Those of us who occasionally toil on the “with-pictures” side of the broadcasting divide have been spending months, if not years, beating the “February 17, 2009” date into the collective heads of anyone who’s turned on a TV set in the last few decades.
So we’re ever so grateful to our representatives in Congress for, er, “helping” that along with their conscientious and not even slightly politically-motivated vote today to undo all that hard work and careful planning by providing a meaningless “extension” of the deadline to June 12?
Meaningless? Well, yeah – because depending on where you live, the odds are excellent that you’ll still lose some, if not all, of your analog broadcast service on the original Feb. 17 date. Entire markets, (including, just to pick a few totally at random, Nashville and Fort Wayne), will still see most or all of their stations take advantage of the option to shut off on the original deadline. In most other markets, at least one station will be gone from analog come 2/17.
In other words…you’re still going to want to be ready for the switch by the original deadline.
Unless you happen to live in New York City, where (a) none of the major stations has filed – yet – for an early analog shutdown…and where (b) this week’s IDs come from.
Because, you know, it’s a relief to step away from TV and get back to good old-fashioned radio, where the conversion to digital is being accomplished swiftly and smoothly, with nary a sign of political intrigue, engineering difficulties, public backlash or unexpected delays.