Government mandating digital television

In the 60 years that television watching has dominated Americans' leisurely pursuits, the picture has twice been transformed: first from black and white to color; then from dull resolution to high definition.

If you consider that color standards were agreed to and limited color broadcasting began in the mid-1950s and HDTV standards and limited broadcasts began in the late 1990s, it appears that Americans' embrace of color was a slow dance that took roughly two decades vs. STORY: Cable companies upgrade viewing guides in set-top boxes The major difference between the two transitions is that the shift to HDTV was mandated by the government and backed by a deadline, which though twice postponed, culminated in most television stations turning off their analog transmitters on June 12, 2009.

Color broadcasting, on the other hand, was downwardly compatible.

And some stations may have reduced coverage with digital signals.

Meanwhile, public-interest groups complain that broadcasters are getting a financial windfall without any new public-interest obligations.

There was no need to get rid of your black and white TV or, as in the case decades later of owners of analog TV sets who wanted to receive over-the-air programs, buy a converter box. The bulky cathode ray tube dominated both black and white and color sets, and the sharpness of a color picture was no better than black and white.

The transition to HDTV, on the other hand, was accompanied by increasingly affordable thin flat-screen panels that returned room space to every purchaser even while dramatically increasing the size of the picture.

Manufacturers freely comply with standards because it ensures their products work with a vast array of other devices consumers already have or will be likely to buy.

America’s booming tech sector is obviously a part of this ecosystem and is directly affected when the standards process becomes dysfunctional.

Note that you will have to take separate action for every TV set that has lost its TV signals.

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