For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!
Subscribe:

US Senate Delays Digital TV Transition By Four Months

dtv-large-transparent

By Luke Anderson

I’m not yet a parent, but there are a few things that I’ve learned about human behavior that makes me thing that I’ll do alright. One major thing that I’ve observed is that if you tell a child that a specific action will result in a punishment, you’d better keep your word. Otherwise they will eventually learn that you are simply making empty threats, and that they can go on doing whatever they please without consequence. Believe it or not, the same thing applies with adults. If you tell them that their TV will stop working after February 17th unless they get a new TV or a converter, don’t go extending that deadline.

It appears that my words are too late, as those who have either been living under a rock, or just didn’t bother to get with the program are getting a four month reprieve. The senate has decided to postpone the digital TV transition until June 12th. They’ve been talking about this switch for years now, and I’ve been hearing about the coupon program on the very stations that will be lost for months. If you decided to wait until January to pick up a coupon (or let the one you received expire as many people have), then I have little sympathy for you. Sure, if you’ve genuinely been trying to get one for months but have run into issues, then I understand. The word is that there are currently 20 million Americans who are unprepared for the switch. If the number were down to 15 million by June I’d be shocked.

VIA [ Reuters ]








  • Earthworm

    agreed.

  • mcman

    Unfortunately we are now entering a “government solves all problems” phase, so this was expected.

    I say just follow the original plan. It's not like these people are paying for reception and if some have to go without TV to finally realize what's taking place then so be it. Of course I stop short of saying that it would teach people a lesson because it likely wouldn't.

    I'll bet you a million dollars that when they do finally make the switch some guy in Jabip will exclaim: “Hey, the TV just stopped workin! What the F!”

  • Judy

    Well, sure. But the government had promised to help with the cost, which isn't working out so well, given that they ran out of money. I know that I signed up for the coupon early, but never received it; I've heard of others having the same problem. As I understand it, there are unredeemed and expired coupons, so those funds can be released, but not immediately. And now with the economy, Grandma and Grandpa hardly have any money themselves to cover the entire cost of the converter boxes, so they're screwed through no fault of their own.

    Anyway, I don't think the blame can be laid solely on consumers; the government kinda borked this and needs time to get their ducks in a row (the way it should have been a year ago, but whatever)

  • Grace

    I got the converter box a months ago, and after giving digital television what I consider to be a “fair chance”, and decided that it sucks.
    I bought one of the more expensive converters, and installed a digital antenna outside my home thinking that maybe that would help with reception. Money wasted… as even when the signal strength is 100%, the station will still cut in and out. It has gotten so bad lately that I have taken to watching all my television shows online, and only use my television for DVD viewing.
    To date.. over the air digital sucks worse than analog.. at least with analog, the picture might be fuzzy, but I can still watch and hear the show… with digital, it is either there or not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6203280 Mike Ruhlin

    I've heard the “digital TV doesn't get a good enough signal” argument a lot before, but recently realized that this is because of their continued support for analog broadcast.

    Broadcasting TV uses a lot of power, causes a lot of money. Broadcasting TWO kinds of TV? That costs even more. So rather than pay a crapton of money for new equipment, the TV stations are splitting it now, using a lower-powered (and thus lower range) antenna to broadcast the digital signal. Once the analog service shuts down, they'll be broadcasting digital at full strength, and your signal will likely improve.

    Of course, I don't get why they don't put digital on full-power, analog in half power as part of the transition. Maybe that leads to the same result of some yokel on the outskirts of town suddenly not getting TV and wondering why.

    Rather than mandating a date on which all TV would switch though, the government should have staggered dates between local stations. Then put ads on the channels that are still analog: “wondering why you can't watch Channel 11 anymore? You need a digital converter box”. Probably a better way to get somebody's attention.

  • Tom

    I agree 100% If I give my kids an inch, they are out the door. Given how many people watch TV, and how we have been bombarded with info on the switch, there is no excuse. Also, why are we relying on the government to subsidize our purchase? If you really want to watch American Idol, you'll get the converter. You can bet your bippy if I decided to “delay” paying my taxes, they would come get them.

  • Anonymous

    What arrogance, comparing people to children because they aren't ready for the digital TV miracle. I say cancel the transition – “more channels, better picture, better sound” has turned into less channels, wasted money, and sound/video that comes and goes from one day (or hour) to the next.

    The DTV transition is just another handout to big corporations who paid off the politicians, like usual. What will the government demand we switch to next – cable internet, digital cameras, and satellite radios? I see they want to spend $9 billion to expand high-speed internet access as part of the “stimulus” – such a necessity in times like these…

  • Dee1

    After switching back in December to date the reception is poor and with some stations it displays a 'no signal'. Therefore when coming home rather than struggle with adjusting the antenna as in the days of the 60's, I simply leave the tv off and have found additional time that I lost watching television (I'm sure the sponsors don't want to hear this). As I don't have cable anyway I'm only missing poor programming and commercials galore. If this is the wave of the future heaven help us. I'm sure that the powers that be considered that there will be those that will have problems with the reception and perhaps felt it was worth it to consider that not all viewers will get great reception as with analog. In these economic times it's the sponsors lost not mine; a reduction in my electric bill.

  • Dee1

    After switching back in December to date the reception is poor and with some stations it displays a 'no signal'. Therefore when coming home rather than struggle with adjusting the antenna as in the days of the 60's, I simply leave the tv off and have found additional time that I lost watching television (I'm sure the sponsors don't want to hear this). As I don't have cable anyway I'm only missing poor programming and commercials galore. If this is the wave of the future heaven help us. I'm sure that the powers that be considered that there will be those that will have problems with the reception and perhaps felt it was worth it to consider that not all viewers will get great reception as with analog. In these economic times it's the sponsors lost not mine; a reduction in my electric bill.