Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bye Bye Rabbit Ears

On October 20, 2005, the Digital Transmission and Public Safety Act was passed requiring all full power television stations to cease analog broadcasting by midnight February 17, 2009. I'm not sure what any of this has to do with public safety, but that's the name of the act.

Beginning January 1, 2008 people could begin requesting the above $40 coupon to help defray the cost of a converter box which will enable analog televisions to receive a digital signal. For a year, we've been bombarded by television ads advising us of the change.

Not surprisingly the government ran out of money before everyone who needed a converter box coupon got one. Also, not surprisingly people who have had a year to get a coupon and who have waited until six weeks before they lose their television signal to try to get one are complaining.

Those people are calling the government shortsighted and unprepared. I'm calling those people dumbasses.


Advocare Teresa In Beaumont said...
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Advocare Teresa In Beaumont said...

Not to worry, everyone who got a coupon will not be getting a convertor box. We have 2 coupons, got them a year ago (just in case), and we have cable.

But yesterday I did have to throw away my favorite little TV/Radio. 12 bucks at Kroger, it sat on my kitchen counter for 6 years. I could watch my favorite Newsman while I was cooking, got us through several hurricanes and even more power outages in Louisiana and Texas.

Sure, the cord was frayed and wrapped with black tape, we had foil on the antennae and it took up valuable counter space, but I am going to miss it.

Wow,, the more I think about it - this is going to be really inconvenient.

Susan in St. Paul said...

The safety thing is for weather I assume, at least around here.

Last spring, I discovered that the problem with digital TV during bad weather is that it doesn't just get fuzzy, it drops out! I foresee a surge in weather radio sales this spring.

I have a converter box and my rabbit ears work okay with it ;-)

The big problem with the coupons was that they expired in 90 days. When I got mine there weren't many converters out there and they cost at least $10 more than the coupon.

At Target yesterday, I noticed they have tons of converters for only $5 more than the coupons but much nicer than mine.

Those people were shortsighted, the government did say there were a limited quantity of coupons from the very beginning.

Steve said...

I believe the public safety aspect has to do with the new use for the old frequencies - police, fire. homeland security, etc...

People who just go out and buy a box and think they are ready are pretty much screwed anyway. Most stations will be UHF now instead VHF. Different type of antenna needed for that in most cases.

Also, signals will not travel as far, and they will suffer from the "cliff effect" where, if the signal is not strong enough, it doesn't get fuzzy, it gets gone. Digital reception is either perfect or non-existent.

In Beaumont, I haven't been able to get any digital signal from KBMT or KBTV with any indoor antenna. I have not tried an outdoor antenna. I don't care since I have Houston locals via DISH.

I think that the government is. in fact, shortsighted and unprepared. I also think that the people who don't have satellite or cable or a digital converter are probably a lot better off than those of us who are hooked on the idiot box!