As I have written before, this strikes the death knell for the major Japanese broadcasting stations in Japan. Their ratings and viewership were already at all-time lows. With this conversion, they lose 20 ~ 30% of their audience.
Digital TV subscriptions and tuners are not cheap. In 2011, people with disposable income do not watch TV anymore. As I pointed out in Why the Digital Conversion Will Kill TV Tokyo and TBS:
It seems obvious to me that there's no doubt about it... Basically:
1) People with money do not watch TV
2) The only people who do watch a lot of TV have either no money or too much time on their hands; they are not active
3) Advertising to people with no money and who are not active is a waste of money.
4) When digital goes online fully, then the only people who don't have the digital equipment are poor people
5) Poor people are the only ones who watch TV Tokyo and TBS now (see #2 above)
The countdown has begun. The digital TV conversion will kill TV Tokyo and TBS.
I also hammered the point home in
The end of analogue TV broadcasting happened yesterday. Kyodo reports:
TOKYO, July 24 (AP) - (Kyodo)—Japanese broadcasters completely digitalized their terrestrial TV broadcasting noon Sunday, ending the analog transmission that began more than a half century ago, except in areas hit hard by March's earthquake and tsunami.
But the telecom ministry estimates some people nationwide have yet to prepare for the analog-to-digital shift and has increased staff for the last-minute campaign to provide people with technical help before analog TVs turn grainy by midnight Sunday.
The broadcasting industry estimates 100,000 households failed to buy essential equipment such as digital tuners and antennas as of Saturday.
In my opinion, those estimates are way off. Even NHK surveys and surveys by Yomiuri newspaper show a 70% ~ 80% rate which definitely repudiates those rosy numbers.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications exempted viewers in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures from the nationwide start of the land-based digital TV broadcasting, putting off the project there until March next year.
Japan's analog television service began in 1953.
Japanese broadcasters digitalized their transmission of programs in stages after the relevant law passed parliament in 2001. The digital broadcasting, along with the traditional analog transmission, began inTokyo and two other major cities of Osaka and Nagoya in 2003 and spread nationwide in 2006.
The video talks about the end of analogue TV and how they are getting massive amounts of complaints and inquiries from people about it.... I imagine many people will not be too happy when they find out that they cannot watch TV anymore unless they cough up a few thousand dollars to watch it.
So, it's the beginning of the end. TV is sliding into irrelevance and oblivion. Good riddance.