Thursday, September 17, 2009

This May Be The Last Post

I last posted here on July 30, promising an update on ongoing DTV reception problems "in the near future". So I'm a bit behind on that.

One reason I've been holding off is that I've been waiting for more follow-up stories. These have dried up dramatically in the last few weeks, at least as far as the news sources I've been following (Multichannel News, Broadcast & Cable, TV Week and a few others) are concerned. In fact, the last local newspaper story my sources pointed me to was dated August 17, and dealt with problems in New Jersey. As for the national situation, this August 18 article describes the FCC as continuing to work with two or three dozen stations (mostly rural) on reception issues, employing methods such as moving stations from VHF to UHF, boosting power and even moving from one VHF channel to another. What has been cleaned up in the month since I can't honestly say. You still see threads in AVS Forum's HDTV Technical forum regarding the problems individual posters are having - these are usually ascribed to something getting in the way of the signal or bad antenna placement, issues which are more important in DTV than analog, and which are sure to continue causing grief to OTA viewers going forward.

But whatever is still going on out there, it doesn't seem to be attracting much journalistic attention. For instance, the last update that I was aware of from Nielsen concerning DTV stragglers (those who had not yet converted) was on July 29th (98.9% adoption rate at that time). The September 4 follow-up - which updates that percentage to 99.4% - wasn't reported on (I just found it a couple of minutes ago). Of course, with those kinds of numbers, that pretty much is the end of that story.

Which means I really don't have much to report on these days. I will keep looking, and if I find a story that provides a significant update (or an interesting piece of analysis dealing with how DTV has changed TV viewing), I'll post it here - but I have no idea how often (or even if) that will happen. If you know of ongoing problems or other developments in your area, please leave a comment on this post.

I do intend to keep this site up as a historical record. For almost three years (starting in March 2006) I produced a monthly update showing how this story evolved over time, and it may be of some interest to researchers. For most of that time, those monthly updates also chronicled the rise of HDTV, so that material may of some interest as well. Other than that (and the possible occasional post as I mentioned above), my work is done here.

Thanks for dropping by, it's been fun!