Radio Shack, Harris weigh in against FCC spectrum idea

The FCC's plan to take more spectrum from broadcasters without reducing their ability to deliver reliable over-the-air signals--an issue already in question in the digital era--depends on improving digital reception in the weak 2-13 VHF bands.

TV stations that mistakenly settled on those bands during the digital transition were met with a variety of reception problems that went well beyond snowy pictures. The FCC, which oversaw that transition, recognizes that and would promote new antenna systems to overcome the problem so that broadcasters allegedly would not be dependent on cable, satellite and telco service providers to get their signals to viewers.

It's a bad idea, said Radio Shack, which filed a comment with the FCC saying that this would "force manufacturers to make and retailers to sell antennas that most antenna-uses do not need for over-the-air television reception." Antenna maker Harris agreed and took it a step further, noting that "broadcasters should not be foreclosed from both maintaining their current level of service and providing new services such as MDTV (mobile digital TV), 3DTV and non real-time services."

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