It was one of the great mysteries of my childhood. You changed TV stations by turning a dial, a dial that started at 2 . What happened to channel 1? So off IMessage 1 of 1 , Jan 24, 2008View SourceIt was one of the great mysteries of my childhood. You changed TV stations by turning a dial, a dial that started at "2". What happened to channel 1? So off I went to the library and found out the ugly truth: Channel 1 contains the entire FM spectrum. Each TV station took a very wide spectrum to send off their analog signals.
But as of February 2009 the rest of the analog channels will disappear as well. Today the FCC starts the auction for that spectrum. FCC spectrum auctions are the poster child for combinatorial auctions where bidders bet on subsets of goods and have lots of nifty complexity issues. But I don't want to talk about math today, just want to mourn the analog space that carried the classic TV shows I watched as a kid. The moon landing was broadcast live over those airwaves about to be sold off forever.
Much ado is made about Google entering the bidding. But the spectrum will likely go to major telecoms like AT&T and Verizon. They will use the spectrum mainly for high-speed wireless data. And what will we use that high-speed data for? Watching TV on our cell phones. The circle will be complete.
Posted By Lance to Computational Complexity at 1/24/2008 08:42:00 AM