Hill to examine DTV standards fight


House Telecommunications Subcommittee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) plans to hold hearings "sometime this spring" on digital television standards. Tauzin has said the current debate over the DTV modulation standard reminds him of disputes over the DTV display format. "Clearly, Billy has some concerns about a hodgepodge of standards," said Tauzin' s spokesman Ken Johnson.

The FCC-approved 8-VSB DTV transmission standard has been called into question by Sinclair Broadcasting, NBC and others. Sinclair says the European COFDM standard should be an option for U.S. broadcasters. Uncertainty over 8-VSB intensified two weeks ago when the industry' s standards-setting committee grudgingly conceded the standard may have to be re-examined.