Tuesday, October 30, 2007

February 17, 2009, analog television becomes a thing of the past. Are you ready?

the Oregonian

By government decree, February 17 2009, millions of analog television sets without a converter box will go dark, to be replaced by digital.

Federal officials estimate that 45 million (20%) of the households in the US, get their TV signals over the air. Others receive their signals via cable or satellite service. this translates to roughly seventy three million TVs that will have to be converted or retired.

"If TVs suddenly go dark, millions of viewers will be looking for someone to blame. "You will have a disaster on Feb. 18, 2009, and people will be screaming -- not at you but at us," Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, told government officials Oct. 17."

Beginning January 1, 2008, the national telecommunications and information administration, an arm of the Commerce Department will begin accepting applications for $40 coupons that can be used to defray the cost of conversion boxes, which will cost anywhere between $50 and $70.

"The last thing we want is some sort of pitchfork rebellion with viewers storming down Pennsylvania Avenue looking for revenge," said Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, a trade group whose core membership provides over-the-air TV."

TV manufacturers since March have been required to equip all new sets with digital tuners and retailers are required to attach "consumer alert" to unsold analog TVs. The FCC has already sent hundreds of warning letters to retailers that have failed to display the disclosure clearly.


Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department are the two federal agencies principally responsible for the switch.

that is all good and well that they are willing to give us coupons to defer the price of the digital converters, but not everybody has the money to buy a converter, or for that matter even, want to mess with a converter.

To my understanding, what they're not saying in the article, is that the whole reasoning for converting from analog to digital, is that it uses a narrower bandwidth and more frequencies can be sold.

We will see how "smooth" the conversion will go when millions of people do not switch to digital and advertisers start losing money.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Laura said...

I don't think it will work. Too many people are too poor to upgrade and will keep their old sets. Either that or they will stop watching TV at home. As it is I refuse to pay for cable TV. Waste of money unless you are home 24/7 and do nothing but watch TV. I don't think many of us fit that scenerio. This deadline has been changed several times which tells me that they don't believe it will fly either.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous gullyborg said...

If you have digital cable or digital satellite, then you are already getting the digital signal and watching it just fine. You won't need to get any additional boxes and the changeover will not affect you.

Set-top digital tuners with analog outputs will more than likely be available for under $50, possibly under $20, and that isn't even taking into account government rebates.

The deadline keeps getting pushed back because idiots who fear change keep pressuring the gummint to mandate that inferior technology be the standard for our country. Japan did a mass changeover to high definition television in the EIGHTIES and we have been languishing in the world of crap tv in America almost 20 years beyond that.

And no, you don't need to be a 24/7 tv junkie to appreciate cable. In fact, you don't need to be into tv much at all. Cable (or in my case satellite) is so much better than regular broadcast television it isn't even debatable. With broadcast tv you have a few crap channels. With cable/satellite you get things like FOX News (or CNN if you are commie liberal), Food Network, Sci-Fi, and plenty of other channels that have good original programming that blows away the crap on regular tv.

If you are content to get by with regular tv, you are admitting to the world that Jerry Spriner, Days of Our Lives, Oprah, and American Idol are all you need to see. With my satellite, which I watch no more than others watch broadcast tv, I get to watch National Geographic while you watch Maury Povich.

Finally, my satellite service has a built-in DVR, which for you technophobes replaces your VCR. This lets me set up to record the shows I actually like to watch, and then I can watch them - while skipping commercials - when it is convenient for me, instead of being tied to my tv. Makes for a far more productive life. You should try it. Obviously you haven't.

I guess that explains why you don't understand the real issues here. Get with the program, get out of the way of progress, and let the industry upgrade for crying out loud!

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