Friday, December 26, 2008

Predicting Digital Disaster

As the digital transition approaches, if February 17 is still the date, predictions are that at least 3 million people will not get a converter box to continue to receive TV broadcast signals. Instead they will choose to give up TV. With broadcast ratings dropping because both cable networks and internet usage are rising, advertising dollars will be further redistributed as well. Hurtful to broadcast, helpful to these other distribution outlets.

"Nationally, more than 9 million people who currently receive over-the-air TV will lose at least one of the major broadcasting networks, according to David Klein, executive vice president of Centris." A quote I simply don't understand. Once the digital switch occurs, every broadcast channel will be effected. While some low power stations have a bit more time to transition, all national broadcast local affiliates will be affected. There will be no broadcast analog signal to watch. Mobile TV sets, throw them away, no more tailgating with these babies. And digital signals are harder to acquire, more easily interrupted by mountains, trees, buildings, etc. Just try listening to Sirius Radio in my neighborhood where this interference is a key problem. It may be no better for digital TV reception, even with a converter.

If cable television is available, it may be an alternative, even if it is just to receive broadcast basic channels. If IBM's project with power companies to offer TV signals through power lines keep moving forward, another alternative is available. And of course Direct TV and Dish is still out there too. But as the article suggests, some may simply turn off their TVs. The internet may be enough for them to provide video of the shows they really want to watch. If we see DSL subscriptions rise, then we will have gotten our answer.


  1. Anyone looking for additional information about DTV options can develop a personalized action plan at No matter which option you choose, spending just a few minutes using this planning tool can help you figure out what works best for you.

  2. Not entirely true. Comcast has a personal stake and isn't about to include competitive info.