A lot of fanfare in the TV news about President Bush signing a law that forces analog broadcasters to halt transmission on 2/17/2009. It will all be digital then, and there is money to subsidize the purchase of a digital to analog (D/A) converter box for those with analog sets. Everyone on both sides are breaking their arms trying to pat themselves on the back. Digital enthusiasts should be very disappointed, however. Why?
Because previous legislation required this to happen in December of THIS year.
I just want to call attention to the fact that this is not progress, it’s a big step backwards. They are weasel-wording it by saying we are moving to a hard deadline. Did the previous law have a soft deadline? Yes. It said we’re to go digital by 12/2006, or when 85% of households contained a DTV – whichever came first. So it also had a hard deadline. That law was passed in 1997, giving broadcasters 9 years to prepare, and a lot more than that when you consider this started 43 years ago in Japan.
Kudos to this article at madison.com for not being afraid to include a little history.