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Summary:

[qi:004] By now you all know that sometime next year analog television will be replaced by all-digital television broadcasts, a move that is likely to impact about 21 million viewers who are still using “rabbit ear antennas” and have televisions that can’t receive digital signals. In […]

[qi:004] By now you all know that sometime next year analog television will be replaced by all-digital television broadcasts, a move that is likely to impact about 21 million viewers who are still using “rabbit ear antennas” and have televisions that can’t receive digital signals.

In order to smoothen the transition, the US government has allocated about $990 million and that will be used to subsidize converters that will be needed in case these folks want to keep watching over-the-air TV. Of course to get the message of “subsidies and coupons” the US Government has budgeted only $5 million. In comparison, UK government has allocated $400 million for the informing their citizens, even though a much smaller country and with a smaller population.

Over here, the Government is betting that the private sector (gear makers like LG and RCA for example) will do the “educating.” Sure, but given the nature of the transition, US Government can’t shirk away from its responsibility, especially since it stands to gain a lot from the switch. The spectrum freed up is going to bring in over $10 billion into the US treasury.

  1. http://www.disruptivetelephony.com/2007/08/ibm-announces-a.html
    come on om, your slipping…do a story on real software…ibm acquires unyte, a skype extra…..

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  2. Siobhan McLaughlin Thursday, August 23, 2007

    HD is broadcast over the air. I am currently watching HD signals with my “rabbit ear anntena” purchased in 1997.
    The challenge is with the television sets. An older set cannot display the HD content.
    siobhan

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  3. US Government can’t shirk away from its responsibility

    Oh come on. Companies that make the converters will advertise up the wazzo as they are getting subsidized by the government to make the boxes.

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  4. Oh shock, oh fear – oh, crap. Om, how could you be attracting readers who feel they should govern what you post?

    Keep us all happy. Post whatever you bloody-well feel like. Some of us are capable of skipping on to the next Post when we’re not interested.

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  5. Just a subtle but important clarification. The problem isn’t folks “who are still using rabbit ear antennas” because the antenna isn’t the issue. The problem is the lack of a digital tuner connected to those rabbit ears, so maybe “who are still using “rabbit ear antennas” with NTSC televisions” would be more descriptive of the real issue.

    I’ve owned HDTVs since 2001 and still use my “rabbit ears” today. I don’t see the need to pay Dish $5 a month for my locals in HD when I can pull them OTA with rabbit ears. ;) Spot on with the education / budget for the converters though!

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  6. Gotta disagree on this one. The NAB and television networks ought to be subsidizing the converters, not the taxpayers. TV networks are the ones who get the most benefit out of this.

    Gadgets like that usually plummet in price dramatically. Under the scheme there is little incentive to lower the price of the converters below the government subsidy.

    As far as education goes, I’d bet that the networks will be busy running PSAs constantly reminding people to get their government subsidized converters. Didn’t the Declaration of Independence say Life, Liberty and the watching of television?

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  7. Sorry, Om, but… EU TV domain is almost all based on heavy taxes… oh, wrong – local politicians call them license fees. UK is no exception, even more twisted. And even more funny part, DigiTV had all tech.components to kill this subsidized crap, if it wasn’t legislated. I dream that one day someone challenges this legalized robbery in UK court, and govt tv will be avalanched away to common pay-as-you-go digital tv, and THAT will be day of my joy!!!

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  8. [...] U.S DTV transition lacks stickiness in media today. Om Malik, well known blogger at GigaOm out of Silicon Valley, writes today under headline: Do You Know DTV? He says: By now you all know [...]

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  9. There is a giant to awaken in the U.S
    A mere 60% of TV viewers don’t know a thing about the DTV transition.
    Today the whole transition lacks stickiness to be reported or talked about.
    Seven suggestions to make it more interesting.

    1. First, the U.S Government should stick with the low budget. UK has overloaded it’s efforts.
    2. Coordinate the market and stakeholders.
    3. Focus on the transition as a step to update of your television.
    4. Who is the face of the transition?
    5. Bring on the market.
    6. People want more broadband content.
    7. Use DTV information tickers in the TV screen. Its a killer app to make people wake up.

    More on: dtvbrief.wordpress.com

    Anders Bjers

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  10. Analog TV? What’s that? Traditional Digital? Who cares? I’m all about IPTV…No more airwaves.

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