A Roadblock for Digital TV Conversion

The FCC hits a wall—literally

| July-August 2000

America's digital television revolution, scheduled to conquer the nation by 2006, has stumbled upon an unexpected obstacle: walls. Independent field tests of new high-definition televisions in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., revealed that the new TVs in some areas couldn't pick up the signal, reports Reason (April 2000). It seems the FCC had only tested digital reception with 30-foot antennae on trucks; apparently neither government nor industry bothered to check whether the signals could penetrate the walls of viewers' homes. Cable to the rescue? Sorry. Most systems are not close to making the switch.