Well, at least a few people are thinking ahead. Broadcasting and Cable have recently (well, the first one's a month old) reported some cautionary comments by FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein and John Knauer from the federal National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) regarding the possible effects of the transition on the analog-watching public.
From the Adelstein article:
Adelstein said it was vital for the industry to do a better job of letting consumers know that their analog TV's won't be working in three years--at least not without a converter box.... "If we don't get this right," he said, "we face a tsunami of public outrage."
From the Knauer article:
"We are at the beginning," Kneuer said, "and we're going to need lots and lots help to get that done."
Congress has given NTIA money to educate the public, but it's a miniscule amount: $5 million.
So, do you think these guys are pessimists, or realists?