The USA’s Federal Bureau of Communications has started their big consumer campaign to switch the country over to digital television by December 2006, or January 2009 depending on who you ask. Starting with an interview with chairman Michael Powell at half time during Monday Night Football, the campaign is based around a website designed to help consumers learn about digital television and assist them in their decisions when moving from analogue.
I’m trying to imagine Tessa Jowell appearing at half time during ITV News Football Extra and it’s not really working for me.
Powell said during a press conference to mark the campaign: “Although for the vast majority of American households, digital television may be uncharted territory, we will not let them go it alone. If you have questions about digital television, the FCC is ready to serve as a primary resource for quick answers. Then we hope they will get DTV — get the set, get the connection, get the content.”
The FCC certainly have a huge task in front of them if they are to be stuck with the initial 2006 date: there are only 11 million digital TV sets in the US – that’s just 10% of households, with only two years to go. The deadline may well be put back to January 2009, a date that Powell intends have the commission vote on later this year.