A Mountain View, Calif.-based company won government approval to help broadcasters
launch a digital service over current analog spectrum.
Dotcast Inc. said it will allow broadcasters to transmit movie trailers,
music, games and information -- using subcarrier portions of the
vertical-blanking interval -- to viewers with decoder boxes.
Monday's approval gives Dotcast the right to take advantage of a 1996 rule allowing
broadcasters to add Federal Communications Commission-certified ancillary
transmission services without each station having to individually petition the
Dotcast said its system can transmit at 4.7 million bits per second -- well
above the FCC's definition for broadband-data service. The company said it has
raised $100 million and it can reach a 200-station, nationwide footprint through
deals with Paxson Communications Corp., ABC and PBS National Datacast, a
for-profit PBS subsidiary.
Under conditions of Dotcast's approval, TV stations employing its
services may not suffer degradation of program-related signals, increase the
width of a channel beyond the standard 6 megahertz, exceed emission limits or
create interference to adjacent or co-channel stations beyond the amount created
by transmission of standard video programming.