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Keep On Trekking

With NAB’s DTV Education Road Show making its first appearance this weekend in Washington, just blocks away from some of the transition’s harshest critics on Capitol Hill, I wondered whether that might prove a chance for some of those congressfolk to kick the tires on this part of the campaign.

The vehicle for the road show’s message is a large truck shaped like a TV set, which prompted the tire-kicking reference.

But I digress.

I e-mailed the office of one of those critics, House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommitee Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and asked whether they planned to send a staffer or two over to the Convention Center to check on the information being relayed by the pair of staffers manning (and or womanning) the truck.

The response: "Good to see the road show coming to town! We’ll be evaluating all DTV consumer education efforts such as this road show over time." 

Hmmmm. "Over time," eh? If I were those staffers I would make sure I had my spiel down. No upselling to expensive TV sets–note to CBS’ morning show–and make sure that viewers know that one way to get that DTV signal after the transition is to be hooked up to cable or satellite.

And, if you are quizzed by a young, bright-eyed, well-dressed twenty-something with one of those spherical-link chains leading to what might be a Hill security pass tucked in their breast pocket, don’t say you haven’t been warned.

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.