Linked by weildish on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 04:47 UTC
In the News In an editorial previously on OSNews, there was some amount of detail about the upcoming US digital television switch, coming (now somewhat tentatively) on February 17th. Apparently, some 21 million Americans are still waiting for the $40 coupons the government promised but could eventually not deliver seeing as how the well went dry. These millions of Americans, assumed to not have gone out and bought a digital converter despite being coupon-less, will now be at a loss of "news, information, and emergency alerts" come the official switcheroo (but we all secretly know they mean "soaps, game shows, and sitcoms"). For this reason, some of those political fellows are vying to delay the transition to June 12th; a good idea, or will this just cause more confusion and problems with the already fuzzy topic? A great deal of money has been spent on telling the public "January 17th, 2009, folks!" for years now. Is it really worth it to delay?
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Delay?
by DrillSgt on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 15:18 UTC
DrillSgt
Member since:
2005-12-02

Why should they delay it? Those coupons have been available for well over a year, as have cheap digital converter boxes. There is no reason why some people do not have one yet. I am willing to bet that a good chunk of those people complaining actually have cable or satellite, in which case the converter is not needed as it is built into the receivers for the boxes. Just get it over with, make the switch, and be done with it. I wonder if they were checking the income on the people getting the boxes, as they were supposed to have been for the people that can not pay the $40 for the converter box. There are more expensive ones, however you can buy one for the price of the coupon.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Delay?
by TechGeek on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 15:24 UTC in reply to "Delay?"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

The money to cover the coupons ran out. They no longer work. There is also the problem that many people have old crappy wiring or antennae that need changing. Plus, they haven't been doing tests in a lot of places, so they aren't sure how much power they really need to output at the transmission sites. There could be a lot of people who cant get signal at first until the broadcasters get everything squared away. The few areas where tests have been done, some of the tests went rather badly. While the deadline was set, it doesn't appear there were any other guidelines put in place to make sure everyone was ready. People procrastinate and things take longer than you expect. Especially things this large and complicated.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Delay?
by aent on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 22:16 UTC in reply to "Delay?"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

Checking the income levels? The coupons are for anybody and everybody, not just for the poor. Everyone who purchased an analog cable box now has to purchase a converter because of a government decision. The coupons are for anyone and everyone. And most TVs currently sold have digital receivers... my TV is from 1988 so it clearly does not. I see no reason to replace it until it breaks (and at this point, its showing no signs of having any problems)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Delay?
by DrillSgt on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 23:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Delay?"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Checking the income levels? The coupons are for anybody and everybody, not just for the poor. Everyone who purchased an analog cable box now has to purchase a converter because of a government decision."

Well, they should just be for the poor IMO, but that is neither here nor there. I am curious as to where you would purchase an analog cable box, besides illegally? They are rented from the providers, not purchased. I honestly have never met anyone, nor heard of anyone, purchasing a cable box. The digital converters only cost $40. Why should everyone get them for free?

Reply Score: 2

Feb 17 not Jan 17
by TechGeek on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 15:19 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Error: Shouldn't it be Feb 17th?

Reply Score: 4

No need to delay
by Mithalas on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 15:36 UTC
Mithalas
Member since:
2009-01-23

There is absolutely no reason to delay this. It will only give the people more time to complain about it and ask for more delays. This has been coming for several years and if you havent prepared for it then personally you have no one to blame but yourself. People need to grow up, take responsibility and quit expecting the government to bail their butts out.

Of course this is only my opinion. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: No need to delay
by darknexus on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 18:29 UTC in reply to "No need to delay"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

There is absolutely no reason to delay this.

Actually there is, if they're not able to get all areas serviced, and they're not. I have some friends that used analog, over-the-air television and they received a signal just fine. Now, the TV stations in there area are broadcasting digital as well, but they're just outside the range. They get nothing over digital at all, even with a good antenna. So yes, if this is a common place occurance, as it seems to be from the reports, they have every reason to delay it until they get it all working right and know how they need to set up the broadcast transmitters and how much power to give them. Otherwise, you'll have the conspiracy theorists going wild with ideas about the government trying to help out the cable and satellite providers by forcing people to subscribe due to lack of a digital signal.
If they delay, people complain. If they don't, people complain for a different reason. There will always be people bitching and moaning about something no matter what it is.
If they can't do it right, they need to put it on hold until they can. Whether they should even be doing this right now with the US economy in the crapper is another matter, and I think the fact that they can't even provide funds for their own coupons is an answer in and of itself.

Reply Score: 2

Delay should be forever
by binarymutant on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 16:44 UTC
binarymutant
Member since:
2008-11-11

It's a bad idea and I can't wait for them to change their minds about the whole thing. This delay is the start of that. Who's going to watch all those commercials if their tv sets don't pick up anything?

Edited 2009-01-23 16:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Digital broadcasting
by aaronb on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 19:32 UTC
aaronb
Member since:
2005-07-06

The one thing that I find strange about the whole TV switch over is that if companies and organisations agreed on a standard and just built digital receivers into all new TV's many people would not even notice the switch.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Digital broadcasting
by abraxas on Sat 24th Jan 2009 01:42 UTC in reply to "Digital broadcasting"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

The one thing that I find strange about the whole TV switch over is that if companies and organisations agreed on a standard and just built digital receivers into all new TV's many people would not even notice the switch.



They have been for years now. The problem is people, like me, who has two TVs over 10 years old that still work fine have no need to buy a new TV.

Reply Score: 2

I'm one of them
by jack_perry on Sat 24th Jan 2009 05:38 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm one of those 21 million. The television started to die, however, so we decided to go out & buy a digital TV anyway. I'd gladly unsubscribe from the list, but I don't know how.

Reply Score: 2