John Dingell

Last week's Mobile DTV Showcase on Capitol Hill can be deemed a "victory" since at least a half-dozen members of Congress not only showed up and "offered remarks," but most of them actually hung around and paid attention to the technologies that electronics makers and broadcasters were showing off. They saw  hand-crafted prototypes of DTV-equipped mobile phone handsets that LG Electronics created for the event and other devices that picked up live TV transmissions from the Washington-area broadcast stations taking part in the high-profile demonstration on Capitol Hill.

Both houses of Congress are planning committee hearings this month on the digital television transition, as time remaining prior to the analog signal shutoff approaches one year on Feb. 17. The hearings will begin Feb. 13 in the House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce, more specifically its Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, and the purpose of the hearing is to “assess the nation’s preparedness to make the switch from analog to digital television.” Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the committee’s chairman, said in a statement that “I am not confident that government agencies, retailers, broadcasters and all other stakeholders are taking

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