The National Association of Broadcasters has joined the Big Four in petitioning Congress to stop a bill that would include provisions allowing cable television providers the right to downconvert HDTV broadcasts to DTV. Between this new article and a note on TV Predictions, we were also able to better understand what all the fuss is about. If you're as confused as I was, the point of contention here are "must-carry" laws, that would require cable companies to carry multiple HDTV streams that the local affiliates broadcast. The cable companies say this would use up their valuable bandwidth, while the affiliates fear that cable companies could refuse to carry their high definition broadcast unless the affiliates paid them to.

That still seems to be a longshot, as we all know the most desirable HD programming is on the network stations, if cable companies limited that then why would their subscribers pay extra for HD? Additionally, if the reason I can't get HGTV-HD is because there are three ABC affiliates in my area, that would really suck. Of course in some areas cable is all there is and if they refused to carry an HD Super Bowl or other event without payment, customers would be stuck with HDTVs and no HD. Worse yet, they are still trying to force Broadcast Flag legislation through that could prevent you from recording high-def broadcasts. All this government talk makes me want to turn to C-SPAN, why aren't they in 720p yet?

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