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Finland goes digital in just 9 days…

August 22, 2007
 
Well, it has been a long time between entries! For that I apologize, I spent some time back in Canada for six weeks and took it upon myself to have a real holiday. The time really flew and so it is time to get back to business. I am also done my course, so I will be adding a book to my reading list soon.
 
Finland has been in the process of going "digital" over the past couple of years and the end of analog TV broadcasts on Finnish TV will be August 31. In the lead up to this time, digi boxes (an auxiliary unit for analog TV’s) and digi TV’s sold briskly. Pretty much the whole country is covered for digital broadcasting, but there are still people in rural areas who cannot receive digital signals. The Finnish radio and television distributor Digita (www.digita.fi) cannot ensure that all Finns will be able to get digital broadcasts and those who cannot, have basically been told "too bad". This group of folks appears to be quite small.
 
One issue related to the switch over to digital broadcasting has made me laugh… Communications Minister, Suvi Linden has declared that people who watch digital broadcasts on their computers or their mobile phones should pay for their TV licence… This is interesting, since how can the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority enforce this? Though one should pay for a TV licence if he /she owns one in Finland, there are many people who do not. See more at www.tv-maksu.fi. I have a good story about this TV licence thing, but I will save it for another time.
 
Like I mentioned in an earlier entry, I’ve been out of the loop since my little one arrived, so I can’t really say which other countries have jumped on the digital bandwagon. I do know that Canada will be FAR behind. I heard on a CBC radio broadcast (via the internet) that it could be 2012 or later before Canada goes digital.
 
Finally, this entire switch to digital broadcasting has left me a little confused… What does digital broadcasting really offer? The Mr. has explained this to me a million times, so for gadget and hi-tech obsessed Finns this is indeed a meaningful switch. I guess the best comparison I can make is when the radio station in my hometown finally went to FM in the mid 1990’s…
 
See more here on Finland’s switch to digital broadcasting:
http://www.digitv.fi (A national help centre for those wanting to know more about setting up their houses for digital broadcasts)
http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Only+73+of+homes+are+able+to+watch+digital+TV+broadcasts/1135229490337
http://www.yle.fi/news/id67842.html 
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