DTV Primer

Chris Llana, Editor



Consumer Education Ignored

January 28, 2006

Well, it's 2006 and it doesn't look like anyone inside the beltway is busy at work on DTV legislation that would pick up the consumer education bits and pieces flung off from that other budgetary DTV bill (which itself is still hanging in intersession limbo).

The Senate formally convened on January 18 and the House will do so on the 31st. No DTV consumer education hearings scheduled among all the others posted.

The FCC had its state-of-the-FCC open meeting on the 20th and congratulated itself on the wonderful work it has done over the last year. Only Commissioner Adelstein noted the need for more work to educate consumers on the DTV transition.

In the Senate, the ogre Ted Stevens is in control and we know what special interest constituencies he is beholden to. On the House side, it's Joe Barton in control, who has recently had a new baby and a heart attack (unrelated events, I've sure). Can't blame him for not pushing.

The FCC isn't going to do anything not approved by TV industry lobbyists.

So we'll see what shakes out. I'm not optimistic.

In the meantime, I've been giving some thought to my second annual crystal ball forecasts for what TVs people will be buying (or should be buying) on the day after analog TV gets shut off (February 17, 2009). My fearless forecast will coincidentally be posted on or about February 17.