Analog or DTV Nightlight?

Now that the FCC has put out its proposal for how broadcasters can keep their analog signals on the air for 30 days past the Feb. 17 DTV transition date, it is time to vote on a related issue: Should the initiative, which passed both the House and Senate swiftly and without dissent, be referred to as an analog or a DTV nightlight.

I claim to have coined the term back in September in a story in about the broadcaster push for the grace period when I talked about an "analog night-light’ (hyphenating in that first reference), and will continue to claim it until somebody comes up with an earlier reference, though I think that story was the first to talk about the concerted effort by broadcasters for congressional or FCC action.

Of course, if I am wrong and someone can demonstrate it, I will concede it with all the grace of someone who is told that the winning lottery ticked he has just waved in his boss’s face while noisily quitting was one of those fake ones that are promoted in catalogs as a terrific practical joke to people who would pull the wings off flies to entertain spiders.

Anyway, I have used both "analog nightlight" and more recently "DTV nightlight" to refer to the bills that made their way relatively swiftly through Congress. Using both was either brain skip or a nuanced trial balloon to see which better fit an effort to keep the analog signal glowing in a DTV world.

I am leaning toward ‘analog nightlight" as the official, unofficial designation, but let me know what you think.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.