Re: FCC Issues Rules For 2009 Digital TV Broadcasts
Couple of quick points, as some misunderstood my original comments regarding those cable companies that have already converted to all-digital. They are indeed exempt from reconverting the signal back to analog for transmission over their lines. This is different from converting the signal back to analog in the set-top converter in the household.
"...cable operators will be able to choose to either transmit the digital signal in analog format or assure that all subscribers have the equipment necessary to view the digital signal."
So, we may indeed have the best of both worlds, kind of. Many cable companies will have already transitioned to all-digital transmission over their systems to improve bandwidth utilization. Those with digital televisions can avoid a converter, plug in a cable-card, and enjoy. The downside is that few televisions incorporate DVRs, making the cable companies' SD or HD-DVRs still very popular; even when folks have digital sets and could plug the cable in directly.
For customers with analog sets, those cable companies that are all-digital have already provided an all-digital converter (QAM 256-based, like the Motorola DCH100) that will naturally convert the signal back to analog for use by the customer.
As for comments like "The population out there that is not converting their sets, it is not because it is too expensive, it is because their is no end to changes in sight.", such folks fail to realize just how lucky they are to be in a financial position to buy new digital sets. There are many Americans who are not in such a position and it is for their benefit that the extension exists. They are not buying because of cost (vs food, clothing and housing) and don't even know what standards issues and technology evolution is taking place.