Posts Tagged ‘FCC’

FUD permeates analog-to-digital TV conversion in the U.S.

It seems like a straight forward proposition, but there’s FUD — fear, uncertainty, and doubt — swirling around when it comes to the upcoming U.S. digital TV conversion.

By Feb. 18, 2009, all broadcasters in the U.S. will be required to unplug their analog signal to broadcast solely on the digital spectrum. Considering the government just auctioned off freed-up spectrum, there’s no turning back.

This far into the 2000s, this far into the digital age, you’d think the Big Switch would be a minor inconvenience for most people — that their primary TV sets are new enough to handle a digital signal, that whatever analog sets are in use are connected to a TV delivery service like cable, satellite, or fiber, and what analog sets connected to an antenna are located in spare bedrooms or the garage.

But the digital TV conversion is surprisingly controversial with government bodies, industry and consumer advocacy groups, trade organizations, manufacturers, marketing researchers, and consumers pointing fingers and forecasting doom and gloom.

In February, at the one-year-to-go mark, politicians and a Federal Communications Commissioner were putting the heat on the government to get its act together before it’s too late. Jonathan Adelstein, the commissioner, warned there would be a “state of mass confusion” if various Federal agencies don’t coordinate their efforts to inform the public sufficiently that Feb. 17, 2009, is the last day of analog broadcasting.

The next day, an estimated 21 million households with TV sets that receive only over-the-air signals will go dark.

FUD, indeed.

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