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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Digital TV Transition Delayed?
I figure if you are reading this blog, you already know about the upcoming digital TV transition.  If not, go to this page I put together a year ago to catch yourself up.  Better yet, just turn on your TV and watch for about 30 minutes.  You can't miss the public service announcements about the transition.  If you haven't seen the announcements, then you don't watch much (any) TV to begin with, and it will be long after February 17 before you notice anything different.
 
Unfortunately, at the behest of President Obama, congress has proposed the transition be delayed on the grounds that people aren't prepared for the transition. So far the Senate has blocked the proposed delay, but Congress will try again.
 
There are many reasons cited for the necessity of the delay, ranging from lack of availability of coupons to be applied towards converter boxes to the lack of preparedness of nursing homes and other institutions.  Many people who ordered their coupons months ago, did not use them.  The coupons expire after 90 days. This is noted on the card.  Now people trying to get more coupons can't get them due to the waiting list that is probably a direct result of people who ordered them but failed to use them.  I would venture to speculate that some of the people who ordered the coupons, didn't actually need them. They probably subscribe to cable or satellite, or they already have digital tuners.  Much of them probably just ordered them because they could.  But guess what?  You don't have to have a coupon to go out and purchase a converter box.  The coupon simply gives you $40 towards your purchase of a converter box. If you don't have a coupon, splurge for the $40 and go buy a converter box with your own money!  If you can't come up with the $40, perhaps TV viewing shouldn't be high on your list of priorities.
 
What's not being talked about is the amount of money the delay will require.  The delay will mean more public service announcements.  What are the announcements going to say?  "We were going to do this transition in 2006...then we decided to wait until 2009...no wait, just a few more months..." Broadcasters will have to transmit in both digital and analog simultaneously for longer than they had budgeted.  And what about the companies who have purchased the analog spectrum?  Who is going to compensate them for the lost revenue as a result of the delay?  We will.  The House Appropriations Committee is wanting to dump another $650 million into the transition fund.
 
Let's face it.  The transition will result in some confusion.  Delaying it will not eliminate the confusion.  The people who are confused on February 17 are the same people who will be confused if the transition is delayed until June.
 
This is just another example of pandering to the lowest common denominator. These people using "rabbit ears" or roof-top antennae in conjunction with analog tuners must have seen the public service announcements already! If, for some reason, they haven't, come February 17, when all they get is snow, they'll likely say something to a neighbor who is a little further up the evolutionary ladder, and then they'll finally receive the message about the DTV transition. Anyone else left in the dark, well, should be left in the dark. I'm tired of seeing everything dumbed down. We're messing with God's plan people. We need to stop pandering to the unfit. Those swirling the drain should be allowed to meet their ultimate destination, unfettered, descending to the bottom of the septic tank of society. Click here to discuss this topic in the forum.
Sun, January 25, 2009 | link


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