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As I write this, it is two years and change, make that lots of change, until the planned switch to all-digital broadcasting.

Feb. 17, 2009, at midnight to be exact, if all goes as scheduled, the new digital broadcast age officially begins. Of course, how much in Washington all goes as scheduled?

But for the moment, the NAB and the CEA and the NCTA have all gotten together to promote the switch, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration is readying rules on the converter box program, and, as of March 1, all TV's shipped in the country have to contain a DTV tuner.

A lot could still happen to throw a wrench into the plans, particularly if the switch becomes an election issue.

But I have a feeling this deadline is going to stick.

By John Eggerton