Digital TV is a type of technology that has a number of benefits, but is causing a fair amount of frustration for a number of people. Digital TV actually isn't a particularly new form of technology. In fact, it has been in widespread use since the early nineteen nineties when satellite TV companies like Echostar (Dish Network) and DIRECTV started to offer affordable satellite TV service with dishes small enough as not to dominate the entire yard. Digital TV became portable in the late nineteen nineties with the introduction of the DVD, and is now slated to become the exclusive over the air TV format as of February 17, 2009.
This conversion to digital TV is what has a lot of people generally annoyed. Converting over the air TV to exclusively digital format would provide viewers with better pictures and access to an on screen program guide. It would also free up over the air bandwidth that could then be used for emergency services communications and for wide spread implementation of wireless Internet access. The trouble with digital TV comes from two different forms of resistance. First, there is the TV viewing public who are still largely watching TV sets that don't have the digital tuners necessary to watch over the air digital TV. Second, there are the TV stations themselves who don't want to spend the money to switch their equipment over to transmit digital TV.
As far as the TV viewing public goes, there are actually relatively few problems with switching their equipment over to over the air digital TV signals. That's because there are relatively few people- about twenty one million to be exact- who rely on over the air TV for their TV entertainment. The rest either do without TV or subscribe to cable TV or satellite TV, both of which presumably provide receiver boxes capable of receiving digital TV signals and then converting them over to the analog signals that the TV sets can understand. Other converter boxes that can pick up digital over the air TV signals and convert them to analog are being made available to consumers. Purchase of these converters are being subsidized by the federal government through coupons that are worth forty dollars when they go towards the purchase of a digital to analog converter. Because the converter boxes are expected to cost sixty to seventy dollars, consumers will still have to use some of their own money. There's also the very real possibility that many consumers will want to buy new TV sets anyway, in which case they'll probably just get digital TV sets. The real challenge is letting TV viewers know that the change will happen so that they can prepare for it.
Broadcasters are tougher cases in many ways. That's because they've been dragging their feet on the conversion for year and as a result, the conversion keeps getting pushed back. For example, the conversion has been in the works since 1996 and the first conversion was scheduled for 1998. The refusal to make the change on the parts of broadcasters has gotten in the way of a number of different telecommunications initiatives. These broadcasters seem to forget that the American people own the frequencies on which they broadcast and can take away their licenses at any time.
Source by Emily Sanderson