The House Energy and Commerce Committee held an event demonstrating a number of digital-to-analog converter boxes to members of Congress and their staffs, in hopes of getting them to spread the word to their constituents back home. Committee Chairman John D. Dingell (D-MI) said, "With just one year to go until analog broadcasts cease, it is incumbent upon the government, industry and the public interest community to work together to ensure our nation leaves no viewer behind. This demonstration allowed my colleagues in Congress to get a firsthand view of the options their constituents will have before them when they upgrade their analog television sets for the digital television transition."
The demonstration included products from Artec/Ultima Electronics Corporation, Best Buy/Insignia, Digital Stream, EchoStar, GE/Jasco, Max Media, RCA/Alco Electronics, Tivax, Zenith/LG Electronics and GXi International.
The Committee now has hot links to online demonstrations of such products on the its homepage, accessible by anybody from a fellow Rep to an average citizen. The site also includes links to the NTIA converter box coupon program, the FCC and other key sites.
TVBR/RBR observation: The links are extremely useful, no doubt. The problem is that the average citizen isn’t going to say to himself, "Gee, what’s with all that DTV stuff I keep hearing about? Guess I’ll go the House Energy and Commerce Committee website and see what’s what." For this list to be of any practical use, the Committee will have to find a way to make sure it is a prominent result of a search engine survey of the DTV transition, or find other ways to drive traffic to the list.
We suggest that committee staff determine what sort of websites result when a relatively DTV-ignorant citizen initiates a search for information, and immediately negotiate with the resulting websites to carry an E&C DTV link and others that would be of use. Oh, and buy some ads.