“Why did we undertake this transition in the first place?”

Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Jim Yager, chief executive officer of Barrington Broadcasting, told Congress that the broadcast industry has done its part to move the analog-to-digital conversion along, and now it’s time for Congress to act to ensure that the cable industry does its part as well.

Among the remaining stumbling blocks are what broadcast DTV services cable companies will permit their subscribers to view, he said.

According to Yager, cable operators have long known of the impending DTV transition but are “now seeking to convert digital high definition signals to analog formats at the head end of their systems.”

Down conversion means that consumers who purchased HDTV sets would “find themselves receiving an identical picture as their neighbors' analog-only TVs,” he said.

“Imagine if, during the ‘60s, consumers purchased color sets, brought them home and plugged them in… only to continue seeing black and white pictures. That is what cable today proposes for DTV,” said Yager.

“And the question must be asked: If the end result is turning digital signals back into analog, why did we undertake this transition in the first place?” he asked.

For more information, visit www.nab.org.

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