Digi it

What a fine mess we have here. Finland is supposed to move entirely from analogue TV broadcasts to digital in the summer, but stories keep coming out that the move may be put off and now no one seems to be sure what will happen. The problem is consumers consumers were supposed to buy the equipment required to receive digital broadcasts, but a lot of them still only have a plain old analogue TV set with no digital gadgetry in sight. Governmental busybodies are beginning to freak out and, as is their nature, they're turning on each other.

First the Finnish Public Broadcasting Agency (YLE) announced that apartment buildings may buy central converters that will turn digital signals to analogue. The Ministry of Transport and Communications, for its part, has said (fi) that if 85 percent of TV households can't view digital broadcasts in August, cable broadcasters can convert their digital signals to analogue till February 2008. Right now we're sitting at 66 percent. YLE worthies immediately got into a row over this, YLE chairman Hannu Olkinuora saying that their digital channels may be converted and outgoing chairman of YLE's administrative council Mika Lintilä (Centre Party) saying that they may not. MP Jyri Häkämies (National Coalition Party), widely tipped to be the next Minister of Transport and Communications, then criticized Lintilä.

I did get a kick out of this quote:

According to Mikael Jungner, the chief executive of YLE, the company had arrived at the decision to allow the central converters after a "juridical analysis" but that the message had slipped out faster than had been intended.

"The decision itself has been criticised only for its timing," Mr Jungner told reporters at the transport and communications ministry news conference.
It just goes to show the value of utter secrecy in large projects affecting most of the country's population. If only YLE hadn't told consumers what will happen, they would have rushed out to buy digital TVs and converters. Better living through misleading the public!

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