This story was written by Patrick Smith.
As America's transition to digital TV is delayed by president Obama, Europe is boasting it's "leading the world" in the shift from analogue to digital. No prizes for guessing who Viviane Reding, the EC's telecoms and media commissioner, was referring to when she said this in a release on Monday: "Europe's switchover is going according to plan and well on track, especially when compared to other countries around the world..."
President Obama this month signed the DTV Delay Act, pushing back the deadline for digital switchover to June 12even though some 500 stations across the country plan to make the switch before then.
Reding says Europe has avoided such confusion - the analogue signal has already been turned off in six countries: Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Belgium's Flanders region and Luxembourg, with a total 12 of the bloc's 27 nations or regions expected to have done so by 2010. All EU countries, including the UK, are on track to be digital-only by the target of 2012 (with the exception of Poland, which will wait until 2015 at the latest). Japan will switch off its analogue signal in 2011, South Korea is planning for switchover in 2012, Australia in 2013, and both India and Russia in 2015. Release.
By Patrick Smith