Ready for the Digital Transition?
February 27, 2007 9:32 PM
Absolutely not. But come early 2009, broadcasters are required to swap their analog spectrum for digital, and that sobering news in slowly blipping up on the public’s radar screen. And they are not happy. But the ruling has merit, in part, to make more valuable spectrum available to first response emergency administrators.
But the details are now ever so slowly dribbling out to the masses about just what that might involve on their part. Today I got an unexpected phone call from a senior citizen who had just read, somewhere, about the ’09 transition. She’s an expanded basic cable subscriber with pretty old TV sets, and was infuriated with the prospect of spending $50 for a tuner so that she could keep her old TV sets.
It’s time for the heel draggers at the Federal Communications Commission, the regulatory agency supposedly in charge of the digital transition to take stock. To me, the deadline seems attainable if all the parts are in sync. But they are not. Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee said heads will fly, if this important message is not soon coordinated, let alone made public. After all, consumers can ask for $40 coupons to get the converters to switch over their analog sets to digital. But do they know that? Absolutely not.
So I’m asking you all, broadcasters, cable operators and consumer electronics retailers how you are getting that message out your customers-who keep you in business?
And I’m also asking cable subscribers, who somehow find their way to my blog, if they are aware of any of these changes?