04 March

The Canadian transition to digital TV is coming. The often repeated statistic is that around the start of 2011 almost one million people depended exclusively on analog TV over the air. Whatever the real number, it discounts people who still use over-the-air reception somehow despite access to cable or satellite, for example to get local news, or in the bedroom of a relative living in the same house.

When I wrote my book on digital media a few years ago, it looked like the USA was rushing the transition while Canada was taking a careful, gradual and less painful approach. Instead, the US transition was accompanied by a subsidy program to allow at least access to low-end services to everybody.n while chaotic and confusing fir some, things were handled pretty well with a lot of government participation. In contrast, the Canadian transition seems to be positioned to be a fiasco with little awareness by the public, no government publicity and no subsidy program to aid those who can't afford a big new LCD screen.

Even the media companies don't seem very keen. While there will be bandwidth for more channels, the Canadian content rules and other issues may prevent this from being much of a boon to broadcasters. At least electronics stores stand to do well.

By Gregory Dudek at | Leave a comment |    
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