FCC Seeks Digital Test

May 6, 2009  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Communications Commission wants broadcasters to interrupt their regular programming on May 21 to see how ready Americans are for the transition to digital programming, the Wall Street Journal says. The test would involve five-minute broadcasts at 7:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., the paper says.
—Jon Lafayette


  1. I just don’t get it.
    Using the FCC’s own statistics, they’re doing nothing more than annoying the #$@! out of the 96.9% of the population who are ready for the transition.
    If you’re not ready by now, you never will be until your set turns to snow and you’re forced to get off your butt and do something.
    These silly “tests” are just a great way of wasting broadcasters’ time.
    Five minutes of airtime in three different dayparts for a PSA on a subject broadcasters are already required to run daily PSAs and crawls on?
    You’re talking tens of thousands of dollars of additional airtime flushed down the toilet, courtesy of the Federal Government.

  2. The real “test” is that something like 1/3 of TV stations have already ended analog broadcasting. Most markets have at least one analog signal gone already, some have lost them all (like Eau Claire and Wausau, WI). If people haven’t noticed the PSA’s, crawls, tests, news stories, and missing channels by now, another test isn’t going to help.

  3. It’s a Thursday. It’ll largely interrupt, what, the morning and evening national newscasts on the big three, local newscasts in the afternoon, and the random court show on a lot of markets during that time (my main PBS affiliate is already digital-only as is my Sinclair-owned MNT affiliate). It’s not like they’re doing the tests every hour during prime-time.
    I think the FCC’s an antiquated bureaucracy that has outlived its usefulness a long, long time ago and now exists to get fees on what some folks feel is vulgar material.

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