FCC vs. Cable TV, C-SPAN Airs Today’s Meeting Live

November 27, 2007

At 11 PM (EST) C-SPAN airs the public meeting that the Federal Communications Commission, FCC will hold in D.C. You can check the agenda here. Much interest will be focused on the future of cable TV. Among else AP reports – “Communications regulators will vote Tuesday on whether greater regulation of cable television providers is needed, given how widespread pay-television has become.”

In connection with the transition to digital TV it is interesting how and if cable TV might be limited in ways that makes over the air TV a more attractive choice, especially when it might be easier and cheaper with great picture quality and more channels than before. One piece of the context is included in this meeting and it will be interesting to follow the outcome.

Please tune in.

Anders Bjers


State Of The World – And Digital Media

November 21, 2007

It´s alway’s fascinating to learn something. Today I found a video that shows how new media has developed during the past ten years or less. Also, it tells a lot about the context the DTV transition is taking place in. How different we communicate today compared to only ten years ago and how different a transition would be communicated ten years back.

Have a look and a smile while you watch facts stream by.

Anders Bjers


Top Search – DTV Answer(s)

October 31, 2007

Something is about to happen among consumers in the US. The past week I have noticed a increased interest in answers about the DTV transition. When it comes to searches on the web, my guess is that NABs campaigns and their efforts to reach out is making a slow progress but with important effects. And desirable, not the least to say. NAB reports that 1,000 broadcasters are participating in the ongoing campaigns to educate consumers. And the theme is: DTV answers…

The top Q on Google got to be searches about practical answers for the DTV transition. When I punch in “DTV Answer” on Google this blog makes the top two searches. hmmm… Maybe NAB didn’t think of all us who forget to spell the question with an “S” in the end. The site and service NAB have set up is DTV Answers. Boy what a difference one syllable makes in the web world.. However let’s get moving about those question..

What are everybody looking for in terms of answers?

Let me guess:

– When is the DTV transition taking place?

– Where will it happen and when?

– What is the DTV transition?

– Do I need to do something?

– What should I do?

– Who is really affected?

– What about those coupons that I think I heard of somewhere, can I get one?

– What about one of those converterboxes…?

Please – make a comment what you are looking for when you stumble into this blog. I am happy to serve you with some answers and links to pass you on to other good sources of information and action. And I am curious about what you are looking for.

But until then – here are some of the answers that you may be looking for.

Q. When is the DTV transition taking place?

A. On the 17 of February 2009 all the analog tv-signals will be shut down and digital only tv-signals will continue to be broadcasted to your rooftop antenna. (If you use cable-TV or satellite-TV: that TV-set wont be affected).

Q. Where will it happen?

A. Throughout the whole United States at the very same day (as of now, no more information have been disclosed yet).

Q. What is the DTV transition?

A. It is the end of analog TV and the continuation for digital TV, OTA – over the air. Thats is if you use an antenna to recieve TV-signals to your TV-set. To make the transition is to get a converter box or choose any other way to recieve TV.

Q. Do I need to do something? And what should I do?

A. If you want to continue to use your TV and a rooftop antenna you should get a converter box for digital TV.

Q. Who is really affected?

A. TV sets connected to a rooftop antenna. And dont forget the TV set in your car, truck, summerhouse or trailer.

Q. What about those coupons that I think I heard of somewhere, can I get one?

A. Yes, there will be coupons to use when you buy a converter box. Check out NTIAs website.

Q. What about one of those converterboxes…?

A. No boxes in stores yet. But there will be…

If you need more answers, check out the blogroll to your right or go to www.dtvanswers.org

Anders Bjers


Today Sweden Completed Nations Transition To Digital TV

October 15, 2007

Today at 9.45 AM the Swedish Secretary of Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, switched off the last analog TV-transmitter in Sweden. During two years time and in five phases, Sweden has converted all it’s analog tv-transmitters to digital. A process that has been smoother than anyone anticipated in the beginning of the transition. Allthough consumers have been able to recieve digital-tv since 1999 in Sweden, many waited until the last hour to convert. However, it is a minority left who were still using analog only reception. The main part of Swedens consumers affected by the transition has allready made the transition. During the two years many more made the step to buy a converterbox than to wait and see until the very last minute.

The transition is overall a success, both for the Swedish government, the stakeholders and the consumers. TV viewers in Sweden has more than doubled the number of channels compared to analog broadcasts and the quality is superior. Even if many complain about the pricetag for a converter box, during the first phase of the transition, the prices has decined steadily during the remaining phases. Today it is possible to buy a converter box in Sweden for $80. And the market is fairy well developed with a great selection of different brands and capabilities and the price range varies.

So, today a fairly important piece of television history was written in a corner far up north of Scandinavia. And less than 500 days from now TV- viewers in the U.S has to be as ready as Swedes are today to be able to watch TV as usual, even if the TV-land is going through changes at the same time that are hard to imagine the outcome of. How TV as the main media will be transformed in a not too far away future. That is a major piece of history to be written – and we are a part of it, right now.

Anders Bjers, in Stockholm Sweden, for the moment.


IBM To Manage DTV Transition Coupons For NTIA

August 16, 2007

IBM will, together with three partners, manage the DTV transition coupons program for NTIA.

In a flash newsrelease via PR Agency CrosbyVolmer, NAB comments NTIAs choice. “This is an important step in a process that will bring digital television (DTV) to all Americans,”says Jonathan Collegio, Vice President of the NAB’s digital television transition unit.

NTIA Administrator John Kneuer stated earlier: “This is a major milestone toward implementing a successful Coupon Program to ensure the switch from analog to digital television is completed smoothly and as planned,” according to PC magazine. CNNMoney / DowJones reports that IBM will work together with Corporate Lodging Consultants, Epiq Systems and Ketchum. Multichannel news reports that the contract is worth $120 million. IBM’s John Nyland concludes in a pressrelease that “A complex initiative like this requires innovative thinking, leading technologies and cooperation among retailers, broadcasters and government agencies”.

I think it is a very interesting and surprising move! IBM will have the capability to manage the coupons program logistically but will it have the brains to come up with the smart ways to bring the information out to the ones who is in need? Most needy of the converter box coupons will probably are the ones with low-tech tools and knowledge. So IBMs challenge will be to go from high-tech to low-tech with a high-tech message… And it has to be in sync with the DTV coalition’s campaigns. Confusion is high and consumers are in most need with clear and well designed messages to be able to grasp the value of the coupons.

Let’s keep track of how IBM will carry this one out…

More comments on this will follow…

Anders Bjers


How Will The DTV Transition Spur Innovation?

August 6, 2007

The transition to DTV is a challenge in itself for many stakeholders. But what will come out of the transition? Often the reports focus on the “dark” side of the transition. In other words what happens if consumers don’t manage to install or buy converter box in time for the acutal transition in 2009. But if we focus for a moment on the “side effects” of a transition. Effects that are really the motivation and opportunities made possible by the transition, when we have cut loose from the analog braodcast limitations. One insight is John Kneuers presentation from SuperNova 2007 presented at PodTech. Mr. Kneuer is an expert on technology policy at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Lean back, let your imagination loose and enjoy.

Anders Bjers

[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/07/PID_011826/Podtech_kneuer.flv&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/home/3526/john-kneuer-a-supernova-2007-spotlight &totalTime=467000&breadcrumb=67cd4451236c442ebee3d8fe205e2c0b]

P.S Turn up the volume D.S

Coming up: DTV on-line trends


Public Meeting About DTV Coupons In D.C

July 19, 2007

On September 25 at 9 A.M. NTIA will hold a public meeting about the DTV Coupons program that will be launched in connection with the U.S. transition to digital TV. The meeting will also offer a chance to discuss the progress of the efforts to educate the public about the Digital-to-Analog-Converter Box Coupon. The public meeting is to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
Anders Bjers