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Survey calls FCC / CEA claims about a smooth DTV transition into question

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 21 Jan 2008 22:45 User comments (10)

Survey calls FCC / CEA claims about a smooth DTV transition into question If the results of a recent study by the Association of Public Television Stations is to be believed there are tougher times ahead for television broadcasters in the U.S. According to the study only about 5% of the 21 million people who currently count on Over The Air (OTA) broadcasts for television viewing plan to either subscribe to a satellite or Cable Television service or purchase one of the converter boxes that will soon be available for converting digital TV (DTV) to a format an old fashioned analog TV can handle.
Broadcasters already losing revenue because of the increased use of DVRs, reducing advertising dollars from sponsors who don't want to pay to have their commercials skipped. The possibility of losing 10 million viewers outright can't be an appealing thought.

Of the remaining respondents, only 12% indicated plans to subscribe to a pay service to prepare for the February 2009 digital transition, while 43% said they plan to buy a converter and continue to watch OTA TV. "This data indicates that free, over-the-air television may be set for a big comeback," APTS president and CEO John Lawson said. "Many people see broadcasting as a dinosaur technology, but we broadcasters have the opportunity to reposition it as 'wireless TV' and reach new audiences."

Somewhat more telling is the confusion about why the conversion is needed at all. As we've reported over the last few months, U.S. government agencies have come under increasing attack, even from their own Government Accountability Office (GAO), who have accused the FCC of lacking any sort of organized plan to prepare the public for the big event. More than 75% of the people surveyed didn't even understand what the purpose of the transition is.

"It appears that the government's positive message regarding the reasons for the transition has fallen on deaf ears," Lawson said.

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10 user comments

121.1.2008 23:28

Simply put...

Transitions in technology are never smooth.

BM vs. VHS, Cassette vs. CD, Windows OS, HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray, High-Def vs. Ultra High-Def...It will never end, and especially don't forget "Moore's Law"...

@ _H06_
I'm tired of hearing about it too, believe me. Although on the other hand, it is a prime example. I included other examples so this doesn't run into another "Console War/Media War" bashing thread...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Jan 2008 @ 0:23

222.1.2008 0:06
_H06_
Inactive

OMG we get enough of the HD-DVD Vs Blu-Ray sh** on the other articles. For once id like to see an article that doesnt even have the word DVD or Blu

322.1.2008 1:25
vinny13
Inactive

Where are they gettin' the money for this??? Lol

422.1.2008 3:42

@vinny13
Tax dollars hard at work again! I'm glad to see all the money pulled from my hard earned paycheck being put to good use!

@leviticus
I agree transitions are never smooth.

If you think there is no point to this. Have you ever stopped to wonder how much those digital to analog set top boxes cost? Who profits from them? Who profits from the new, more expensive digital TV's. I give three guesses and the first two don't count!

I could go a rant here but it's not permitted by the rules of the forum so I won't!

522.1.2008 9:25

The current change in television broadcasting and reception is a far more dramatic change in comparison to formats like, quote, "BM vs. VHS, Cassette vs. CD, Windows OS, HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray, High-Def vs. Ultra High-Def...It will never end, and especially don't forget "Moore's Law"..."

622.1.2008 13:48

This just shows the average joe is content with their analog TV and not having to spend the extra money on a new TV (when their current TVs are still working) as well has have to deal with the imminent price increases for HDTV broadcasting and having to deal with yet another outlet to add to the mountain of plugs behind the TV...
Enough of a run-on for me...

Personally if I still subscribed to cable and I heard of this conversion, then I would cancel my service. This only gives me one more reason not to get cable.

I agree with others in this post as well. This project is a big waste of my tax dollars!

727.1.2008 16:39

I can see we're all pretty much in agreement here. Speaking for myself, having poor eyesight,when I'm sitting six or more feet away from my TV I could not distinguish between analog or HDTV to save my life. For me the whole plan is just a waste of my money. I may be in the minority vision wise but I'm sure there are many others in the same boat.

815.2.2008 0:05

Originally posted by avoidz:
The current change in television broadcasting and reception is a far more dramatic change in comparison to formats like, quote, "BM vs. VHS, Cassette vs. CD, Windows OS, HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray, High-Def vs. Ultra High-Def...It will never end, and especially don't forget "Moore's Law"..."
Is the reference to "Moore's Law" a joke? I don't get it with reference to changing from analog to digital broadcasting. Moore's Law states that the number of transistors on a given amount of computing chip space will double at approximately 18 month intervals. Some people believe Moore's Law states that computing power (per a given type of computer processor) will double every 18 months - this is false. So how does doubling transitors every month relate to the TV transition?

Anyway, there is no sense in debating the change to digital OTA broadcasting. It's going to happen whether you like it or not. What is amazing is how the government has mis-handled the transition from analog to digital broadcasting. Maybe not handled is a better way to state it.

I'm the local computer geek in my communitee and assist friends and neighbors with their computer problems. When I do go to help someone I ask them how they are going to deal with the switch from analog to digital broadcasting in 2/09. I always get this blank stare that says "What the heck are you talking about?" When I tell them that in 2/09 thier analog TVs are not going to work unless they get a converter box I get another blank stare. I then explain what they are going to have to do by 2/09 - another blank stare. The average Joe has no clue as to what is going to happen and even if they did they have no idea on how to attach a converter box to their analog TVs. But, hey this could be a good thing. Families won't have TV to watch so maybe they'll start talking to one another and there won't be any fights over who has the remote!

But seriously, when does the government plan to let the public know what is going to happen? The first auction of frequencies used by analog TV starts tomorrow. There's no turning back. Without information about this change the public will be left in chaos and if the average American can't get their weekly dose of American Idol lookout, it ain't going to be pretty.

Bungling this "transition" will be bigger than the Bay of Pigs fiasco and remember that involved the use of nuclear weapons! Americans without TV? Bar the door and load the shotgun.

Charlie

915.2.2008 4:26
varnull
Inactive

Welcome to the world of universal pay per view and DRM USA.. hope you like it.

Does your government represent you or dictate to you.. were you even asked if they could "sell" your property?

1018.2.2008 1:26

Quote:
Simply put...
Transitions in technology are never smooth.
So true. they will have a lot of teething problems in the begining.

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