Spectrum search: Levin says look to MPEG-4, while small broadcasters resist

The ongoing effort to pull spectrum from the Charlton Heston-like grip of broadcasters continues unabated with Blair Levin, generally seen as the chief architect of the national broadband plan, telling broadcasters to move to MPEG-4 as a more spectrally efficient method to deliver content and a coalition of local television stations telling the FCC to go somewhere else to look for their spectrum.

Levin, now a thinker with the Aspen Institute, said that "MPEG-4 creates greater spectrum efficiency" and the broadcasters should propose a migratory path in that direction. Of course let it be noted that he's talking to an organization that, until the last moment and even beyond, had no idea how efficiently migrate from analog to digital--which is at least part of the reason they so desperately need the spectrum they hold.

"Instead of thinking in the negative, which is how to stop something, they should be thinking in the positive, which is how to create something," Levin said.

The advice apparently doesn't reverberate with the local broadcasters' group, which thinks it is already creating something.

"Broadcasting is the most efficient use of the spectrum" and members of the coalition have developed "free broadband models ready to deploy over the next 6-12 months using broadcast TV spectrum," said Lee Miller, a broadcaster from Lufkin, Texas who is also the former chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters TV Committee. His advice to the FCC: "Harness the power of broadcasting."

For more:
- Broadcasting & Cable has this story
- RBR has this story

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