The press has caught deadline fever with more and more articles written every day about the February 2009 switchover to all-digital broadcasts. From just the last few days:
- The New York Times: Converters Signal a New Era for TVs
- Electronic House: Digital TV Transition: What to Expect
- Yahoo Tech: Update on 2009 Digital TV Conversion
- TV Technology: FCC Cites Retailers for Failing to Post Analog Warnings
- Chicago Tribune: Consumers Unaware of Digital TV Change
The question is, are most consumers paying the slightest attention? I asked my neighbors, who have no cable TV and just signed up for high-speed Internet via DSL a few months ago, whether they knew about the DTV deadline. I was surprised to find out that they do (and aren’t thrilled by the idea of buying converter boxes for their six analog TVs). TV Technology also gives some cause for hope. An article from last month cites evidence showing that news of the DTV transition has finally started to trickle down to local media reports, where it’s probably most likely to be seen by analog TV viewers.
As a side note, my neighbors have also heard of DVRs, though the word “TiVo” only produced blank stares. (This shocked me.) A good reminder that the blogosphere doesn’t reflect the American mainstream.