DTV stands for digital television. Digital television offers countless benefits to consumers, including better picture and sound quality, and a wider choice of TV channels to choose from. Currently, most of the US has already transitioned to using DTV. In order to take advantage of digital television channels, you need a TV or a digital converter box that can convert digital signals properly.
All of this sounds pretty good, right? Free, high quality programming – great. However, as America moves towards digital television, some mobile tech companies are attempting to get the permission to operate unlicensed mobile devices in unused digital TV spectrum. This can, at least in theory, severely impact the quality of television signal by creating interference zones. Let’s have a closer look.
Television spectrum frequencies which are not currently being occupied by TV signals are often referred to as “white spaces”. These “white spaces” are often used by unlicensed WiFi or mobile devices, which are impossible to trace. Depending on a range of different factors, this usage can cause interference to digital television signals.
Is it really an issue?
The Federal Communications Commission has now said numerous times that both licensed and unlicensed signal spectrums are vital to the US economy (check out this statement from WIA for more information). For this reason, FCC is moving towards the goal of unleashing more spectrum for use by both licensed and unlicensed devices, especially in areas where spectrum resources are before extremely scarce.
Is this a good move? Time will tell. However, there is no doubt that having more of these so called “unlicensed bands’ available to innovating companies is vital to promote economic growth and innovation.