HDTV signals cause unexpected interference

Ron Resnick (rresnick@dialogosweb.com)
Sat, 07 Mar 1998 10:20:13 -0500

HDTV is the "wave of the future"? God I hope not.

So for all the prophets of impending Y2K disaster, where
are all the doomsayers of the impending HDTV disaster, predicting
massive technofailure and sociofailure on epic scales as HDTV
knocks out hospitals and healthcare coast to coast?

The point being - not that Y2K isn't of concern, or this HDTV effect,
or any of a hundred (thousant? million?) cases where a technology
which tested just fine in isolation
hits a new environment in which "we believe in the interconnection
of everything" has unintended and not-so-welcome repercussions.
The more we network and expose the bits, the worse it gets.
The more cruddy software gets unleashed on this poor planet,
the scarier it gets.
We're all going to hell in a handbasket, so why worry?

Oh, before quoting the CNN HDTV piece, here's something to
make everyone feel better [insert wry-grimace emoticon here]:
Major Hamas terror cell captured

> JERUSALEM (March 6) - The General Security Service, IDF, and Israel
> Police have cracked a major Hamas cell that operated in Ramallah,
> Nablus, and the Jerusalem area, the IDF Spokesman announced yesterday.
> They are suspected of being involved in two
> suicide-bomb attacks in Jerusalem last year that killed 22 people
>and injured 345.
>Cell members also planned to storm a foreign embassy here and take
> hostages in order to secure the release of Hamas activists in Israeli
> prisons
>The Hamas leader in Gaza, Abdel Azziz Rantisi, denied claims the
> captured Hamas cell had planned to storm a foreign embassy here and
> take hostages.
>"These charges are mere fabrication by the Israeli security forces,"
>he said. "Hamas policy is very clear: We have one enemy and that is
>the Zionist enemy who occupies our homeland."

Oh, well, now isn't that a relief? Everyone's safe, other than
the "Zionist enemy". I feel better already.
Ah, sounds like peace is breaking out all over.

Oh, yeah. CNN, HDTV:

> HDTV signals cause
> unexpected interference
> March 6, 1998
> Web posted at: 10:51 p.m. EST (0351 GMT)
> From Reporter Rick Lockridge
> DALLAS (CNN) -- High
> definition television may be the
> wave of the future. But a recent
> incident in Dallas has raised
> questions about unintended consequences that could result from
> new digital television broadcasts.
> When Dallas TV station WFFA turned on its new HDTV
> transmitter to test it, the powerful signal overwhelmed low-power
> heart monitors at Baylor University Medical Center.
> As a result, nurses were unable to keep an eye on their patients'
> heartbeats.
> Station officials say they had no idea that their broadcast on a
> previously vacant channel was going to block Baylor's monitors.
> When the station discovered the problem, it turned off the
> transmitter.
> The Federal Communications Commission has allowed hospitals to
> use vacant TV channel frequencies for their wireless medical
> devices. But last year, the FCC warned hospitals that broadcasters
> were about to start using those same channels for HDTV.
> "Because interference could endanger the health and safety of
> patients, it is expected that health care facilities would expend
> considerable effort to avoid operating on nearby broadcast
> channels," the FCC wrote.
> But no organized effort was made to find out exactly who was
> using the vacant channels and what potentially dangerous conflicts
> might arise.
> And now that HDTV broadcasts are beginning in some large U.S.
> cities, hospitals and other users that had been borrowing the
> unused frequencies for years will have to come up with other
> alternatives.
> That could be expensive. Baylor has had to fork out $200,000 for
> new transmitters for its heart monitors that operate on a different
> frequency.