Monday, November 17, 2008

DTV: Into The Future

In my presentation last week, I gave a smorgasbord of information concerning the government's involvement in forcing the broadcast industry to adopt a digital format. I alluded to and mentioned that the United States Congress has been interested in changing the broadcast system since the late 1980s. All of these documents, which are available due to public disclosure requirements, can be found through the Texas A&M Library website. Feel free to reference these documents, as you will find them both informative and easy to read.

Of even greater interest to you will more than likely be some of the more interactive ways that you can learn about the digital transition and be able to inform others. At the beginning of my presentation, I learned that many of you had heard about the digital transition, but post-presentation conversations revealed that this knowledge was limited to simply knowing that it will happen. The government and the broadcast industry are working together in order to better inform the public of what they must do in order to continue to receive television signals. This is all part of the FCC/Congress working together in order to enact the law that they have established. Now comes the interactive part. You can become a DTV Deputy!!! The FCC, in order to draw in people to understand the DTV switchover better, has created a 10 question Flash quiz. Score a 70 or better, and you too can become a DTV Deputy!

If reading documents or being deputized isn't your thing, check out these YouTube videos on the history of television. Each decade is only about three minutes long and covers some of the information we learned in class. It can be a great way to see where we have been, and where we are headed with the transition next February. As finals approach, I would recommend these videos to help review parts of television history. They're made by the Consumer Electronics Association, so you know that the information within is quite accurate. I've posted a link to the channel as well as an example below. I have also posted a video that they made concerning the digital switch. It's more animated than I could be in class, and may help you understand more of what will happen next February.
YouTube Channel: DTV Transition

Digital television will revolutionize some of the ways that we communicate. As we continue to merge technology into technology, we can only ask more questions of what the next generation of devices will bring. Could television, with the advent of digital broadcasts, begin to replace the computer as a primary form of personalized information? Will your TV more intimately interface into your home network without a third-party device? As TV goes digital, we can only expect that the industry will find more ways to stun us. Because of government action, we can expect that our technology will continue to evolve to higher speeds, and more content. So tune in on February 17, 2009 and see what's new in your neighborhood.

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