The digital transition
only affects those who use an antenna
right? Well, kinda. While a STB from your provider will allow you to access any content they offer, your provider still needs access to that content. This isn't that big of a deal for a local cable company who might carry ten or fifteen locally broadcast channels, but satellite providers DirecTV
carry over a 1000 locals through the US. There are a number of collection techniques used to capture these signals, and going back to each and every station to upgrade to digital is a big job. Deploying all the locals for every channel in the country took years to complete the first time around, and now they're faced with a deadline that's less than 18 months away. We'd also bet that just switching out SD analog for digital isn't enough, and that they want to make sure they're setup to get the HD signal. We'll have to wait to see how they're going to work this one out, but we wonder why it took so long for them to figure out what many of us have known for some time.