The dog ate Microsoft's homework?


That’s what the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) says after the computer giant failed to pass an FCC test on a device designed to operate in the cracks between television signals. MSTV President David Donovan echoed calls from the NAB to keep this spectrum uncluttered in preparation for the digital television conversion. "Microsoft is asking regulators to risk the future of America’s television broadcasting system – and the ultimate success of the digital TV transition – on whether a specific device works in a laboratory. The irony here is that the Microsoft device utterly failed the test. But Microsoft now runs new tests in the lab and … presto! … Lo and behold, the device now works! Microsoft claims the device ‘was broken,’ which is apparently a coded message in the high tech world for ‘the dog ate my homework.’" Donovan notes that the viability of "sensing" technology which is needed to make the new devices workable remains unproven, and that if it fails, interference "can go for miles," and can also affect digital television receivers. "One can only imagine the consumer outrage if these unlicensed devices enter the market, are ‘broken,’ and result in millions of Americans losing access to TV signals. The bottom line is that these devices should not be let loose in the TV band. It is time to stop experimenting with the 100 million digital TV sets that will be purchased by 2009." He concludes asking for an end to the game of "interference roulette" and to focus on a successful DTV transition.