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Would dual must carry be good or bad for HDTV?

Ben Drawbaugh

While there is little doubt in how analog broadcast television is going to meet its demise, the jury is still out on analog cable. While some of use think that cable companies will use the DTV transition to move customers to digital cable, others aren't so sure. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is now proposing what is being referred to as dual must carry, which would require cable companies to carry both the digital and analog version of each local affiliate's feed, unless the cable companies switch to an all digital network. Sure all digital network seems great to us, but for all those without QAM tuners in their TVs, this means a converter box on every TV just like the OTA folks. The FUD is getting really deep in here, but somehow we think Kevin might be on to something. If cable companies are encouraged to go to digital and since digital SD channels use far less bandwidth than analog ones, that means more room for HD and other digital services we love.

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