DTV delay

Published February 18, 2009

I don’t know the extensive details of the Digital TV Transition in America. I don’t know much about it here, either. I know there are coupons involved.

I already have digital TV, and barely watch anything on the actual box as it is, so the stories have been washing over me for months.

Of course, the time has been ticking ever onwards and the US switchover was supposed to happen this week. A last minute change, rushed through Congress, has delayed the transition for another few months. However, some TV stations were geared up for the February change, and they’ve been told they can go early if they want. Therefore, some stations will be digital only, and some won’t.

Confused? Here’s a five-point guide to ruining what should have been a pain-free process:

  1. Announce the switchover will happen.
  2. Worry about the complaints people are making, and solve them by handing out coupons.
  3. Build up a big campaign to the transition date in February.
  4. Get cold feet.
  5. Change the date, effectively turning it into a free-for-all.

I know some people rely on analogue signals, and I know there are many who would have missed the deadline, but surely common sense is bound to prevail. Talk of the switch has been on TV, on radio, in newspapers, magazines, billboards, shops, pubs, and more importantly, general conversation. Assuming anyone has missed out on these, when their TV is switched on and it doesn’t work, they will ask for help.

Now, though, your coupon may or may not have expired. Your old TV may or may not work. The station may or may not have switched. Your local electronics shop may or may not be able to advise you.

What an utter mess.

I look forward to the UK screwing it up as well.

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