This question showed up in this morning's e-mail from a librarian friend down in Florida:
Yesterday I was appointed to a district committee to plan for the 2009 TV changeover - what we need, what we can do, etc. Instead of reinventing the wheel here, I'm asking an expert: What plan does your district have for the HD switch? Any information will be appreciated.
Gulp. Yes, I am the head of the projector sector (I mean AV department) for our schools, but the crown is pretty dusty. Here's how I replied:
There are basically two issues involved as I understand the future of TV.
The first is that by 2009 that all television transmissions must be digital. This has lots of people worked up but will ONLY effect those who get their TV signals over the air via antennae. They will need to buy a converter for their TVs for about $60. The government is supposed to offset this cost with a $40 coupon of some sort. If you get your TV signal via satellite or cable, you need do nothing and can use your current television sets.
The second change which is more problematic for us in our district is that it’s rumored that manufacturers will only continue TVs with LCD or plasma screens and stop making CRT screens. To me this is an issue because I don’t think our current mounting brackets (or carts) will hold the new flat screens. And I have no easy solution to this one. I expect we will eventually either stop buying TVs and just use LCD projectors connected to VCR/DVD tuners or buy the flat panels and mount them on the wall somewhere in the classroom and just remove our expensive mounts. But this I will worry about in onsies and twosies as the old TVs break down.