By Steve Smith on Jun 15 2009 - 10:24am


Smooth DTV Transition Is A Blessing

Well, the DTV transition deadline came and went and things seemed to work out smoothly.

Click here for executive editor Greg Tarr’s roundup of how things ended up when broadcast TV went from analog to digital.

I’m not going to say, “I told you so,” or even gloat since I never wanted the deadline to be moved. Let’s just say the relative smoothness of the transition is a blessing.

In the past few days I kept on thinking that this digital decade started with the Y2K scare that didn’t amount to anything and ends with the smooth DTV conversion.

So you’ll understand why my favorite quote of the weekend has to be from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, who reportedly said on Saturday: “Things went about as smoothly as we could have hoped. It’s looking more like Y2K than the Bay of Pigs.”

Of course, the transition isn’t completely over. Since we are talking about electronics, there still may be some wacky glitches here and there, and some local issues, but the transition looks even more successful than its many backers had hoped.

So I think the following should take a bow for the successful transition: FCC, the National Association of Broadcasters, this industry’s trade group — the Consumer Electronics Association, the nation’s broadcast stations, consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers, consumer groups who pressed for more and more information and education, the many technicians who did the work, and volunteers of all types who helped get the word out about digital TV.

And one more group is worthy of praise … the nation’s consumers. Maybe some underestimated their understanding of the transition, or maybe all the education efforts and preparation made the difference, but the vast majority of consumers learned enough about digital TV to make the transition a success.

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