CEA’s Washington Forum Informs, Entertains
24 April 2009
The Consumer Electronics Association’s annual Washington Forum continued today with a panel discussion on the DTV transition and with a spirited luncheon hosted by Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson – and I found myself right in the middle of all the action.
The DTV panel featured experts from all sides of the issue, including reps from the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and a rep from CEA. My colleague Chad blogged about the DTV transition back in February, and I heard many of the same themes at the panel today. Consumer awareness of the impending transition is about 97% – but on transition day (now June 12) there will still be folks left with the blue screen. Procrastination is widespread. The message was loud and clear today though: this date won’t slip again, so prepare yourselves now!
Before you complain about the extra work involved (honestly, wasn’t it time to get rid of those rabbit ears anyway?), think about the new benefits we’ll reap after the transition. Sound and picture quality will be better with DTV. We’ll have upgraded an important communications infrastructure in this country. We may even be able to get mobile TV on our phones and GPS devices with the newly-vacated spectrum. We need to look forward to these new benefits instead of focusing on the minor inconvenience felt by about 9% of the 114 million TV households in America. If you still think it’s too tough, call the FCC and they will come to your house to help you install the box!
I’m sorry to say that the Begala/Carlson luncheon was too cool for me to even describe here, so unfortunately, you missed out. However, if you ever meet Carlson, ask him about his plane that crashed in Pakistan. If you ever meet Begala, ask him about his Hungarian grandmother’s visit to the Oval Office to meet President Clinton. Neither story will disappoint.