs

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