FCC Denies Sinclair Petition
The Commission said that numerous studies conducted to date support the conclusion that NTSC replication is attainable under the 8-VSB standard. It said that the concerns raised in the Sinclair petition had done no more than to demonstrate a shortcoming of early DTV receiver implementation. The FCC also said that manufacturers are aware of the problems cited by Sinclair, and are aggressively taking steps to resolve the multipath problems exhibited in some first-generation TV receivers.
The Commission noted that "the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology recently analyzed the relative merits of the two standards, and concluded that the benefits of changing the DTV transmission standard to COFDM would not outweigh the costs of making such a revision." It reiterated its view that allowing more than one standard could result in compatibility problems that could cause consumers and licensees to postpone purchasing DTV equipment and lead to significant delay in the implementation and provision of DTV services to the public. It said that "development of a COFDM standard would result in a multi-year effort, rather than the 'unrealistic' 120 days suggested in the Sinclair petition."
At the same time it dismissed Sinclair's petition, the Commission said it recognized the importance of the issues raised in the petition. The Commission stated, however, that "the issue of the adequacy of the DTV standard is more appropriately addressed in the context of its review of the entire DTV transition." The Commission clarified that, within 30 days, it will commence its biennial review of the DTV transition and, as a part of that proceeding, will "encourage parties to comment on concerns regarding the 8-VSB standard."