Mark Your Calendars

Well, the much-heralded digital transition is upon us. The switch to over-the-air HD transmission happens Feb 17, and despite hundreds of millions of dollars taxpayer money spent on “education,” there are still many questions in the minds of Americans about what it means to them.

(Spot quiz: If you get your cable TV with an analog set and without a cable box, are you going to need a converter? Extra credit: If you get a converter box are you going to see your TV letterboxed or center-extracted?)

The NY Times ran a summary article today referencing surveys that point to fundamental misconceptions in the minds of roughly 40% of our population. The digital transition was one of the biggest giveaways to business ever (prior to the Wall Street bailout, that is) and, so far, has produced nothing in the way of public service. And we continue to spend money on it, as the Times describes.

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One Comment on “Mark Your Calendars”

  1. mat Says:

    But it has to be done, right? Not only is the old analogue broadcast equipment going to be more costly to maintain, and more so as parts become more scarce, but the TVs themselves are not going to be able to receive the signal.

    At least that’s the case in NZ. New TVs come with digital tuners rather than analogue ones, so you’d need a VHS or something to receive analogue broadcast. For the user end it goes both ways, as people with old TVs are going to need to buy a set top box to receive the digital signal.


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