The analog TV channels, some of which have carried broadcasts for 60 (or more) years will be shut down. Television will move to new digital channels, all of which are already broadcasting in parallel today.
The reason you won’t care about this change is, cable TV and satellite providers will convert the digital signal for you. An overwhelming majority of Americans get their TV signal from a provider, not off-the-air. Your old set will still work fine, unless you’re using an antenna on your roof or rabbit ears.
This will be a sad moment, because it eliminates a system which allows any TV ever made to still be used! Amazingly, every change to TV over the years has been accomplished without making old sets obsolete. Those days are over.
When color TV first came on the scene, it was called compatible color, because the TV signal was altered in such a way that black and white sets would still work just fine. The same was the case when stereo sound was introduced.
If you have a working 1950 DuMont TV at home, you can still use it today! Let’s see how much software your five year old computer will run… or where you can play your 8-track tapes!
For TV stations, this is a huge burden coming at the very same time their profitability is threatened by new media. Building a transmission facility for digital broadcasting is a huge financial undertaking, especially when you remember nearly no one watches over-the-air.
On top of that, at some point local stations will also have to begin originating HDTV. Right now, most just pass through what the networks provide. Local programming like news and syndicated show are still sent in the old school standard definition, with its four by three format.
All these capital expenses will be undertaken without a real understanding of potential ongoing demand. Do you really want to see me that clearly?
As the off switches are thrown across the country next February, new operators will be standing by with new services. The FCC is in the middle of auctioning off these TV frequencies which will be abandoned.
The original station operators got them for free! We were much more innocent back then. Now they’ll bring tens of billions of dollars and come with many strings attached.
I don’t know where TV will be five or ten years from now. Computers are becoming more adept at delivering video content. Maybe that’s the logical platform?
Will there be enough bandwidth if everyone decides to watch online? Some experts are saying no… but no one really knows.
I don’t see anyone predicting where TV will be a decade from now.