Sinclair seeks DTV tuner standards


Baltimore station group Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. Tuesday asked the Federal
Communications Commission to set receiver standards for digital TVs and to reverse
its decision not to impose performance specifications when it set deadlines for
incorporation of digital receivers in nearly all sets by 2007.

Sinclair said the FCC should adopt requirements for digital-TV-receiver noise
figure, dynamic range and sensitivity level, receiver selectivity level and
multipath tolerance. The specifications are needed to ensure that digital-TV sets can
reliably receive local broadcast channels over the air rather than relying on
cable or satellite carriage.

"The commission cannot rely on the promises of equipment manufacturers that
the 'marketplace' will ensure that DTV tuners will provide reliable reception,"
Sinclair said.

Sinclair has raised questions about over-the-air digital-TV reception before. In
1999, the company's criticism of the modulation standard prompted an industry
effort to improve signal quality.