Two years ago when I was invited to speak at the National Association of Broadcasters convention’s Career Day, I was able to sit in on some seminars by big time players in the broadcasting world. The primary focus of the conference that year was in building awareness with the American public about the coming transition from analog to digital broadcasting. The government was set to issue $40 vouchers for every household towards the cost of the new digital set top converter that would replace the old analog antenna that we have seen in so many John Hughes films.
The campaign for awareness of this fundamental transition did alright, but penetration hasn’t been nearly as high as some would have hoped and so recently there was a move to delay the transition for an additional four months to prepare the American public.
Well the news today from Associated Press is as follows:
January 29, 2009 – WASHINGTON – Bucking the Obama administration, House Republicans on Wednesday defeated a bill to postpone the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting to June 12 – leaving an estimated 6.5 million U.S. households unprepared for the currently scheduled Feb. 17 switchover.
But the battle over a delay may not be over, with some predicting the House will take up the measure again next week.
Read the rest of the story here:
House defeats bill to delay digital TV transition
So unless you have your business in order, say goodbye to grabbing Conan on Late Night with that old RCA, because the analog airwaves as you have known them to be since you were born are going bye bye.
As an aside – this will not be implemented in Canada until 2011. But it IS coming so be prepared. That is, if anyone still watches TV broadcasts anywhere but online in 2011.
Because the vast majority of my audience is likely not a member of the Screen Actors Guild, I am going to repost a letter from twice-elected Nation President of the guild Allen Rosenberg expressing his outright disdain for the events of the past week that have led to the National Executive Director Doug Allen being fired yesterday.
Doug Allen held his ground amidst much panic induced by certain forces (let’s say A-List actors who also tend to be producers who also tend to be in bed with producers) and those without sufficient foresight or backbone to believe that we can withstand the temporary uncertainty of a strike in exchange for a fair pay scale in the realm of online and emergent media.
Here is the letter from Allen in its entirety: