In a conversation this week with Cnet news, Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro had a lot to say about the way the DTV transition was handled and the struggles in getting the whole thing launched in the first place.
“The broadcasters” said Shapiro “were the biggest challenge by far. They saw nothing to be gained by this.”
“Broadcasters blew it in that HDTV was their one opportunity to get ahead of cable and satellite.” Since broadcasters could much more cheaply and easily send out an HD signal to consumers, and consumers could more cheaply and easily pick up the signal, Shapiro saw this as a chance that should have been taken. “It could have been their competitive advantage.”
The next big thing is always around the corner, according to Shapiro, “In another 15 or 20 or 30 years there'll be another TV standard. We're working now on 3D TV… 3D television is something which has long been around; certainly Hollywood is very excited about it. It is challenged by the fact that you need special glasses...But people love it”
Shapiro is quite proud of the way the transition was handled, and in the past has compared it to the moon landing. “We did it right and it's been fabulous, and it wasn't really celebrated, but I think it deserves celebration. When Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, it was like, ‘Wow, here's a defining moment.’ When we turned off analog broadcasting a couple months ago, it was kind of like the last item in the news.”