Whether or not the broadcast digital TV transition takes place next month, cable’s switch to all-digital is on a different timeline altogether. While some cable operators have already made the digital transition, many are still transmitting analog signals and will for a while. According to NCTA president Kyle McSlarrow, digital penetration was around 40% back in 2005 and is now slightly south of 65%. However, the transition rate is, unsurprisingly, accellerating. Within three to five years McSlarrow believes the cable digital number will be near 100%.
- More spectrum available for other uses (more HD content)
- More advanced services enabled by digital (interactive TV, VOD, etc.)