Bill Hayes has been Iowa Public Television's Engineering Director since 1999, and is responsible for Iowa Public Television's transition to digital television. In a little more than a year, analog television will be shut off, and we’ll all be watching television a little differently. Visit this page frequently to get answers to your digital television questions and to read about the industry and IPTV’s transition.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Why is IPTV continuing analog broadcasting past Feb. 17?
Iowa Public Television is, at our core, a public service media organization. We believe it's important to serve all Iowans, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. And in the past year, we've fulfilled some of that public service role by assisting Iowans with questions and problems converting to digital television. We've conducted more than 100 town hall meetings around the state, aired 30 hours of information about the switch, and talked with thousands of Iowans having difficulty making the transition.
Though we did not advocate for the delay, we do see it as our role to take advantage of the extra time to provide information and assistance to those Iowans who aren't yet ready.
We have no doubt Iowans are aware of the switch - and we're not staying analog to help procrastinators. We believe, through our conversations and visits with Iowans, that most of those who haven't made the switch are having unanticipated difficulties with reception and antenna issues. Still others applied for converter box coupons and are now on a waiting list, or never received coupons to begin with.
There will be utility costs associated with staying analog for a few more months, and in these budget times taking on those costs was a difficult decision. We're finding other ways to save in these demanding budget times, because we strongly feel these costs are an investment in helping as many Iowans as possible be prepared for the switch. And of course, the individual contributions made by members will continue to go directly toward programming.
Iowans rely on television, not just for entertainment and a connection to the outside world, but for important public safety information. And Iowa's families - particularly those families in lower income situations without access to pay television or new televisions - rely on our service for safe, educational children's programs.
So though staying analog does incorporate additional expense, we feel the cost allows us to do the important public service mission with which we are charged - helping all Iowans through public media. It's why we were created, why we are supported, and it's our unique responsibility.
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