New DTV Hard Date: July 24, 2011?


No, Congress and the Obama administration aren’t at it again. July 24, 2011, is when Japan is slated to make its move to digital.Ironically, the U.S. was prepared to follow Japan’s lead into a bandwidth-hungry analog version of high-definition TV in the late 1980’s before a last-minute digital entry won, and saved, the day.

Now, Japan actually will be following our lead. NHK, Japan’s national broadcasting service, sent a media analyst from its Broadcasting Culture Research Institute to Washington to compile data for a report on the digital switch. He arrived in D.C. Wednesday, according to an e-mail to B&C, and was scheduled to meet with someone from National Association of Broadcasters before interviewing WUSA Washington General Manager Allan Horlick.

The analyst came armed with a boatload of questions, including whether the four-month postponement of the hard date was necessary for either viewers or broadcasters, and what suggestions Horlick had for Japan’s transition.

Click here for complete coverage of the DTV transition.