It’s probably exasperation that is making them do this. The networks were given new blocks of airspace for Digital in exchange for the promise to actually develop them. The networks dragged it out long after their deadline and still haven’t really gone fully digital on their transmissions. Now the government is pulling a different motivator. If you don’t utilize these frequencies by 2009, we’ll deallocate… your old spectrum? :p
There’s all kinds of arguments for and against what the government is doing, but I’m going to just tune them out on a “Don’t worry, be happy” sort of thing and look forward to the future of digital television. This certainly is going to make Nintendo Revolution’s no-HDTV gambit look a bit foolish though.
What I really want to see is them coming up with a new terrestrial digital radio spectrum. Long have we been plagued with limited station selection and the stations we do have on FM and AM have been playing compromise playlists. It gets really annoying when the only station in town that plays Bowling for Soup happens to also be the one who spends half its time playing hiphop and rap. With Terrestrial digital, we could have each company given a small swath of bandwidth and then broadcast dozens of stations over it with all kinds of different playlists. They could still have it be Ad supported, but they can sell that ad across 4-5 stations for the price of 1 previously! Sirius does over a hundred channels with a 4mhz range of bandwidth. I imagine that half a MHZ of bandwidth could get you a good dozen stations. This would be the equivalent of 2.5 FM station allocations. It’s just a much more effective use of resources.
I wish Alt Nation 21 on Sirius would quit playing Green Day’s latest CD so much. It’s just so utterly grating.