Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Hurry up and buy that HDTV willya?

So says our Congress. After passing a law that would require all television broadcasting to be in HDTV format by Dec 31, 2006 or when 85% of people have HDTV televisions, Congress is recognizing that us simple people aren't jumping on the HDTV bandwagon as quickly as they hoped.

Now the transition might be pushed to the end of 2009 - but your Congress isn't too happy about the delay? Why? Some might own stock in HDTV components and television manufacturers, but the real reason seems to be that the beast must feed.

The spectrum that is now used by television broadcasters is slated to be converted into WIFI and other communications uses, but not by the government. The government plans on selling the spectrum for some billions of dollars, thereby making it easier for the government to spend more without seeming to increase the deficit and, perhaps, helping out some down-and-out family members, constituents, and others who will likely get first crack at the spectrum with intentions of flipping it, a la cell-phone spectrum in the early 1990s.

Ah, the joys of the mixed economy.

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