DTV Primer

Chris Llana, Editor



October FCC Meeting Postponed

October 10, 2005

The FCC's monthly open meeting for October has been postponed from October 12 to the 28th. This is the formal meeting where the Commissioners make pronouncements on important Commission regulations and other initiatives.

It has been expected that the Commission would issue their ruling at this meeting on the proposed mandate for digital tuners in small (less than 25") TV sets. The waters have been muddied, however, by the delay in Congressional action on the DTV transition bills, thereby presumably forcing the delay in the Commission meeting. At least one draft bill had included a specific requirement for digital tuners that would have superceded the FCC regulation, and of course whatever hard date for the end of the transition will have an impact on what the FCC decides for digital tuners.

We should know what the House and Senate DTV transition bills look like by October 25th or 26th. Right now there is wide disagreeement in Congress about just about everything that needs to go into those bills. There is also a good chance that substantial differences between House and Senate versions will remain even by the 28th. Hopefully in that case, the FCC will make a decision by itself and do the right thing.

We shall see.

The following FCC meeting is scheduled for November 3, just a few days after the October 28th meeting.