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Television Media Hardware

The Dutch Kill Analog TV Nationwide 401

Posted by kdawson
from the zeros-and-ones dept.
Willem de Koning writes Yesterday the Netherlands completely ended transmission of analog television signals, becoming the first country in the world to do so. So what about cars and portable TVs? I'm guessing a market will emerge for portable set top boxes / converters." The article mentions the timetable for other countries to go all-digital; by 2011 most or all of the developed world will have made the switch.
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The Dutch Kill Analog TV Nationwide

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  • Uh, huh... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by creimer (824291) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:45PM (#17211526) Homepage
    ... by 2011 most or all of the developed world will have made the switch.

    And all those obsolete TVs will be dumped in the third world for scrap prices. Going digital might be nice as long as it doesn't destroy the environment and set the third world further back.
    • Re:Uh, huh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JesseL (107722) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:50PM (#17211626) Homepage Journal
      Those obsolete TVs weren't going to last forever in any case. Sometimes you just have to make a clean break from legacy technologies in order to make any progress. At least doing it all at once lets you run reasonably efficient "recycle your old TV" programs.
    • Re:Uh, huh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:56PM (#17211720)
      And all those obsolete TVs will be dumped in the third world for scrap prices. Going digital might be nice as long as it doesn't destroy the environment and set the third world further back.

      Actually, many of those TVs will probably have people buying a digital-to-analogue reciever for $25-$50 because (as CRT tvs become harder and harder to find) it will be cheaper than upgrading your TV to a reasonable sized LCD/Plasma TV (as a guess, $250-$500 for a 25-30 inch LCD TV).

      There are millions of people who live on less than $25,000 per year in North America and they are probably not going to rush out to spend hundreds of dollars on a new TV.
      • Re:Uh, huh... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MaWeiTao (908546) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:26PM (#17212138)
        There are millions of people who live on less than $25,000 per year in North America and they are probably not going to rush out to spend hundreds of dollars on a new TV.


        Well, I know of two cable guys who would disagree with that statement. They'd point out that there are probably more people who earn less than $25,000 in the inner city who own new HDTVs than you'd find in most middle-class neighborhoods. And by the time 2009 comes around these television sets will be even cheaper, assuming people dont just get adapters. I just hope that in the US we don't start seeing tax dollars go to handouts to provide assistance to people who supposedly can't afford a brand new TV set.
        • But the boob-tube helps to keep many Americans as good little pacified consumer / wage slaves.

          Almost a guarantee that they'll be tax breaks for buying a new set or converter.

        • by slim (1652)

          Well, I know of two cable guys who would disagree with that statement. They'd point out that there are probably more people who earn less than $25,000 in the inner city who own new HDTVs than you'd find in most middle-class neighborhoods. And by the time 2009 comes around these television sets will be even cheaper, assuming people dont just get adapters. I just hope that in the US we don't start seeing tax dollars go to handouts to provide assistance to people who supposedly can't afford a brand new TV set.

          Ah, the good old "poor folks often have expensive gadgets therefore their benefits must be excessive" claim again.

          You've just got to think laterally to spot the flaws:
          - you don't know how that equipment's being paid for. Is it rented? Is it on an exploitative finance deal?
          - if you don't work, and sit at home all day, a TV is a good investment

          • by chihowa (366380)
            Actually, I think this was the "poor folks have a different set of priorities" claim. But more precisely, it was just a counter to the GGP's claim that poor people can't afford new TVs. I was making less than $25k when I was in school and I could afford a new TV (I didn't buy one, but I could afford it). The GP was merely pointing out that "hundreds of dollars" is not an insurmountable barrier to keep people making $25k/yr from purchasing a new TV.

            You sure were quick to defend those maligned poor folks,

        • by kthejoker (931838)
          I don't know about a brand new set, but TV ownership is not considered merely a luxury - government agencies rely on TV broadcasts to spread news at least as much as newspapers and radio (if not a lot more.) If someone in the sticks can't afford a new digital TV or receiver, having the government pitch in $200 or so for a 19" LCD might not be considered such a poor investment.

          Realistically, I think we're both making prima facie statements, but to suggest that TV payments might be "handouts" might not be so
        • by afidel (530433)
          Indirectly there will be. Part of the proceeds from selling off the analog tv spectrum is slated to be used to help poor people buy converters. This is money that the government could have otherwise used to offset other taxes or lower the national debt. So indirectly you are paying for others adapters =)
        • by soft_guy (534437)

          I just hope that in the US we don't start seeing tax dollars go to handouts to provide assistance to people who supposedly can't afford a brand new TV set.

          I keep hearing that there WILL be some type of government assistance to get new digital to analog converters. I keep hearing this in the news. Sorry I don't have a link handy. But, it really wouldn't surprise me if the television companies pushed for this kind of hand out. Otherwise, they are potentially losing viewers. Also, I would think such a handout would generate lots of public interest in HDTV and would increase viewership. This would benefit the TV companies.

          Plus, they'd be asking Congress to give

      • Another option for all the obsolete NTSC televisions is for people to set up neighborhood broadcasting stations.
        I assume, and this might be crazy on my part, that all of the stations that the obsolete TVs used to receive will be blank or raw static. In this case, people who set up illegal small area broadcast stations are getting a free communications medium along with an attentive audience. Play videos such as Hollywood films (if you're already illegal due to your broadcasting, then what d
    • by david.given (6740)

      And all those obsolete TVs will be dumped in the third world for scrap prices.

      Actually, no, they won't, because people here aren't stupid. To get digital TV, you buy a digital TV set-top-box for knock-down prices and plug the handy SCART cable into the back of your existing analogue TV. You can pick them up in supermarkets for next to nothing [tesco.com], and there are no subscription fees (at least in my country).

      Where did this whole oh-noes-I-need-a-new-TV thing come from, anyway?

      • by hotdiggitydawg (881316) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:06PM (#17211862)

        Where did this whole oh-noes-I-need-a-new-TV thing come from, anyway?
        Not 100% sure, but I'd bet Sony had a hand in it somewhere...

      • Actually to get the most out of digital you really do need a widescreen set with stereo speakers - so many people will feel a need to upgrade, despite it not being a requirement. Otherwise what is the point - don't say more choice, because at least in the UK only about 2 of the 30 or so channels added to the 'traditional' line-up are actually worth watching.
        • Re:Uh, huh... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by slim (1652) <john@hartn u p .net> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:55PM (#17212606) Homepage

          Actually to get the most out of digital you really do need a widescreen set with stereo speakers - so many people will feel a need to upgrade, despite it not being a requirement. Otherwise what is the point - don't say more choice, because at least in the UK only about 2 of the 30 or so channels added to the 'traditional' line-up are actually worth watching.
          But we're not talking about getting the most out of it. We're talking about getting through an analogue switch-off without losing what you've already got. Come switch off time, the POINT you ask for is getting any sort of TV at all.

          Even so, I'd argue that even if you stuck with 4:3 SD and a built in mono speaker, a Freeview box is worth it for:
            - FilmFour
            - Some of E4 and More4
            - Some of BBC3
            - BBC4
            - BBC News 24

          OTOH, it is true that DTV provides a strong incentive to upgrade your TV. Just wait til FTA terrestrial HD comes along...
    • There is a US$40 box to convert the digital signals into analog input to the TV. At least that is how it works here.
      • $40 per TV.

        I suspect that Cable providers might want to continue to use analog networks as long as they can. This one feature that Satellite companies cannot compete against - in a big way.... If I have one 'main' TV in the living room with a Digital converter I can still have TV's in all the bedrooms that receive analog. Satellite providers do not provide analog, so would need converters for each TV.

        I just can't see cable providers willingly give up this advantage as long as it remains something that co
    • Re:Uh, huh... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Erwin_D (960540) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:11PM (#17211932) Homepage
      Only analogue transmissions overether are stopped. Over 90% of the population have cable already (both analogue and digital). What the article fails to mention is that it only impacts about 70,000 people still receiving analogue signals from the air. Plus, the signal is replaced with digital (DVB-T). So these 70,000 can either get a DVB-T or a satelite receiver.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ctrlsoft (65447)
      It's analog broadcasting that's been killed, not cable. The number of people that rely on analog broadcasting was already very low and they'll just get cable with their current tv or perhaps digital through a converter box.
  • No they didn't (Score:5, Informative)

    by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:45PM (#17211538)
    They only discontinued analog broadcasts over the air. The majority of people in the Netherlands get their television service through analog cable and not digital service.
  • 2011? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Peter La Casse (3992) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:46PM (#17211554) Homepage

    Does the 2011 prediction assume that the US won't push the date back again? Does it assume that the reasons for US politicians to push the date back don't apply to politicians in other countries?

    The conversion from analog to digital TV is in progress. Trying to guess now when the tipping point will actually occur is useless.

    • why oh why

        DVB-T is the standard adopted by Europe and Asia (and perhaps other places as well?) for Digital OTA broadcasting, while ATSC is used in the U.S.A., Mexico, South Korea, and Taiwan

      you can do HD over DVB I have seen BBC trials...

      I can buy lots of DVB equipment from usb sticks that are linux/MacOS/Windows laptop compatable to PCI cards and custom decoders

      its feaking everywhere

      what are the options for ATSC ?

      why ATSC technical reasons ?

      • by Phreakiture (547094) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @04:17PM (#17212928) Homepage

        ATSC requires less energy to transmit than DVB-T, due to the use of 8VSB modulation rather than OFDM; hence it is cheaper to use. If the USA were as densely packed as most of Europe, then DVB-T would probably be a slam dunk, but we have vast rural areas, and idiotically-built suburbs, and the TV signal needs to reach its audience at a cost that the broadcasters can sustain.

      • ATSC = Red State TV. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kadin2048 (468275)
        ATSC provides better reception in fringe areas; DVB-T's modulation scheme is aimed more towards urban viewers (better resistance to multipath, etc.). To put it bluntly, in the U.S., rural viewers were apparently considered more important than urban ones, so DVB-T got dumped in favor of ATSC. So if you live around tall buildings, consider yourself to have been screwed. (I think there was also a big, steaming helping of "Not Invented Here" syndrome; no red-blooded American (Senator) was going to support some
  • For Oldies (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anne Thwacks (531696)
    Analogue is only used by oldies anyway. Everyone under the age of 70 uses Youtube instead - partly because their attention span is less than that of a goldfish - a side effect of "easy to use" Apple UIs.
  • What? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jbrader (697703) <stillnotpynchon@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:47PM (#17211572)
    So what about cars...

    Umm, what about 'em? I've been to Holland and I didn't see too many cars with analog televisions installed. Does it mean limos? Well that's a small luxury market that can afford digital receivers. Or did they also switch to all didgital radio and is that what it means?

  • Wasn't the FCC in the USA going to require this changeover by the year 2000 once upon a time? I've been hearing this story since I first took TV production classes 20 years ago. Sure the future marches forward, but I don't have a flying car yet either. Sometimes change takes a while...
  • [blah blah will] continue to broadcast three state-supported channels and several regional public broadcasters free of charge. In return, it can use the rest of the open bandwidth to charge around $18.50 a month for a package of other channels that is comparable with cable.

    This is more death of free media. If the only FTA transmissions you can get are either state-sponsored or state-supported, how can you reliably get news?

    I sincerely hope that, once the analog broadcasts are halted in this country, the co
    • by hanwen (8589) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:56PM (#17211732) Homepage Journal
      Actually, the state-supported media are more objective than any of the commercial channels.

      Any club of people that can raise a significant number of members will get
      public funding and can participate in the public channel. There are broadcasting organisations
      with socialist, catholic, buddhist, islam, etc. backgrounds, and they all get their voice.

       
      • by wfberg (24378) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:44PM (#17212440)
        Actually, the state-supported media are more objective than any of the commercial channels.

        Any club of people that can raise a significant number of members will get
        public funding and can participate in the public channel. There are broadcasting organisations
        with socialist, catholic, buddhist, islam, etc. backgrounds, and they all get their voice.


        In addition to this, you have to realize
        1) public broadcasters also feature advertising
        2) it has been known for a public broadcaster to become a commercial broadcaster (veronica)
        3) workers from failed commercial broadcasters have been known to rejoin the public system (tv10)
        All of this mitigates the influence of government. (And the government money mitigates undue influence from advertisers).

        The public broadcasters themselves are independent member-run organizations and can (and have) defied government positions. More successfully than the BBC has managed, for instance (turns out they were right about reports about Iraq's weapons being 'sexed up', but they didn't have the balls to say to the government 'you can put in a complaint like any regular citizen').

        Additionally, public broadcasters are required by law to have editorial codes that guarantee editorial/journalistic independence for their employees - independence from both the government, advertisers AND the broadcaster itself. The journalist's trade union is always keen to complain about instances of this independence being threatened.

        Getting impartial/non-partisan news is hardly the problem. The problem is that the news is either boring (especially the christian broadcasters, always yapping on about 'church matters' or, for some not well understood reason, every minute detail of the troubles in Israel) or alarmist and/or xenophobic drivel designed to compete with the commercial channels.
        • ...alarmist and/or xenophobic drivel designed to compete with the commercial channels.
          In the US we call that FOX NEWS & they are a commercial channel....
    • by jfengel (409917)
      In the US, the analog channels are essentially state-sponsored; the networks are given the bandwidth for some trivial sum of money precisely because they're supposed to be using it for the public good.

      ABC, NBC, etc. aren't broadcasting local news every night at 6 and 11 (and national news at 6:30) because they think it brings in more viewers than another Survivor knock-off. They do it because they're required to. They'd cheerfully dump their expensive news-gathering organizations if they could. In fact, th
    • by wfberg (24378)
      This is more death of free media. If the only FTA transmissions you can get are either state-sponsored or state-supported, how can you reliably get news?

      The analogue broadcast that was switched off was these same handful of channels - which will now be FTA on the (as of yet crappy) digital network. The commercial channels were never broadcast on the analogue network at all.
      If you splash for a dish, you can get a card that will decrypt both the public broadcasters as well as the commercial channels for a one
    • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:49PM (#17212502)
      There's been research on this, comparing viewers of state-sponsored broadcasters like PBS and BBC to viewers of FOX and Sky. What they discovered is that the viewers of the state-owned channels are much more likely to know the truth. So for example: In the composite analysis of the PIPA study, 80 percent of Fox News watchers had one of more of these misperceptions, in contrast to 71 percent for CBS and 27 percent who tuned to NPR/PBS [sourcewatch.org]

      Does it really sound like the public is being served by the private media? Don't you wish we would have been a bit savvier when, through being misinformed, we supported our politicians in their attack on Iraq?

      • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot@kadin.xoxy@net> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @04:57PM (#17213552) Homepage Journal
        I think that study has it's causation turned all around.

        People who wear tweed coats are probably on average more well-informed than people wearing denim shirts with name patches, but that doesn't mean that putting on a tweed coat will magically make you smarter. It might be self-selective earlier on in the chain somewhere.

        Fox News didn't exist a decade ago, and now it's the top cable news channel, beating out CNN. A whole lot of people chose to watch it. That underlying preference for the viewpoint that Fox espouses is what separates Fox viewers from PBS viewers. And that preference is probably closely linked to a lot of socioeconomic factors like income level, education level, and occupation, all of which could cause people to be more or less well-informed. Unless you control for all those factors, you can't say (and shouldn't imply) that Fox News makes you stupid. It might be that Fox News' viewers were stupid already.

        Looking at the study you linked to (which is by SourceWatch, which I'd argue is somewhat liberally biased) was specifically considering 'misperceptions' concerning the Iraq war and other politically sensitive issues; ignoring the fact that people may in fact be choosing to hold those misperceptions more or less consciously. People are quite capable of believing fervently in things they know not to be true, or at least ought to suspect are not true; to say that something about Iraq is a 'misperception' ignores that someone may decide to support the war in Iraq first, and then choose to believe whatever information best substantiates their already-chosen stance. (On the other side, I know quite a few people who probably believe that G.W. Bush is worse than Hitler and eats a steady diet of nails and raw babies; any information that might detract from this image is quickly ignored.) I think the psychological term for this is confirmation bias [wikipedia.org]. Really, to convincingly show which group of people were more or less informed in an abstract sense, you'd probably want to ask about politically neutral issues.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ben there... (946946)

          And that preference is probably closely linked to a lot of socioeconomic factors like income level, education level, and occupation, all of which could cause people to be more or less well-informed. Unless you control for all those factors, you can't say (and shouldn't imply) that Fox News makes you stupid. It might be that Fox News' viewers were stupid already.

          But you can compare coverage of stories side-by-side, and see who got it wrong more often, statistically. Or who interjected more obvious bias more

    • There is no such thing as free (as in beer) media. Everything is run on either tax dollars or advertising dollars. This means everything you see/hear is either state sanctioned, or corporate whored.

      As for the torrent machine, I've started to do that. I don't consider it piracy. I consider it time-shifting. I only wish that torrent worked better for non-popular content. My Mork and Mindy download is going to take 854 more days. Sheesh!
    • the best news coverage ever given in the US was funded by the government?
      In fact, you can corolate the entertainment news begining pretty much when the government stop giving money to the big broadcasters.

      So money from the government does not mean government control. Sure, you need to watch thibngs like this, but don't make assumptions.

  • Some answers (Score:3, Informative)

    by wfberg (24378) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:06PM (#17211868)
    So what about cars and portable TVs? I'm guessing a market will emerge for portable set top boxes / converters.

    a) there are few, if any, cars with TV sets in them. The primary market for in-vehicle TV is for truckdrivers. These have had to deal with quite some advertising over the past year for both digital terrestrial as satellite sets - the latter make most sense seeing as most truckers drive internationally (being a small country, The Netherlands is one of the world's leaders when it comes to the amount of territory outside its borders).
    b) portable TVs are fucked
    c) digital sets are pretty much non-existant, for terrestrial digital you always get a set top box, as well as for (digital) satellite.

    The article only mentions the 'cost per household' as a reason for switching the signal off. In reality, the reasons are even less enlightened:
    - the only service you got on analogue was the 3 public broadcasting channels, the 7(!) remaining national channels (not counting theme channels like MTV etc.) were never on analog, but only on (basic) cable and (basic) satellite[*]. As such, analogue service was already a joke.
    - In fact, gives The Netherlands small size, you were more likely to get good reception on German and English channels in a large portion of the country any way; the number of usuable channels was few
    - Given this, they want to reuse the frequencies for more regional services, like wimax and digital radio (which is even less successful than digital terrestrial TV because of its poor coverage).

    [*] That's 10 general interest channels (comparable to networks) on a population of 16 million.
  • by nomad63 (686331) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:07PM (#17211880)
    Considering you can travel from one end of the country to another in less than 2 hours, as well as pretty much flat landscape, broadcasting difficulties is not something of a concern for the Netherlands IMHO.
  • So what about cars and portable TVs?
    In the states we have HDTV signals in the air and all you need is a HDTV tuner to pick them up. So, answer is, they are hosed unless they have a digital tuner, assuming of course that the digital signals are transmitted.
  • I would prefer to think that they retired analog TV. Killing it or pulled the plug on it. It is a good thing that it goes away, not a bad one.

    IMarv
    • by geekoid (135745)
      Can you explain to me why it's good? and if it is so good, why it has to be government mandated?
  • It's really bad for the North American 8VSB [wikipedia.org] standard used in ATSC [wikipedia.org]. The COFDM [wikipedia.org] used in the "rest of the world's" "DVB-T [wikipedia.org]" is only marginally better.

    Probably mucho DSP power will eventually compensate, but don't expect portable units to pick up digital TV signals terribly well if they are moving for at least the next several years.

  • .... You BASTARDS!
  • Almost all the boxes have been discontinued [avsforum.com] and there are very few being made anymore. Took me a while to find one (I get to pick out my xmas present this year). Maybe in 2009 that'll change when the switchover is supposed to happen in the US (I'll beleive that when I see it).

    Of course, by FCC mandate [wikipedia.org] all new TVs regardless of size are supposed to have an ATSC tuner in them starting March 2007. So the market for set-top boxes will be very small until 2009 at least, and even then will most people have swit

  • Converting (Score:3, Informative)

    by slim (1652) <john@hartn u p .net> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:36PM (#17212302) Homepage
    From my UK experience:

    Digital Set Top Boxes are already cheap and small - you can even get one that's built into the form factor of a SCART plug (that's the European standard AV connector).

    Just buying a STB and hooking it up isn't enough for everyone - depending on coverage for your area you might need to spend money on your aerial. Maybe coverage is more even in The Netherlands, what with its relative flatness.

    STBs usually put out a composite video signal, so the analogue TV you're converting had better have a composite input. There are TVs still in use which only have an RF input. I don't know of any STBs that contain an analogue RFmodulator. If there's a market for them, it'll happen. RF modulation is cheap and easy -- I must have half a dozen inline modulators from 16 bit consoles lying around in boxes here.

    I'll be really interested to see how the analogue switch off goes here in the UK -- a phased switch off beginning in 2008 -- my guess is that those stubborn enough to have resisted digital by the time their analogue transmitter is decomissioned will stand a good chance of being given a free/subsidised STB and aeriel upgrade.
  • I bought a new TV a few months ago. I couldn't afford a ueber-expensive HDTV, but the TV I did buy is capable of receiving digital signals and downconverting them to the resolution a normal TV is capable of (the new digital standard in called ATSC).

    The digital signal is really quite excellent. Analog signals have always been snowy, fuzzy, and filled with distortion. The digital signal is clean and crisp. I don't even have some special antenna either, I chinced out and cut off the shielding from an old c
    • The digital signal is really quite excellent.

      ...as long as you don't know what the artifacts of overly-compressed digital video look like. If you do, it can look absolutely awful.

      Good digital is far better than good analog. Bad analog is infinitely preferable (to me) than bad digital.

      • by slim (1652)

        ...as long as you don't know what the artifacts of overly-compressed digital video look like. If you do, it can look absolutely awful.

        Good digital is far better than good analog. Bad analog is infinitely preferable (to me) than bad digital.

        Like any other artefacts, you get used to them and learn to ignore them. Just as you learned to look past film grain and scratches at the cinema, the crackle and low frequency range of AM radio, the background hiss of FM, and the snowy effect of a bad analogue TV signal, you learn to look past digital TV's artefacts.

        In a previous house, I had digital TV but a peculiarity in the wiring meant that every time the central heating thermostat clicked on or off, there would be significant RF interference hitting

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Vellmont (569020)
        ...as long as you don't know what the artifacts of overly-compressed digital video look like. If you do, it can look absolutely awful.

        Is that kind of like Wiley-Coyote knowing about gravity, and suddenly being affected by it?

        I actually see the effects of overly-compressed digital video all the time, as I have satellite TV. It's occasionally annoying, but not really a big deal. I haven't watched a lot of over-the-air digital TV, but I've yet to see artifacts, only poor signal quality from a station that's
    • by geekoid (135745)
      "I'd recommend if you see a TV 25 inches or larger being sold that doesn't have a digital tuner in it that you complain to the management of the store, and maybe the FCC."

      I love that you advocate a kind of activism. Have you got your gun yet?
  • In other news, EE students around the world with modified TVs break into all the communications and apps that have moved to the open TV spectrum.
  • by RomulusNR (29439) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @08:01PM (#17216510) Homepage
    Remember when TV was still considered an important medium? When the EBS was an essential way to transfer flash warnings across a region or the country? When it was even seen as a way children could learn?

    Now, no one (in power) seems to really care if the public has access to TV or not. With the rise in expensive digital and HD receivers, and the mass obsoletion of literal tons of cheap, mercury-laden TV tubes, TV will become a luxury. Which, of course, is exactly how it started out in the first place.

    We may even witness the death of TV as we know it. By the time analog TV is outlawed, will broadcast TV even be relevant anymore? By 2008 (if that date sticks, which it might not), household datapipes could increase to the point where people will start dumping TV receivers like they're currently dumping POTS lines.

    (Go figure -- phones going wireless, and TV going wired.)

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