Gail Collins, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite major newspaper columnists, has a sharp and sharply funny New York Times column on the digital TV transition scheduled to take place on February 17.  While Collins quickly covers the motivations for the transition, she reserves some of her more stinging criticism for how the DTV transition was handled.

While there was quite a bit of information out there–this DTV infomercial played in the Raleigh-Durham area–the conversion process has often been poorly explained, leading to tons of confusion.  In fact, a number of my students last year were convinced that they needed to purchase HD TVs (of course that may have been a wishful justification for buying a flat screen TV on their parts).

Collins’ bigger point–and I think it’s an important one–is that several other countries, including Britain, Finland, and the Netherlands have handled the transition smoothly through extensive government support and assistance in order to ensure that all of its citizens were well-informed about the switch and provided with the necessary equipment and assistance to make it happen.

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