FCC gives more time for HD

Satellite companies gained a victory when the Federal Communications Commission voted to allow them to phase in a requirement that they carry all HD signals in any market where they carry any after the February 2009 switch to digital TV by all full-power TV stations.

The commission also ruled that DirecTV's and Dish Network’s requirement to carry all TV stations in a market where they carry any extends to DTV signals just as it applies to analogue TV stations.

Satellite broadcasters will have four years to phase in delivery of local stations’ HD signals, the FCC said, explaining that it recognized the “unique” capacity constraints of satellite and accepted their argument that an immediate mandate would slow the rollout of HD service.

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