I agree HDTV is SOMETHING to see.
TV stations are given their current analog frequency. They are also given another channel to broadcast HDTV on. After a few years (2006 target date), all Analog will cease. Then the stations can choose their Old Analog Channel or their Digital Channel to broadcast Digital TV on.
For instance WBBM-TV Channel 2 Analog, Channel 3 Digital. WGN-TV Channel 9 Analog, Channel 19 digital. Now most stations are so well know it is highly unlikely they will choose to broadcast on their digital frequency.
However, the FCC which took Channels 84-91 (never used anyway) away from TV, and took Channels 70-83 (not used much for Full Power TV) Away from TV, now said also Channels 60-69 will be taken away. These will be used by cellular phones. Most recently it was said Channels 52-59 will be used by cell phones too.
What does this mean? Say WJYS Channel 62 Hammond or Digital TV 36. Well there will be no Channel 62 so it MUST go to its DTV channel.
DTV allows each channel to broadcast up to 4 subchannels plus the orginal for 5 total.
OR they can use ALL FIVE channel to broadcast HDTV. There are some forms of HDTV that only take up 3 channels but the quality is in dispute.
So digital does NOT necessarily mean HDTV.
Problems arise when say a New Jersey station in Atlantic City has an analog channel that cannot reach Philadelphia. The Digital Signal does. Now they want to invoke the must carry rule and make Philly cable systems carry their DTV signal.
Some channels say not only must you carry our DTV signal but our FOUR subsignals as well.
Now say a station carries CBS on Channel DTV Channel 5 and UPN on Channel DVT 5 subchannel 2. (Since both networks are owned by Viacom)
They do this instead of own two full power analog stations in one market (in some major markets this is do-able)
I now can control more networks, don’t have to put the required amount of community programing for TWO stations. So I get the savings, and I get the reach at the potential expense of the community.
These issues are now in debate.