Another Reason Why Your Grandma Needs A Digital TV

Mainstream media loves creating false panics over digital television, and there’s another one over the horizon.

Mark Day’s outline of discussions over what to do with analogue TV spectrum once the digital TV switchover happens in 2013 is nowhere near as irresponsible or inaccurate as the Herald Sun digital TV beatup earlier this year, but still manages to muddy the waters a fair bit in an area where confusion is already rampant.

Here’s the opening paragraph:

THOUSANDS of Australian viewers may have to invest in new aerials and retune their television sets under government proposals to rearrange unused broadcasting spectrum and sell it for more than $1.5 billion.

Actually, that would only happen under one very specific set of circumstances: if the government decides to “restack” the spare space between channels to create more valuable spectrum and decides to do that before the digital TV switchover is fully completed. Neither is anywhere near certain.

More to the point, since the analogue TV signals are due to be switched off in 2013 anyway (and earlier in some regions), anyone faced with that for-the-moment-entirely-theoretical dilemma would do what they’ll have to do anyway: invest in a digital set-top box or a new digital-reception-equipped television.

Bottom line? If this angle gets some mileage and a relative rings to ask what they should do because their TV is about to stop working (“I heard it on talkback, it must be true!”), grab them a cheap digital set top box and install it for them. End of story.

Restacking unused spectrum could be expensive [The Australian]

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