The DTV/HDTV Transition – How messy will it be?

October 17, 2008 by  

The Federal Communications Commission has now publicly stated that despite numerous ads littering the airwaves, people are still not totally sure what it means, and what they need to do.

The statement comes three weeks after Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, warned that the next administration may have a “communications crisis” on their hands because of the DTV conversion.

Broadcasters, the party he identified as having the most to lose in the transition, were urged to step up their informational campaigns and to tailor the info to local markets in the months leading up to the transition (something this writer’s area, Sacramento, has done a lot of already, including a soft test of a DTV only signal during a recent newscast). As an example, he said that differences technically between local markets may require campaigns that urge consumers to also purchase a new antenna to get their DTV converter boxes to work properly.

To understand McDowell’s statement, he’s referring to the fact that, even if consumers buy a converter box and hook it up to their existing antenna, they may get fewer channels after the transition. Digital TV signals use a completely different transmission method from analog, and people need to be aware of the differences.

The following is food for thought: The conversion to DTV must be done, period. It will make existing HDTV look even better than it does now (the link and why this story is relevant to the HDTV scene). People need to climb out of the dark ages and realize that its 2008, and its the broadcasters and local market stations responsibility to get the message out to their viewers and make sure they can still receive stations after the transition.

There are many programs that hand out certificates for free or discounted digital converter boxes that (for the most part) can just hook up and receive all the same channels with little to no tech knowledge.

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