Movies

FCC confident as transition-day looms

MUMBAI: Just days before the transition to digital TV, 2.8 million households, or 2.5 per cent of the TV market, are unprepared. According to Nielsen‘s final update, the new tally is half of the 5.8 million that were unprepared in February, when the government postponed the transition by three months.

At a news conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday, acting FCC chairman Michael Copps reiterated the importance of the transition and said the agency was expecting relatively minor problems when the switchover begins Friday.


"This is the biggest transition in television, an even bigger transition than black and white to color," Copps said. "Our whole society is going digital, and broadcast needs to be a part of that transition."


Copps the Barack Obama appointed head of the FCC was also critical of the government‘s handling of the transition during the past two years.
Copps said the freed-up bandwidth will help establish a public safety network, as well as provide more room for wireless and broadband applications.


"We‘ve got some humps and bumps to navigate; there‘s still a number of people who don‘t know what to do," Copps said. "We knew this transition was coming; the government was late getting itself organized ... but we are where we are and have to make this transition."


The FCC has employed 4,000 phone operators to be standing by through the weekend to handle calls coming through their information line (888-225-5322). Some broadcasters are layering on their own initiatives to help viewers make the switch. For example, in Los Angeles, the TV stations have set up their own phone bank to help ease the transition.

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