WASHINGTON The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reiterated its support for vestigial sideband (8-VSB) modulation for the U.S. digital TV transmission system and pressed broadcasters in an order issued Friday (Jan. 19) to speed their transition to digital broadcasts.
The agency concluded in its DTV order "that there is no reason to revisit its decision denying a request to allow use of an alternative DTV modulation standard." Backers of a rival modulation scheme, coded orthogonal frequency-division multiplex (COFDM), had been seeking to reopen the standard to allow for an alternative modulation scheme. Earlier in the week, broadcasters approved a resolution backing 8-VSB and dismissing COFDM.
The FCC also declined requests to set performance standards for digital receivers, explaining that such a move would "stifle innovation and limit performance to current capabilities." The Commission said it would nevertheless continue to monitor receiver issues that have slowed deployment of digital TV.
Outgoing FCC Chairman William Kennard praised broadcasters for their "extensive testing of 8-VSB, including tests that compared 8-VSB with alternate transmission standards. Now, I encourage broadcasters and manufacturers to come together to refine and improve 8-VSB as necessary."
COFDM backers argued the tests were flawed and vowed to continue field testing of their system.