RE: HDTV broadcasts . . . since we've seem to gone off-topic here.
I've found a pretty significant difference in digital over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts versus analog OTA broadcasts . . . and a small improvement with HDTV OTA broadcasts versus digital OTA broadcasts for most TV shows . . . although there is an incredible difference with HDTV OTA broadcasts for sporting events such as NFL games. I sincerely believe that if more folks could see the startling difference between what they're seeing now and what they could be watching they would realize the future truly is in HDTV.
That said . . . I don't believe the government should have to dictate what should be. Any change-over should be "dictated" by consumer demand as switching to HDTV broadcasting is not a public safety issue. I think a major driving force right now is (to be frank) many people are confused about terms like "HDTV ready" and "HDTV capable" and . . . and this is probably the most signficant issue . . . the costs for TVs and receivers is still too high for many people. The costs need to come down before people are ready to say to themselves, "Well the old Sony/Panasonic/Samsung/etc. still works, but for just a few dollars more I can buy a new TV and get HDTV so I guess I'll spring for the extra dough." I feel at this time the difference is still too high for most people to justify the extra expense.
It should also be noted that TV stations also face a large expense in upgrading and (as we are seeing currently here in central Maine) running dual analog and digital broadcasts. What's truly too bad is that these same TV stations for some reason can't comprehend that they may be part of the problem . . . since some stations are only running at partial power with their HDTV systems (to save money) they're not reaching out to their whole audience (for example, WVII has digital but when I last checked into this issue several months ago they were covering Bangor and that was about the extent of their HDTV range.) When this is the case, it's harder for a consumer to justify the expense of buying a HDTV TV or receiver if they find out that they won't be able to watch their favorite show in HD anyways.
I think HDTV will eventually be as popular as analog TV . . . but it will come in time. To be quite honest I'm surprised some TV stations haven't figured out that HDTV could be a potential money-maker since many will have the ability to broadcast two shows at the same time on separate assigned channels -- something that PBS already does. I'm not an account executive, but it seems to me you could utilize this ability to air re-runs or target specific and different audiences even at the same time with additional advertising.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."
"Death is only one of many ways to die."