While we passed the T-minus two year mark
earlier this year, the FCC has just now approved rules "that it says will ensure that millions of cable subscribers will still be able to watch broadcast programming after the digital television transition in 2009." Judging by reports, not a whole lot of new material was covered, but the new FCC rules reportedly mandate that cable operators "either convert the digital signal to analog at the point where the cable signal originates or supply customers with a down converter device
that will change digital signals to analog at the TV set." Interestingly, the FCC "did not require operators to pass through every bit of information, as broadcasters had pushed for," and while smaller cable systems will be able to request a waiver
, all providers will be required to "guarantee that analog cable customers will receive broadcast channels until February 2012."