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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell pondered the question whether the digital TV transition is better off today than it was a year ago, and he concluded Monday that "the answer is a resounding yes."

Powell, who has been aggressively pushing the DTV transition this year, made that statement at the Association for Maximum Television's DTV Update Conference. While saying the DTV transition is back on track, he admitted that it will take time before digital TV's impact is fully felt by viewers.

"Consumers, too, are beginning to embrace the digital television," Powell said. "I have no doubt that we have a major consumer education effort in front of us. But I also think that when the pieces of a transition come together - as they are now doing - that can happen quickly."

Powell gave kudos to cable and satellite TV for their digital TV efforts, and pointed out that the largest cable operators are using their digital technology to provide high-definition television.

However, Powell said TV manufacturers must retool for digital. "It's both a major challenge and a huge opportunity for the CE industry," he said. "Given the highly competitive nature of the industry, I have every confidence that they will be successful."

He said the final link in the DTV transition chain will be the retail business. "Retailers must train their staffs and redesign their space to sell digital," Powell said. "And they must find a way to get HD content onto the sets on the display floor. If a consumer is shopping for a high-definition set, they should be able to see high-definition content.

"DVDs are good, but they're not HD."

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 
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