Well although some people seem really worked up about it I’m glad to see it happen. Congress is sticking to their Dec 31st, 2008 date to pull the plug on analog TV. They’re trying to pass a bill to provide a $3billion dollar subsity to “ease to transition” to digital TV.
Now it’s pretty apparent to those intouch with society (People that aren’t in politics) that pulling the plug on analog TV in 2008 will leave at least half of America hanging out in the dark without TV. Not everyone can afford a new TV or cares enough to replace their 3 year old TV with a new one (like me) or spend $100 on a set top converter.
The great thing they’re doing without even knowing it is pushing people into the digital age and I’m not talking about over the air digital HDTV. I’m talking about IPTV. It’s obvious that this will encourage many more people to start downloading content for viewing rather watching it on TV and more importantly it will encourage the distribution and production of freelance videocasts on the web.
The content is already developing out there and the system is in place to support it with technologies like bittorrent (As I’ve mention previously), plenty of free software to product both audio and video, cheap equipment, fast internet connections available to over 50% of America, and portable viewers coming to the forefront of mainstream america with the video iPod. Now don’t get me wrong; Apple wasn’t the first one to the party but they’re definately the best at popularizing a new technology and making it spread like wildfire.
I know from personal experience that most geeks who are early adopters and trendsetters for technology are already not watching much if any regular television or are using a DVR or Tivo to timeshift what they do watch. And I know for a fact to more and more of us are downloading shows off bittorrent when we want to see them because it’s just more convienent. Now it’s only a matter of time before this trend spreads from us early adopters to mainstream america as it gets easier to do (Think Napster all over again only with TV shows and movies).
Of course we don’t “support” piracy but much like the black market it fills a hole and provides for a need or demand that is not being met through legitimate channels for some reason.
The long and short of this article is that Congress is about to sign on the excution order for oldschool media networks who have refused to embrace technology and the guillotine drops on December 31st, 2008.