Wilmington Went DTV Only

September 8, 2008

Today Wilmington,NC, did the switch to DTV only. As the slogan said: “first in flight, first in digital”.

Tomorrow will actually be the more interesting day. That is when people realize that their TV sets have gone dark, the DTV box maybe don’t work. So, my prediction is that there will be lines forming outside retailers when people need help. But on Thursday, most of this will be sorted out.

Also, watch C-spans coverage of the event. There will be a huge media effect following this first “test switch”, hundreds of articles and news pieces have already been reporting on the event. And that is the best way to inform the general audience about the upcoming change. It is a “signal” to each and everyone that the transition to DTV is and will be taking place. Also, it is a test if the weather have effect on DTV. Since a storm hit Wilmington as the transition took place as Washington Post reported.

It is showtime in Wilmington, as Washington Post blogger Kim Hart, put it.

Anders Bjers

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DTV Transition – Test Run Or Not?

March 4, 2008

New York Times reports that FCC Commissioner Michael Copps wants to do a real life DTV-test run. That is: to shut down analog signals and broadcast in digital only. Copps suggests this should be possible to do in some test-markets. Among sources reporting about this is: AP, Boston Herald, Mercury News, MSNBC and Washington Post among many many others.

I think it is a great idea. The US follows in the steps of most European countries that is or already have completed a national or semi-national transition to DTV. In most countries the transition is made in phases. Why the U.S. didn’t choose that path is a mystery.
The U.S challenge? To pick the right market for this test run.

Or is it a test? A test suggests that you switch Off the analog signals and then On again. I think that is hard. I believe that you turn off the signal and then you continue in digital only until the real transition day. Because if you re to turn on the analog signals again, few consumers would bother to get the equipment. Why? Because consumers tend to wait as much as possible to change. And also, would they, consumers, really believe that the TV signal would be shut down? In Sweden’s very first phase a majority of consumers didn’t really believe that the analog TV-signal were going to be shut down. People said -” can you really do that?”.

But when the signal was down it also sent a different message, but even more important, to the audience in the whole country: The transition to DTV will take place.

That kind of “consumer awareness” is something that the U.S. is in need of with less than a year left to the national transition.

You can read the letter from Mr Copps to FCC Chairman Martin here: Letter from Comm. M. Copps. And the reply to Commissioner Copps here: Letter from Chrm. Martin

So, stay tuned when and were a test run will take place. Bets are taken, clock is ticking..

Anders Bjers