The MSTV president called on TV sports producers to join broadcasters in trying to derail Senate legislation that would allow unlicensed RF devices in the TV “white spaces.”
Association for Maximum Service Television President David Donovan urged a group of TV sports producers in New York today to stand with broadcasters in their effort to defeat a Senate proposal that he claimed would lead to harmful interference with TV broadcasts and licensed wireless microphones used heavily in sports and other live productions.
Backed by computer giants Microsoft, Dell and and Intel, the legislation would permit unlicensed use of underutilized portions of the TV broadcast spectrum, what proponents are calling “white spaces.” Uses would likely include broadband access for laptops, but also game controllers, remote control toys and in-home networking, Donovan said in a speech at a conference sponsored by the Sports Video Group, which represents sports producers and associated hardware manufacturers.
Such uses and devices have great potential for causing intereference to broadcasters, wireless microphone operators and other licensed users of the spectrum, he said.
“This is the most troubling aspect on the proposal,” he said. “Million of inexpensive devices will enter the band,” he said. “A $29 toy could interfere with a $1,000 TV set or your coverage of a sporting event.”
Donovan warned that the damage would be irreparable. “One [the devices] are out there, they are out there,” he said. “You can’t get them back.”
The proposal is part of telecom reform legislation that is aimed primarily at easing telephone companies’ entry into the video distribution business in competition with cable and satellite.
According to Donovan, the Senate Committee Committee is likely to adopt the telecom legislation with the white spaces provision intact. But broadcasters and other white spaces opponents will have an opportunity to knock out the provision on the Senate floor or in the Senate-House conference to reconcile the legislation from the two chambers. The House provision contains no white spaces provision.
“I urge you to get involved, and get your bosses involved,” Donovan said.