updated 04:35 pm EDT, Wed September 12, 2007
FCC: Analog past 2009
Owners of analog TVs should be able to hold on to them past a looming deadline, the Federal Communications Commission has ruled. While analog TV broadcasts will be officially ended in the United States as of February 2009, a panel voted five to zero to require cable company support of analog TVs until at least 2012, and possibly beyond. This may impose a significant financial burden on the cable providers, since over-the-air broadcasts will be divided solely between digital SD and HD; the only solutions will involve either converting to analog before streaming -- reducing available bandwidth -- or providing conversion hardware to each subscriber.
The National Cable and Telecommunications Association says it approves of the FCC's move regardless, although it warns that some smaller cable companies could suffer greatly. The smallest companies, limited to 552MHz or less, will be able to request a waiver. [via Ars Technica]