Digital Cable Switch Delayed -- Confused Yet?

Feeling confused with all the digital TV transition talk? You're not alone. America's cable TV operators decided this week to . The operators say too many people were mixing that process up with the big scheduled for next February.

It's not hard to see why, either -- the two processes sound similar, and they had been overlapping until now. Here's what's happening in both worlds, and how the two movements differ.

The Digital Shift: Cable

Cable TV operators are getting ready to reorganize their channels. They're taking channels off of the current analog system and moving them over to digital ones. If you use a cable service provider such as Comcast, this change will affect you.

Moving the cable channels to digital will give you higher quality reception and will allow the companies to offer you more broadband-oriented options. It will also free up space for the operators to create more high-definition channels and video-on-demand services. It'll end up costing you more in many cases, too, as the digital channels tend to come at higher prices.

The cable transition has been underway for some time, but it will now be delayed until March of 2009 to cut down on confusion. In a , cable operators also agreed to offer free adaptors to customers who have older analog equipment. Those adaptors will be made available from March until June of 2009.