The DTV transition is nearly over — this time for real.
On Feb. 8, President Bush signed legislation establishing Feb. 17, 2009, as the official date for the shutdown of analog television broadcasting in the United States. Now, the end of the endless transition is set in law.
Finally having a date certain is expected to give consumers better confidence to make television-purchasing decisions. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) predicts sales of more than 18 million DTV sets in 2006 — a 50 percent increase over last year.
Gary Shapiro, head of the CEA, said that with the combination of the hard cutoff date, continuing strong sales of DTV products, an increasing variety of quality high-definition programming and the advent of new pre-recorded HD content, the U.S. is making significant gains in the transition to digital.