Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Analog to Digital Mandated Conversion

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is meeting on September 18 to discuss the analog to digital conversion scheduled to go into effect on February 18, 2009. There has been a lot of discussion, disagreement and concern by the FCC, broadcasters, cable operators and industry organizations over this mandated conversion.

Current television signals are delivered in both analog and digital formats but on February 18, 2009, broadcasters will be required by the FCC to drop the analog signals. As a result, people that have analog TV sets and receive signals over the air will have to purchase a digital to analog converter box to continue to use their analog televisions. Cable providers will have the option of converting feeds from digital to analog at cable headends or delivering digital signals to analog TV customers who would use a set top box to convert the digital signals to analog.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) launched a huge $200 million ad campaign last week basically telling customers they will not be charged for converter boxes or be forced into purchasing more expensive digital service. The NCTA is claiming the FCC is violating industry and consumer civil rights by mandating the change. The NCTA prefers the transition be managed over time by the cable operators and not have an FCC mandated conversion date. The NCTA ads have not been posted on YouTube yet but you can watch them here.

We'll see what happens at the FCC next week.

Read Show Notes and listen to Mike Q and my latest Podcast titled iPod touch Overview and Impressions linked here.
Podcasts also free on iTunes.

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