DTV D-Day is Here!

DTV_CountdownAfter a bump in the road that lasted four whole months, the national switch to digital TV transmission is upon us. We presume that this won’t impact most of our tech-savvy readership, but there are still nearly 3 million U.S. homes completely unprepared for the transition. While that’s a sizable chunk, it’s better than the 6 million that were unprepared around the original switch date.

Some 641 TV stations were shut off by the original switch date back in February and there’s been a test since then and the world didn’t implode, so hopefully today will be a non-event.

Our colleague Jennifer Martinez over at GigaOM, did a nice wrap-up of some of the companies benefiting from the switch:

For the string of companies affected by the delay, it will be a sweet way to end the week. Verizon (s vzn) can finally begin its LTE deployment, Qualcomm (s qcom) can expand its MediaFLO service to new markets including San Francisco and Miami, and Cox Wireless can move ahead with its launch of 3G and 4G trials on the spectrum.

According to Knowledge Networks, the DTV transition has also been a boon to pay TV services and HD TV manufacturers and retailers as people upgraded their old equipment.

Of course, as with any government mandated change, there are conspiracy theorists who say the switch will lead to mind control, weather control and a massive destructo-beam.