FCC Issues Rules For 2009 Digital TV Broadcasts
The Federal Communications Commission has issued new rules for the 2009 Digital Broadcast Switchover. This latest regulation change insures that cable subscribers will still be able to watch standard broadcast programming after the transition until the year 2012, even if they donít yet own a digital TV.
Beginning February 18, 2009, broadcast networks will stop transmitting the standard analog signals to over-the-air viewers and cable companies. Cable companies will need to convert the digital signal to analog at the source or supply their customers with a "down converter" unit. However, small cable companies will be able to request a waiver.
The extension of the availability of analog broadcast signals through cable companies to 2012 was put in place because the FCC is concerned that approximately 40 million U.S. households are still analog-only subscribers. This appears to be a generous extension as the majority of households now use digital cable or a satellite signal and have migrated to digital televisions, many of which are high-def.
For those who think this regulation change is good for the environment, as it will keep millions of obsolete analog TVs from filling up our landfills on February 19, 2009 think again. In reality this extension will give more people a reason to not yet upgrade to a digital set, and then when the extension runs out in 2012, there will be even more unusable analog TVs in U.S. households to dump into the trash.
Source: CNN, AP Newswire