Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Players #6: Government

You can make a case for the notion that government's role in this process is just about done. After all, the "hard" date to end analog broadcasting is already set, as well the mandates for inclusion of digital tuners in all TVs (that have any tuner in the first place). So why have this item at all?

It's here mostly as a reminder that things could still change once the public becomes more aware of all this. And there's one more thing. Resistance by cable customers to the idea of switching to digital cable (and its accompanying STB) may cause cable companies to want to extend the life of analog cable well beyond the end of analog broadcasting. But you'd have to think that the core of any analog cable package would be the big broadcast networks, and as of now, there's a little problem with that. The final DTV legislation passed by Congress late last year stripped language from the House version that would have allowed cablecos to downrez digital broadcast signals into analog. The lack of broadcast channels in an analog cable package would seemingly make it a fairly dicey proposition after 2/17/09. So there may just be some legislating left to do, even if all the hard dates and mandates remain in place.

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